Sin City. Not exactly where’d you imagine the geek’s mecca of technology for the world’s largest gadget tradeshow. But that’s exactly what CES is all about. Surprises.

The Consumer Electronics Show has been growing steadily since 1967, acting as the trampoline for each year’s tech trends. And if history is any indicator, 2014 is going to be a year of fantastical change. With technology getting smaller, faster and cheaper, it’s being injected into everything. Everything. From toasters to socks. Did I mention everything?

They’re calling it the internet of things. And it’s all about a strategy that Bark Bark is all too familiar with – integration. By connecting all of our devices, this new generation of technology is promising to make us more efficient and connected than ever. Nest, with it’s smart thermometer and smoke detector, was ahead of the curve. But now the industry is blowing wide open, and every appliance is joining the party. Toasters you can start with your smart phone when you wake up. Refrigerators that tell you when your food is in danger of going bad.

Some of these tools are gimmicky but the ones that are a full breath of fresh air are what’s exciting about the future. As an Atlantan all too familiar with the bane of paying for parking, one of the most exciting advancements I saw was a partnership between Ericson and Volkswagen that allowed individuals to not only see parking spots and prices from within their cars, but to pay for those spots before they even turn their car off! And of course, a complimentary text message when time is running low on your meter.

But while this internet of things was perhaps the main focus of the whole event, I was excited about seeing some of the future for our own industry.

GoPro, who this week won an Emmy for their technological achievements, was on hand with an impressive booth showing off their new Hero3+ cameras, which boast an insane ability to shoot 2K at 30 frames a second. Never before has a camera allowed us to see captivating point of views like that of an eagle (Flying Eagle POV) or even of a hullahoop (Hula Hoop Video) in such crisp quality. Look for some of these unique perspectives in Bark Bark productions this year.

And of course the SSD Hard Drive revolution was represented. As an editor, the integrity and speed of our data is everything. Being able to speak to someone who was not only knowledgeable, but who manufacturers these little pocket sized miracles was akin to having my prayers answered. It wasn’t so much speaking to as me unloading my years of questions in a furious 10 minute tirade, but nevertheless, I really appreciated OWC’s (Other World Computing) patience and guidance.

There was all this and more, all represented in an unfathomable amount of square footage (1.85 million in 2013). At times I ran everywhere, solely because of the distance in between booths I wanted to visit and I knew my time there was precious. But seeing my first glimpse of Vegas, not to mention the future, was beyond worth it.

So just as Bark Bark saw that integrating brands and network content together for a more fulfilling customer experience was the future, so too shall the world soon see the integration of the internet and all the previously inanimate objects around them. No doubt it will be more fulfilling as well.

-Matthew Demarko

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