The Highlights of the Consumer Electronics Show 2014

Smart appliances, ultra HD laptops, bendy TVs and Michael Bay...

The Consumer Electronics 2014 show has been underway for a couple of days now in Las Vegas, Nevada, with some of the world's biggest electronics manufacturers showing off the gadgets that we hope we'll all rush out to buy in 2014.

There has been a lot of emphasis at the show on 'smart' appliances, with everything from smart toothbrushes, to smart fridges, to smart beds being showcased by manufacturers.

One of the most interesting exhibits, perhaps because it will be available this year, is LG's fridge which tells you when you're running out of beer. LG have also been showing off a washing machine that you can have a text message conversation with, and the move from the Korean manufacturer to what might be seen as quite flashy tech from their usual unpretentious, affordable products could be symptomatic of where the future of consumer electronics lies.

Meanwhile, Samsung has unveiled the biggest mainstream tablets that have ever been produced; the NotePro and TabPro. Samsung boast that both of these tablets include the most advanced and function-packed version of Android that has yet to be released, while both models feature large 12.2" screens. Samsung signalled its intention this year to overtake Apple as the world's biggest seller of mobile devices.

While the Samsung tablets both feature full HD screens, many show goers were still wondering when the first ultra HD tablet will be released. This may not be that far over the horizon, as Toshiba debuted the world's first ultra HD laptop at CES, featuring four times the number of pixels used by the 1080p format.

Elsewhere, as has been predicted for some time, the world of video gaming is about to be shaken up. Valve revealed that 14 PC makers are building systems based on its Steam platform. The so-called Steam Machine PCs will go on sale later this year with a price that will match that of the Xbox One, marking the first serious competitor to the hegemony of consoles in the living-room.

Sony, manufacturer of the PS4, have already responded, announcing the new Playstation Now cloud service; obviously an attempt to keep the company competitive in a future which might not require hardware in order for people to play games.

Finally, Samsung revealed one of the most spectacular items of the show so far, with its 85" prototype curved television. The Bendable Television sounds rather gimmicky, but in fact looks gorgeous, and could become a massive hit, although no release date or price is remotely forthcoming as of yet. It has also received a great deal of attention due to the non-performance of Hollywood director Michael Bay. Well, they do say all publicity is good publicity...

Christopher Morris has wasted almost his entire life playing video games, right back to the original Space Invaders, and is a regular contributor to Yahoo on television, cinema, video games, technology and politics.

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