30 Hot Products At CES 2016

A Big CES 2016 Splash

Buckle up! CES 2016 kicks off this week in Las Vegas, so prepare for gadget overload from car tech to wireless everything, IoT everywhere and flocks of drones buzzing high above the 3,631 companies exhibiting this year at the world’s largest gadget fest.

Virtual reality pioneer Oculus Rift along with a big Internet of Things push by Intel represent two major themes we’ll be hearing a lot about this week. Carmakers are also putting the pedal to the metal by demonstrating everything from autonomous vehicles to new ways to turn the back seat of your car into an Internet-enabled entertainment center.

Then there is new TV tech from LG, Samsung and Sony, which will be showing off gigantic eye-popping 4-K HDTVs with new smart TV technology, including one called high dynamic range. And there is more, including Windows 10-enabled PCs, tablets and 2-in-1s along with CES’ weird and wonderful head-scratcher gadgets such as a breathalyzer to detect fat.

Here is what's hot this year at CES.

Cisco Demonstrates Entire Connected Home Suite

Every year the Internet of Things becomes more relevant to device makers at CES as companies such as Cisco and Intel make chips smaller and lower-powered and create ever-smarter networks. Cisco this week will execute an all-out blitz of its Cisco Connected Home software applications. To IoT, Cisco represents one of the key architects when it comes to the behind-the-scenes network.

This week at CES, Cisco is talking IoT security and reliability just as a flood of smart appliances begin to shift from far-fetched to kitchen, living room and washroom essentials. One Cisco offering launched here at CES includes Cisco Home Guard, which provides complete cybersecurity protection for all connected devices in the home.

Virtual Reality

Ever since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent $2 billion to acquire Oculus Rift in March 2014, virtual reality has been white hot. CES 2016 will see an onslaught of virtual reality headsets, VR content and technology. One of those offerings come from HTC and its Vive headset that uses cameras to track how a user walks around a room and augments the environment with virtual objects and simulations within the headset.

Along with a "very, very big technological breakthrough" in the development of its Hive virtual reality headset, HTC says it will shows off new virtual reality content called "Job Simulator," "The Gallery: Call of the Starseed" and "The Blu: Encounter."

LG’s ThinQ Hub Tries To Outsmart Amazon Echo

The success of the Internet-connected Amazon Echo, a voice-activated home appliance, has attracted some stiff competition, including one from LG. The consumer electronics giant hopes outsmart the Amazon Echo with its own LG Smart ThinQ Hub, released this week at CES.

The ThinQ is a Bluetooth speaker capable of streaming audio, but its real purpose is to function as a command center. It is designed to act as connector to smart sensors embedded in LG appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, ovens, robotic vacuum cleaners and air conditioners. While ThinQ does not support speech commands like Amazon Echo, it does have a 3.5-inch color LCD display. The device connects to a smartphone app and allows two-way communication with smart appliances and smart sensors in the home. It’s compatible with a wide range of smart sensors that are all part of the AllJoyn Alliance.

Glasses That Promote Best Gadget Ergonomic Practices

Kids and gadgets go together like peanut butter and jelly. But those early years of screen time can take their toll on a child’s posture and lead to headaches and vision problems as they spend hours texting, gaming and watching. To help promote better gadget ergonomics in children, EyeForcer has devised a novel approach to enforcing healthier screen-time habits via a pair of glasses.

EyeForcer, according to the company, "controls the use of electronic devices, limiting screen time and promoting proper posture - if kids are playing too long or start to slouch the glasses will switch off their device."

LG’s ’Magic’ WebOS 3.0

LG will make a host of TV-related announcements starting with an updated WebOS 3.0 Smart TV platform. The update, according LG, is huge and includes features such as Magic Zoom (allowing users to magnify portions of the screen), Magic Mobile Connection (which connects a phone to the TV so you can display apps on your HDTV’s screen) and an updated Magic Remote (which turns the LG remote into a universal remote for your TV, set-top box and DVR).

