The Verge and Circuit Breaker are here in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show to bring you all the latest in concept cars, voice-activated technology, cool toys, and gadgets. Media day doesn’t technically begin until tomorrow, but here’s a slew of products already announced at this year’s show.
Electric scooters and skateboards are a big draw at the mini exhibitions that happen within big trade shows like CES. At this year’s CES Unveiled, two of them stood out.Read Article >
First, the UJet: it’s another take on the idea of a smart, foldable electric scooter, though it’s closer to something like a Vespa than a Razor. The UJet has a (limited) top speed of around 30 miles per hour, thanks to a 4kW motor, and will come in two range variants: 43 or 93 miles. Aimed at the European market (but eventually coming to the US and Asia), the UJet will retail for between $8,000–$10,000.
Postcards, delightful as they are to receive, take a lot of time and effort for the sender. If I go on vacation and want to send one to my friends, I have to find the perfect card, figure out the local postage fees, and search for a post office to send it from. (That, or I bring the cards back home and forget they exist!) French startup Postmii is offering an ingenious solution to this overwhelming obstacle for lazy people, by printing and sending your postcards for you from a solar-powered tricycle. Targeting tourist attractions as vendor spots, it’s a one-stop shop for visitors to send their “Wish you were here” thoughts.Read Article >
Solar panels on the top of the tricycle power the tablet, which lets users take a picture and customize their postcards. After you’re happy with a pic, the printer prints the image on-demand. Then, you just need to fill out the card and drop it in the mailbox for same-day mailing. The postcards also have an augmented reality feature, which can be viewed by the receiver through a proprietary app. The company is currently working on bringing the technology to a Facebook Messenger bot to view the AR postcards, so users won’t have to download a separate app.
Jan 8, 2018
As we enter into the first day of CES, headphone brands like House of Marley and Sol Republic are releasing a whole bunch of wireless headphones and portable wireless speakers.Read Article >
House of Marley is coming out with the No Bounds speaker that it claims are dust and water-proof speakers with an IP67 rating. It also claims the headphone batteries can last for ten hours on a single charge. It’s made with recyclable cork and it can pair with a dual speaker. It’s available in April for $69.99.
Japanese startup Xenoma may have just cracked the secret to making successful smart clothing, and it involves a ludicrous skin-tight Spider-Man-style shirt, 14 sensors, and a running mini-game that’s as goofy as it is fun. The company’s “E-Skin” technology, which it debuted at last year’s CES, basically turns your torso into a motion controller, so your body movements act as software inputs for games and other motion-based apps. It uses a Bluetooth module that plugs into the center of your chest to transmit the data from the sensors to a nearby PC or smartphone running Xenoma’s custom software.Read Article >
This year at CES, Xenoma is back with its signature smart shirt that’s more refined than its previous model, in addition to two new prototype products in the fitness and health care realms. It being both silly and wildly fun makes Xenoma’s E-Skin product more fascinating than any piece of smart clothing I’ve seen before, and far more useful than, say, Google’s Project Jacquard jean jacket.
Applying filters is ubiquitous on Instagram and other social media platforms. Now a new feature from Nvidia lets you apply filters over the top of games, rather than on your holiday snaps.Read Article >
The feature is called Nvidia Freestyle, and is part of its GeForce Experience software. Freestyle has 15 different filters to choose from, with 38 different settings that paint over your game with different hues and effects. The filters include black and white, sepia, vignette, a night mode, retro, and half-tone options. The feature is in beta mode at the moment. Nvidia says there is support for one hundred games including Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Assassin’s Creed, Cuphead, World of Warcraft: Legion, and Diablo III.
Sennheiser is known for doing affordable earbuds consistently well. Now, with plenty of consumer headphones going wireless, the company has revealed the CX 6.00BT, a new set of budget Bluetooth in-ear headphones.Read Article >
Priced at just $99.95 (€99), the company says the earphones deliver “clear, detailed sound with an enhanced bass response.” They’re extremely light, weighing 14g, and the two earbuds are connected by a cable you can toss around your neck. The earphones have the ability to pair with up to two devices simultaneously — so you can switch between your computer and your phone for example.
