From dual-sided televisions to a fitness band that lets you play Pacman while exercising, CES 2016 had it all. The annual Consumer Electronics Show took place this year at Las Vegas from January 6th to 9th and showcased gadgets of all kinds, ranging from revamped products like Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 tablet with a plethora of new features, to the absolutely bizarre like iFit’s NordicTrack Escape Treadmill with a curved OLED TV in front. Whatever your intended uses for things like these, though, the tech and innovation offered at CES this year were nothing short of amazing.
You must be wondering, what in the world is CES, besides a show displaying technology sounding too good to be true? Well, it’s also a conference filled with workshops, sessions, and keynote addresses, but wacky and out-of-this-world innovations are really the focus. Since you’re here to read about science and technology, you’re probably interested in the innovations themselves than the men in suits talking about them. So let’s skip the business aspect. CES hosts plenty of companies annually and shows off their individual products, each with their own jaw-dropping aspects. Some are large and well-known like Samsung and Sony, while others are obscure start-ups hoping to use the opportunity to secure a reputation for themselves. Here at Scope we’ve compiled for you just a few of the most mind boggling products presented this year at the show from over a variety of categories.
First off, drones are still more intent than ever to take the markets by storm, and the company that took the spotlight was definitely Parrot, with its sleek and futuristic single propeller Disco drone. The Disco has a maximum speed of 50mph (impressive considering that it only has one propeller) and a maximum flying time of around 45 minutes. In addition to its front camera, it has a load of sensors like an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer to assist the user during flight. And small remote controlled drones aside, CES 2016 also saw the introduction of a car sized prototype: the EHang 184 octocopter, a single passenger vehicle that can reach up to speeds of 60 mph. It has a total of 8 rotors connected to its 4 arms and is able to pilot itself. In the future, if you’re either late or just feeling crazy, these just may be your go to vehicles of choice. Although it faces many regulatory constraints (it’s aiming to become a commercially used form of transportation, after all), the EHang seems extremely promising and, hey, maybe in 10 or 20 years this technology will become a part of our daily lives.
Next up, in the category of at-home devices, we have the “Sensorwake”, an innovative alarm clock that, instead of beeping, takes a more pleasant approach by letting off a scent of your choosing. It works using cartridges and offers a total of 15 smells, like coffee, mint, and croissants. If you’re feeling particularly greedy, there’s even a money scent. Yep, that’s what we like to call “money well scent”.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, this next product will likely tempt you to no end. It’s a working BB-8 droid, complete with a “Force Band” that allows you to control its movements by Bluetooth. Users can finally experience (kind of) what it’s like to have power over the Force, and will be able to send BB-8 rolling across the room with just a flick of a wrist. Completely hands free. Don’t get too excited, though, because so far it’s only a prototype with a vague releasedate of “sometime in 2016”.
Another product that’s sparked much interest is Razer’s new laptop, the “Razer Blade Stealth”. The first unusual thing is that it’s an Ultrabook, which strays off of Razer’s usual lineups aimed mainly at gamers. TheStealth, instead of sporting heavy gaming features, tries to compete with brands like Apple and Lenovo by cutting down on weight and width so that can be easily carried and convenient for everyday use. For just $999, you get an HD touchscreen, a Core i7, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and individually backlit keys (which you can configure to your liking with over 16 million colors). With all its concessions in size and weight, the Stealth by itself is unfortunately quite subpar for gaming. It doesn’t stop there, however. Although not yet released, Razer also showed off its Razer Core, an external graphics amplifier designed for the Stealth and its future products as well, able to use almost any graphics card. When connected to the Stealth, it becomes the equivalent of a full power gaming desktop that can run pretty much any game with all the graphics settings at high.
With all these exciting innovations shown off annually at CES, the future definitely looks bright for technology. Although many of the products are not yet ready for mass production and commercial use, give it a year or two and alarm clocks like the Sensorwake just might become a part of your everyday life. Give it a few more years, and maybe Ehang’s octocopter will become a staple for transportation. Give it a few decades, and, well, the sky’s the limit.
January 23, 2016
Author: Jerry Jiao
Editor: Sherry Yuan