The best and weirdest of CES 2016

  • Rajiv Makhni
  • Updated: Jan 23, 2016 21:41 IST

It’s tough to stand out when the competition numbers more than a million and each is more innovative and smarter than the last. That pretty much sums up the story of the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Vegas this year. Continuing my list of the best (and so-innovative-it’s-weird) of CES 2016.

Panasonic Point-and-Shoot 4K Camera Panasonic really seemed to be out to prove a point. Apart from being one of the few to actually have a 4K Blu Ray player (the DMP-UB900), they also had the first simple point-and-shoot camera that can do 4K. The LUMIX DMC-ZS60 is small, light, sturdy and as easy to use as can be. It has a powerful sensor, a high-end Leica lens, a 30X optical zoom and 4K video recording. And it should be in India soon.

Just aim and click: Panasonic’s LUMIX is the first simple point-and-shoot camera to do 4k.

Nikon KeyMission 360 Action Cam CES was full of terribly named products and this one easily makes it to that list. It also makes it to the most jaw-dropping gadget’s list. The KeyMission 360 is a 4K 360-degree VR action camera that is shockproof upto two metres and waterproof upto 30 metres. With two enormous lenses placed on both sides, it can shoot 360-degree shots with the press of a button.

Get into action: Nikon’s KeyMission 360 action camera was much talked about at CES.

Parrot Disco Drone Another addition to the list of terribly named products that are actually amazing on closer inspection. Most drones in popular culture are those fixed-wing things that fly strong and silent many miles up in the sky. This is one of them — a fixed-wing drone that launches vertically and can reach speeds of up to 50mph. Parrot usually messes up between demonstrating something and actually releasing it. I really hope the Disco doesn’t go down that path.

LeTV Le Max Phone This is the phone that just released in India and also made serious waves at CES 2016. An all-metal body, one of the thinnest bezels on a smartphone (1.6mm), a 21MP camera, 192-point auto-focus system, quad-HD display, fingerprint scanner and IR Blaster remote control. LeTV seems to tick every box with this phone.

Samsung Welt Another contender for the title of worst name. This one wins on the weird front too. It’s the world’s first smart belt. It’ll measure your waist every day, tell you if you’ve eaten too much, how many steps to take to walk those excess calories off and also how much time you spent sitting. A talking belt is hard to ‘digest’.

Weight watcher: Samsung’s Welt is a smart belt that watches your weight.

LG V10 Phone LG comes in strong with a new smartphone every few years and tends to fade away right after. Once again, it comes in huffing and puffing with the V10. Hope it doesn’t blow itself away this time. The V10 has a dual display, dual front-cameras, a military-grade build and optical stabilisation on the camera that can even shoot an earthquake without trembling.

HTC Vive Pre Headset Oculus Rift may be the dominant player in the Virtual Reality business, but it finally has serious competition with the HTC Vive Pre. In addition to all the VR features a headset needs to have, this one also displays a virtual blueprint of the real world. It uses a front-facing camera so you steer clear of bumps as you move around with it strapped on to your head.

More than a headset: The HTC Vive Pre uses a front-facing camera to help you avoid any obstacles.

Huawei Mate 8 Between LeTV, LG V10 and this one, we may have the top three phones of CES 2016. The Huawei Mate 8 has a 6-inch 1080p display, a 4,000mAh battery and great optics and specs that can make other phones actually start sounding their alarm bells. It will be released in India at an aggressive price.

Sensorwake Clock Don’t like alarms jarring you from your sleep? How about waking up to the scents of the ocean, a lush jungle, a freshly baked croissant, a hot coffee or peppermint? This clock can release those fragrances and aromas just around the time you want to wake up. And if that doesn’t work, it will still sound a shrill alarm three minutes later. Amazing or weird, you decide!

Smell the coffee: The Sensorwake clock wakes you up with good smells. (From SensorWake)

Bonjour Alarm Clock Smartwatches didn’t take off like they were supposed to. Instead, smart clocks dominated CES this year. And the Bonjour is one of the best. This is a completely voice-controlled and internet-enabled alarm clock that also fetches all kinds of information from your calendar and travel plans to weather and news updates.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, January 24, 2016

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