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. Read on to see what we wanted to sneak into our suitcases and add to our personal tech collections.
Dave Hamilton joins Jeff Gamet to talk about the smart home and IoT gear they saw at CES 2017. They also dive into storage and smart fitness tech, too.
Robert Scoble said Monday that Apple is working with lens powerhouse Carl Zeiss AG on “mixed reality optics.” That’s one of the many terms used for augmented reality, for those keeping score at home. His evidence is circumstantial, at best, but I approve of his reasoning. While at the the Zeiss booth at CES, he learned the company was, “NOT showing off its mixed reality optics.” He then added, “I said ‘Tim Cook didn’t let you,’ and the employees around me smiled nervously.” Again, that’s circumstantial, but Mr. Scoble’s instincts have a good track record. To add further circumstantial speculation, Zeiss is the sort of company Apple might work with on any kind of lens-related product or technology. And we already knew that Apple has at least a thousand people working on augmented reality. So…I buy it.
LAS VEGAS – One of the more unusual devices I saw at CES was Reliefband Technologies‘ self-titled product. This device uses current to modulate the median nerve on the underside of the wrist to control nausea and motion sickness. This is the same spot you can rub for nausea, and it’s the spot targeted by acupuncturists. At this year’s show, the company introduced a new—and infinitely better looking—version called Reliefband Neurowave. While the original Reliefband was functional, it looked like it was designed by engineers in 1989 (you can see it on the company’s site). The new version shown below looks like a modern smartwatch. It adds a display and separates the electronic plates from that display, which means you wear it as a watch. The old version had to be worn so that the ugly interface was underneath your wrist like engineers and pilots sometimes wear watches. I don’t suffer from nausea or motion sickness, but Jeff Gamet is going to test it out for us. The new version is priced at $150 and will ship in the second quarter of 2017. The firm hasn’t yet added the new product to its website.
Back from CES, your two favorite geeks have some fun stuff to report about and all of your questions to answer. The latter include things like fixing Mail.app’s CPU-hogging, which hibernatemode to use for your MacBook, and much, much more. Press play and enjoy!
LAS VEGAS – Lattis unveiled the Ellipse Smart Bike Lock at CES last week. In addition to being app-controlled and having a programmable combination lock, this bike lock is solar powered. That makes batteries a non-issue as long as the device sees at least one hour of sunlight per week of usage. It has a built-in accelerometer which the app harnesses for crash alerts with HPS coordinates it can send out to a designated contact. The accelerometer is also used for theft detection alerts. Another nifty feature is the ability to give a friend access through a one-time code you can send out from the app. The shackle is made from chromoly steel, and the lock is substantial. I liked the fit and finish, and the “smart” functions seem to be smart, rather than an attempt to merely bolt an app onto a lock. The device is priced at US$199, and it’s available now.
With CES 2017 behind us, Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about what stood out for them. They look at health and fitness, televisions, and more.
LAS VEGAS – myCharge is well known for their portable batteries for recharging our smartphones and more, and now they’re making sure even the USB-C MacBook and MacBook Pro are covered, too. The company’s RazorPlatinum can juice up your laptop, iPhone, or iPad for US$99.99. The RazorUltra is coming soon and handles your smartphone and tablet for about $60, plus both have USB-A ports for everything else you need to power up. It’s great seeing USB-C batteries hitting the market because we’re going to see the connector showing up even more places—something that’s very clear at this year’s CES.
LAS VEGAS – More than anything else, the question I’m most asked regarding not-yet-existent technology is, “when are we going to get wireless charging?” The answer, thanks to Energous, is “likely this year.” Energous has developed a technology that supports three ranges of wireless charging: near-field contactless, two-to-four feet, and ten-to-fifteen feet. We’ve all seen contactless charging with (some) cell phones and the Apple Watch, but anything beyond that seems like magic. In this video, that’s exactly what you’ll see. I also got to experience the same remote control charging from ten feet away. That’s because devices with Energous’ WattUp receivers can be charged by transmitters of any of the three distances. Contactless is available for manufacturers to use now, and Energous is working to have the remaining distances approved and available within the next year. Power is only sent to the device when a charge is needed and Bluetooth is used to allow the transmitter and receiver to negotiate the connection. The future appears to be right around the corner.
