It's the last official day of CES 2016, but there's still plenty of stuff happening.
Jan 10, 2016
Just before it ends, CES turns into a discount bazaarRead Article >
When I described the Consumer Electronics Show as a sort of future mall, I didn't mean that it was a place where people went to shop, at least not literally. But that's exactly what's been happening in the final few hours before the closing of the annual tech exhibition. Small exhibitors have started putting up hand-drawn "For sale" signs at their booths, hoping to sell off their demo products rather than having to ship them back. It's a widespread practice, I have come to learn, which isn't even new to the show — though it's certainly news to me. Check out a few more of the hot CES deals in the pics below.
BMW made a motorcycle helmet that builds in the best parts of Google Glass
Nearly four years ago, Google published a video previewing what it might be like to use an augmented reality headset. It showed all kinds of useful information hanging out in the corner of your vision, and then that same information lowering into your view as you needed to know critical details, like how to get from one place to another. That fascinating concept never made it to life — all we got was Google Glass.Read Article >
But now BMW is taking some of that video's best ideas and turning them into a much more useful product. It's making a motorcycle helmet with a Glass-like heads-up-display, allowing information like speed limits, directions, and incoming phone calls to be displayed in your field of view. BMW is calling this helmet a concept for now, but it had a wearable demo on display at CES.
Nikon’s new action camera could change the market in a big way
This year's Consumer Electronics Show wasn't a big one for cameras; it rarely is. But a little reading between the lines and a glance at one of Nikon's announcements make one thing obvious: the action camera market is about to totally change.Read Article >
I'm using the term "action camera" pretty broadly here in order to include spherical cameras, or ones that can shoot 360-degree video. Just a handful of these are on the market, and their closest analogue is the type of camera made popular by GoPro.
The Verge Trailer Awards at CES 2016: the best of behind-the-scenes
If you’ve spent the week breathlessly following all of our CES coverage, you’re probably familiar with The Verge Awards. It’s the space we use to recognize the coolest, funniest, most impressive things we saw in Las Vegas this week, and it’s full of products and experiences we’re going to remember long after we leave the desert. If I had to pick one thing that left a mark on me, though, I wouldn’t pick an electric car or a set of wireless earbuds: I’d pick the trailer.Read Article >
I typically work remotely from Canada, so the chance to spend a full week with all of the co-workers I only ever see in Slack and on Twitter was one of the most promising aspects of CES for me. I still believe that, even after spending 18 hours a day together in a cramped and stinky double-wide with the majority of the people we employ. The trailer isn’t opulent or even particularly well-ventilated, but it’s been our home, and it deserves to be recognized.
Livestream’s CEO on his company’s first ever consumer camera, the Movi
Livestream is a company that's best known for its namesake technology, so it was a little surprising when CES was kicked off with the announcement of the Movi. While Livestream has been making professional recording equipment for a few years, this was the first time the company had ever attempted consumer hardware.Read Article >
For $399, the Movi gives people who are on a budget the chance to replicate a multi-camera setup with something they could fit in their pocket. The camera films a scene in 4K, and users can create multiple virtual cameras on the iOS app and then switch between them in real time. The Movi can make the footage of everything from conference panels, to little league games, to school plays look much more dynamic.
Jan 9, 2016
One Hundred and One Rectangles
"One Hundred and One Rectangles"Read Article >
2016, Las Vegas
Jan 9, 2016
The Verge Awards at CES 2016: driving toward the future
It was a quiet year for CES — the show wasn’t filled with any blockbuster product announcements, or marked by any explosive new trends. Technology has arrived at an awkward middle period: things like smartphones and tablets and laptops are mature, while new things like VR and self-driving cars are in their earliest stages.Read Article >
Maybe that’s why we spent so much of the show talking about turntables and headphones and Super 8 cameras: we’re bringing back tech that doesn’t demand we fall even deeper into our phones, or invest in potential futures that just seem a bit incomplete right now.
Jan 9, 2016
If CES is about the future, then the smartwatch got left behind
CES is the time of year when the world’s biggest and most ambitious companies in technology, automotive, and entertainment gather to talk about the future. Absent from that conversation this past week was the smartwatch. Whether because companies can’t figure out how to make innovative leaps or consumers just don’t seem that interested, the smartwatch seems to have transitioned from the next big mobile battleground to a big fat question mark.Read Article >
Of all the companies that once made ambitious plays for the wrist, the only one still actively rethinking the category doesn’t even want to call its device a smartwatch. Fitbit, which this week released its new Blaze wearable, was among the very small handful of companies launching watches at CES. Yet the Blaze is billed as a "fitness watch." It can send you notifications from your phone and track your activity, but it doesn’t run third-party apps.
