Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show brings us the coolest new gadgets, the must-haves, and the almost-theres. It’s one of the most exciting times for developers and buyers alike, and everyone has their favorites. We’ve detailed what we thought was the coolest gear to come out of this year’s show:
Most gamers, geeks and gearheads got started by falling in love with their first home computer. This affection extends to laptops, the not-so-new norm for personal computing, and it’s not uncommon to find consumers arguing over specs and comparing minutiae in the hopes of getting the absolute perfect piece of equipment to run their favorite games and software.
For Gaming: The Razer Blade Stealth really blew away the competition this year with their first major success making an ultraportable laptop with heavy-duty desktop visual capabilities. At 2.75 pounds, including its 12.5 inch, 3184 x 2160 px resolution screen, and powered by a Skylake Intel Core i7, the machine does have to be paired with the Core, the company’s external graphics bay to really perform with games like Fallout 4. However, with a $999 price point, that can be forgiven.
For Work: If you’re involved in a large enterprise, the new HP EliteBook Folio G1 will be your jam this year. Being referred to as the “Macbook for Professionals,” as to its superior security, Intel vPro and TPM capabilities. This is, in our opinion, the most successful rendition of the new trend of “enterprise capable laptops that look like the ones you buy for yourself.”
We do have to say that laptops and gaming gear definitely tie as our favorite categories, mainly because we class laptops as, essentially, gaming gear that also enables the user to do other stuff too. With the rising popularity of virtual reality combining with the industry’s ability to actually produce believable graphics for this trend, CES 2016 may have been one of the most exciting years to date for the gaming community.
This year, we have two favorites. The first is the HTC Vive’s Chaperone, an innovative new system that incorporates the user’s surroundings to make for a safe an ultra dynamic gameplay. Let’s just start this off by saying we already love the HTC Vive system as a whole – it may be the coolest thing we’ve seen in awhile. The best way we can explain is to show you their promotional video:
Did they just hint at a virtual reality Portal game at 0:53?? Because I’m willing to bet they did (not in small part because of their partnership with Valve, but seriously, we are so excited. Our other favorite is the Recon Empire EVS. This is a bit different, in that it’s not really meant for home game play – it’s a helmet you wear while playing paintball to turn it into a FPS you can play with your friends. I repeat, it’s a helmet for actually shooting people with.
(Photo credit: Engadget)
This lovely addition to the paintballing community not only adds an added gaming element with Recon’s impressive head’s-up display system, but also allows users to attach GoPro cameras to their guns, meaning they can shoot around corners. Like superheroes – or supervillains.
Products That Makes Us Say “The Future is Now”
Engadget explained the EHang 184 as “a drone that carries people.” We’re pretty sure that means it’s a helicopter or personal plane, but we’re not complaining – yes, there was a personal helicopter demoed at CES. It goes 60 mph and can reach 11,000 feet. Passengers program where they want to go, get in, and then they’re taken there – simple as that. While it’s still being tested for safety, the website indicates that it’s been designed with motor redundancy – and, as a perk, it’s 100% green.
(Photo credit: NBC News)
Once you’re done flying around in your personal low-flying aircraft – which we’re just going to go ahead and said air car, like in the Jetsons – you can come home to a nice meal stored in your smart refrigerator, the Samsung Family Hub. Smart refrigerators aren’t really that new, but the Hub brings it to a new level and adds a beautiful design we haven’t seen before in home appliances. While we aren’t sure why you’d need to access the internet from your refrigerator just yet, we also weren’t sure why people would want to send short text messages instead of just calling 20 years ago – we’re going to leave this one to the experts.
(Photo credit: PCMag)
The refrigerator has a display that also allows an improved level of interaction, with LED “labels” you can drag and drop over your food, which is visible through the glass door. You can even buy things straight from the screen, which is where the real money flowing into Samsung’s pockets will come from. I guess this is the end of gross leftovers, or hiding that uneaten cake for later…
CES 2016 Blew Our Minds
In closing, let us just say that CES 2016 had a lot of incredible new devices, software and hardware on display. From virtual reality integrating more seamlessly into our everyday lives, to refrigerators that make storing guilty food much more difficult, we’re excited to see what the future holds for technology.
The main takeaway that we were given is that the era of information and technology being siloed away from other aspects of our lives is ending. If you watched the video of the Vive above, you’ll notice that one of the examples is a medical professional experimenting with various procedures. It doesn’t take a sergeant to guess what applications the Recon Empire may have on military operations. And what happens when Jillian Michaels appears on your smart refrigerator as punishment when you grab that ice cream?
Technology is now, more than ever, being indelibly woven into the very fabric of our lives.