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(Pocket-lint) - Technology is constantly changing and so are the words the industry uses to explain it. Whether it's marketing words or technical terms, trying to keep up with the latest tech jargon can be tough.

CES 2015, for example, was awash with new phrases and technologies that individual manufacturers and the industry in general were keen to bandy around. And they will all no doubt surface time and again throughout the coming year.

So this feature rounds up all the words we've heard from the CES show floor and tries to explain what they are in as few words as possible so next time someone mentions 4K or Dynamic Tessellation, you'll have some clue what they are talking about.


4K: Four times the resolution of HD at 3840 x 2160. If your new TV doesn't have 4K, you'll need to replace it in the future. Trouble is there isn't much content yet.

5G: After the last drops of speed and latency have been wrung from 4G networks, LTE-A included, the industry is expected to move to its fifth generation communication networks (5G). Data speeds will exceed 1Gbps but don’t expect to see anything until at least 2022.

5K: Take the resolution of 4K and add extra width to make a TV or monitor 21:9 rather than a 16:9 aspect ratio and you have a 5120 x 2160 (or 5120 x 2888 in some computer monitors) super widescreen display.

8K: You guessed it, the next step up from 4K. This is what will make your 4K TV obsolete.

21:9: The aspect ratio used by many movies for the cinema and on Blu-ray. Often that results in black bars top and bottom of your TV when viewing them, but there are several dedicated 21:9 TVs coming.


Accelerometer: Detects the orientation and velocity of a moving object, so when placed in a phone, an accelerometer sensor will determine a portrait or landscape view, as well as count your steps.

AllSeen: The technology behind many of the new wireless streaming speakers launching on the market. It's the underlying tech to Qualcomm's AllPlay tech.

AllPlay: Qualcomm's smart media platform that is designed to support embedded and discreet accessory uses, as well as deliver rich wireless audio. It is powered by a Wi-Fi system-on-a-chip with a flexible I/O architecture.

AMOLED: Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode is what it stands for, but in short AMOLED consumes less power than conventional OLED screens, thereby making it a perfect display tech for mobile devices.

Android TV: Several TV manufacturers (Sony, Philips, Sharp) are switching to Android to power their 2015 smart TV functionality. That means access to Google Play for apps and more. Some set-top-boxes, such as the Razer Forge TV and Google’s own Nexus Player, will offer similar functionality for existing TVs.

aptX: An audio codec that gives you low latency, high fidelity, Bluetooth transmission. It promises CD-like quality and is widely integrated into wireless headphones, speakers, smartphones and other devices.


Big.Little: A term that describes the arrangement of cores within a chipset, whereby different cores handle different types of tasks. The aim is to increase efficiency, by letting little cores do some of the little jobs, without the big cores using unnecessary energy.

BLE - Bluetooth Low Energy: Also called Bluetooth Smart, this is a low power connection between devices, often used in sensors. BLE is how your activity band or smartwatch connects to your phone.

Broadwell: Latest (5th) generation of Intel Core chipsets. Already in some laptops from Dell and Acer, expect others like Apple to follow suit very quickly.

Belfie stick: Selfie stick that helps you take pictures of your bottom.


Carrier aggregation: Multiple carriers offer their layered LTE coverage for a wider bandwidth and better connection.

Codec: The word is a combination of coder-decoder and is a program that encodes and decodes digital information. You'll need the right codec to read a particular type of file, or receive a particular type of digital stream.

Continuum: Although this word can mean a continuous sequence, or in math, a set of real numbers, it's recently surfaced as part of a Microsoft term known as "Continuum mode". Continuum mode is available in Windows 10 and occurs only on 2-in-1 devices. It basically allows Windows 10 to move easily between keyboard and mouse to touch and tablet. Windows 10 can detect the transition and automatically switch.

Cherry Trail: The 5th generation Intel Core chipsets for tablets, sitting alongside the Broadwell chipsets designed for notebooks and PCs.


Dynamic tessellation: A term used in video games. It solves the problem of a lack of detail in graphics by varying the level of detail on the fly more efficiently.


Flat Tyre Design: The name of the shape given to circular smartwatches that are missing the bottom of the screen like the Moto 360.

Firefox OS on the TV: Panasonic's new smart TV operating system that will allow you to customise the user interface for easy and quick access. You'll also be able to move content from a device with a Firefox browser to a TV on the same network.


Gesture tech: One of the sub-trends at CES was allowing you to control things by waving your arms rather than pushing a button. VW Golf Touch R concept had no buttons, while Meccano’s Meccanoid robot allowed you to programme it moving your arms around in front of a camera.


HDR - High Dynamic Range: Common in photography, this is now coming to Netflix and your TV in the future. Expect more colour in your future video as it provides a wider colour gamut.

HFR - High Frame Rate: A cinematic term referring to a faster capture and subsequent playback of more video frames than usual. The Hobbit, for example, was captured in HFR, and therefore has smoother on screen action.

