With the myriads of new tech coming out and coming down in price at all times, it’s hard to tell apart those that are just a fad and those that might be worth investing in. Snapchat spectacles, projector glasses, universal power banks, ring keyboards – some of the newly conceived gadgets out there sound too good to be true while others are simply ‘’cool.’’ We all have baskets and drawers full of old gadgets that only saw the occasional usage before getting shelved for good.
2018 Consumer Electronics Show highlights
Each year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) honours 20 innovative consumer tech products at the Annual CES Innovation Awards. Those that get noticed are judged on outstanding design and engineering. At the latest edition of the awards in 2018, a few new gadgets caught our eye. Aside from offering utility and status, innovative consumer tech has the potential of being scaled for usage in enterprise operations and processes. Manufacturing tech has borrowed many concepts from seemingly trivial consumer inventions over the years.
The most promising new tech
1. The Light L16
The new Light L16 camera seems almost incredulous – it comes with 16 imaging sensors, each with its own lens, and it’s only slightly bigger than the average smartphone. Each time a picture is taken, up to 10 of the different mini-cameras fire, making it possible to enhance the snapped image tremendously during editing. Fixing focus, cancelling out digital noise and creating ultra-high-resolution images of 52 megapixels are just some of the perks that come with an investment into the L16.
2. Plume Wifi
The Plume system, promoted as the ‘’world’s first adaptive wifi,’’ comes with several “pods” which, when positioned around your house, work together to distribute the wifi signal in the most efficient manner. The first pod is connected to the modem with an ethernet cable, and the rest go into the power outlets in each of your rooms, where you need the best signal. Plume’s cloud-based system analyses your spaces and optimizes the flow of data, which can be useful when different members of the family are all streaming something in separate areas of the home. No more stalling Netflix series while your teenage daughter lip-syncs to Ariana Grande videos on YouTube.
3. Snap Spectacles
Heeding hard-learned lessons from Google Glass, this new generation of video-recording, social media specs first started as a PR stunt for producing company Snapchat. Their intentionally flashy design aims to showcase the specs’ ability to produce content for Snapchat on the go. The video is then channelled into 10-second story bursts of circular shape, in line with the roundish shape of the glasses. You can now buy the spectacles on Amazon.
4. Buddy, the robot
The age of basic robots capable of little more than binary sounds and lights (think R2D2), is long gone. Behold Buddy, the personal robot which can be a great family addition to any tech-savvy household and is ‘’accessible to anyone,’’ according to its manufacturer. Buddy is more interactive than Amazon Echo / Alexa or Google Home and is more human-like, featuring a face and eyes. He is capable of similar tasks, though, like checking the weather, reading the news, offering cooking recipes, enter-training your kids and connecting you with people. If Buddy could only clean the house and make the beds…
5. Space age security robot
AR4X is a futuristic security camera robot capable of advanced facial recognition and proactive surveillance. Similar to the new, True Depth camera system now embedded in the latest iPhone models, the AR4X camera ‘’learns’’ the faces of those with security clearance and alerts its administrators when an unknown face is detected in the perimeter.
6. Earbuds from Mars (not the planet)
One gadget that’s certainly got the market very excited is Mars – a new type of earbud capable of delivering real-time ear-to-ear translation. Similar to Google Pixel Buds, which you can now buy for less than €150, Mars uses AI to listen to human speech and translate it in real-time, from and into 10 different languages. Mars is designed so that each person speaking and its counterpart on the receiving side needs to wear just one ear bud, rendering the other ear free to listen to the outside world.
7. New gen motorcycling
Riding a motorcycle requires a heightened state of focus, and if you, the rider, also have to pay attention to a navigation system, take a picture or video, and listen to music while on the go, you will not only be challenged but you’ll also be compromised in terms of safety. Not anymore – thanks to a new, in-helmet display unit, called Nuviz. With Nuviz the rider can safely record video, listen to audio, and even receive navigation guidance, all in his helmet, without the need to strap on three additional devices onto the handlebar.
Talking about all this new tech has us dreaming and wanting to try it all out. What’s your next gadget going to be?
Copywriter: Ina Danova