Nvidia’s big push into the world of autonomous vehicles has attracted a vast amount of customers for what is still early stage technology — over 320, by the company’s count. This week at CES the company announced that it’s finally making Xavier, an AI chip made for self-driving vehicles that Nvidia announced in 2016, available to customers. And the company’s also adding a few marquee names to its list of self-driving technology customers, including Uber and VW.Read Article >
Volkswagen announced that it will use Nvidia’s Drive IX platform in some of its upcoming vehicles, including the I.D. Buzz electric bus. Drive IX is a software developer kit that Nvidia created to tap into the power of Xavier, and Volkswagen will use it to build in features like facial recognition, gesture control, natural language processing, and more. Volkswagen will also work with Drive AR, a new augmented reality-based SDK that works off the same Nvidia technology platform.
Nvidia is unveiling what it calls Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGDs) at CES today. The displays are 65 inches, and PC makers like Acer, Asus, and HP will be manufacturing them as 4K HDR displays. Essentially they’re giant gaming monitors with G-Sync, perfect for a high-end gaming PC. The displays will also have Nvidia’s Shield integrated into them, so there will be plenty of streaming apps and support for the Google Assistant.Read Article >
The addition of G-Sync in such a big display is a surprise, alongside support for 120Hz refresh rates with a 4K resolution. Acer announced a 27-inch 4K HDR monitor with G-Sync at 144Hz last year, but the monitor still hasn’t been released. Acer never even priced that particular display, and Nvidia isn’t revealing exactly how much these giant 65-inch gaming displays will cost. These are bound to be very expensive. Nvidia says it will have BFGDs available at CES for demo, and we’ll definitely be checking them out at the show this week.
Jan 8, 2018
L'Oreal introduced a new wearable UV sensor today that you can stick on your nail. It's truly just a sensor; it doesn't pair over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to your phone. Instead, it's NFC-enabled so you can scan it with your phone to retrieve the UV data it's collected. It should work with both Android and iOS. The UV Sense, as the company calls it, is meant to help people track how much time they spend in the sun without being overbearing. The nail sticker is a statement, but not a massive one.Read Article >
The UV Sense will determine long you've been outside, and once synced with your app, provides a score that says whether you're spending too much time in the sun. The amount of sun everyone can handle varies, L'Oreal tells me, so it'll ask you some initial questions about your skin tone to set a baseline. Of course, the app also recommends products based off your skin score. It'll suggest its own products along with more general advice.
Imagine being at the DMV, but instead of waiting in line with other grumpy people while idly scrolling through your phone, you can read a short story — a nice poem, perhaps. French publisher Short Edition created the Short Story Dispenser as a way for customers waiting in lines at places like airports and train stations to fill their time with something a little more meaningful. All users have to do is push a button labeled 1, 3, or 5 (corresponding to the number of minutes of reading) to get a short story printed for free. Doesn’t that sound lovely?Read Article >
The machine dispenses readings from Short Edition’s website, which offers more than 13 million works by 6,800 authors selected by readers from the Short Edition community, to classic literary short works from authors such as Shakespeare and Virginia Woolf. Authors also get royalties every time one of their stories is printed, which is a nice bonus. Stories are printed on a “lively papyrus” which, the longer the read, the more it resembles a CVS receipt. It works like a receipt too, using eco-friendly paper and no ink.
Jan 8, 2018
Merge Labs, a San Antonio-based company known for its inexpensive, toy-like AR/VR products, is making a Nerf-like toy gun that supports mixed reality games from a smartphone.Read Article >
Called the “6DoF Blaster,” the plastic toy gun has a shoe for your smartphone, so you can prop a smartphone up where your gun sight would normally be. In the demo we saw at CES today, the iPhone X inside the gun was running a Merge VR first-person shooter game, one the company said was built on Apple’s ARKit platform. The gun has four buttons: a trigger, a reload button, a zoom button, and one that slows down enemy fire.
Jan 8, 2018
Falls are an enormous problem for the elderly — and one company believes the solution is an $800 belt with airbags. Hip’Air from Helite looks like an overstuffed belt, only with sensors inside that can tell when you’re about to fall, allegedly within 0.2 seconds. Then, two airbags inflate right above your hips to absorb the impact.Read Article >
It’s not surprising that a company that makes motorcycle airbag vests would believe that their technology will also work for other types of falls. Uninflated, the HipAir is surprisingly light and has a plastic buckle on the front; inside is an inflator and a sensor. Arrows tell you which way to wear the belt, and it beeps if you put it on the wrong way. It’s not uncomfortable, but it’s not invisible either, and it would be obvious under or above almost all clothing.
