Self-driving and hydro-electric powered vehicles, everyday appliances fitted with internet connectivity and the unusual smart belt which monitors waistline size, are all the rage at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
About 160 000 techies have descended in Las Vegas for the four-day conference which began on January 6, to sample what the technology industry has to offer. “Connected” has been the common theme at the annual show, with innovations that push internet usage.
But this year’s instalment unveils smart home appliances, electric and self-driving cars and wearable devices.
Home appliances this year have courted attention, particularly what Samsung and LG has to offer to the market. Stepping into the smart home fray, LG unveiled its new front-loading washer with a Twin Wash system enabled with Wifi. This device allows users to upload special washing cycles and be alerted when a load is finished, according to TechCrunch.
Keeping with the smart home theme, Samsung created a buzz with its latest SUHD 4K ultra-thin television.
Vehicles are said to be the biggest draw card for the electronics show, with a host of electric cars from major automotive brands such as Ford on display.
Mercedes-Benz’ latest innovation has courted attention, internet space and hype. It unveiled the futuristic, self-driving Mercedes-Benz F 015 concept car – which can be operated autonomously or manually, The site quotes Daimler CEO Dieter Zetscheas saying: “The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space.” It boasts a spacious cabin lounge-like interior, trimmed with aluminium and LED lighting finishes. There is no indication as to when or if Mercedes Benz will launch the vehicle to the market.
The usual hype around smartphones seems to have taken a back seat to make way for wearable devices. Technology aficionados claim wearable devices will become popular in the coming years. Devices in the health and fitness category have featured strongly at CES this year, with innovations ranging from the conventional to bordering on the extreme.
A Paris-based company called Emiota showcased a device called Belty, a smart belt which monitors a wearer’s waistline and advises when to lose weight. According to CBS NEWS the belt automatically loosens when the wearer sits and tightens when the wearer stands. The product is expected to be on the market in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Having trouble sleeping? AcousticSheep LLC’s SleepPhones, a headband to help people to sleep better might be the solution. Designed in a headband form, SleepPhones is Bluetooth-enabled and syncs with a media device to play music.
The Melomind, which is said to reduce stress, made a debut at the show. The device which is designed by a company called myBrain, measures brain waves and then uses that information to create custom music to help you relax, The Washington Post reports.
Smartphone control has a new lease of life. The Ring, a finger-worn device by Logbar allows a user to control a device (largely touch screen) without touching the screen. Worn on an index finger, The Ring allows the user to draw gestures in the air to control a device using Bluetooth connectivity.
Another wearable device is the Narrative Clip 2, a portable and wearable camera built with Wifi to store and send images.
As to how many of these devices ‘make it’ remain to be seen, but innovation is alive and well.