2015 is shaping up to an exciting year in the world of technology. The GAMbIT team had the pleasure of attending the CES show in Las Vegas this January and saw some amazing sights. From VR becoming affordable and plentiful, to TV’s that bend in ways they shouldn’t be able to. CES 2015 was impressive, but we had to narrow down our list of what we thought were the coolest picks of the show.
Most Impressive Award: Samsung 105″ Bendable TV
Probably the segment of the tech market that sees the most fluctuations from year to year is the television market. We have seen 3D touted from the highest mountains only to be completely ignored by the general public. Can we all have a moment of silence for smell-o-vision and motion controlled TV…
While TV’s are always huge, this year at CES we didn’t see as much innovation as in years past. That is until we got a hands-on tour of the Samsung booth and saw them demo their 105″ bendable TV. In my short time covering tech, I have seen some impressive advancements with Smart TV’s, 4K resolution, 100 plus inch sets, glasses free 3D, and so on, but never have I actually been floored by anything -until now.
The new Samsung TV may not be hitting the market at a general consumer price point anytime in the near future, but the tech behind it is beyond amazing. You can tailor the television to your setting and have the set flat when watching regular TV, and with he press of a button have it morph into a curved set for movies. And this isn’t something that takes time, as the unit silently morphs in less than a few seconds.
Most Practical Award: AAUXX iRing
At CES 2014 we spent a lot of time enjoying a lot of tech that we either have yet to see implemented into the consumer level, or tech that just sort of fizzled out (we’re looking at you glasses 3D TV’s). Among the deluge of booths we found the people at AAUXX showing off their brand new iRing smartphone ring/kickstand.
I was lucky enough to get a review unit in 2014 and when we ran into the team again at this year’s show, I let them know just how useful the iRing really was. 365 days later, across multiple phones, on various cases, the little iRing unit was still on my phone.
With the team debuting a new 360 degree mount, I am more than a little excited about trying it out for myself. We will see if this little piece of kit will make it through another year, but it’s a product that I can highly recommend and just as cool in 2015 as it was in 2014.
Find it here: AAUXX iRing
Best In Gaming Tech: Affordable VR Headsets
Oculus was a game changer last year at CES and in the world of gaming. This year VR has an ever bigger presence on the show floor. From booths using VR to showcase their tech, to gaming platforms showing off their vision of the future, VR is here to stay in some capacity.
While Oculus once again had a huge booth showing off some closed-door things, we were looking for VR companies that are breaking into the market offering something at a price anyone can afford.
BeeNoculus is a new player on the VR scene with their own system available for pre-order now. What makes them special is that their headset system is shooting for sub $100. In fact, they claim that the system will be shooting for $35 US dollars. The system has developers already on-board as well as being compatible with Google Cardboard apps.
Find it here: BeeNoculus
Immersion-VRelia also brings something special with their “The GO” VR headset system. While on the surface it hits all the bullet points with affordability, compatibility, and design it does something that I have always wanted from a VR system.
The Go has completely adjustable lenses for each eye because we as human beings don’t come with a one size fits all set of eyes. VR has always been a lot of fun for me, but I have always had trouble getting just the right focus. The Go solves that problem and also addresses issues with people that have eyes spaced beyond what most VR consider average.
With an affordable price, less than half of an Oculus, and with a range of attachments for various smartphones to keep it future proof, The Go is poised to make a big impact in the VR space and we look forward to seeing more of the unit in the near future.
Find it here: The Go
Best In Automotive Tech: Valeo Cruise4U System
Valeo isn’t making a self driving car, instead they are the team behind a new technology that will allow manufactures to easily outfit their cars with a self-automated driving system. Sure, things like the Google self-driving car is neat, but in all reality it isn’t the most practical thing. Valeo is seeking to bridge these two worlds by creating a system that will allow a computer to take over for you on the highway, while still giving the user full control.
