Seen and heard at CES: Top tech trends for 2014

From voice biometrics to wearable tech and cloud computing, this year’s CES 2014 continues to remind us how quickly the digital landscape evolves. So what’s hot for 2014? We thought we would share our top picks for the New Year.

With its annual Las Vegas backdrop, the International Consumer Electronics Show has been bringing together the world’s best brands, tech gurus, and innovators for more than 40 years. And each year brings a new set of top tech trends that we’ll be sure to see become the next consumer must-haves over the next 12 months.

Many are weighing in on the hottest trends at the show this year, so we thought we would share our perspective too!

1.       Cloud Computing & Services

It’s all about the cloud. Almost all of the top brands are announcing new devices and services that are connected – even some you wouldn’t expect – like a toothbrush that can monitor your brushing activity. The cloud is more than a trend, however, it’s the future – hence our own announcement at CES around Nuance Cloud Services – a configurable, connected platform that transforms devices, consumer electronics, services and mobile apps into intelligent personal assistants – irrespective of the platform they are running on. Leveraging our full portfolio of voice, natural language understanding, predictive input, and content, Nuance Cloud Services gives personal assistants both a brain and a personality – all tailored for the phone, tablet, TV, PC, car, mobile apps and even wearable devices. For instance, the new Dragon Assistant for Intel® RealSense™ Technology announced this week is tapping into the Nuance Cloud Services, as is our Dragon Mobile, Dragon TV, Dragon Drive, Dragon Mobile Assistant, Dragon Voicemail-to-Text offerings, and more.

2.       Biometrics

From iris scanners to facial recognition and, of course, voice – biometrics has been a big topic at the show so far. Tablets that measure your pupil size to see what mood you’re in, clothing and accessories that can monitor your every move (inside and out), and more are currently on display for folks to see. Nuance has long led innovation in voice biometrics for the world’s leading banks and enterprises, and at this year’s CES 2014, we are bringing the convenience and personalization of voice biometrics to consumer electronics. Today, we announced that ZTE is integrating our voice biometrics capabilities for quick and hands-free unlocking of their Android smartphone lineup – no PINS, passwords or swiping required. And earlier this week, Nuance announced the availability of voice biometrics for Dragon TV, creating an even more personalized TV experience through voice with the ability to speak, be recognized and authenticated, and have your very own menu appear with favorite shows, content and more.

3.       Wearables

Wearables was among the biggest trends for 2013 – with the Samsung Galaxy Gear leading the way – and many more are following suit this week at CES 2014. We couldn’t agree more that wearable devices are the next big thing in consumer devices, and have partnered with Omate to unveiling a vision for Dragon Mobile Assistant for wearable devices, displayed on Omate’s TrueSmart Android smartwatch. With Dragon Mobile Assistant optimized for the smartwatch experience, people can immediately access game scores from their favorite sports team, quotes for their most important stocks, restaurant recommendations, local weather, and much more. Nuance is also showcasing its Swype keyboard designed specifically for smaller screen devices, like the smartwatch, supporting handwriting input for wearable devices as well as the ability to choose from a variety of mini-keyboard layouts.

4.       Connected Cars

In a world of connected devices, consumers increasingly expect access to apps, content and mobile services behind the wheel. And at CES 2014, we saw a large trend of connected cars from numerous brands – including BMW, Audi, and more. Automakers globally are designing next-generation connected cars that keep drivers connected to relevant content without increasing driver distraction. Nuance’s Dragon Drive is central to that experience, providing automakers with access to voice, content, applications and connectivity services all in one platform – totally customizable and optimized specifically for the in-car environment.

At CES 2014, Nuance’s Dragon Drive can be experienced inside the updated Chrysler UConnect system and see how to launch their personal Pandora, iHeartRadio, Slacker Radio or Aha accounts, listen to incoming text messages using Nuance’s text-to-speech capabilities and dictate a response back, use their voice to search Yelp, find and navigate to the most popular places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play in the area. Kia Motors’ next-generation connected car prototype is also on display at CES powered by Nuance, showcasing Kia’s vision for an in-car assistant experience that gives hands-free, eyes-free access to music, content, navigation, weather apps, and much more. Finally, QNX Software Systems will showcase the power of Nuance voice recognition in a new technology concept car based on a Mercedes CLA45 AMG.

5.       Home Automation in the era of the Internet of Things

And, of course, connected cars are pulling up to connected homes, while we don our connected devices. Here you’ll find smart refrigerators, smart beds and, of course, smart TV. Dragon Mobile Assistant on display at CES is connecting the dots between wearable innovation and home automation, showcasing how you can speak to your smartwatch to control the new Philips Hue lighting system to command and control lighting – pretty enlightening if you ask us.

Stay tuned for updates from us on Twitter to see what we’re up to the rest of the week.


CES 2014 by Yumi Huh

CES 2014 by Yumi Huh

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Marya McLaughlin

About Marya McLaughlin

This was a contributed post by Marya McLaughlin. Along with her interest in Mobile, Marya is active in the Boston music scene, and records and performs with her band, Slow Century. She graduated from New York University. To see more content like this, visit the Connected living section of our blog.