CES 2016: Cool Gadget Roundup From Day Four

The Home Stretch

As CES 2016 winds down, there is no shortage of cutting-edge gear, product demos and strange sights to stumble upon on the floor of the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center. For the past week, the CRN team has been here racking up some pretty impressive activity tracker points walking miles of showroom floor each day.

So with only a day left to go before CES 2016 is put in the history books, here is a last look at some of the hottest new gear debuting at this year's show -- from a mirror that lets you preview different makeup looks without the makeup, to an ultra-compact, plug-in car to a foldable e-bike.

MasterCard's Vision Of The Future Smart Gas Pump

MasterCard wants to update gas pumps so they know who you are. Here at CES, the credit card company said it was working on building a smarter gas pump tied to a companion gas app. By marrying the gas pump to the smartphone app, it said, gas stations could allow you to pay to fill up your tank the same way you pay for an Uber ride -- through the app. The gas pump app would also point you to the cheapest gas nearby.

By allowing the smart gas pump to link to an app, you could more easily earn and redeem reward points, MasterCard said. A gas station might also choose to offer incentives to your app to get you to fill up there.

GoPro Spherical For Consumers

GoPro was showing off a 360-degree camera for consumers that allows you to create content to be viewed later on a touch-screen device. There, you can navigate either videos or images with your finger. Want to see what's going on in the video to the right? Just swipe the video image to the left and find out. GoPro said the spherical camera rig is also capable of shooting for Oculus and a host of other virtual reality platforms.

TCL Affordable 4K

Everywhere you look, there's a new ultra-high-definition (UHD or 4-K) television at CES. But only a very few UHD TV makers had panels priced for a mass market. One of those TV makers is TCL, who said it would begin selling 4-K TVs this year with a starting price of $600 for a 55-inch model. A 55-inch 4-K TV sells for twice that today.

Getting A Makeover Without The Makeup

Modiface was showing off an augmented reality mirror that allows you to change your look by using settings at the bottom of a screen. You can simulate makeup and skin-care looks, apply anti-aging treatments, whiten teeth and change the color of your eyes -- for starters.

This latest in a line of Modiface mirrors is the ModiFace Mirror HD and is designed for retail environments. The latest revision to the Modiface mirror family adds gesture support, allowing users to change lipstick colors by kissing the camera or changing eye products by raising an eyebrow.

Affordable Virtual Reality From Matel

It's no secret virtual reality is all the rage at CES this year. It's also no secret that virtual reality headsets and the beefy PCs needed to run VR won't be cheap. For instance: Dell's X51 Alienware midrange desktop PC to run Oculus Rift starts at $1,200.

But you don't have to dig deep to sample virtual reality. Try Matel's update to its classic View-Master based on the Google Cardboard VR platform. The View-Master is a plastic VR viewer that lacks much of the sophistication of more expensive VR headsets, for sure. But the View-Master is built extremely well and all you need to do to get started is download VR content to your phone, stick the phone in the front of the View-Master and start looking around. The best part: Matel charges only about $25 for the headset. Matel also sells Experience Packs that can be purchased separately for about $15.

Denso Ultra-Compact Electric Car

Automotive component manufacturer Denso is showing off this compact electric car that plugs into the Pico-Grid power system. What makes the Pico-Grid power system unique is that the recharging stations will be where users can swap out a depleted battery for one that has been charged. Denso says the Pico-Grid leverage solar power to recharge the batteries.

Virtual Social Networking

VTime is a free social network based on virtual reality, not a static, two-dimensional world such as Second Life. With it, you can meet your friends in a virtual world that you can explore by looking around using the Samsung Gear VR. The company behind vTime, Starship, says the social network is still in development but already has thousands of users around the world logging on.

The Eyes Of Autonomous Vehicles

What does an autonomous vehicle see as it drives? Take a look at this Ford demonstration of the "ultra puck" made by Velodyne LiDAR. In this demonstration the pucks are mounted to the top of a Ford vehicle and easily identify people nearby. The sensors enable a driverless vehicle to create a real-time, 3-D map of its surroundings.

Foldable E-Bike Fits In Your E-Car's Trunk For When You Run Out Of Juice

Ford is showing off not just smart e-cars, but smart e-bikes. This is the MoDe:Me foldable bike prototype, which comes with a 200-watt motor and a 9-amp-hour battery, and can hit a maximum speed of 16 mph. A version of the MoDe:Me keeps tabs on your heart rate via the handlebars, and when the bike detects your heart rate going up, will start pedaling for you. The bike is part of Ford's Smart Mobility Plan.

