If I had to pick one piece of tech at the show that really makes me think "we are living in the future!" it's LG's Rollable OLED, which does exactly what it says. It's a screen that you can roll up. Why am I so impressed? Because once this becomes a reality, it will transform the design and function of everything that has a screen -- and these days, everything has a screen. While it's not quite ready for prime time, it's not 5 years away, either.
Technology advances by becoming invisible: The most high-tech stuff usually aims to disappear into its surroundings. But these triangular programmable lights, which connect to each other on any edge, can be arranged in patterns to create funky lighting arrays -- you know, the kind you see in movies that make homes look more futuristic. It's still in prototype, but they'll come in starter packs of 10 panels with a projected price of $200 (converted, about £135, or AU$275), and power needs to feed into just one panel of every 30.
Last year's Zano nano drone never made it off the ground, so here's hoping Onagofly's 5-inch/125mm-square follow-me drone has better luck with liftoff. It's already had an Indiegogo campaign funded seven times over, and boasts really useful features like obstacle avoidance and live streaming, for $300 (£200 or AU$415).
You know how broadcast setups cut between different cameras to vary the viewpoint, even if it's just two different sides of a talking head? Livestream's Movi, a 4K video camera and app, will allow you to create the same effect by selecting different crop areas to generate a 720p final video. And the camera fits in your bag. This quick-and-dirty studio will run $400 when it arrives in April (about £270 or AU$550).
Now you can feel every pothole in the New York City streets while watching (or leading) a car chase in the comfort of your living room. Immersit vibrates, lifts and rocks your chair or couch in synchronization with games and movies that support it. You can pair it with VR goggles for an even more realistic experience. The price isn't set yet, but you'll have to budget extra for Dramamine.
The smell of coffee. Your nose twitches. Minutes later, the need for caffeine drives you out of bed. That's the concept behind Sensorwake, a $110 (about AU$150 or £75 converted) alarm clock that diffuses the enticing scent of your choice -- such as coffee, money or mint -- at the appointed hour. The odor of smelly litter box is more likely to roust me from my slumber, but I can understand why that might not be a popular choice.
As a professional klutz, I'm all for padding as much of myself as possible short of bubble wrappage. The Smart Ski Airbag Vest incorporates gyroscopic sensors, an accelerometer and a GPS in service of keeping you safe, inflating to protect your hips, back and insides when it detects a potential fall. It's targeted at skiers -- well-funded ones, at $1,200 a pop (roughly £815, AU$1,668) -- but this would make a great product for elders with balance issues as well. You won't be able to buy it until the weather warms this summer (but happily, midwinter for Australians).
It's hard enough corralling your out-of-control home theater: When you start tossing in everything electronic in your home, the number of controllers and interfaces multiplies awkwardly. The whimsically named Sevenhugs is working on an easily programmed but generically named Smart Remote to bring order to your smart-home chaos. It'll cost less than $200 and is expected to enter preorder by March, but unfortunately won't work (and probably never will) on children, parents, whiny cats or yappy dogs.
The intersection between gaming PCs and all-in-ones is pretty small; pretty much the null set. But this system sounds like it's got the horsepower, the essential discrete graphics card -- an Nvidia Titan X, no less -- and a display (a curved 34-incher) that just might win over gamers. And unlike most all-in-ones, it's upgradable. It's slated to arrive by the end of March, and the price is up in the air -- we estimate it'll start at around $2,000 in the US, which is about £1,400 or AU$2,800.
This isn't a thing you can buy; this is a thing we need to happen. The challenge is for developers to create a drone-plus-Ford F150 system for use in tracking emergency-response situations. The winning system will be adopted by the United Nations Development Program and will earn the developer $100,000 (around £68,000 or AU$140,000).
Aren't we all just a little tired of clunky-looking quadcopters? Parrot's Disco will let you fly your camera like an airplane. It doesn't operate quite the same way as a quad, but it sounds like a fun alternative. No pricing yet, but it's expected to ship sometime this year.
I'm kind of over the Sphero as well as Star Wars in general (occupational hazard). But the Force Band lets you control the BB-8 Sphero with gestures, as if Yoda were standing next to you coaching. Much more fun than looking down at your phone. I'd love to sic this on my cats. Pricing isn't set yet, but Sphero expects to ship in fall of this year.
No more fighting over classical versus hip-hop. The Prizm connects to your speakers, scours devices in its proximity with playlists from major music-streaming services, and then finds (and remembers) what you like. By comparing the playlists it then identifies your taste and tries to come up with a happy medium. Tapping on the cross or the heart on the sides of the small pyramid does, well, exactly what you expect. It comes from a Kickstarter that achieved funding of more than 200 percent in October, and the first batch is scheduled to go to backers in early 2016.
It's a refrigerator with a huge touchscreen embedded in the front with some useful apps and cameras to send you pictures of its contents. On one hand, that could come in really handy. On the other, gross hands. Still, someone who knows these things (Ry Crist) calls it "the most compelling appliance built for the smart home that we've seen to date." Compelling and expensive: it's expected to start selling this spring for $5,000 (about £3,370, or AU$6,860).
