Each year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) -- which ran till January 9 in Las Vegas -- plays host to a multitude of innovative new high-tech gadgets. Here’s a rundown of the top 10 hottest products from this year’s show.
Fitness-tracker specialist Fitbit was on-hand in Vegas to present its latest smartwatch. The Blaze is a particularly stylish model that stands out from the rest of the firm’s range with a look reminiscent of the Apple Watch and a colour LCD. The Fitbit Blaze is announced at $199.95 and expected to ship in March 2016.
Japanese start-up Logbar presented iLi, a compact wearable device that can translate any sentence spoken into its microphone into one of three languages then deliver it back through an on-board speaker -- no Internet connection required. As yet, the device only works with English, Japanese and Chinese. French, Thai and Korean should follow soon. Release dates are yet to be announced.
LG Signature G6
South Korean manufacturer LG has caused something of a stir with its G6, a 77-inch 4K TV with an OLED screen that’s just 2.57mm thick. Note that LG has 65-inch and 55-inch (LG G5) models on show at CES too. The Signature G6 is due out in March 2016.
This prototype is essentially a robotic personal chef that can cook up whole host of dishes from ingredients that slot into the device in compartments, almost like printer cartridges. New recipes can be downloaded and automatically cooked by the robot at the correct temperature and for the right amount of time.
The D-Vine is a wine-tasting machine that can serve a glass of wine at exactly the right temperature in just a few seconds. Like a Nespresso-machine of the wine world, the D-Vine serves each glass from a cartridge-style wine pod that slots into the machine. A rinse cycle flushes out any residue with water between each glass served. The D-Vine will start shipping in January priced €499-699 ($550-760) depending on the model. Note that creator 10-Vins won the “Best Startup” award at this year’s show.
OhMiBod Lovelife krush
Smart-vibrator maker OhMiBod presented the Lovelife krush, a gadget designed to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can become weakened during pregnancy or simply with age. After each exercise, onboard sensors capture and send information to a smartphone app that logs the data. The Lovelife krush is due out in spring 2016.
The world’s first UHD (Ultra-High Definition) Blu-ray players were officially launched at this year’s CES, including the Panasonic DMP-UB900. This is compatible with current Blu-ray discs and DVDs, and features an onboard upscaling function -- although movies on low-res discs won’t be rendered with the same razor-sharp level of detail as films actually encoded in UHD. The UB900 is ‘smart’ too, with Wi-Fi connectivity and an on-board web browser. The Panasonic DMP-UB900 is slated for release in Europe in spring 2016.
French drone-maker Parrot has presented a new model with a minimalist, bird-like design, inspired by and at one with nature. This flying gadget has an ultra-light build (700g) but still manages to pack in several sensors and a front-facing video camera. The drone promises flight speeds of up to 80km/h (approx. 50 mph). Price and release dates are yet to be confirmed.
Fisher Price Code-A-Pillar
Fisher Price was at CES presenting a robot caterpillar designed to teach the basics of coding to kids aged three and up. Each of the bug’s eight segments programs it to move in a different way. When switched on, the caterpillar runs through all the commands in order to move in a specific sequence. Kids can modify this sequence by rearranging the order of the segments, teaching them similar skills to those required for computer coding. Code-A-Pillar will launch in the USA in summer 2016 priced at $49.99.
This isn’t the first time that the Oculus Rift has been previewed, but the big news from CES 2016 is that it’s available to pre-order for $599 in the US in Europe. The headset is a reference in the field of virtual reality and features two adjustable AMOLED screens, a microphone and an integrated audio system with detachable headphones. The Oculus Rift will start shipping in Q1 2016.