Breathtaking Picture Quality

LG demonstrated its Super UHD TVs, which can re-create colors, contrast and detail that words can never fully convey. This massive, 98-inch, 8-K beast features ultra-HD screen resolution (3,840 by 2,160) and advanced backlight display, High Dynamic Range (HDR) color capabilities and LG's Color Prime tech for enhanced color brightness. You really have to see it to believe it, as the saying goes. LG wouldn't reveal pricing and availability of the TV. But, remember, if you have to ask how much it costs, you probably can't afford it.

What's Old In Tech Is Still Old

Various types of turntables were out in force at this CES with Audio-Technica's AT-LP60-BT Wireless Turntable making its debut. Sony announced its PS-HX500 turntable, which converts vinyl into high-resolution audio files. Panasonic unveiled two new "Grand Class" Technics models at CES. One of those turntables is a rerelease of its legendary direct-drive Grand Class SL-1200G turntable, which goes on sale later this year for $4,000.

Why so many CES turntables? Sony Electronics president Mike Fasulo said at CES, "Millennials are just loving vinyl."

Panasonic Business Class Waterfront Seat

Panasonic's Waterfront seat is a business-class air traveler's dream come true.

Panasonic's Avionics division showed off its next-generation business-class seat, which includes a spacious cockpit, 4-K TV, wireless charging, and a companion tablet that acts as a control panel for ordering food or selecting entertainment. The seat also includes noise-canceling headphones equipped with VioP for calls from seat to seat or beyond. Along with updating bells and whistles, Panasonic gave the onboard entertainment system a serious upgrade with what it calls the X Series inflight entertainment.

Panasonic says the seats are available today and business-class travelers can expect the seats in select airplanes in 2019.

Flying Coach With A Little More Style

Along with rolling Waterfront for business-class, Panasonic also took a crack at jazzing up coach seats with some nice high-tech touches. These Jazz Seat backs, as Panasonic calls them, are packed with gadget-friendly features such as multiple input and output ports for HDMI and USB along with an inductive charging pad for wireless charging. The Jazz seat back also includes a touch 13-inch display with the updated X Series inflight entertainment system.

Theta: Capture Moments In All Their 360-Degree Glory

Ricoh is showing off its third-generation 360-degree camera, the Theta S. As the name suggests, the Theta allows you to capture 360-degree photos and videos. The Theta S is made up of two half-spherical lenses that shoot 190-degree images, each at 14 megapixels or full HD. New to this revision of the product is longer battery life (up to 25 minutes), HD video support and the ability to capture video at 30 fps. The Theta is perfect for capturing 360-degree video for playback on VR goggles and costs $350.

Sony Walkman ZX2 Comes To the U.S.

Last year, Sony announced its premium Walkman ZX1, built for high-end audiophiles, to the overseas market. This year at CES, Sony announced it was bringing the ZX2 model to the U.S. market. The Walkman delivers the optimal audio experience, Sony says, with support for DSD, WAV, AIFF, FLAC and Apple Lossless audio codecs. The ZX2 also supports Bluetooth for wireless streaming and NFC for one-touch connection to speakers and headphones. The Walkman ships with 128 GB of storage and a microSD slot for additional storage. Expect to pay a premium price of $1,200 for this Walkman.

Polaroid Jumps Into 3-D Printer Fray

Polaroid introduced its ModelSmart 250s 3-D printer this week, joining a very crowded and mature market. But Polaroid says it's got an edge over its competition by being easy to use. Instead of offering hundreds of settings to tweak 3-D modeling, as many 3-D printers on the market today do, Polaroid is offering only 10 settings. That, according to the company, broadens the 3-D printer's appeal to consumers and businesses.

The Polaroid printer, which features the iconic rainbow branding on the outside of the printer, is capable of resolutions from 50 to 350 microns and print speeds of between 20 mm and 100 mm, and prints objects at a maximum size of 10 by 6 by 6 inches.

Panasonic Freeze-Ray

Panasonic said it has teamed up with Facebook to deliver a unique cold storage technology called Freeze Ray. As the name suggests, Freeze Ray uses Blue-ray optical discs as an alternative to tape backup. Panasonic and Facebook, the companies announced, will use optical disc archive technology to help Facebook back up an undisclosed portion of the social network's user-generated images. Panasonic claims that Freeze Ray provides significant energy and cost savings at data centers.

Pictured here is one Freeze Ray cartridge, which holds 12 Blu-ray discs equaling 1.3 TB of storage. Panasonic says it configures chassis with 76 cartridges, which equals 91.2 TB. One tower typically holds 547 TB of data.