Their Cruise4U system will take full control of the car by operating the steering, acceleration, and braking. Getting the chance to get to ride inside a car with the system incorporated was a futuristic experience. There is almost an underceranble feeling when shifting from manual driving (I didn’t even notice it myself), to when the Cruise4U system takes over. Not only that, but the system is almost invisible when incorporated into the body of a car as you can see in the above picture.
Don’t expect the system to be your personal driver around town, the system will still need you behind the wheel, but having the Cruise4U system take over on the highway and during traffic, gives it the ability to make driving a much less stressful and tiring experience. The system should be available for integration in 2015 so be on the look-out for it in the next few years.
Best In Home Tech: ROOST Smart Battery
Everything in our homes is becoming “smart.” From the most mundane of items to the highest end televisions, our homes are more connected than ever before. Roost is offering a different take on the smart home with it’s connected battery. We have seen smart smoke detectors over the years, but it has been hard to justify their price, especially for getting one in every room.
Roost changes that with it’s $40 battery that turns any smoke detector into a smart detector. Using your home’s WiFi network, Roost will provide notifications to your smartphone when there is trouble at home. Not only that, but the Roost battery is rated to last you for at least five years, making it worth the small investment for peace of mind.
Roost is so smart that it will even let you know when the battery begins dying before it starts chirping away at 3am. But what about when the battery does eventually die years down the road? Well. Roost will swap out the bottom part of the battery for a small $10 fee.
Find it here: ROOST
Best In Business Tech: BEAM Pro System
The Beam Pro is what we envisioned the future would be when we were kids. The system offers and amazingly easy to use video system with the addition of full movement. While we were walking around the crowded CES floor a Beam Pro drove up and introduced itself to us in the most natural of fashions.
Behind the wheel was Rheem, sitting in Palo Alto, and controlling the Beam Pro without the slightest bit of lag. The unit was running off of the provided WiFi on the convention center, which is impressive when thousands of people are eating up bandwith like it was going out of style.
Not only dis Rheem give us a breakdown of the system, she even guided us through the Beam booth and we chatted like normal people do, only we were walking alongside a robot system. It was surprisingly natural and the connection was clear with no stutter that is currently associated with things like Skype.
We even got to pilot a Beam Pro that was located on the other side of the country in n active office. It took less than a few minutes to become comfortable and you can’t imagine how meta it was having a someone in in California, telling someone via robot in Nevada, how to pilot a robot in Missouri! The applications for the Beam Pro are endless and we expect this system to be everywhere in the years to come.
Find it here: Beam Pro
Most Prevalent Tech: Battery Power Packs
From the largest of corporations, to the smallest of startups, it seemed that every other booth that we passed by was offering some sort of battery backup for you mobile devices. This is the first year attending CES, or any major convention that we didn’t see dozens upon dozens of people huddled around power outlets and charging stations.
Two of the best the best booths that we toured were myCharge with their wide range of power options, and with the people at Xpal Power and their PowerSkin brand showing off their new PoP’n3 unit.
PowerSkin offers the amazingly convenient PoP’n3 that comes equipped with 24 mini suction cups on the front-side of the battery pack that makes keeping it in place a breeze. With a built in Lighting plug, or Micro USB plug (depending on unit) the PoP’n3 makes wondering if you’ll have enough juice to get through the day a thing of the past.
Find it here: PowerSkin PoP’n3
If you are looking for something with a little more power with built-in options, myCharge has their RazorMax portable powerbank. The RazorMax can offer up to 27 hours of talk time and comes equipped with two built-in USB ports. This means that you can charge a smartphone and a tablet at the same time, so thinking about power and if you’ll have enough, will be a thing of the past.
Once again there was just too much to see and do at the convention, and we no doubt missed a great deal of amazing tech. We are already making plans for 2016 and having a much larger presence on the floor with GAMbIT, but until then we will keep you updated on everything happening in the ever expanding world of technology. Who knows how many of these impressive products will make an impact in the consumer marketplace in 2015 and which will become old news, but what we do know is that every piece of tech that we gave an award to at this year’s show will have some sort of lasting benefit to consumers in some capacity, if not in its current form.
Find it here: myCharge RazorMax