IBM Brings Watson To CES

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty delivers one of many keynotes this year at CES. One of the expected themes will be Internet of Things and its own Watson Technology that is now finding its way into a fleet of enterprise business solutions and a growing number of consumer gadgets. One of those gadgets is a 7-inch CogniToys Dino.

The CogniToys Dino is an Internet-connected and cloud-based kids toy that IBM says can grow with your child, delivering "smart, fun and interactive learning." The $100 toy will try to engage children by "understanding" their developmental ability and spark engagement via a "Friendgine" designed to appeal to a child’s unique personality. IBM says the Friendgine is based on Watson’s cognitive processing technology.

Car Tech

More than nine major carmakers are at CES 2016 this year demonstrating everything from autonomous driving, electric cars, onboard wireless networks and hands-free driving tools. One of those car makers is newcomer Faraday Future, which will unveil an electric concept car that hopes to give Tesla a run for its money.

On the heels of announcing a plan to build a $1 billion factory in Nevada, Faraday Future will takes the wraps off its mysterious "car of the future" at a press event on Monday in Las Vegas, ahead of CES.

Windows 10 Hardware: Tablets, 2-in-1s and Laptops

Major PC manufacturers Dell, HP Inc and Lenovo have each scheduled press conferences and press product tours to unveil their latest gear this week. Most will showing off Windows 10 hardware off the crowded show floor at private suites.

Announcements will include hardware that sports the latest laptop and tablet developments such as USB-C ports and of course also centered on Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system and Intel’s 6th-generation chips. Expect to see more impressive offerings that will give Microsoft’s much ballyhooed Surface Book and Apple’s iPad Pro a run for their money.

Connected Home: Smart Lights

On the smart home front, we are bracing for smart bulbs at near every turn. Features for smart bulbs are indistinguishable with the exception of one entry this year from TikTeck. The company hopes to disrupt the niche of smart bulbs with pricing that starts at $9 for bulbs that can be controlled with your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone. This TikTech light bulb support Bluetooth mesh networking - meaning homes with multiple bulbs (up to 64 bulbs) can be networked together and maintained simultaneous as one.

Bleeding Edge

We love CES because it gives you a front row to see ambitious original tech that tries to create a new niche as opposed to ride the coattails of an existing trend. Enter French nano-electronics research institute Leti. Researchers will be on the show floor demonstrating a new TV White Space modem this it claims will be the first wide-area, wireless technology based on the new IEEE 1900.7 standard. The technology, Leti says, hopes to help bridge the digital divide by providing high-speed Internet service over long-distances (40 miles) from just one access point using the same radio spectrum used to broadcast a TV signal.

Fringe Healthcare Gizmos: Breathalyzer For Fat

Along with connected blood pressure monitors and self-reporting heart rate monitors will be those gadgets that are just a little too far outside of the mainstream. Take Levl who seeks to help the overweight get a handle on their eating habits with a new device that can measure how much fat you are burning based on one breath.

New HDVT Tech: High Dynamic Range

At CES we’ve watched as the HDTVs get bigger, smarter and as TV makers squeeze more pixels into their displays. This year the HDTV buzz isn’t oversized TVs, it’s about High Dynamic Range (HDR). LG, Sony, Panasonic and TCL are each launching 4K TVs that feature HDR and 4K content. HDR video is the newest HDTV technology that enables a TV to give video the appearance of more detail and vibrancy. It does this by increasing the color and color brightness range allowing a video to show greater range color and brightness range between pixels. The result are images on an HDTV can have a wider and more accurate gamut of color and brightness represented.

Oculus Rift

With pre-orders for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and system starting this quarter, expect maximum hype around the launch at CES from the virtual reality pioneer. Oculus Rift will dominate what is called the Gaming and Virtual Reality Marketplace on the show floor. Oculus Rift's offering, according to reports, has already started shipping final product to developers. Expect to see plenty attendees sporting VR goggles going "wow."

LG Lets The HDTV Cat Out Of The Bag

LG will be showing off its LG Signature line of OLED HDTVs that are part of the consumer electronics blitz of CES products that also include refrigerators, washing machines and air purifiers. The LG Signature HDTVs, we can only assume, will feature the revamped ’Magic’ WebOS 3.0 along with 4K OLED TVs and ULTRA HD TVs.

