CES 2014 Watch – January 9

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CES this year has been a sprawling, lively affair with errant film directors on stage, bendy TVs and more drones than you can shake a stick at, but one clear theme has emerged: a lot of tech companies are betting that in the near future, everything will be connected to the internet, all the time.

What might such a future look like? If IBM has its way these ‘connected devices’ – be it pieces of clothing, appliances or cars – would be able to respond in smarter and more natural ways. Then again, your appliance will probably just spend all day trash-talking you.

It might also mean the rise of streaming media content at the expense of digital sales, a shift that has happened already in the US music industry, but not yet for movies.

CES, then, can be seen as a showcase for the innovations spurred by such sea changes – not only in terms of products, but also for entire companies. Oh, and also as a showcase for high definition TVs, apparently:

The show goes on until Friday, but with most of the big announcements and keynote speeches out of the way, we will be winding down our coverage. To give you a feel for what it was like in Las Vegas (and for our TL;DR – too long; didn’t read – readers) we are putting together a slideshow highlighting the best of CES that will soon be published. UPDATE: That slideshow is now published

CES highlights from elsewhere around the web:

• Smartphone Thunderdome - Five days after Wired asked four of its writers to cover CES using only their smartphones (complete with daily challenges such as ‘selfie with a star’), one has dropped out and another was nearly disqualified.

• Consoles galore – Whoever said consoles are dead forgot to tell Huawei, which is launching its first console in May. The announcement was made just days after China partially ended its ban on foreign consoles – coincidence? Probably not, but who knows.

• Touchy feely – Watch out BlackBerry. The question of physical keyboard vs touchscreen typing might soon become moot with these disappearing tactile keyboards on glass.

Gadgets daily dose

The sensor mirror from simple human

What is it: A mirror that automatically lights up when your face approaches and simulates natural sunlight so users can view their make up as if they were outside.
Does it need to exist: No, and definitely not with this price tag. Even though sensors are getting cheaper, it should not mean the death of buttons. A switch to turn a light on is not that arduous, and if you want to see in daylight, go outdoors.
They said: “The brighter, clearer, correct colour view.”
Price and availability: $200, in US stores now.

By Hannah Kuchler

FT reporters Hannah Kuchler, Tim Bradshaw, Paul Taylor and Matthew Garrahanare at the Consumer Electronics Show. You can find the FT’s CES coverage here.

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