If you're mourning the loss of vinyl, Sony's offering a way to preserve your records without losing the tonal characteristics you love. Direct-to-digital turntables aren't new, but this one records to DSD, Sony's high-quality digital audio format.
I don't know quite why this e-ink-based fitness tracker stood out for me; possibly because it looks like what I think a fitness Swatch should look like (rather than what they do look like). The Withings products look simple with a clean, somewhat whimsical design. They just make me smile. Still won't make me join the tracker craze, though. The Go will be available in the first quarter of this year and will cost $70 in the US. International prices aren't available yet, but the price roughly converts to £50 or AU$100.
It's not for everyone, but this new pro camera offers the highest light sensitivity to date -- ISO 3,280,000. So if you have $6,500 (£4,430 and AU$9,100) and like to photograph things moving really fast in really dim light, this is the camera to crave.
Whenever I see those "interfaces of the future" that require grand arm gestures, I laugh; that's just not efficient, and a lot more work than most people want to put in to perform ordinary tasks. The $55 Moff band (roughly £50 or AU$75) gets that point. It lets you play Pac-Man by gesticulating wildly, and recognizes that it's a workout. A fun, silly workout.
It's the essence of object-oriented programming: snapping together objects to make something perform tasks. There are lots of toys intended to stealthily teach kids the fundamentals of programming and robotics, but the eight-module Code-a-Pillar looks cute while doing it. And because there are no small parts, you don't have to worry about toddlers chowing down on the pieces. I kind of want one for myself. You'll be able to turn your kid into a coding butterfly starting in June, for $50 (about £35 or AU$70).
Intel brings Monday-morning quarterbacking into the 21st century. Out of all the whizzy reveals at its press conference -- telepresence robots, looks-like-you gaming avatars, smart construction helmets and more -- I think the one that will generate the most fist-pumping is its RealSense-based technology for capturing a live sporting event in three dimensions. Then you can manipulate it to see different angles for critique and analysis. Not only will it make for madder March Madness and wilder World Cups, but it looks like a really useful tool for coaching and training.
A successfully crowdfunded project, the Hexo+ follow-me drone slipped from its September ship date last fall. But it looks like a real product at CES. It's not nearly as cute as the Onagofly, but you can mount a GoPro on this one for the best possible extreme selfie videos.
Given that action cams are usually used outdoors, when you're being, you know, active, it makes sense that they should have a charging solution that works under those conditions. The Solar X comes with the X Station, a quick-charger with solar flaps. Now you can juice up your camera while you're heading up the mountain so it's ready to record when you tumble head-over-tail down it. The X Station will be available in March for $430 (around AU$600 or £295).
It's not the first solo copter, but I still would love one for aerial photography. Or just escaping Manhattan. And I like the someone-plopped-a-stasis-pod-on-a-drone look. This one will be able to carry a person weighing up to to 220 pounds for 23 miles at 60 miles per hour (97 kph) -- if problems with cost, safety, engineering and regulations even let it get off the ground.
It's a simple idea: You stick the sensor into one of the the brightly colored polygon-ball-things and it translates your tossing and shaking into music via an app on your phone. Or you stick the sensor on some moving part of your body and let your limbs do the playing. A successful Kickstarter that launched last month, it costs €80 (converted, $86, £59, AU$122) and I imagine it would be a terrific gift for a kid.
There are all kinds of treat dispensers, but this one will let you drive your dog or cat crazy instead of the other way around. Though it's been likened to a game console, it really has more in common with Simon than your Xbox; it flashes lights and when your pet taps the right pad, out pops a treat. I like that this is species-neutral -- it works for dogs and cats and I would imagine some other quadrupeds as well. We covered this last year while it was in its crowdfunding stage, and it's finally available for preorder. It's not cheap: $300 is a lot to spend on a cat or dog toy.
The Daqri Smart Helmet uses its clear plastic panels to project AR, or augmented reality, onto the screen, overlaying a construction worker's view of the real world. That leaves your hands free for more important tasks than things like holding blueprints, such as making sure you've measuring the doorframe properly.
Every year, some TV manufacturer has to win "biggest!" You may not have enough wall space -- or a big enough budget -- for this 12-foot-diagonal screen, but it's comforting to know that it's technologically possible.
Billed as the biggest 8K curved SUHD TV in the world, this massive set is supposedly shipping in 2016. It will probably be another few years before there's any content worth displaying on it, but this is exactly what CES is all about.
A steerable three-wheeled electric skateboard with handlebars and a phone mount, the Street Surfer looks like tons of fun to use and not that hard to get the hang of for those of us who wobble like Weebles but do fall down (if Emme Hall's video is an accurate indication). Unfortunately, still in development -- the Kickstarter won't even go live until February.