This scooter proves that electric rideables can be more than a novelty
If you want to have some fun riding something powered by electric motors, CES is the show for you. Companies show up from around the world with hoverboards, electric skateboards, scooters, and street-legal vehicles of all shapes and colors. This has been the case for a few years now, but something was different at this CES. What were once just fun (and often dangerous) toys for overgrown kids have suddenly started to look a lot more ready for everyday use.Read Article >
This was no more the case than with the EcoReco M5 Air, a collapsable electric scooter with up to 15 miles of range and a top speed of 20 miles per hour. It wasn't the most attractive rideable at CES, but that was the point. It's the kind of thing I could see myself using on the way to and from work every day, which is essentially how I used it here in Las Vegas.
Where was Google’s smart home at CES?
This time last year, products designed for Apple's smart home platform made their debut at CES. It was a small but pleasant showing: a series of power outlets, light bulb adapters, and door locks. Nothing fancy, but enough to show that the system was here and happening.Read Article >
Jan 9, 2016
As a car-focused CES ends, why does Detroit still matter?
With an intensely automotive-focused CES 2016 coming to a close, the show cars are being polished and prepped for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) that opens this coming week in Detroit. Once two trade shows that seemed at odds — CES ascendant, NAIAS in decline — the shows seem to have morphed into a one-two punch driving home the same message: cars aren’t going away.Read Article >
That’s not to say that CES and Detroit are in perfect harmony, and in the dissonance we find a host of questions that will need to be answered in the coming years. Who who will own cars, who will drive them, and who will we pay to make them? Will Uber take over the global auto industry? Will Apple seriously make a car? Will Ford become a supplier for Google?
Jan 9, 2016
We might have smart cities before we have smart homes
Even with the amount of attention the smart home is getting from the tech press and the exhibitors here at CES, we have to consider it something of a bust. Unlike smartphones, which were in-demand almost from the off (at least once the iPhone launched), the smart home is a panoplistic mish-mash of platforms, proprietary standards, buggy hardware, and failed interoperability.Read Article >
Oh, and there's the fact that — aside from super-nerdy types who would buy a Crestron system if it weren't so damn expensive — consumers don't seem particularly excited about the smart home, outside of a few gadgets like the Nest Thermostat that are actually useful on their own.
Jan 9, 2016
DJI's legal expert says consumer drones are far safer than manned aircraft
Before the word drone was commonplace, and quadcopters were everywhere at CES, Brendan Schulman was a model airplane fan, building and flying all kinds of craft in his spare time. Eventually his passion began to overlap with his profession as a lawyer, putting him at the forefront of several landmark cases in the world of unmanned aviation. That led to a job as the VP of Policy and Legal Affairs at DJI, the world's largest consumer drone manufacturer. He took some time off from charming politicians to have a chat at our CES lounge.Read Article >
There have been a ton of changes to the regulatory landscape in the US over the last year. The FAA rolled out its plans to create a new standard for commercial drones and now requires every consumer who is flying a drone to register with the government. Schulman gave us his take on why the model aircraft community is challenging the new rules, and how those challenges might play out in court.
Jan 9, 2016
ProDrone’s Byrd drone can be folded into the size of an iPad
There are dozens of drones at CES this year in the area of the show floor my editor colloquially calls "the drone zone." So one obvious challenge for these companies is figuring out how to differentiate their products from each other, whether they do it with splashy drone concepts or by ditching the common multi-rotor form factor altogether.Read Article >
But ProDrone is relying on something else to make its new Byrd model stand out: ultra-portability.
The Inboard M1 looks like the best new electric skateboard on the block
Electric skateboards are one of the most exciting new products in the last few years. Because they're new, there's no escaping some massive caveats. They're heavy and expensive, long range and great battery life aren't easy to find, and you really can't ride many of them if and when the battery dies. That last one is a big problem, and California company Inboard has a unique solution.Read Article >
Inboard brought a prototype of its first board, the M1, to CES, so I (and a number Verge staffers) took a test ride in the parking lot outside our trailer. Riding it was a blast, even thought it was a prototype that didn't have the final polish you expect from a production model.
