Well folks, that’s a wrap. CES 2016 took place this past week, and saw the announcement of hundreds of new products, both from large firms and from small startups.
Because of the sheer number of things on offer, it can be easy to miss them. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of the best things from this past week at CES.
1. Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
The award for the product that got the most buzz at CES definitely either goes to the Family Hub Refrigerator or the next product on the list, the EHang 184 drone.
One of the reasons this fridge generated so much buzz is that it’s aimed at being much for than a fridge – it’s aimed at being the hub for your smart home. It’s arguably the first truly “smart” fridge, and comes with a bunch of great features. It has a 21.5-inch 1080p touch display on the front, which is powered by Samsung’s Tizen operating system, and kind of looks like an oversized tablet.
Using the display, users can take notes for things like shopping lists, share calendar reminders, display art, and so on. But the rest of its functionality is what truly wowed me. The fridge has a set of three cameras on the inside which capture what is on each shelf. Then, using Wi-Fi connectivity, you can access those images from anywhere (such as the grocery store), which will help the user avoid buying something they already have. Users can also assign use by dates to the objects in the image, helping them keep track of how long products have to go before they need to be thrown out or replaced.
In case you don’t want to actually go to the grocery store, you can also order your groceries straight from the fridge itself.
Of course, it won’t come cheap, setting the user back a cool (pun intended) $5,000.
2. EHang 184 Passenger Drone
You know how we’ve been waiting for flying cars for the last few decades? Well, this might be the first step towards actually getting them.
EHang pulled an announcement no one was expecting, and showed off its new 184 passenger drone, which, as the name suggests, is big enough to carry a person.
The drone can carry up to 286 pounds, and can fly at 60 miles per hour for around 23 minutes.
Of course, that’s not that much time, but the drone is more of a proof-of-concept than anything else.
According to EHang, live testing has been completed with over 1,000 hours of human flight, with plans of doubling or tripling that figure in the works. The drone is also completely autonomous, with users setting a flight path on the accompanying app before the trip, after which the drone will simply follow it and take them to their destination. There are also a number of safety features in place, ensuring that if something goes wrong, it won’t simply drop out of sky.
As mentioned, this is mostly a proof-of-concept, but its a pretty cool one.
3. HumanEyes Vuze
A big focus in the tech world over the past few years has been virtual and augmented reality, and while plenty of ways to consume those are in the works, there aren’t too many ways of capturing them.
HumanEyes has come up with a solution, however, announcing a 360-degree 3D virtual reality camera, which is able to take spherical images of its surroundings. The camera has eight full-HD cameras, each offering an ultra-wide viewing lens, and each able to capture 4K video at 30 frames per second. Videos are then processed in near real time through the Vuze Studio software, but it can also be controlled through an iOS or Android device.
Basically, expect a lot more VR-related buzz. This is the first step towards showing holiday pictures in stunning virtual reality.
4. NineBot Segway Robot
Segway has always been a little nerdy, but after being bought by NineBot, it’s taking a different approach.
At the Intel event we saw an Intel exec riding around on a new handless Segway. Then, he got off, pushed a button, and out popped a robotic face. Then he attached a set of robotic arms, and entire crowd melted because of the cuteness.
The robot is aimed at helping users around the house, and makes use of Intel’s RealSense technology for things like depth perception and facial recognition. It also has voice recognition capabilities, meaning that users can talk to it, much like the Amazon Echo assistant.
The robot is able to follow the user around, take photos and videos, carry supplies while grocery shopping, and so on. All while looking adorable.
5. BMW i8 Mirrorless Car Concept
While we might not be ready for passenger drones in society just yet, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be developing land-based vehicles. BMW has debuted a new mirrorless car concept that looks beautiful and could prove to be much safer that mirrored cars.
The car has two wings that look like side-mirrors, but instead of mirrors on the wings, cameras can be found. The car also has a camera on the top of the car. Using information from those three cameras, the car is able to create a wide-screen image of behind and beside the car, with that being shown where the rear-view mirror of the car would normally be found.
What this means is that users no longer have to glance around to ensure that there’s no one beside them while changing lanes. The system also helps eliminate the blind spot cause by the angle of side-mirrors, and will ensure users can still see around them when, for example, side-mirrors are iced up, with the cameras having embedded heaters in them to melt any ice buildup.
Apart from that system, the car looks gorgeous, and while it’s a concept car for now, much of the tech behind it will likely make an appearance on consumer cars to come.
So, what do you think of the innovation at CES this year? Is there something you think we missed? Let us know in the comments section!