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  • Jerry Epperson

What's hot this year in electronics

Jerry EppersonJerry Epperson
Mention the Las Vegas show to a furniture person and visions of the ultra-modern World Market Center buildings come to mind, but to other retailers, they most likely will be thinking about the massive Consumer Electronics Show.
     As always, this year's CESwas full of new gadgets andgizmos, a few of which I understand,plus additions andimprovements to existingelectronic necessities. A recentstudy showed that 47% ofAmericans would do withoutevery other electronic item,including televisions and computers,if they could keep theirsmartphones.
     So what is hot this year?TWICE (This Week in ConsumerElectronics) says 2014may be the year of the "smartwatch," something Dick Tracywas using in the 1930s. Highresolutionaudio - yes, audio- is big as are 3D printersfor those of you who are tiredof doing your own carving,molding and casting. The smallvideo cameras that are on everyhelmet in hopes of going "viral"are going 360 degrees sothey miss nothing. By the way,how do you watch a 360-degreemovie?
     It is interesting how somethings get smaller and smalleruntil it becomes cool for themto get larger and larger like ourcell phones. Tablets are still gettingsmaller while HDTVs aregetting larger. Much larger.
     In the last decade, we gotrid of our heavy, thick 21-inchto 35-inch analog televisionsand bought the first wave offlat screen 32-inch, 42-inch and50-inch HDTVs. While 3Dtelevision was a bust (there arenot many 3D shows to watch),we are assured that the new ultraHDTV's will be as new andexciting as the first HDTV'swere around 2005. Add to thatthe "smart" feature with 1,200streaming apps and some newshapes including curved televisionsand the excitement isbuilding.
    While expensive today,55-inch ultra HDTVs will beunder $1,500 by this autumn indecent quantities, and the newnormal sizes of 50 inches to70 inches will replace the firstgeneration 32-inch to 42-inchunits, moving these elsewherein the home.
     Thankfully, these largersets will not fit in the furniturebought for smaller sizes, andthe older sets going into thebedrooms, kitchens and baths(yes, I have a television there)will create new furnishingsneeds there as well.
     And while replacing thetelevisions and cabinets, manywill also get new seating too,but probably not for the bathrooms,although you neverknow.

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