HDMI (1.4 vs 2.0): HDMI 2.0 has greater bandwidth than HDMI 1.4, meaning it can transmit 4K video at 50 or 60 frames per second (High Frame Rate). HDMI 1.4 can only transmit 4K video at 25 or 30fps. Most current 4K sets have just the latter, although new sets come with at least one HDMI 2.0 port.

HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) / H.265: The standard codec for 4K UHD video streaming. It's used by the likes of Netflix and is supported by the the latest generations of televisions and other devices. It is also called H.265.

Hi-Res Audio: A new high-resolution audio format pioneered by Sony that promises much higher fidelity. It's being used for the company's new £1,000 MP3 player to make sure what you are listening to is as close to the original recording as possible.


IoT - Internet of Things: If you have a conventional device that connects to the internet, it falls into the IoT camp. Think home appliances, gadgets, wearables and much more.

IFTTT - If This Then That: A service that allows you to create connections based on the statement 'If This Then That'. A Recipe can be set up to automatically do something when something else happens, such your sleep tracker telling your coffee machine to make a stronger cup of coffee in the morning because you slept badly.


LTE-U: Will allow carriers to use all available spectrum. Over time operators will use a variety of different tech to connect to the internet.

LTE CAT 9: You might think all LTE is the same but it isn't. There are a number of Categories (CAT) with the higher the number meaning the faster you can get data. Chip makers like Qualcomm are pushing for faster speeds, but the problem is that the carriers haven't caught up yet. You have to start somewhere though.


MU-MIMO: Allows Wi-Fi routers to better support multiple devices at the same time rather than just one at a time. Connections are three times faster too.

Mesh network: A mesh network is one where each item in the network can relay information on. It's common in home automation, where point-to-point networking (from a hub to an end device) might not be reliable.


Nixie: The name of a wearable selfie drone that is worn on the wrist before it launches to take a selfie of yourself from the air. Who needs a selfie stick?


Octa-core: Eight cores instead of four (quad-core), which was the 2014 norm for high-end smartphones. It should mean a boost in processing power, but also power efficiency. A number of octa-core devices are already available.


POLED: Plastic Organic Light Emitting Diode: A flexible OLED display, allowing different shaped devices. Flexible OLED (FOLED) can also use flexible glass or metal as the base, but we're seeing plastic in devices like the LG G Flex curved phones.


Quantum dot: A technology used by LG and other manufacturers that's similar to Samsung's SUHD where an extra layer of nano-crystals emit different coloured light, enhancing colour reproduction and brightness. In short, a TV with quantum dot tech in it promises to be a lot more vibrant than one without.

Qi: A common wireless charging standard supported by Microsoft/Nokia, LG, BlackBerry, Sony, Samsung and plenty of others.

Quad HD: This term describes a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, which some of the latest smartphones offer. Also written as QHD, don't confuse it with qHD (quarter HD) which is only 960 x 540 and tends to be found on budget phones.


RealSense: Intel's new Kinect like 3D-camera technology that can analyse a scene and provide spatial awareness data for objects within that scene, whether they are static like a desk, or moving, like your hand or body.


SUHD: Samsung's new colour rich technology for 4K UHD TVs that is similar to LG's quantum dot tech (above). The S apparently stands for whatever you want, whether that be Samsung, superior, selective or something else.

Sensoration: The American media love coining a phrase and this one means putting a sensor in everything.

Sync: "Sync" is another word for synchronise. It is typically used when you sync a device, such as a smartphone, with data on another device like a computer. You can sync the two devices by connecting, for instance, your smartphone to your computer via a USB, wireless, or Bluetooth connection.


Tizen OS on the TV: Samsung's new smart TV operating system runs on the Tizen operating system (also used in its smartwatches, cameras and prospective phones). It should mean greater connectivity with other Samsung products in the future.


USB Type-C: New USB form factor that will not only let you transfer data at twice the speed you can now, but also provide enough power to charge your laptop as well.


VBR - Variable Bitrate: A term often used in streaming, by varying the rate that the data comes down the line, the provider can ensure the content you're watching doesn't buffer, adapting to your connection speed at the loss, sometimes, of picture quality.

VP9: This is the video compression standard adopted by YouTube for 4K content and developed by Google. It's supported by most browsers and will be needed in TVs and other devices to be able to watch 4K YouTube videos.

Virtual Reality (VR): A big trend at CES this year, virtual reality headsets are no longer just about Oculus Rift, with Razer launching its OSVR headset, and Samsung partnering with Milk for daily content for its Gear VR device.


webOS 2.0: The operating system that runs some of LG's smart TVs got a big update at CES. Don't mistake it for the original WebOS 2.0 that ran on the Palm Pre though. It is the same core OS but completely reimagined.


YouTube 360: A new video format now being supported by YouTube that will allow you to film and upload video shot with a 360 degree camera. Why? Because eventually you’ll be able to view it with a VR headset.


ZigBee: A wireless protocol common in connected home products operating within a mesh network. It helps them all talk to each other in a standardised fashion.