Set in hot and dry Las Vegas, Nevada, the Consumer Electronics Show is one the biggest exhibitions of new technology in the world. Every year it immediately follows Christmas and sets up the following 12 months in terms of new product releases – a peek into the future, if you will.
Every year is different, showing new trends in technology and this year the theme was definitely a mix of wearable gadgets and devices that are always connected to the Internet. We’ve seen a heady mix of smart watches, fitness bands, virtual reality headsets and much, much more over the past seven days and the show was something of a minefield to keep up with. We’ve taken a look at everything that’s come out of CES 2014 and picked our five coolest gadgets – a subjective topic of course – but we’re sure many will agree that our first, a self-balancing one wheeled skateboard definitely deserves the ‘cool’ title.
Whilst the focus has been on new smartphones and wearable accessories, the Onewheel caught our eye. Onewheel is a self-balancing skateboard with – as you might have guessed – one wheel that uses an electric motor and the same sensors that you’d find in most smartphones in order to keep the rider automatically balanced when zooming around.
Accelerometers and gyroscopes keep the Onewheel automatically balanced, with a single go-kart wheel in the centre and two wooden footboards either side. Its electric motor can propel you along at up to 12mph for up to 20 minutes from a single, 2-hour charge. Unfortunately the model shown above (courtesy of Engadget) is only a prototype, so you can’t buy one just yet.
Image via: Engadget
Lamborghini Veneno Roadster + $50,000 Monster speaker upgrade
At a cool $4.5 million, the new Lamborghini Veneno Roadster is one ridiculously cool piece of kit already and with an incredibly futuristic design and a 0-62mph time of less than 3 seconds, it’s any petrolhead’s dream. For the tech-heads, the Italian car company has teamed up with speaker and sound experts Monster and crammed a $50,000 sound system into the roof-less supercar and debuted the creation at CES this week.
If you’re wondering what $50,000 gets you, it’s an Android-powered tablet for a control centre mounted above the windscreen, subwoofers in the driver and passenger footwells and an impressive array of high-end speakers throughout the cockpit. This is unfortunately not a gadget that many of us are likely to encounter, but an infinitely cool creation all the same.
Image via: Gtspirit
Chefjet 3D printed candy
3D printing has always been an interesting craze, evolving from expensive and bulky machines a few years ago to the sub-£1,000 Cubify which is now sold in high street stores such as Currys and PC World. The evolution of the 3D printer isn’t stopping any time soon, too, and the pinnacle of 3D printing kit at CES 2014 has to be the Chefjet from 3D Systems.
This 3D printer is unlike any other in that it prints FOOD. Much like any other 3D printer, you can feed the machine a template design and it’ll create pretty much anything as a 3D product, but this time the creations are made out of sugar and not plastic. The result is delicious sugary treats in any shape, size and colour you can think of. We reckon if Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was remade today, Wonka would have a Chefjet or two in the place firing out all sorts of quirky creations.
Image via: The Verge
ZTE Eco-Mobius modular smartphone
The idea of a modular smartphone recently became more prominent thanks to Motorola and the announcement of its Project Ara, but ZTE stole the show at CES this year with a modular phone of its own, the Eco-Mobius. Okay, the name isn’t all that cool, but a phone that allows the user to hot-swap its processor, RAM, internal memory and camera parts with ease is pretty damn awesome.
We’re still a long way off modular smartphones becoming a reality in shops – around 2 years, according to the company – but ZTE’s creation certainly looked promising on the show floor. From the front the Eco-Mobius looks like any average phone but flip it over and you’ll find removable and interchangeable jigsaw pieces that represent the camera, RAM, ROM, GPU and chipset. The idea is that we’ll lose the need to upgrade phones every year or two, instead just buying a faster processor better camera and switching out what’s already in there. We’re definitely all for less phone upgrades and more meddling with the phone we already have!
The Pebble Steel isn’t something we were expecting before CES 2014 kicked off but now that the show has ended it’s definitely on our wish lists. The company has taken the internals from its original and very successful Pebble and built a stylish and robust stainless steel frame and strap around it, resulting in the Pebble Steel. ‘Same functionality. Now in premium materials’ is the company’s tagline for the product.
The same E-Ink display, 5-7 days of use from a single charge and wireless smartphone connectivity remain from the original Pebble, but there’s now Gorilla Glass to protect the screen and a very classy-looking metal face and strap in either stainless steel or matte black. Sure, it’s pricier at $249, but it’s by far the nicest-looking smartwatch we’ve seen yet.
There we have it – our five favourite gadgets to have surfaced from CES 2014, but which new devices caught your eye? Share your picks in the comments.