LAS VEGAS – Play-Doh is all about mixing learning with fun, and that’s just what you get with Touch Shape. Jason Beene shows Jeff Gamet how to use an iPad to put the Play-Doh characters you make into the Touch Shape world at CES 2017.
LAS VEGAS – Elgato’s new Thunderbolt 3 dock loads up your Touch Bar MacBook Pro with all the ports you need. Tim Böth highlights the features for Jeff Gamet at CES 2017.
LAS VEGAS – Garmin wants to keep you looking fashionable when you’re exploring outdoors or just around town with its fenix 5 watches. Cesar Palacios shows Jeff Gamet what you can do with Garmin’s latest smartwatches at CES 2017.
ShowStoppers at CES 2017 had loads of cool tech, which means there’s more for Dave Hamilton, Bryan Chaffin, and John F. Braun to share with Jeff Gamet. They look at wireless earpods, drone and cellphone blocking, and smart lights.
Our thanks to Elgato for joining us this year as a sponsor for TMO’s CES 2017 coverage. The effort, planning, and expense it takes to comb through all the noise at CES and bring you targeted, relevant coverage is quite large, and without our sponsors we wouldn’t be able to do it all for you. Elgato sees the value in this and was very quick to jump on board to ensure that you would get the very best of what we have to offer this year. We’re very thankful for that, and we hope you are, too.
The Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock enables you to connect everything to your MacBook Pro all at once. It allows you to use only one cable to charge your computer, drive dual displays, network at full Ethernet speeds and more – and harness the full potential of USB-C. They’ve boiled it down to something quite simple: One cable. No compromises.
Our sincere thanks to MacPaw, makers of Setapp, for being one of our CES 2017 Coverage Sponsors this year. MacPaw is immensely committed to the Apple community, and their commitment to sponsor our coverage is yet another sign of that. It takes a lot of work–and money–to get the team assembled here and back in the office to ensure plenty of qualtity, curated Apple-focused CES content, and having MacPaw on board to help us make sure that happens for you is truly special. Indeed, MacPaw’s Setapp shows a similar commitment to user-friendliness. Setapp is the Netflix of Mac software. With one monthly fee you get access to all the software available inside Setapp, no ads, no paid upgrades. Setapp has already lined up an impressive list of well-known Mac software for the service including Ulysses, RapidWeaver 7, Reveal, and Eltima Player and more.
T-Mobile used CES to shake things up once again by announcing that it’s only going to offer a single $70-per-month unlimited data plan with no hidden fees or charges. It’s a great deal, but only if you can get decent cellular coverage.
We like backlit keyboards. We also like wireless keyboards. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many options that feature both, especially when it comes to Mac-specific models. But accessory firm Matias is looking to change that with the CES announcement of the Wireless Aluminum Keyboard with Backlight. It’s a sleek Apple-style Bluetooth keyboard with support for up to four devices and, here’s the kicker, separate batteries for the keyboard and the backlight. That means when your energy-hogging backlight goes out, you can keep on typing without skipping a beat. The keyboard ships in June in Silver and Space Gray color options, but you can pre-order now for $139.
I’ve been a fan of JBL’s portable Pulse bluetooth speakers since the first one was released three years ago. The reason? Cool lighting effects, full sound and, of course, Bluetooth wireless portability. With the Pulse 3, though, the game steps up to a whole new level. Whereas its predecessors were covered by a mesh with a low-resolution display of lights, the Pulse 3 sports a clear, plastic enclosure and hi-res LEDs that really (finally?) give it that true Lava Lamp-of-the-future look. You can customize the light effects with your iOS or Android device, giving you full control over both your audio and visual experience. Additionally, the Pulse 3 is now IPX7 waterproof, has a 12-hour battery, and supports JBL’s new Connect+ allowing you to sync your audio with up to 100 devices simultaneously. Wanna truly light up your pool party or just enjoy the visuals while listening to your favorite tunes? The JBL Pulse 3 will be released this spring, MSRP of $199.95
LAS VEGAS — Withings (a Nokia company) was showing Steel HR, a watch that combines the elegance of an analog watch with the features of a smart watch, at CES Unveiled 2017. Rob Le Bras-Brown, Chief Marketing Officer, gave John F. Braun the scoop.