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Is too much technology ever enough?

3 years ago

Cliff Jones writer
Cliff Jones Dad of two. Life 1st, tech 2nd. Maidenhead, Windsor and Maidenhead, UK
The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is where the world's leading technology companies unveil their latest products. At this year's event, which took place earlier this month, ultra-high definition 4K televisions got most of the attention, delivering stunning image quality. Models from Samsung and LG even featured innovative curved screens which pledge a more immersive viewing experience.
 
4K televisions deliver four times the picture resolution of 1080p full HD and are so outstanding that it doesn't look like you're watching an image. It looks real - like you're looking out of a window. It is genuinely all that, but do we need all that?
 
But is it four times as good? The jury is out, partly because of lack of evidence. Content wise, there isn't much on offer. It's too detailed for streaming services and your Sky box or other satellite receiver chipsets can't handle the images. There was a complete lack of 4K Blu-ray players at CES, but they are in development. Ultra HD is a work in progress.
 
Also on display was an Asus 4 in 1 laptop, a hybrid device which works as a tablet and a laptop capable of running both Windows and Android. 
 
Neither 4K television or hybrid laptops are aimed at mainstream consumers, because in 2014, for most people, our tech is good enough. Our phones are amazing, our music sounds awesome and our TVs look just fine. 
 
Thanks to software we can also hack our existing tech. You can plug a smart device into your TV instead of buying a smart TV. You can improve your phone's map capability by installing a new app. You can buy a DAC converter to improve your PC's audio. It's techackular stuff.
 
Innovation is happening in small places like wearable technology and robotics, but for many of us, "good enough" is still pretty darn impressive. Throwing another million pixels on a screen isn't going to make us reach for our wallets until what we have seems inadequate – and much like curved TVs, that feeling is stuff of the future. 
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Opinion 3 years ago

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