Headphone makers quietly prepare for the iPhone 7
Apple is the perennial absentee newsmaker at CES. The Cupertino company never attends the Consumer Electronics Show, but it always manages to stir up some hype and excitement around its products during the show. Call it a happy accident. The latest rumors swirling around the iPhone maker are that it will remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from its upcoming iPhone 7, leaving people with the option to either use wireless or Lightning-compatible headsets. This has caused an understandable amount of consternation among users, many of whom will already have a collection of headphones that use the long-established 3.5mm standard.Read Article >
The people who don't seem to be particularly perturbed by this potential development are headphone makers themselves. I've spoken with many of them during this year's CES and none feel threatened by or unprepared for Apple's rumored removal of the headphone jack. There are two reasons for this: one is that almost every headphone manufacturer, major or minor, has some sort of wireless product to offer prospective iPhone 7 owners. Only the truly premium, audiophile-class vendors — whose products aren't intended to be used with mobile devices anyway — don't have a Bluetooth variant to offer. The big names like Sennheiser and Audio-Technica are already working on entire portfolios of high-end wireless headphones, and others like Bose have been developing the technology for years. Nothing new on this front.
The Martian VR Experience is out of this world
“You’re way too low. You need to get back on course!” I’m soaring through space high above Mars, steering my way towards the ship that’s going to take me back to Earth after hundreds of days stranded on the Red Planet. I’m changing direction using the air escaping from my pierced left glove, which I’m holding behind my back so I can move forward. I look over my shoulder and see the rocket I used to escape hanging against a Martian backdrop; above and around me, there’s only the void. My return home might be in jeopardy.Read Article >
I change my left hand’s angle and approach a white beam of light, where my commander is waiting to drag me onto her waiting spacecraft. She wraps me in her arms, and I feel a little jolt when our helmets clunk together. Having finally achieved relative safety, I drop the controllers I’ve been holding and lift the Oculus Rift headset I’ve been wearing for the last 20 minutes into the hands of a nearby attendant. I’ve just finished The Martian VR Experience, which is coming to a virtual reality headset near you sometime this year, and the moments I just spent hurtling through the solar system are giving me a new appreciation for the solid footing of this Las Vegas nightclub.
True gaming laptops are finally becoming a reality
Way back in 2003, I spent in excess of £1,600 ($2,500) to buy my first laptop, which was a Samsung X10. My thinking was naively simple: I wanted a laptop that could do everything and I was prepared to invest heavily to obtain it. The flaw in that plan was that such a laptop didn't exist back then, and it arguably doesn't exist today either.Read Article >
The X10 was one of the thinnest machines on the market and it had a discrete Nvidia GPU inside it, so it had the potential to fulfill my dream of an ultraportable gaming PC, but the reality of using it was a lot less rosy than the promise of its specs. On the portability front, this extra-thin laptop could only muster four hours of battery life when brand new and no more than two (I'm not kidding) after the first year of use. Consequently, I found myself taking a lot more lecture notes on paper than a laptop owner would usually anticipate. As to gaming, I was able to play Madden NFL 2004 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on the X10, though neither was anywhere near its maximum graphics quality. It was just okay.
Jan 9, 2016
An emotional introduction to Seinabo Sey, at CES of all places
Seinabo Sey made me weep at CES.Read Article >
It’s not hard to find a show here in Vegas. So many artists headline lavish weekly residencies, and hotel superclubs fill up every night with thousands of birthdays and bachelorettes. It’s one massive, vodka-soaked party. CES, of course, ratchets that spirit up to 11, with major companies like Google and Yahoo calling hitmakers like Fetty Wap and John Legend in to make them seem cooler for a few minutes. There needn’t ever be a discernible connection between the artist and the brand itself. The bigger the name, the bigger the party.
Jan 9, 2016
Vergecast 187: CES 2016 Day 4
Today on The Vergecast, Nilay, Dieter, Casey, and Nicola gather together one more time at CES 2016 and chat about what they saw, what they learned, and what is next to come post-CES.Read Article >
We have a whole network of podcasts now! You can find them all in iTunes. They include the all new Ctrl Walt Delete podcast with Walt Mossberg and Nilay Patel, which dives deep into tech; Verge ESP with Emily Yoshida and Liz Lopatto, which blurs the lines between science and entertainment, and What's Tech? with Christopher Thomas Plante, which explains technology in layman's terms. You might also want to check out Re/code Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher.