CES is the ultimate in tech tools for all kinds of people, and with the level of hardware that the 2013 installment has already showcased in just its first day, there’s plenty to drool over.
Even better, companies have unveiled some awesome trends and gadgets that you’re likely to see in your journalism arsenal in the near future. If you’ve got some extra pocket money to spend or if you’re just a glutton for punishment, feast your eyes on some of the best and hottest tech trends that will take your reporting skills to the next level.
What gadget trends are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments.
1. Smart Cameras
Who said the consumer point-and-click camera is dead? While many have touted the technology as a tool that is becoming rapidly outmoding by smarter technology (see further down on this list for a fair argument), companies haven’t stopped iterating the camera — and have come out with some great products in just the few short hours CES has gone live.
The smart camera has actually breathed new life into Polaroid — the company just released their first series of Android-powered products on the showroom floor. The camera’s native OS allows users to immediately integrate their photo stream with social media accounts, and provides for automatic uploads with a WiFi connection. It’s easy and simple — and it can make sharing during breaking news even more streamlined than it is now.
If you’re looking for a more traditional product, then there’s no shortage of more classic cameras, albeit with a couple of upgrades. One of the biggest trends, adopted by greats like Sony and Nikon, is an upgrade of the camera’s image sensor. With a suped-up camera, you’ll be able to shoot better than HD (and faster, too). Models like the Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 have the potential to fool everyone with its DSLR-like quality in a handy point-and-shoot system.
These investments have the possibility to be worth their weight in gold, and it’s likely that the consumer camera industry will be putting out more high-tech and high-quality models in the future. Why not splurge?
2. Fast, Simple, On-the-Go Chargers
There is nothing more frustrating than having a vital gadget die while you’re on-the-go. Whether it’s a dead cellphone in the middle of a rally or a flickered-out laptop while on a flight, unusable gadgets can be a journalist’s worst nightmare.
Thankfully, one of the biggest consumer trends at CES this year is the sophistication of the ready-to-use charger. One of the gadgets to get the biggest buzz on the show floor right now is the Nectar fuel cell charger: it’s a lightweight, portable charger that relies on futuristic fuel cells to quickly and efficiently charge dead gadgets without the need for an outlet. It’s a whopping $300 to preorder, with $10 a pop added for each fuel cell, but it could be the best option for charging mobile devices when there’s nary an outlet in sight.
Of course, the bigger news is that exploration into fuel cell systems is hitting the consumer market. This is clearly the first (and most expensive) implementation of this product, but who knows? Maybe we’ll be charging our phones all the time with cheap, efficient and wireless power in the near future.
3. Mobile is King
I will agree that this trend is a little obvious, but if you’re not jumping fully onto the mobile bandwagon, you have no better time to do it than now. CES 2013 is all about mobile products: phones and tablets are getting just as much (if not more attention) than any other consumer electronics on display. From accessories to peripherals and even an app specifically designed to keep your mobile data under lock and key, everyone is making mobile the go-to device for the future.
There is no end to the possibilities that mobile devices of the future will have access to, and it’s safe to say that it will become an extremely important tool not only for journalists, but for the greater public as well. Imagine recording an ultra-HD video outside with your smartphone and then wirelessly sending it to a television in the newsroom for everyone to see. That’s possible today with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and a whole series of interactive, mobile-friendly TVs.
Sure, it sounds like sci-fi, but as our technology becomes more sophisticated, so will reporting. And, maybe sometime soon, the future of journalism will have a bevy of gorgeous gadgets to support it.