Last week saw the who’s who of technology descend on Las Vegas for CES 2017, the 50th anniversary of the Consumer Electronics Show. Now, although we at Pair always recommend smartphone repairs rather than throwing it away at the first sign of trouble, we also love to get shiny new products hot from the research and development labs of some of the world’s top tech companies. And we know you love it too – so we have kept our eyes and ears tuned in to what’s been happening at the world’s largest consumer electronics show to bring you word of the best tech developments as of January 2017.
Big & Better
In celebrating their fiftieth birthday, the Consumer Technology Association or CTA who host CES set out to wow attendees with their biggest ever show. They had 24 product categories, 3,800 companies launching products and over 600 start-ups in attendance at the three-day event which spanned 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space – yup, that’s big!
The focus of CES this year was undoubtedly connectivity as companies vie to discover how to integrate their products into our everyday lives, to make our daily routines easier and our down time more productive and enjoyable. AI, otherwise known as Artificial Intelligence, once the stuff of sci-fi movies, is on the verge of mass production and so it’s a very exciting time in the world of tech.
But – as our first love is the mobile phone, we had to start with the winner of CES in terms of phone technology. The Asus Zenfone AR is a nice pocket-sized phone which contains within it a super new chip and the TriCam system which has three camera sensors allowing you to see images onscreen in 3-D. It has a 5.7-inch screen and is Google Tango and Daydream VR compatible to allow us to experience virtual and augmented reality from our phones.
Following on closely from the mobile phone to watch is, the little nerdier, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. This is a new super-powered chip which will help to power the phones we rely on so much. While we place ever more demands on our phones, the chips which power them need to be faster and have a lot more power yet, take up less room. No-one wants to carry around a brick! The 821 is the processer in the Asus Zenfone, and this one is smaller again, by as much as 35%. While this 10-nanometer chip isn’t as fancy as some of the other products being launched at CES 2017, it will mean that phones coming on stream later this year and into 2018 will have greater capabilities. Yay!
ZTE also revealed Hawkeye, the world’s first crowdsourced smartphone. Last year they launched a competition to garner feedback on what a whole host of people would consider to be the best new smartphone. Compiled from over 500 submissions from over 170 countries around the world Hawkeye is what ZTE’s audience wanted to see. The phone is an eye tracking device which can be mounted to a wall using medical grade silicone. The sensors read your eye movements and turn them into software tasks such as turning a page or swiping left or right.
In terms of AV developments, two of the big releases were from LG and Sony. LG released their super thin Signature OLED TV W, otherwise known as the wallpaper TV. This TV measures just one tenth of an inch deep and sits neatly on the wall using magnets to ensure no gap between the wall and device. The power behind the TV is stored neatly in one sound bar making for a super sleek design. It’s pricy, but boy is it nice! Sony has been hard at work in the audio space and brought their HT-ST5000 soundbar to CES this year. Keeping with the connectivity theme, this sound bar has Google Chromecast built in along with Spotify Connect. It delivers everything you need for an unbelievable home cinema sound.
For your computer, Neonode brought their prototype AirBar to CES 2017. This simple looking device is a 17mm high bar which sits on the base of your computer screen allowing for touch screen capabilities on a normally non-touchscreen device. The AirBar plugs into your USB port and works by sending an invisible light field onto the surface of the screen which reads your touch. Ingenious!
Nvidia, is one of the leading developers of AI technology and their CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang delivered the keynote address on Wednesday evening. Nvidia brought a range of product innovations to CES 2017. GeForce NOW is a streaming service which allows any regular computer to have advanced gaming capabilities through the cloud. They also introduced an updated version of their Shield TV the world’s first 4K HDR entertainment platform along with Nvidia Spot which understands complex language patterns to enhance the usability of AI and allow full control of your smart home in conjunction with the Shield TV. Last but not least, in their auto sector, they revealed Xavier, a car supercomputer for use in self-drive cars.
There were smart fridges, smart hairbrushes and smart bikes for the little ones too! But, after the excitement of exploring these new tech developments from CES 2017 anyone would need a good nap! While everything else is smart why shouldn’t your bed be? The Sleep Number 360 smart bed promises to keep you comfortable all night no matter how much you toss and turn. The foot warmer heats up at your usual bedtime and if your other half has a tendency to snore the head section can tilt them up to relieve the pressure on their airways ensuring that you both get a good night’s sleep. Bliss!
There was so much more to cover, but we can’t get to them all. We hope you like our whistle-stop tour around of some of the most interesting developments to emerge from CES 2017. Did we miss out anything that you thought was great? Let us know!