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2015 Techlicious CES Awards

Here are some of the most ambitious and desirable products from the just-concluded CES 2015. To do justice to the vast array of products across this gigantic event, Rajiv Makhni decided to host his very own CES awards. Let the games begin.

brunch Updated: Jan 17, 2015 17:40 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
CES,Rajiv Makhni

The biggest technology show on the planet is just about fading away into the sunset and as always it has played its quirky hand by making most analysts leave very polarised with the outcome. Most of us came in elated and excited with our heads reeling in anticipation of all the new tech goodies and left exhausted and bewildered at what they saw and what they couldn’t see.

CES is big, unwieldy, amazing and frustrating – all at the same time. So, what was the final verdict on this year’s CES and upcoming tech as a whole? To do justice to the vast array of products across this gigantic event, I’ve decided to host my very own CES awards. Let the games begin.

The Wearable – Flyable Tech

The Nixie clamps on to your wrist and looks like a mutant spider gnawing at your bone. On command it detaches from your wrist, flies up in the air, takes Full HD pictures and comes right back and clamps in again. This is the drone-cum camera-cum-wearable equipment that we all needed but just didn’t know it.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a Mad Cat

This is what every gamepad will want to be when it grows up. A gamepad that is a cross between an engineering marvel and a wannabe transformer. The Mad Catz L.Y.N.X. 9 transforming gamepad mechanically rotates, bends, folds, comes apart and reassembles. It can take in your phone, become a QWERTY keypad, it’s insane, outrageous (at $300), beautifully made and it’s making the Terminator very envious.

The Thank-You-For- Making-It

The Panasonic HC-WX970 is a camcorder that’s simple enough for anyone to use and yet the results and capabilities are to the tune of professional broadcaster levels. It records in full 4K, does HDR video, has pro autofocusing and tracking, a 20x Leica optical zoom lens, twin camera function, and 5-axis image stabilisation. Till the broadcasters don’t start 4K telecast, this is your best bet for generating your own 4K content.

The narcissistic selfie creator

Two winners here. The Lenovo Vibe Xtension Selfie Flash features seven LEDs in a circle and the whole thing plugs right into your phone’s headphone jack. Press your camera button and your pouty little selfie face will be beautifully lit up. The next one is the Belfie stick that is made for one thing and one thing alone. It’s a bendable stick which contorts at the perfect angle for you to take that perfect, wholesome, gorgeous shot of your butt. Yup, that’s all it does plus it retails for US$79 and is currently sold out everywhere. Go figure!

The fat guy needs this NOW
Admit it, you’ve gone through this hundreds of times. Eat too much and you have to loosen your belt, sit down on a low chair and the pants feel like they are going to tear your tummy to shreds. Enter the Belty, a motorized belt buckle that tightens and loosens itself automatically. It also has activity-tracking capabilities and will monitor and report changes in waist circumference to an app. Currently the Belty itself looks like a fat, clunky slob of a device but the inventors promise to tighten their belt on design.

The best smartphone that no one will buy again

The LG Flex phone was a design and technology marvel with a curved screen and a self healing back cover. People ooohed and aaahed and then went and bought a Xiaomi Mi 3. The LG Flex 2 has a better screen, better specs and looks even more spectacular and high tech than before. Pity the selling rate may be as dismal as before.

The future car that thinks it’s a lounge

Stunning exteriors right out of a sci-fi movie with a shape that defies all logic, front lights that tell other cars that its coming, interior seats rotate so that everyone can face each other and talk, everything is touch and gesture controlled, the car obviously drives itself and is powered by Hydrogen. This is the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car and as far as cars go – this is as close to an automative orgasm you’re ever going to have.

The TV that thinks it is OLED

OLED TVs are the holy grail of displays. Unfortunately they require you to loot a sacred treasure to buy them. That’s where Samsung JS9500 SUHD TV with Quantum Dot technology steps up to the plate.

It’s a price friendly LCD TV but the additional layer of Quantum Dot gives it vivid, vibrant, dazzling colours and a true black that can rival most OLEDs. Now that’s a ‘quantum’ leap forward.

The Fitness Band that is a geek’s nightmare
Withings Activité Pop looks like a cross between a Swatch and an understated premium Swiss watch. Until you notice a second dial on it. That’s the dial that counts your steps and distance and goal. This is the fitness band you need if style and elegance are more important than a nerdy plastic band shouting out psychedelic neon digits.

From HT Brunch, January 18, 2015
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First Published: Jan 17, 2015 17:18 IST