While the mayhem that is the Consumer Electronics Show is over, there are still a number of gadgets I just can’t stop thinking about. Some of them are a bit more futuristic, and others you can buy today. Either way, here are the things I saw at CES 2016 that are keeping me up at night.
Moshi Ion Bank Power Banks & Ion Slide-On Battery Case
Moshi won an Innovation Award for their new cases because of their unique and practical design. It’s a slide-on battery case that matches their regular line of cases, but provides extra juice. Slip it into place to charge your phone when you need it, slide it off when you don’t. It fits right over the regular case, and even with both in place, it’s not overly bulky. Moshi’s iGlaze cases are beautiful brushed metal that looks slick and professional, so it’s nice the battery packs match perfectly, and there’s no long cables to fuss with.
Moshi’s new Ion Power Banks are external power packs, but these come with short, handy hidden cables so that you never need to carry tangled extras. Check out the iGlaze line at Best Buy, and watch for the new additions to the line later this year.
Smart padlocks are now a ‘thing’. Made with no keys, and no dials, they open remotely, via your smartphone or device. Some will also open using a series of Morse Code-like clicks of the shackle. They’re really clever, seem very durable, and can withstand cold temperatures in a Canadian winter. Look for offerings from makers Noke and Dog and Bone in 2016.
More Versatile Smart Lights; MiPow’s Playbulb Line
Smart lights are going to continue to be big this year, and probably more so as people realize how easy and versatile they are. I had a chance to see some of the coming additions to MiPow’s Playbulb line of smart lights, and to get hands-on with some of the models you can get now. I love the Playbulb Sphere, a gorgeous glass globe that gives you infinite options of coloured light via your smartphone or just with a touch. It’s also rechargeable and portable so you can use it indoors or out. The Playbulb LED candle is also on my must-have list, and it’s perfect for homes with kids or mischievous pets, providing flickering ambience, without the fire danger.
Also in the line are pool and patio light discs that also have smart functions and will change colour. These new toys will give the line even more versatility, and allow more options when decorating outdoors.
The ‘Invisible TV’…
The ‘invisible TV’ I saw at Panasonic’s booth at CES was unreal. I wrote about it during the show (read and see it in action here) but it continues to occupy my thoughts; a TV that’s like a sheet of (flexible) glass that allows you to look through it like a window, but then it turns totally opaque for TV viewing. It’s absolute technological magic and I can’t wait until it hits the market in the estimated 2-5 years.
…and Invisible Buttons for your smartphone
At Puregear, known for their phone accessories, I was blown away with a really useful new product they showed me; a glass sheet screen protector that actually adds invisible buttons to the empty space in the frame at the base of your iPhone’s screen. It works by transferring touch zones, so that you don’t need to reach up to the top of your phone screen when you’re operating it one-handed. Trust me, when the Puregear Smart+Buttons cover becomes available, you’re going to want it.
A Robot Window Cleaner
Great for homes with large and hard to reach windows, I saw a cool robot that suctions to the glass, and automatically cleans for you. Yes, you’ll have to get it up there, but once it’s affixed, it does the hard work, meaning no leaning on tippy ladders with a squeegee in one hand and a hose in the other.
Sony’s Smell-o-vision of the Future!
Sony had some really neat technology at its booth. I wrote about some of it on the blog the week of the show (read more here), but my favourite has to be the aroma capsule that allows you to breathe in scents from a tiny atomiser, allowing you to relax, recharge or aromatherapize in a unit no bigger than a lipstick. While for now it has basic aromatherapy properties, the Sony reps at the show told us future uses could be in home theatre or even big screen cinema experiences. Want the smell of burnt rubber on asphalt during Furious 5? This would do it. Maybe it’s the scent of home baking or street food in Jon Favreau’s movie Chef? This little device could deliver it to movie goers, meaning there could be an entirely new level of sensory theatre experience in our future.
I also saw Crazybaby’s Mars levitating speaker system where the main speaker hovers over the base (you’ll be hypnotized), and GPS luggage by Bluesmart that will find your lost bag anywhere in the world. Plus it’ll charge your devices and weigh itself.
Ok, that may actually be 11 cool things, so don’t tell my editor Martin I can’t add. Actually, don’t tell Martin anything, since this was actually supposed to be a Top 5 list. Too much good stuff I needed to share!
Technology is amazing. I’m always blown away by what really smart people come up with. I can’t wait for some of these gadgets and innovations to hit store shelves in 2016 and beyond.