Every year we head out to CES on Las Vegas to see what’s in store for the electronics world. We see some products that are pretty cool, and some that shouldn’t ever see the light of day, and we see some we want to take home with us right now.
I tasked our on-location team—Dave Hamilton, John F. Braun, and myself—with telling me what they really wanted to sneak into their suitcase, and I love how the choices reflected who they are. Dave was all about going wireless and quality audio, John has a thing for IoT, and I went with graphic design and fitness.
Energous WattUp Wireless Charging
We’re all battery slaves. Nearly everything in our lives requires power, and so many things run off of batteries. Managing all those batteries is a chore. Cell phones are, frankly, the easiest thing because we need to charge them every day. Our TV remotes, game controllers, smoke alarms, webcams and more are the worst because they don’t have to be charged every day. Energous’s WattUp technology allows these types of devices to be charged wirelessly, with distances up to 15 feet. Due to begin shipping in various products later this year, this is a tech for which I simply am ready now. I don’t want to wait!
Last year at CES—LONG before we’d ever heard of Apple’s AirPods—I got to take home a set of Earin M-1 true wireless headphones and fully experienced wireless listening bliss. Since then I’ve tried many others and, for music listening, the Earin M-1s have remained my favorite. They seal well in my ear and they just work. There have been a couple of things missing, though, specifically a microphone so I could take phone calls and the ability to have my audio synced with video when watching a movie. The Earin M-2 solves both of these problems by adding a microphone and NFMI (near field magnetic induction), plus now adds the ability to do ambient passthrough so you can hear your environment if you like. I’m still happy with my M-1s, but I want the M-2s now. I’ll have to wait a few weeks, it seems.
When presented with the question “What would you like to bring back from CES?” as in what things could I grab and take home with me if I could, I’d have to offer the following:
Air Quality Measurement
One area that looks to be growing is personal air quality measurement and cleaning products. For measurement, I saw the Atmotube which can measure both volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide. For cleaning using ionic technology there’s the Airdog A5. For both measurement and cleaning, there’s Wynd.
Another area is the promise of having technology help with knowing what food to buy, what may go bad, and even what to make out of what you have. FridgeCam can do all of this, GeniCan will help you create a list based on what you throw away.
Home monitoring and security is the last area I’ve developed an interest in. Aura is a monitoring and security system leverages disruption in radio frequency (RF) waves in your house. Premis is a door lock that can use a physical key, keypad entry, HomeKit or an app to operate the lock, handy if your hands are full and operating the lock with a key is a chore, and the underlying technologies are cool too.
Wacom Cintiq 27QHD
Sure, the iPad makes for a great graphics tablet and you can even connect it to your Mac and use it with apps like Photoshop. But for some artists, designers, and content creators a dedicated graphics tablet is the way to go—and that’s where Wacom’s new Cintiq 27QHD really shines. The tablet has a 2560×1440 27-inch display so you can work directly with your art instead of focusing on your computer’s screen, and supports 97% of the Adobe RGB color gamut.
The 27QHD’s stylus supports 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, and feels more like a traditional marker when you’re drawing and painting. It includes a wireless remote with programmable function keys to free up space on the tablet surface, includes a built-in stand, and supports VESA display arms, too. The standard Cintiq 27QHD is priced at US$2,300, and the touch sensitive model costs $2,800. Both will be available at the end of January.
Coros LINX Smart Cycling Helmet
If you ride a bike you need to wear a helmet, and about the coolest I’ve seen is the LINX Smart Cycling Helmet from Coros. The helmet pairs with your smartphone so you can listen to music, answer phone calls, get alerts, and hear navigation directions. Instead of traditional earbuds, however, the LINX has bone conduction speakers that sit against the side of your head so your ears aren’t covered. That means you can still hear sound around you, which makes riding much safer. The LINX also detects if you have a serious fall with its built-in shock sensor and sends your GPS coordinates to your emergency contact. The LINX helmet will be available at the end of January for $199.99.