Swiss watch company MyKronoz has a new version of its ZeTime hybrid smartwatch, the ZeTime Petite, which solves one of the biggest problems with the original ZeTime — it makes it smaller, with 39mm case size.Read Article >
The MyKronoz ZeTime was a crowdfunding project that looked to offer the best of both worlds when it came to smartwatches, combining a full color touchscreen overlaid with a pair of mechanical analog watch hands when it launched late last year.
Jan 8, 2018
There are plenty of automatic cat feeders out there, but Catspad is the first connected food and water dispenser for cats and small dogs. Not only can it automatically deliver both to your pet, it can differentiate between pets to dispense different amounts to each.Read Article >
The Catspad works with an app and an identifier for your pet, which can either be a microchip (if your pet has one), or a Catspad collar tag. When the pet then approaches the Catspad unit, it recognizes the individual animal, dispensing the amount of dry food designated for them and temporarily activating the fountain (the fountain can also be set to run continuously).
Last year at CES, I was taken aback by Bellus3D, a company with an uncannily accurate 3D face scanner that took incredibly unnerving selfies, but it was just a prototype. But this year, the company is back with a finished version that you can preorder now for $499 over at Bellus3D’s website.Read Article >
Like the original prototype, the finished device — officially called the Bellus3D Face Camera Pro — works on a twofold scale. First, an infrared depth camera system scans your face, capturing your facial structures. Then, the front-facing camera on your phone or tablet is used to capture a more detailed color image of your face, which the software uses for smaller details like pores and wrinkles, along with color.
Jan 8, 2018
Samsung has come to CES 2018 with an enormous 4K TV it’s calling The Wall — and it’s also claiming The Wall to be “the world’s first modular TV.” The Wall measures 146 inches and uses MicroLED technology to produce its picture.Read Article >
MicroLED shares many benefits with OLED; each microscopic LED can emit its own light — no backlight is required — and that creates the deep blacks and lush colors normally reserved for OLED sets. It also gets incredibly bright.
I didn’t need to know much more about the 34-inch Thunderbolt 3 5K ultrawide monitor that LG announced last month. Just knowing it really existed would suffice for me to want it on my desk immediately.Read Article >
Now that I’ve seen the 34WK95U in person under the glaring lights of a Las Vegas exhibit hall, I can confirm that I do, in fact, want it on my desk immediately. As promised, it actually does have single-cable Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, a 21:9 aspect ratio, HDR support, 98-percent P3 color gamut coverage, and over eleven million pixels.
Jan 8, 2018
The time before the big companies hold their grand CES events is a chance to check out the products from smaller outfits, and today I got to grips with one such project in the form of the Orosound Tilde. This is a noise-cancelling headset designed primarily for office use, and its distinctive feature is a focus cone of 60 degrees in front of the user where sound is allowed through. That way, goes the premise, you can filter out all the surrounding noise you don’t care for while holding a fruitful conversation with the coworker in front of you.Read Article >
The Tilde has been in development for two years and was successfully funded on Kickstarter in late 2016. Orosound was initially confident enough to promise backers their Tilde earphones would be in the mail in 2017, however that schedule has slipped and the company now expects to ship to backers in January and preorder customers from its website in February. The price has rather changed since those Kickstarter days when the earliest supporters could get a unit for €145, shooting up to €359 today.
Display startup MirraViz is here in Las Vegas this week for CES to show off a gadget that at first blush looks like some arcane trickery, allowing two off-the-shelf DLP projectors to layer images on top of one another so two people can view two different images simultaneously, no glasses required. The technology, which is actually built into the multilayer projector screen, is now on sale as a standalone product the Fremont, California-based startup is selling for $499.Read Article >
Officially called the MultiView Screen, the product takes advantage of how reflective surfaces handle incoming light sources. “The basic physics principle for one of the key optical layers includes the use of retro-reflection (RR) optical elements which are also used in traffic signage and bicycle reflectors,” the company explains on its website. “The basic idea behind retro-reflection is that light reaching one of the RR elements will be reflected back to the source of the light regardless of the incident angle. This is different from typical reflective surfaces that reflect light at an angle equal to the incident angle.”
Samsung is unveiling Flip today at the Consumer Electronics Show, a 55-inch digital whiteboard that can be flipped between portrait and horizontal orientations. It’s designed for meeting rooms, and comes with a height-adjustable stand that can be wheeled around offices freely. Samsung isn’t revealing exactly what operating system or software is powering the Flip, but it looks like the company will support note taking, photos, and other collaborative scenarios on its 4K display.Read Article >
Samsung’s Flip also includes wireless connectivity, USB, PC, and mobile ports so you can connect pretty much any device to the display. You can even share the contents of the screen itself to other PCs, smartphones, and tablets. Up to four people can also draw on the screen with a stylus or their fingers, and there appears to be meeting software to facilitate and store meeting content in a central database.
Innomdle Lab is a South Korean startup that was spun out of Samsung’s incubator, and it’s just about ready to launch its first product: Sgnl, a wristband-slash-watch strap that turns your fingers into a phone receiver. When paired with a phone, you can hear callers by touching your finger to your ear; the vibrations travel down your wrist to your fingertip.Read Article >
The device also has fitness tracking and notification functionality, and it can be fit to pretty much any analog or smart watch or worn by itself. The audio quality was decent in my brief testing, and Innomdle says that Sgnl should be shipping in March, so we shouldn’t have long to find out how well it works in practice.
Back in November, longtime rivals Intel and AMD shocked the computing world when the two companies announced that they’d be teaming up to create laptop chips that combined Intel’s Core line of processors with AMD’s Radeon graphics.Read Article >
And now at CES 2018, the first fruits of that partnership have been revealed, in the form of a pair of Intel Core i5 and i7 chips powered by discrete AMD Radeon RX Vega M GPUs. Along with the processor and GPU, each unit also has 4GB of HMB2 VRAM onboard, which Intel says should help drastically save space internally for laptops while increasing battery life.
When I wrote about Sony’s wonderful, terrible VAIO P a while back, I wondered if modern mobile technology might enable a more successful take on the tiny laptop. UK startup Planet Computers' Gemini isn’t quite a 2018 VAIO P, but if something closer to a 2018 Psion Series 5 will do, you’ll want to read on.Read Article >
The Gemini is a clamshell Android device with an 18:9 ultrawide 1080p screen and a compact but more-or-less full physical keyboard. It runs on a 10-core MediaTek Helio X27 processor and has 4GB of RAM, a 4,220mAh battery, and two USB-C ports. It’s 15.1mm thick when closed and weighs 308g. There are both Wi-Fi-only and LTE-capable models. The software is pretty much stock Android with a useful customized dock that can be brought up anywhere, and you can also dual-boot into Linux for more customization.
Jan 8, 2018
So you’ve heard of Wi-Fi. You might even be on Wi-Fi right now. But what if you hate Wi-Fi? What if you are just really, morally opposed to and personally offended by Wi-Fi, but still want wireless internet? Then finally, you have an answer: Li-Fi — internet delivered via infrared light.Read Article >
Li-Fi is not exactly new, but a company named Oledcomm is one of the first to bring it to market in a way that’s accessible to consumers. It’s created a product named MyLiFi that lets you get internet wirelessly using a lamp and a dongle that plugs into your computer’s USB port. I got to test it out at CES today, and it definitely works. But there are so many drawbacks that I find it hard to imagine why someone would want to buy one.
The FoldiMate was first introduced at last year’s CES to a surprising amount of interest, racking up 8,000 pre-order reservations according to the company’s blog. I say “surprising” because it was a laundry-folding machine that was expected to cost around $850 and took up about as much space as an actual washer. Now the company has just opened up “early pre-order deposits” for its latest version, which is expected to be available at the end of 2019 through a partnership with European home appliances group BSH. The new model aims for a target price of $980 and features a sleeker redesign, though it’s still just as huge.Read Article >
FoldiMate can fold shirts, buttoned-up blouses, and pants from children’s clothes to adult size XXL. The new model can now fold towels and pillowcases, though socks and undergarments are still strictly off the menu. And you’re way out of luck if your wardrobe consists of baby clothes and bulky hoodies. Watch the video below to get a sense of how it works: