CES 2015 – The Official Review

A couple of weeks ago, while we were busy pelting his office with peanuts, Brad Harris, our VP of Technology, was at CES. He has (probably) forgiven us for #FusionGun and agreed to share some of the more interesting things he saw during his trip. Read his thoughts on the spectacle below:

4k/Curved TVs were everywhere.  I personally don’t get the appeal, but be ready to see your neighbors purchasing curved tvs for some reason.  There are a lot of 360 Cameras now and they appear to have easy to use software built into them.  Augmented/Virtual Reality is really going to expand late in 2015 and early 2016.  Check out Samsung VR for an alternative to Oculus hardware.  Augmented Reality glasses or Enhanced Reality glasses (FYI – that’s not really a term) like Google Glass are still a ways off from mainstream.  For Augmented Reality frameworks, check out vuforia.com and intel’s realsense.

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image via cnn.com

Something fun was face tracking.  This is real-time face tracking and animation. There is also face age tracking.  It attempts to guess age, mood, gender, etc. by scanning your face.

Also worth mentioning is the large number of companies that do eye-tracking for computer interactions now.  Check out tobii.com/eyex for more information.

There were tons of drones at CES as well.  The coolest appeared to be those that can swarm and act independently.  Check out microdrone 3.0 and Zano for some cool examples of a drone that can fit in the palm of your hand. There were $100 drones and $10,000 drones.  Both were cool.

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image via usnews.com

There will be about a million new smart watches this year. Making apps that interact with smart watches and wearables will be a big deal.  Other wearables like smart rings and necklaces will be popular as well. Ampl is producing a smart backpack that is basically a wearable battery.

All the big players were pushing the smart/connected home, although it seems like they’ve pushed it for a long time now.  Look for plants that tweet, lights that switch on, sensors that measure air quality, and everything controlled through your smartphone. Oomi is trying to take the approach of having a nest-like thermostat for your entire house.

3D printers are everywhere.  My favorite is the foodiniYou can print pizza, candy and cookies.  I’m not kidding, it is horrifying and awesome at the same time.  The main problem with 3d printers is the slow print speed; no companies have really cracked that nut.  To print something like a bottle opener it will take at least 20 minutes.  One really cool 3d printer is one that produces custom circuits though.  That is really impressive.

On the other end of 3d printing is 3d scanning.  Artec had a booth that would allow people to get their body scanned and then send off for printing. There were a number of companies showing off no-glasses-needed 3d displays.  These TVs or pieces of hardware convert 2d signals into 3d movies.  It’s not great and really needs some work to hit mainstream, but it does have a neat eye-catching effect.

Other cool stuff included a mirror from Panasonic that would show you how you look with a different hairstyle, insta-printing digital cameras from Polaroid, lots of fitness trackers including Fitbark for your dog, and last but not least: this awesome video: