HIGHLIGHTS FROM CES
The F 015 is a sort of collage of futuristic technological concepts. The smooth, pod-like car is driven by a fuel cell hybrid powertrain that powers the car (on paper at least) up to 684 zero-emission miles (1,100 km), 560 (900 km) of these on fuel cell-derived electricity and 124 (200 km) on battery power. Mercedes gives no indication as to what specific combination of batteries, fuel cells and motors supports that lofty claim, though.
Mercedes also remains pretty quiet about the exterior, outside of stating the obvious – "low-slung front end, smooth and streamlined roof line, flat front windscreen." To that we'd add it has a color scheme reminiscent of last year's Vision G-Code concept, one of our favorites of 2014.
Volkswagen announced its gesture-controlled Golf R Touch concept and new autonomous parking technology.
I caught up with the automaker to get a closer look at these "hands-off" systems. My first stop was behind the wheel of the Golf R Touch concept try out its touch-less gesture-controlled interface.
Volkswagen's goal with this car was to totally eliminate the physical switches, replacing all of the infotainment, climate and environment controls with proximity-aware capacitive systems and gesture controls. For example, placing my hand near the sunroof and swiping in the air caused the glass panel to open. I could use similar swipes to lower and raise the windows or activate the headlamps. The sensors are proximity-aware, only illuminating and activating their icons as my hand approached, adding context to my actions and reducing the amount of unnecessary ambient light in the car at night.
The scooter is supposed to offer users a better, smarter, eco-friendlier and potentially cheaper experience than other scooters or transportation methods. The most interesting feature of the Gogoro SmartScooter is its electric battery, which can be swapped out at special charging stations with the engine still running.
The preloaded app will tell users when the battery needs to be recharged, at which point they’ll be directed to the nearest charging station — Gogoro’s Energy Network modular battery-swapping station looks like a vending machine ready to dispense fresh batteries — to swap out batteries in just six seconds. By paying a monthly subscription, users will be able to access as many batteries as needed
The modular devices allows a user to replace the processor and the camera, the battery and the display of a smartphone, which means, you can essentially personalize the whole smartphone at both operating system and hardware levels.
A new Kickstarter project by Blocks, brings in the modular technology on the wrist. Blocks smartwatch has taken the modular concept and imported it to the mushrooming market of smartwatches. Blocks offers modules for battery, GPS, contactless payments, a microphone, a SIM card for calls and a heart rate monitor. All the modules can be swapped to completely personalise the smartwatch
Sony unveiled a tiny new sensor that works with a smartphone app to improve your tennis game. The installation is simple: Twist the senor in place on the bottom of your tennis racquet handle and launch the app. The sensor will continue to send data throughout your session, including your total shots, spin, and the busiest part of your racquet. You can also record your practice sessions or matches with your smartphone while using the sensor, and then watch it in slow motion later with stats displayed on the side. When you wear out your racquet — or buy a new one — you simply remove the sensor and screw it into the next. Though it's soon to tell if it can compare to something like Babolat, one of our favorite tennis systems, we're looking forward to testing it out more when it hits courts early this year.
Flir One attachment operates through the FLIR ONE app, which displays live infrared imagery that allows users to see the world from a thermal perspective. FLIR ONE detects invisible heat energy, allowing consumers to “see” and measure subtle changes in temperature. By observing minute variations in temperature, FLIR ONE equips consumers with practical solutions, from spotting energy leaks at home, locating a missing pet at night, or seeing in complete darkness.
Virtual reality, the first time Oculus even had a CES booth, instead of just a hidden suite -- but all over the convention, running specific demos or purpose-built experiences. For that reason alone,
virtual reality feels like the front-runner in the new Future of Headsets. But there's another reason: really good, immersive augmented reality feels even harder to achieve.
It's getting tantalizingly close. One evening, I sat up in my room with a Gear VR headset on. I was in an aquarium I fell asleep in a chair, in VR. I woke up and saw fish around me. I couldn't grab them. I could just turn my head.
I pulled off the headset. It felt good, but it's clearly not all the way there yet. I wanted to reach out, to touch things.
I wanted to go deeper. And my eyes hurt, after a while. I could see the pixels in front of me, if I stopped to focus on them.
Here’s a VR device that’s not “yet another head-mounted display”: the Virtuix Omni is a treadmill that gives virtual reality another dimension. Gamers can run in any direction thanks to the 360-degree pad and protective harness. One fearless individual reported that it felt like running on a waxed floor in socks, and a little like the Scooby-Doo gang trying to escape a baddie. It’s another degree of immersion once you get used to the unusual sensation.
Kodak Pixpro SP360
Kodak Pixpro SP360 is not your typical action cam -- something you can tell just by looking at it.
It's a small box of a camera that's shock-, dust-, freeze- and splash proof with almost the entire top taken up with an f2.8 8.25mm lens (35mm equivalent). That is a very, very wide lens capable of capturing a circular 360-degree view in photos or video.