I spent Monday mostly at the International Consumer Electronics Showcase press conferences, followed by four hours at Pepcom. Tuesday, I spent most of the daylight at the Las Vegas Convention Center looking at hundreds of thousands of products, followed by Showstoppers sometime after that until about 10:30. Wednesday came and I managed to hit Eureka Park and then totally blow my right foot’s shoe support, which made Wednesday the most painful of the days.
I tend to not write during CES. I don’t have time. I’d rather see it all, and if you stop to write about every neat thing you see, you don’t realize there’re six other companies releasing the exact same thing within five or six aisles. Well, at least that’s my case. I also write absurdly slowly, so perhaps this is just a failing of mine.
Here’re some of the highlights, although details will be a bit forthcoming as the bag containing all my products, notes, etc. did not make it with me. I’ll have it tonight.
15 meter wireless charging
While not demonstrable in final form, a company at Eureka Park showed off a wireless charging device they claim will charge eight devices up to 15 meters in any direction. This means you can slap a wireless charger somewhere in your house and charge your devices without thinking about it.
My immediate thought is that somehow this will go south and someone’s brain will get charged by accident.
Kids not brushing their teeth? There’re at least two different toothbrushes that contain sensors to connect to a phone, tablet, etc that allow you to make brushing into a game. There’s a third there that didn’t have games, but had the same functionality. The brushes all looked about the same and ranged from $60-$150.
The game I watched looked quite a bit like Temple Run, but there’re plenty of others on the way.
Swiss Army Appliances
Apple this year has something I want, and that’s a multi-tool case that takes up very little additional space. I’ll have details on that when my bag gets to me. Picture on the right was it in the iFlesh.
To ease my Android heart, another company (LifeNSoul) is coming out with a pocketable charger that has three BTLE buttons that allow you to perform six actions on a connected smartphone such as make a fake incoming phone call, or locate where the hell you left your phone. Presumably the actions can be configured so you also might have a personal emergency device.
It’s also a flashlight and a USB stick. It’s probably something else by the time they get it to market.
Your light bulb does more
So many different companies coming out with devices that go in a light socket and produce light as well as do something else. There’re socket speakers, cameras, WiFi repeaters, etc coming to a light socket near you.
Every TV manufacturer is putting a different OS in their products
There are Tizen, Android, Mozilla and other operating systems coming to most televisions in 2015. If you’re getting a TV with Android, this means you’ll have access to the Google Play store. Presumably if you’re with a Mozilla TV, your neighbor will build a better TV based on your design and steal the spotlight.
TV will look right
One of the things I noticed while browsing the thousands of TVs there is no two pictures looked the same. From different colors to brightness and contrast issues, you put more than one TV next to another one and the images are never the same.
This year the major manufacturers announced plans to end that.
The picture the producer wanted you to see should be pretty darn close to the picture you’re getting this year. No more red here, dark pink there, etc. Supposedly.
An end to the yelling
One of the reasons people yell into the phone is there’s no feedback. On landlines you sort of heard yourself, you also weren’t outside where there was wind noise, environment, etc. to contend with.
There’s a product called the Mix360 which allows you to control how you listen to your music, listen to your environment, or listen to your voice. In a demonstration I took, I was able to drop the outside noise level by about 30dB, then raise the crowd noise to where I could hear if someone was talking to me, hear the music I wanted to hear, and hear my voice, so when I was talking to the demonstrator I wasn’t yelling.
You can change the mix however you wanted. The only issue I think will be a dealbreaker for some was this involves a pice of equipment you have resting on your neck. It’s also pretty pricey and although it does indeed have that APTX codec people go bananas for, the price tag vs just popping an earphone out occasionally may not be worth it.
45 years later, the Cone of Silence
The device works by listening to the outside world and making noises that counter ambient noise. It works pretty well and when you’re in it it’s nice and quiet, but if you’re outside it sounds a bit like a seashell.
The technology is basically what noise cancelling headphones use, but can be applied on a larger scale.
The demonstrator showed me plans to place these in the headrests of existing vehicles to cancel out road noise, and that seemed a much more practical application.
The Portable Mouse reinvented
There’s a company with a mouse you wear as a ring named Myce-stro. It takes the average person about a minute to become completely adapt at it I was told. I got it pretty quickly.
It fits on your index finger and motion sensors sense your movements in the air and transmit appropriate mouse movements. The sensor only kicks in when you’ve got a second finger touching (your thumb usually), so when you’re not wanting to move the mouse you’re not moving the mouse.
There’re three buttons on the thing for left click, right click, scroll click. Moving your thumb lightly across these allows you to smoothly scroll. It was the best portable mouse I’ve ever run across.
More to come...