BMW Brings Gesture Control To Driver Seat

German car maker BMW will unveil a gesture-based interface for drivers that allows them to control key car features with a wave of their hand. BMW calls the technology AirTouch, giving drivers gesture-control to do simple tasks such as control a music system, operate a phone and fine tune navigation systems.

"AirTouch allows the display in a vehicle to be operated like a touchscreen without actually having to make contact with the surface," said BMW in an official release.

Letv Shows Off 120-Inch 4K Ultra HD TV

You might need a bigger living room to accommodate Letv’s latest 120-Inch 4K Ultra HD TV. This massive TV sports some impressive specs that include a resolution of 3840x2160 and a 120Hz refresh rate along with 3D video support. Inside this tall drink of HDTV, you’ll find a 1.4GHz quad-core CPU, a Mali-T760 quad-core GPU and 3GB of RAM – rivaling some late model PCs.

Sony: Xperia Z6

CES is not a smartphone-centric show. Mobile World Congress, taking place next month in Barcelona, Spain, is where most of 2016’s big smartphone news will come from. But that doesn’t mean smartphones will be absent from the CES show floor. Sony, for one, is going be showing off its line of premium Xperia phones. One phone to be on the lookout for is Sony’s Xperia Z6 Lite which is the company’s mid-range version of the popular line of phones with a starting price of $390. The phone will have a 5-inch display filling out the family of Xperia’s between the Z6 and Xperia Compact budget model phone.

Samsung: Galaxy S7?

All eyes are on Samsung to give attendees a peek at the new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. But don’t get your hopes up, unless you’re one of the lucky few that might get a demo off the show floor behind closed doors. But Samsung will have a truckload of new products on display this week from connected washing machines all the way to its BRITECELL camera technology.

We’ll be hearing more about BRUITECELL technology, which is a mobile camera technology announced earlier this year. The technology, which is rumored to be in the Galaxy S7, can take magnificent pictures in low light conditions translating in less distortion and color ambiguity in images.

Budget Augmented Reality Goggles

The consumer version of Oculus Rift and a PC that can run it properly will be at least $1,500, according to experts. That’s why, here at CES this week, we’ll be eager to hear from Asus that says it will be creating an affordable version of the competing goggles from Microsoft HoloLens.

The difference between virtual reality Oculus Rift goggles and Microsoft’ augmented reality goggles is that while Oculus transforms you into a different virtual reality environment, HoloLens simply overlays virtual reality objects and animation over a real world environment.

We don’t know what Asus’s definition of "more affordable," but we are hoping it’s way less than the rumored price tag north of $1,000.

Robot House Cleaners

Yet another trend this week is domestic robots. One comes from LG and an update to its CordZero line of housecleaning gizmos. We’ll see a new HOM-BOT Turbo+, a vacuum embedded with augmented reality that provides a carpet-level view of your home allowing you to vacuum and explore under the couch and discover that long lost TV remote via a camera that can be viewed on your smartphone.

The HOM-BOT’s Triple Eye camera sensors, more importantly, allows the vacuum to track where it has already cleaned. This allows the cord-free vacuum to maximize time between charges and clean a room faster.

Electric Wheels

While major automakers will have a huge presence this week, an impressive fleet of smaller wheeled carts, bikes and contraptions will also be here. Move over hoverboards, Segway is planning to make a big announcement scheduled for Wednesday.

Along with electric skateboards and other two wheeled ride-ables, electronic car maker Arcimoto will show off its latest $11,900 3-wheeled Generation 8 SRK dune-buggy looking vehicle. Arcimoto claims, what it calls a cross between a motorcycle and a sports car, can do zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds and travel between 70 and 130 miles between charges carrying two passengers and gear.

