The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show: The annual Consumer Electronics Show, which is usually known by its initials CES, is kicking off in Los Vegas on Tuesday. The show showcases new tech gadgets and highlights upcoming tech trends. And some of the items this years’ show is expected to highlight include 4 K Television technology (for an incredibly clear picture), 3 D Printing technology (which allows you to use plastic, metal and other materials to create items at home like chess pieces and a new cover for your smartphone), driverless cars and what USA Today tech columnist Jefferson Graham describes as “connected everything.”

And the term “connected everything” simply means the increasing trend of everyday devices being connected to the internet so you can control them via your smartphone or tablet either when you’re at home or if you’re away from home. And by everyday devices I mean dishwashers, washing machines, lamps, stoves, televisions, crockpots and just about any other electric device you use on a daily basis. This is cool technology! Imagine being out and about during the day and being able to turn up your heat, turn on the lights in your house, turn on the radio for your cats and even turn on your coffee maker to brew coffee so it is ready for you to drink when you get home — before you get home! And this technology isn’t years away either! You don’t have to buy a new lamp, radio or coffee maker to have a smart house you can buy a gadget like an outlet switch that connects to your Wi-Fi network and allows you to plug in any electric item you’ve got and turn it on or off via an app on your smartphone or tablet!

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/01/03/ces-2014-preview/4264441/

Belkin’s WeMo Switch Update: And speaking of acquiring the ability to turn on and off a lamp, radio, TV, iron or other device you have at home, remotely; my Christmas present to myself in 2013 was a Belkin WeMo Switch. You have to have Wi-Fi at your house to use this gadget – however, the set up took only moments. I plugged the switch into an electrical outlet, plugged my lamp into the switch and downloaded the iOS WeMo app to my iPad and presto I can turn that lamp on and off with my iPad or an iPhone or iPod Touch from where ever I am. And you might think too, what I thought at first, which is that you’d only use a device like this when you are away from home and on your way home so that the lights are on when you come into your house at night. You might think you’d just use it to turn on the lights in the living room before you leave the office for home…However, I find I use it to turn that lamp on and off when I am at home too! I can get ready for bed at night and leave that lamp on until I’m in my bedroom and then turn it off. And since it is the time of year when we have so much dark, cloudy weather – I can also wake up in the morning and turn that lamp on in the living room before I walk out of my bedroom so there is light in my living room when I enter it. This is a neat gadget and I will certainly be purchasing a few more of them in the near future!

If you’d like to know more about the Belkin WeMo switch, which retails for $49.99, here is a link to the product page on the Belkin Home Automation website:

http://www.belkin.com/us/Products/home-automation/c/wemo-home-automation/

Respected Tech Reviewers Walt Mossberg & Kara Swisher Launch New Tech Site: Respected tech reviewers Walt Mossberg & Kara Swisher, who both previously offered tech reviews for the Wall Street Journal’s All Things D tech blog for more than ten years; have launched a new and independent tech review & news site. The new site is called re/code and can be found at the following link:

http://recode.net/

And if you’d like to know more the new re/code review site that features reviews and tech news stories by Mossberg, Swisher and other former All Things D reviewers check out this The Verge article on the subject titled “Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher launch re/code news site, Code Conference series;”

http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/2/5264506/walt-mossberg-and-kara-swisher-launch-recode-code-conference

And if you’d like to know more about Walt Mossberg, Kara Swisher and the other staff of the new re/code site click the following link to access their “Who We Are” page which offers bios of the staff:

http://recode.net/about/

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Cheng, Jacqui. (2012, August 2). A thermostat that learns? Three months with the Next. arstechnica. Online. Accessed January 5, 2014, http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/08/a-thermostat-that-learns-three-months-with-the-nest/

Graham, Jefferson. (2014, January 4). CES 2014: A tech extravaganza in Vegas. USA Today. Online. Accessed January 5, 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/01/03/ces-2014-preview/4264441/

re/code. Online. Accessed January 5, 2014, http://recode.net/

Topolsky, Joshua. (2014, January). Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher launch Re/code news site, Code Conference series: With investment from NBCUniversal and Windsor Media, the duo moves its act to a new venue. The Verge. Online. Accessed January 5, 2014,  http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/2/5264506/walt-mossberg-and-kara-swisher-launch-recode-code-conference

Who We Are. re/code. Online. Accessed January 5, 2014, http://recode.net/about/

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