CES doesn't stand for Cool Excellent Stuff, but it probably should: the annual Consumer Electronics Show is the most important tech event of the year. It's when the biggest names in tech roll out their biggest guns, and it's also when we see the trends that will excite, delight and occasionally drive us daft in 2015. There's stacks of exciting stuff to talk about, so without further ado: it's Week in Tech!
What's up LG's sleeve?
Fancy the LG G Watch R but wish it didn't run Android Wear? Then the incoming WebOS version might be right up your street. LG is apparently keen to build an ecosystem of its own rather than just be part of Google's empire, but the plans are apparently to complement the Android line rather than replace it. It's an intriguing prospect: WebOS was originally a Palm smartphone OS, was then acquired by HP and ended up in LG's hands, and you'll find it in many LG Smart TVs. We can't wait to see how it performs in a smartwatch.
That Kodak phone moment
Remember Kodak, the camera company? Now it's a cameraphone company: the Kodak IM5 brings the brand to a fairly run-of-the-mill handset built by Bullitt, the same firm that makes Caterpillar phones. In a world where Jeep makes socks and JCB does batteries, you can expect more brand-related tomfoolery like this.
Bring on the bend-o-phones
Technology can be hard to follow sometimes. In 2014, we were told that bendy phones were the worst thing in the world. 2015 has barely begun and we're already being told to get excited about, you've guessed it, bendy phones. You can blame LG, whose G Flex 2 is launching on Vodafone in the first half of 2015 and on other carriers six weeks afterwards. The phone isn't just curvy: it has pretty good specs too.
Fancy a bendy iPhone? We mean one that bends deliberately this time. According to reports, Apple is working on it. The firm has patented a flexible phone that can fold and resist "impact events" such as drops. You might even be able to turn it on and off with an affectionate squeeze.
Samsung: homes, not phones
The Samsung Galaxy S6 didn't turn up in public - but Samsung was still busy at CES. It had weird-looking 360-degree speakers, a credit card-sized portable SSD, Milk VR content for the Gear VR headset and a whole bunch of Tizen-powered Smart TVs. The overarching theme was that the home of the future should be a Samsung home, an internet of Samsung things catering to your every conceivable need. It's exciting, but it's scary too.
Are you Xperia'd? Sony at CES
Sony's had a busy CES: it's been offering a select few sneak peeks of the incoming Xperia Z4 phone; it unveiled a nifty-looking augmented reality alternative to Google Glass, the awfully named SmartEyeglass Attach; it showed off some stupendous Android TVs including the XBR-X900C Series 4K; and it's given the SmartWatch 3 a nice steel case.
Netflix: Hurrah for HDR!
You can always count on Netflix to announce interesting TV services, and its partnership with LG is particularly tantalising: fancy 4K TV with HDR (High Dynamic Range)? It'll make drama more dramatic, sport more sporty and movies more, er, movie-y. There will also be a "recommended TV' programme that suggests particular set for particular kinds of content.
Android TV: third time lucky?
Is Android TV going to succeed where its predecessors failed? It certainly looks that way: Google has lined up a stellar cast of hardware partners such as Sony, whose entire 2015 Smart TV range will run Android TV. Google TV is no more: a few existing devices will be updated to Android TV, but most won't. Google reckons the TV future is Android TV and Chromecast.
Meet the Cast
Wouldn't it be great if you could get a Chromecast-style system for music? Now you can, courtesy of Google Cast. As David Nield explains: "you'll be able to beam music from Google Play Music, Rdio, Pandora, NPR One, Deezer and other supported apps to Google Cast-ready speakers. Sony, LG and Denon are among the companies on board on the hardware side, and the first sets of speakers will arrive in the US in spring."
Apple Watch watch
There are many conundrums about the Apple Watch: how much will the gold one cost? Will it be obsolete in a year? Will it really enable you to communicate with cats? But one mystery has been answered: the Apple Watch release date. Apple's wristy wonder has gone into production with an expected on-sale date of March.
Techradar's coverage of the future of tech at CES 2015 LIVE is brought to you courtesy of Currys PC World. Keep up to date with all the latest tech at Currys here
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