Samsung has its fingers in a lot of wearable projects, but I think the TipTalk is one of the most practical (though maybe that's just because I've yet to see a wearable that I'm willing to strap on my wrist). In theory, it adds fitness tracking, notifications and calling to any watch, including the ability to conduct calls by touching near your ear. Samsung has yet to spin off the company that will be responsible for bringing it to market, so who knows when we'll see it as a product, though.
An electronic paper airplane, the PowerUp is a lightweight flying machine toting a live streaming camera -- FPV stands for "first person view", for the VR headset you can use with it. None of that's really new, but the cool part of the PowerUp is that's not only constructed from heavy-duty paper, you can fold your own designs as well. And when used with a VR headset like Google Cardboard, you can steer the plane by moving your head. It's in the final stages of an already 400%-funded Kickstarter campaign where it's selling for $179 (around AU$255 or £120), though there are plans to bring it to retail soon for $199, or $149 without the headset (AU$280/AU$210; £135/£100).
Personal robots don't float my boat -- at least not yet. At best, in their current form their only practical application is carrying things around for you; a nontrivial but infrequently needed task at a much more expensive price than, say, a cart. That's why I love Segway's approach: it's a robot that can carry youaround while you're waiting for it to be more useful in other ways. And I'm all for anything that I (or my cats) can ride. It looks like a RealSense-enhanced version of the Ninebot Mini announced in China in fall 2015.
There are 3D printed prosthetics and armor for animals, cars, clothes, magic wands, Skittle sorters and Popes. The list goes on. Yawn. But sugar? Hell yeah! Let 3D Systems be your techno-saccharide Svengali. We first saw the ChefJet at last year's CES, but now it's real and ready to create beautiful edibles. It costs somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000, so for home use it probably can only make its way into the kitchens of folks who can afford fridges like this.
For some women, trying on makeup got old by the time we graduated high school. But you really can't buy it without seeing it on your skin -- unless you don't mind wasting a lot of money. Modiface tackles this issue with a combination of software and a mirror, letting you overlay different options over your reflection. (The free ModiFace Live app for Android and iOS does something similar on your smartphone.) It won't improve your taste, but it can compensate for horrible store lighting. The mirror isn't an end-user product, but you'll likely see it at retail.
Since the debut of Google Glass, the holy grail of augmented-reality glasses for everyday wear has been glasses that don't look geeky or conspicuous. Carl Zeiss Optics may have done it -- since Zeiss makes lenses rather than frames, they have to chops to embed more of the necessary technology into the polycarbonate lens, which means less in of it goes into a large, bulky frame. Of course, its still in prototype.
Scooters, scooters everywhere. To me, the two most important questions about electric scooters for commuting are: how easy is it to maneuver and what do I do with it when I'm not scooting. All the other bells and whistles are secondary. The Emicro One sounds like it at least scores on both counts. It's pretty stripped down with respect to controls and it's the lightest foldable model yet -- 16.5 pounds, about the same as the cat I live with who insists upon being carried. That means you can do almost anything with it, even just tote it around when you're not using it. And you'll be able to get one this February for the about $1,000 (about £750 or AU$1,500), the typical price for these devices.
Stop: You had me at "exoskeleton." This one happens to be designed to simulate the effects of aging on the human body, including vision and hearing loss, joint inflexibility, muscle mass and so on. I don't need to simulate those things anymore, but I'd love to wander around NYC in one of these things. Of course, it's not for our personal amusement, it's for science.
I'm not sure I want to walk around a mall filled with digital signage overlaying stuff I want to look at, but these see-through TV screens are a neat proof-of-concept of some of the feats that can be performed with OLED technology.
Google's Project Tango is an attempt to map inside spaces, where GPS isn't granular enough, the way it has outside spaces. One major application for that is enabling your mobile phone to know which store you're standing in front of at the mall, or directions to find Ikea in a massive outlet store complex. Convenient! Of course, they're not doing this out of altruism. It's also to let them serve you up hyperlocalized ads, such as a discount on the electric scooter in the window that you're gazing at lovingly. And it would provide a gold mine of data for them. But I digress: Lenovo will be releasing the first Project Tango-enabled phone this summer for about $500, and it's got three cameras to sense color, depth and spatial layout.
Whether you're a persnickity chef, want to make sure you've got a food source when the zombie apocalypse hits -- after technology fails you're on your own, though -- or somewhere on the spectrum between, the Opcom Far Cube looks like it will help the blackest of thumbs grow vegetables. A $4,000 rack with bicolor LED lights and a touchscreen control panel, it knows how much light Boston lettuce requires compared with Bibb and butter, even if you don't.
My ears are pretty dumb. So if our audio expert says that out of all the speakers blaring at the show, these bookshelf units "exhilirated" him in a way he hadn't been since CES 2012, well, I'll take his word for it. They're not the best-sounding or best-looking, but they're not $65,000 either. They're only $500 (about AU$720 or £345).
You're probably already cycling or skiing with a camera strapped to you somewhere. You might as well make it useful. This helmet's action cam (or a handlebar-based version) will text or email your emergency contact if its internal sensors detect you're goin' DOWN!