From crazy cool to just plain crazy: Here are the wildest products we found at CES 2016
The giant technology extravaganza that is CES is full of the latest, greatest tech to be seen on Earth. Scattered around the show you'll find headphones, cameras, rafts of wearables and TVs so big you'll need to build your house around them.
Every so often, however, we come across a piece of tech so crazy that we have to sit back and say "wow." Either "Wow, that's so amazing I need to have it immediately," or "Wow, I can't believe this company has spent money in developing this."
I've pulled together a roundup of products that fall under either of those statements (OK, so it's largely the latter one), so click through to see some of the more bizarre things we found at CES 2016.
I'll begin with this gent, who looks like an '80s sci-fi vision of a futuristic human. The headset being worn, named iGrow, actually fires low-level light at your hair. The company claims that this will help stimulate hair cells, turning your sparse scalp into a flourishing thicket. The glasses are no doubt there to protect the eyes, but there's no denying they look badass.
Sticking with the "tech that makes you look super-cool" theme is the ModiFace smart mirror. Plonk yourself down in front of this augmented-reality display and experiment with the latest makeup styles, all without touching a powder-brush to your face. Start out with just a bit of shadow before ramping it up to 'Full Ronald'.
This one falls squarely under 'crazy cool'. It's an 18-inch TV from LG that's so thin -- only 0.18mm in fact -- that it can be rolled up like a sheet of paper. It's so amazing in fact that it forced our TV expert David Katzmaier to call it "one of the most amazing pieces of tech I've ever seen, let alone touched".
It's very much a proof of concept right now, so don't expect to see this on sale any time soon.
Smart in more ways than one, this suit from Samsung comes embedded with NFC tags in the sleeves. They're used to unlock your phone, change modes (drive mode, silent, etc.) or even exchange business cards digitally when you shake hands. Odd though it sounds, this suit is already on sale in Korea for $500.
Bringing to life those childhood pretend phone games, Samsung's TipTalk wrist band lets you take calls simply by pressing your finger to your ear. The motion of raising your arm will accept an incoming call, while the strap itself uses bone conduction to send the sound through your finger into your ear.
While TipTalk is currently an internal Samsung project, the team behind the strap say they are working toward an Indiegogo launch in coming months, with a target price under $80.
If a 170-inch TV doesn't qualify as crazy, then I don't know what does. This whopping telly from Samsung actually achieves its size by virtue of being made up of a series of modular panels. These smaller screens slot together, employing bezels so small that you can't see the gaps between them unless you're right up close. The idea is that you can add on more panels to make a TV as big as you like.
It should also solve the problem of how on Earth you get such an enormous TV through the front door of your house.
Looking rather like the love child of a Ford Galaxy minivan and a DJI Phantom drone, the EHang is an octocopter large enough to carry people. Its battery-powered motor will keep chugging along for 23-minutes of flight time, and it's piloted autonomously.
Don't get too excited about a world in which you're automatically carried to work in a fast straight line -- there are a mass of regulations around the world that the EHang will need to go through before it gets close to take off. Not to mention the challenge of finding people dumb brave enough to step inside.
The harsh sound of clanging bells is not a nice way to wake up. Rise and shine instead to the sweet aroma of coffee. That's the idea of the Sensorwake -- an alarm clock that uses flavoured pods to infuse your room with a variety of scents to wake you up in a more pleasant way. Among the 16 fragrances available are coffee, mint and, er, money.
It'll cost $109 when it goes on sale in the US in June. Wider availability isn't yet known.
Secure the Henderson account by controlling your board presentation with the Neyya Smart Ring. Those high-profile clients will surely be wowed as you move through slides and control your phone by swiping and tapping at the chunky ring on your finger.
My personal bittersweet pick of CES is the Faraday FFZero1. This all-electric hypercar can deliver an astonishing 1,000 horsepower and can be driven in a fully autonomous mode -- even automatically racing around a track. It's an amazing vision of the future of electric racing.
But a vision is all it is.
This car is a prototype only, from a company that's setting up a battery manufacturing plant in the US. There are no plans to put this wonder-mobile into production. Maybe if we say please?
Thought baseball cap innovation had peaked with the solar-powered fan or the double beer can holder with straws? Think again.
The Clip-a-phone allows you to secure your smartphone on top of your head to record video from a first person perspective. It's basically an alternative to a GoPro for people who want to look as ridiculous as possible.
Even fingernails aren't safe from the innovative minds swarming CES this year. The iNail printer lets you print patterns, colours or even images directly onto your fingernails -- or stick-on gels if you'd prefer. It takes less than a minute to have your chosen image printed, which is far quicker, and more accurate, than having them done at the salon.
I personally can't wait to have my nails adorned with all the animals from 'Homeward Bound'.
Photo by: Screenshot by Andrew Hoyle/CNET / Caption by:
Spotted on the CES floor: the Old Man Locator. We don't know much about this most enticing of all gadgets. I'm forced to wonder however whether it's for tracking one specific old man, or whether it's for tracking all the old men in a given area.
Dubbed "the coolest product at CES you didn't know about," by CNET's own David Carnoy, the Spin Master Air Hogs Connect is a game that sees you piloting a real-life drone through a series of augmented-reality courses displayed on your iPad screen. The drone has a flight time of around 7 minutes (as long as it takes to complete the courses) and is apparently safe for indoor use.
Speed up your commute with the Emicro One from Micro Scooters. Push off just once to activate the electric motor which will assist you in achieving speeds up to 15 miles per hour. The electric motor hidden in the rear wheel is only there to augment the effort you're already putting in, therefore it can achieve a range of about 12 km.
That's not bad for a scooter which weighs only 7.4 kg (16.5 pounds) -- far less than most regular electric scooters.