Wireless Charging

We’ve heard a lot about wireless charging for years and are still waiting for it to become a mainstream technology that allows us to ditch all our wires, power bricks and power dongle adapters. Ossia hopes to bring us one step closer to living a wire-free world with the debut of a new chip (made by Si-Ware Systems) that support wireless charging up to 30 feet away. Ossia new technology can charge up to eight devices simultaneously using a wireless technology similar to WiFi. Ossia uses its own Cota wireless charging technology and is capable of delivering up to 10 watts of power through walls and floors within a 30 foot radius.

AT&T Ups IoT Game With Major ’Smart Cities’ Announcement

Telecommunications giant AT&T will announce a big push into the Internet of Things arena with a "smart cities" partnership with, as of yet, unnamed cities. AT&T’s plan was confirmed by AT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie who spoke to Re/Code stating that CES would be a springboard to announce a new "smart cities" initiative.

Smart cities is jargon used by IoT leaders such as Cisco, IBM and Microsoft. Each use sensors to monitor a city’s power, traffic and pollution levels to help local governments better manage resources to improve energy consumption, transportation and health.

Attack Of The Drones

This year at CES, there will be more drones buzzing around than flies to swat at during a backyard barbecue. CES increased by 200 percent the amount of show floor space dedicated to drones. Among the near 30 drone exhibitors are DJI, Yuneec, Hobbico Inc. and Squadrone Systems, Fleye, and AUVSI.

Drone: Bebop 2

Drone maker Parrot, at CES, will be showing off its new drone, Bebop 2, that feature affordability, battery life a cruising speed of 37mph. Starting at $550 for the basic model (no extras) the Bebop 2 has a flight time of 23 minutes, a 14-megapixel camera, weighs 1.06 pounds and supports a number of autonomous flying capabilities.

Drone: Vivitar’s Stunt Drone

Vivitar will be flying, at CES, a new Air Defender Quad-Copter Done. Its standout feature is the drone’s optimization for stunts such as back flips. The drone has 32 LED lights embedded into it, apparently for night flights, and also includes a 16-megapixel camera. Pricing isn’t available at this time.

Samsung’s Rink: A Hand-Based Motion Controller

Piggybacking on its virtual reality success with its Samsung Gear VR goggles, the South Korean tech giant will announce a hand-motion controller that works with its existing VR line. Called Rink, the hardware wraps around your wrist and tracks hand movements allowing you to do things such as touch your finger to your ear to play music. Rink is specifically designed to enhance in-game functionality. No word if it the technology will be integrated into its line of smartwatches.

Pocket Air Quality Detector

Poor air quality can be a serious health issue to those with asthma. Pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide can cause inflamed airways, eye irritation and damage to the respiratory tract. CielPur is rolling out a pocket-sized air quality sensor that can measure air quality including fine particles, volatile organic compounds, carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity. CielPur uses a companion smartphone app to delivers alerts, essential data, graphs and air quality advice to users.

Weird and Wonderful Mattress Alarm

And of course, no CES could be complete without head-scratching tech such as an alarm for your Android or iOS device tied to a sensor strategically sandwiched between a boxspring and mattress. You guessed it, after the alarm, made by Spritely, goes off the only way you can silence it is by getting out of bed. If you think you can outsmart the alarm by turning off your phone (or if it should run out of a charge in the middle of the night) Spritely’s failsafe alarm goes off.

Smart Watch For Women

There will be a sea of smartwatches at CES this year, but few of those companies showing off their wares will have the track record of Huawei. The China-based electronics maker releases a new women edition smartwatch this week in Las Vegas.

Huawei’s Watch Women Edition 2, is made of gold and is a lot slimmer, has a longer battery life and made with more attention to detail than previous models. But the biggest expected update will be the introduction of cellular connectivity, making it less dependent on a companion smartphone.

Kitchen Screen

The kitchen has been ground-zero for companies to infiltrate the home with smart appliances. The latest offering comes from Sungale, which this week introduces Netchef G3 and Kitchen Screen. As much as we were hoping it would have our eggs and coffee waiting for us each morning, the NetChef will act more as a cooking coach. The hands-free device, shaped like a mini breadbox, is voice activated and has a screen, camera and sensors. Functions include being able to ask it to search for recipes, being able to tell it to add things to a groceries list and keeping you entertained via music and videos as you cook.