By Ian Brennan
This week hoards of people descended upon Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Previous events have debuted well known technologies and products including DVD’s, 3D TV’s, and Microsoft’s Xbox console. This year we’ve seen a big shift towards wearables, and evolving existing technologies into maturing technology categories. So let’s take a look at some of our favourites...
Wearables and fashion
This year, much like 2014, it promises to be the year of the wearable. Manufactures are now partnering with fashion designers to create appealing jewellery and fashion statements, rather than geeky looking gadgets. This marks a shift in thinking, something Apple was keen to highlight during the Apple Watch announcement in September. Consumers want to wear things that reflect their personality and tastes. Garmin announced that it is teaming up with fashion designer Jonathan Adler to create a series of custom bands for the Vivofit 2. The bands range from the colourful and fun, through the luxurious and premium. Misfit also announced a partnership with Swarovski, unveiling the Shine Collection of health trackers.
Web-OS is back! LG gave us a sneak peak at a new smartwatch
During Audi’s keynote, we got the first glimpse of an LG built smartwatch. It looked similar to the recently launched G Watch R, but with a differing operating system and a more premium looking bezel. It turns out that the differing operating system is WebOS, an open source platform for smart devices like TV’s, watches, and mobile phones. HP stopped using it on devices a little while ago, and it’s now resurfacing as an interesting choice for smartwatches. We’re keen to see how this pans out, especially competing against Android Wear. Check it out in this video:
Samsung's new speakers look like portal turrets
We think these speakers are awesome, simply because they look like the turrets found in popular Valve game Portal:
Virtual Reality - it's almost ready
Plenty of VR announcements were made at CES 2015, but here are some of the most interesting:
- Oculus didn’t have any big announcements, but during a demo with the press we learnt about motion tracking, 3D sound, and Samsung Gear VR selling better than expected. The Verge has all the details.
- Virtuix gave a demo of their Omni platform, which makes VR a full body experience with their low friction concave motion movement tracker.
- There were many headsets on offer for the crows to try out, including these from Avegant (below).
We've reached peak 'selfie'
Lenovo announced a product to go along with your selfie stick, and it’s flashy.
Bluetooth thermometer patch
A great use of technology, these Bluetooth patches will allow parents to monitor their child’s temperature over a 24 hour period without the need to use intrusive traditional thermometers. Using the companion app, you’ll be able to monitor temperature in real time, and create a 24 hour log to share with your doctor.
The connected cycle
One for the cyclists, as more and more things join the internet of things it’s often the seemingly mundane that make the most sense. This pedal not only tracks your movements, but will also help you track down your bike should it be stolen.
In 2014 Samsung bought SmartThings and at CES 2015 we found out a little more about what’s in store for the connected home. During its keynote, the technology giant announced that it’ll be re-launching the platform and investing $100 million into its developer community.
Roost add WiFi to any smoke alarm
One of the simplest innovations to come out of the connected home sector, Roost has created a 9V battery compatible with all existing smoke alarms that will alert you via a mobile app should the alarm be triggered. It will be available later this year for roughly £26.