Top 10 Tech Items from CES 2016

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show was the most gadget-riffic yet! Here are the 10 coolest items we encountered.

Giroptic 360 Degree Camera

The first real contender we’ve seen in bringing personal virtual reality capture to consumers comes from Giroptic with their 360 Cam. Handheld and battery-powered, the 360 Cam uses a three-camera array to snap full surround images, and internal tech actually stitches the pics together, requiring a minimum of editing know-how of the user and making for easy sharing on social platforms like YouTube or Facebook. 

Fitbit Blaze

Fitbit’s massive popularity in the health-focused wearable arena is finally getting parlayed into a device with some style. The Fitbit Blaze was introduced at CES this week to be more of a watch with a Fitbit than a Fitbit by itself. The Blaze has a color touchscreen that allows much more control and information than its predecessor. It still feels a bit more flimsy than we’d hope, but it’s a huge leap forward for the fitness-centric device now that it includes call and text notifications. 

LG SmartThinQ Hub

Don’t you dare call the SmartThinQ an Amazon Echo clone. After all, LG’s new home speaker/controller/thingamajig has an LCD screen! We do love the ease that a home controller affords, especially when it comes with accurate voice control over our wifi and Bluetooth home devices, so we’ll happily take LG’s offerings. In such an important space, it’s good to see a little competition. 

LG OLED G6 HDTV

Nothing at CES fulfilled our need to see so-thin-they’re-flexible displays come home, but the G6 came damn close. We’ll be honest, shy of a TV that we can magnetically slap on a wall, there’s little that can be done in the TV arena that would knock our socks off but, if the G6 is an indicator of what’s soon to be the normal flat screen, we certainly don’t mind. 

Recon Instruments and Empire Paintball’s HUD

One of the most exciting wearables at the show, this facemask/helmet actually integrates a heads up display via screen inside the mask and a bunch of sensors to help orient you in space as well as tag teammates. GoPro controls can also be integrated in case you’d like to record your “kills.” It’s a niche product that has bigger applications down the line beyond paintball but, for now, we’ll gladly murk opponents when we have a high-tech edge. 

Nixie Personal Drone

What’s not to like about a drone that can wrap to your wrist, ready at your whims to snap pics from a literal bird’s eye view when you need it. Simply unfurl the Nixie from your wrist and toss it out, and it will record video from a short distance and then come right back to you. It’s an amazing technological take on a boomerang that will pave the way to move away from GoPro’s first person views to a much cooler third person action cam down the line. 

Faraday Future FFZERO1

Of course, an electronic car that looks like a Batmobile made our list. And no surprise, the Faraday FFZERO1 concept made a splash at the show. Beyond the amazing look of the car, the FFZERO1 is the concept playground for Faraday’s upcoming projects, letting their engineers test out different systems. It’s a necessary step for a company that’s looking to burst quickly on the scene and immediately become a Tesla competitor. 

BMW Airtouch 3D

BMW seems to understand that the move for car control panels to a touchscreen has left all of us taking our eyes off the road, even for simple things like adjusting radio volume. Enter Airtouch 3D, a sensor in the Beemer’s dashboard that allows it to react to gestures the driver makes in the air. We’re still a ways off from shifting gears with an air gesture, but simple controls like volume, navigating menus and even making calls can now be made without ever touching a button or screen. 

 

HP Envy Curved All-in-One

HP Envy PCs have been doing great things with form factors for a while now, but this is the first time we’re seeing a screen on one that wraps around your workstation. The all-in-one PC has plenty of high-end specs to choose from, but the real appeal here is the massive, 34" curved screen. It’s a great form for a PC that somehow puts all the components into a sleek screen that should save the average person from a dual-monitor setup. 

Belkin iPhone+Apple Watch Combo Charging Dock

We’re shocked that Apple didn’t bring this solution to market themselves. Belkin is picking up the slack by putting two Apple essentials, an iPhone Dock and an Apple Watch charger, side by side on the same accessory. Destined to revamp your nightstand, the combo dock is a long overdue addition to any Apple fan’s collection, an itch that’s needed a scratch since the Apple Watch debuted. 


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