Review of CES 2016 and Gadgets I’d Actually Buy

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is well known for being the home of some of the weirdest, most off-the-wall consumer technology that exists. Small companies of all kinds take their wacky ideas to the show floor, hoping to catch the attention of the world. Sometimes, even some large technology companies bring some of their most strangest products to CES, as you’ll see in the list below. There is a catch: Like so much of the gadgetry on display at CES, all of these items aren’t for sale yet. They also don’t have some of the finer details, such as price, worked out yet either.
 1.A gaming laptop that tracks your eye movements
 Tobii has been working for years on eye-tracking sensors for PCs so that you can use your eyes to navigate around the screen. At this year’s show, the company was back with Taiwanese firm MSI to reveal a gaming laptop that fully integrates the eye-tracking technology. What does that mean? It means you can shoot people with your eyes, that’s what. The technology was layered on top of existing games, so that players still control the way a character moves and the general camera angle with a traditional controller. But instead of having to flick through available targets, you can just look at the part of the screen where you want to aim, and then shoot or jump where you want to go. Tobii has partnered with Ubisoft to put the technology into the PC version of “Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate” some time this year, and a representative from Ubisoft said support for the technology will launch with “Tom Clancy’s The Division,” another major title, this spring.

2.RippleMaker
 The RippleMaker is a kitchen gadget that imprints an image on the foam of your coffee drinks. The machine connects to an app on your phone, where you can select from the pre-loaded library of images, or even upload your own. It’s pretty gimmicky — the sort of thing that a coffee shop might be interested in — but the image looks nice and it’s a nice spin on the whole idea of latte a

3.LG Signature Fridge
 What’s the hardest thing about cooking dinner for you? Coming up with a recipe? Prepping veg? The cooking itself? Of course not, it’s opening the fridge door.
 Thankfully, LG is rescuing you from the tedium of opening doors with its Signature Fridge. When you get close to it, this smart kitchen appliance will automatically open. We’re sure that won’t be annoying at

all.

4.This speaker has a levitating UFO floating on top of it
 Because of course it does.
 The magnetically levitating part of the speaker automatically takes off when it’s fully charged, and gently lands itself when it’s almost out of power. It charges wirelessly (of course) and is submersible in water up to a metre deep.
 Called Mars, the speaker is made by a company called Crazybaby. We spoke to them (honestly, our question basically consisted of “wuh?!”) and they told us that as well as being insanely cool, the UFO part is to ensure the sound isn’t dampened or altered by anything. In other words, a speaker floating in space gives off unadulterated 360-degree audio, which is the dream.
 Crazybaby call it “nearly loss-free sound,” and it certainly sounded good even on the noisy show floor. We can’t honestly say we heard a difference from other high-end audio systems, but who cares when it looks like this? After being funded on Indiegogo (it raised about $800k), Mars is now available for preorder for an eye-watering $299 (£205). That’s a lot for a speaker, but probably not a lot for your own levitating UFO sound machine. It’s on Amazon US but not UK, and while Amazon will apparently deliver it to the UK, that costs another $100 (£70) because of fees and suchlike.
 Essentially, this means owning a floating spaceship speaker is probably beyond most of us — but that’s hardly surprising

, is it?

5.Drone maker Parrot wants you to be a better parent.
 At least to the plants at home. Them dying of cold isn’t going to be a valid excuse for much longer, considering that the Parrot Pot sends notifications to your phone about the acidity levels, moisture and simple instructions to keep the plant alive and healthy. You can also fill the reservoir in the pot that can water the plant when

necessary.

6.Imagine if you could be woken up by the alluring aroma of coffee or the relaxing smell of petrichor instead of the jarring sound of a foghorn alarm. For $89, the
 Sensorwake olfactory alarm clock tingles your sense of smell rather than hearing. You can choose from the smell of the sea, jungle, or of food items like croissant, espresso, chocolate and mint.

7.The Straight up creepy
 A caterpillar has to be the weirdest way to teach a kid how to code. The complete details about the toy’s release will be announced at Toy Fair 2016, but the lit up caterpillar looks a bit creepy with that perpetual smile on its face.

8.Worlds most expensive rubber duck

Rubber duckies have been making bath time lots of fun for decades, but we got to see the next evolution in rubber duck tech. The Edwin the Duck rubber ducky is actually a waterproof, Bluetooth-enabled speaker that also interacts with smartphones so very small children can play very cute games, Here’s a rubber duckie that connects to your phone via Bluetooth to let you know when your child’s bathwater is too hot.

In conclusion
 For technology nerds and non-technology nerds alike, the first week of January is an exciting one.
 The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has set up camp in Las Vegas as both big and small technology firms pitch us their new creations.

There’s no shortage of weird on the floor of CES, and there’s tons more than just cool cars and video games for dogs. Look, CES is weird, okay? There’s a reason most normal people don’t go, and it’s not because it’s supposed to be “press only.” While some big companies use it as a place to announce their new products, most smaller companies are throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks and announcing vaporware just to make a name for themselves. Some smart things are awesome. Others make you wear out the word “Why?” It’s enough to make you think that all these “smart gadgets” are pointless, and that the phrase “internet of things” is meaningless. Well, okay, it is meaningless , but some things in the smart device world are actually really interesting

Bottom line,
 putting a couple sensors and a wireless connection in something doesn’t immediately make it better. If CES is good at nothing else, it excels at advertising fancy smart gadgets that nobody needs. However, some devices: watches, fitness trackers, connected TVs, and audio systems, are worth making a little smarter. As we move into 2016, we’re getting a better idea of what we do and don’t want from our connected gear, and manufacturers are taking notice. They’re ham-fisting it at first, like they always do, but it’ll settle down, and this year will be the year we start to see the useful separate from the superfluous. If you’ve been skeptical of a device that didn’t used to have a computer in it, but does now for some reason, it might be worth taking a second look. Just don’t wear a smart belt, okay? That’s too far. But it’s one thing to infuse any garment or accessory with digital smarts, and another to get people to like it.
 This is a down year for CES. Nothing groundbreaking happened here this time around. The world was not changed. But for most of the people here, world-changing gadgets aren’t even the point. It’s about hustling to get their products into our personal, smaller worlds and thereby enrich their own personal, smaller worlds.
 Check the other tech blog for more older posts and follow me on twitter..I follow back and rumble alot

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Originally published at iamgeorgekamau.wordpress.com on January 10, 2016.

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