Out of the tens of thousands of new products, applications and services introduced at CES, here are the ones who caught our eyes. Although CES 2017 is incredibly diverse, many of the products represented here show strong underlying trends that are of interest to us:
- Televisions keep evolving very rapidly, with display and processor becoming separated.
- The PC industry experiences important growth & Innovation, especially in the gaming segment
- WiFi Mesh networks are the most significant progress in a long time and will impact Smart Homes and IoT.
- Cars are being fundamentally re-thought.
Without further delay, here are the products we think you should know about, Ubergizmo’s Best of CES 2017 (in no particular order):
LG Signature W-Series OLED TelevisionsAs LG continues to push hard with its OLED TV strategy, it latest LG Signature W-Series televisions have dominated the show in terms of industrial design. In line with the trend of ever thinner and lighter displays, LG has separated the brains of the TV from the display itself, making the 65” model so thin and light that it can be hung only with magnets. The W-Series can be as large as 77” and supports Dolby Atmos. Read more about the LG Signature W-Series OLED TVs
Samsung QLED Series Television
Samsung is betting its TV lineup on LCD Technology with the most advanced Quantum-Dot technology demonstrated at CES 2017. Called QLED, this display technology uses a new generation of Quantum Dots, which are tiny nanotech elements that are embedded in displays. Quantum Dots can help control the light spectrum and make LCD color filters exponentially better. Good enough to compete with OLED in quality at a more affordable price. That said, both technologies fundamentally have strengths in different places. Samsung also has some TV designs that are very thin and connected to a “Box” with all the connectors via a nearly invisible fiber-optic cable. More about Samsung’s QLED TVs.
Sony Bravia A1E OLED TV
Sony Bravia TVs have been an inspiration for many years, and the Bravia A1E is Sony’s first OLED TV, which comes with a twist: the sound is emitted directly by the glass surface of the TV, and there’s no visible speakers or sound bar required. This allows the Bravia A1E to have a pure and monolithic look. Although this kind of sound technology has existed on a small scale before, it is the first time that it is introduced on such a large television.
Xiaomi Mi TV 4
Xiaomi has arguably pioneered the idea of separating the TV “brains” from the display. It has already shipped TV with such a feature, and current customers can upgrade to the newer, better processor and interface, by simply buying a new module. At CES 2017, the Xiaomi Mi TV 4 was announced. It is a modular TV as well, and it is designed to look frameless. As Usual, Xiaomi’s main advantage the is extraordinary quality/price ratio, but the full pricing details have yet to be announced. From the official “ballpark” pricing, it looks like the company will deliver once again.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is no stranger to winning awards. The original X1 Series model promoted toughness in a small package, but over the years the X1 Carbon has continued to get smaller and faster, challenging the idea of what a 14” laptop could be. The 2017 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon pushes the envelope and is visibly smaller than last years model. Once we run it through its paces with benchmarks, it should rank among the most powerful PC when it comes to performance/weight.
ASUS Pro B9440 14-inch Laptop
The ASUS Pro B9440 14” laptop is a good challenger for the Lenovo X1 Carbon. It is the first time that the X1 is challenged in the 14” premium laptop space. This laptop also does it with a new design twist as the keyboard can be slightly elevated for a more comfortable typing. At 2.3 Lbs, it is 0.2Lbs lighter than the X1 Carbon. Although it is an interesting alternative, it doesn’t look like it was designed to resist spills and we’ll have to see how heavy travel will affect it. It’s not easy to compete in the ultra-light 14” space, but we’re glad to see some heat there.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Processor
Ahead of Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is formally introducing its Snapdragon 835 high-end processor. It is the chip that will likely power a majority of the most powerful Android and Windows phones in 2017. The Snapdragon 820 had enjoyed a near-monopoly in this market segment, and so far, the Snapdragon 835 has no declared challenger.
Vuzix M3000 Smart Glasses
The Vuzix M3000 are Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses, that are also capable of limited Virtual Reality (VR) basic tasks. Aimed at Enterprise customers, the Vuzix M3000 glasses can unleash workers productivity by freeing the operator’s hands, and by having him or her connected with colleagues in the back office via a live video feed. The M3000 design is one of the most low-profile professional AR systems. At the moment, AR is not consumer-ready, but it is already saving a lot of money for companies that know how to use it well. The Vuzix M3000 Smart Glasses can accelerate this further.
Razer Project Valerie
Razer is known for being nearly fanatical when it comes to finding solutions to tough problems. It is notorious that having multiple monitors improves the user experience. Unfortunately, portable monitors have never caught on because they simply induce too much hassle for quality that is often questionable. Razer’s Project Valerie is a tri-monitor laptop, with two monitors being equipped with a motorized unfolding mechanism. At the moment, this is a concept, and if the product ever comes out, it would be quite heavy, but ultimately it might spark an arms race that could lead to more multi-monitor laptops.
HP Sprout Pro G2
With 3D printing and CAD software being accessible more than ever, computers like the HP Sprout G2 make a lot of sense. The integrated 3D scanner takes a lot of guessing out of the equation, and its new high-resolution projector creates a secondary interactive display. It is one of the big improvements over the original HP Sprout. The scanning demo we looked at showed a resolution that is high enough to challenge most 3D Printers and makes the workflow easy and agreeable.
Dell Canvas 27
The Dell Canvas 27 is a computer geared towards creative users who use digitizer pens. The Canvas 27’s normal position is nearly horizontal which allow for natural drawing and writing. It can be connected to an external monitor to extend the display surface and have secondary information visible without ever switching apps. It also has a knob that can be used directly on the touch surface to apply fine-tuning tweaks.
HP Omen X35 Curved Gaming monitor
The HP Omen X35 Gaming monitor is a massive gaming monitor that should make gamers drool. It was designed with the current gaming monitor trends in mind, with a strong central arm which is connected to a very stable stand. It has 7mm edges and uses a soft 1800R display curvature optimized for single-user comfort. The response time of 3ms and the refresh rate of 100Hz coupled with an NVIDIA G-Sync compatibility should cover the technicals well.
IdeaCentre AIO Y910 Gaming PC
All-in-One PCs are rising in popularity, thanks to their sleek and space-conscious designs. However, they are often thought of being the weak PCs used to check emails or watch movies on. This is no longer true. The Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO Y910 Gaming PC brings the power of gaming PCs into a compact and aggressively design package, which has some upgradability capabilities. It’s an excellent AIO without performance compromises.
Samsung Odyssey 17” Gaming Laptop
You know that PC gaming is hot when Samsung is getting into that market. Presented at CES 2017, the Samsung Odyssey gaming laptops come in 15” and 17” sizes, but we found the 17” to be of particular interest. It boasts higher specs like 64GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD over PCIe and a 1TB HDD. We know that the 15.6” Model has a GeForce 10-Series GPU, but Samsung has yet to announce the 17” GPU, but we suspect that the laptops will be VR-capable. Cherry on the cake: both the SSD and RAM are user-upgradable, which is not completely surprising, given that Samsung makes those excellent components, and could get a second sale from this.
LeEco Smart Bikes Series
LeEco has introduced a new series of Smart Bikes with the Smart Road Bike and the Smart Mountain Bike. Both have the same carbon fiber frame, but the mountain bike version has bigger and sturdier wheels. Besides the nice-looking design, bikes are “Smart” because the come with a small on-board computer which runs on LeEco’s BikeOS, which is a variant of Android 6. Powered by a Snapdragon 410 processor and backed by a 6000 mAh battery, the computer can provide directions, ride logging and of course mundane things such as music playback.
LG Hub Robot
The LG Hub Robot is an extremely cute voice-driven assistant that uses Amazon’s Alexa functionality. It can serve the same purposes as the Amazon Echo but has a few improvements of its own. It is better integrated with LG and other appliances, and it has much friendlier anthropomorphic design with a display that shows emotion (robot’s eyes), also other information such as images of what’s in your fridge and more. The LG Hub Robot also has smaller cousins that can be installed throughout the home to be effectively additional microphones that extend Alexa’s reach.
Norton Core Secure Router
2016 has been a record year for computer hacks of all kinds, with novelties such as massive cyber-attacks launched from hacked Internet appliances such as Internet Cameras. Securing one’s home network has become a concern that’s shared by more and more people, and Norton is now applying is experience in security to a “secure” home router called Norton Core. The main attributes that make it secure are that 1/ itself updates to get the latest security improvements 2/ it will actively inspect network packets for malware 3/ it will isolate smart home devices that could get hacked. Incidentally, it looks terrific.
SevenHugs Smart Remote
SevenHugs’ Smart Remote is a new take on an old idea: the universal remote. Smart Remote takes a new approach and extends the real of universal remotes to smart objects at the same time. Not only the remote can control typical appliances like TVs and audio devices, but it can also control smart lights and other connected objects. Finally, it does so in different ways, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Infrared to cover all the bases.
PowerVision PowerRay Fishing Drone
Flying drones are everywhere at CES 2017, but underwater drones are a rarity, and the PowerRay Fishing Drone from PowerVision is in a league of its own. Designed for underwater exploration, the PowerRay has a fish finder which could render all these “secret fishing spots” a thing of the past. Its internal sonar should be able to detect fish with accuracy and transmit location and 4K images/video back over Wi-Fi.
FLIR Duo and Duo Pro Thermal Camera for Drones
Drones are fun, but they can also help with tasks such as roof maintenance checks and other things that would otherwise require a ladder. Thanks to FLIR and its FLIR One Duo thermal camera for drones, you will now be able to do more things, including detecting heat leaks, find animals in vegetation or the dark. Thermal cameras are no longer for professionals only, and FLIR has proven that it can make this valuable resource available to the masses.
Airthings Wave Air Quality Detector
Airthings is one of the numerous offerings in Air Quality detectors. Their design makes it easy to see the current status of air quality, and the companion app can provide more details if needed. Their claim to fame is that the Airthings Wave air quality detector can spot Radon, a nasty, naturally occurring gas, that the U.S Government says may be responsible for 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year.
Misfit Vapor Smartwatch
Misfit, which is typically known for their various smart bands, has now entered the Smartwatch category with a very promising product, the Misfit Vapor Smartwatch. Soon to be retailed for an affordable $200, the Misfit Vapor features an attractive design with a circular navigation along (by touching the bezel) with a touch screen. Inside, it is powered by a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, which contributes to explaining the overall responsiveness.
Cybedroid Leenby Robot
We tumbled upon the Leenby Robot by Cybedroid at the entrance of CES’ Digital Experience event, where it was rolling around, interacting with people going by. Leenby is mostly designed to be used in hospitality situation where it could help customers get basic information in airports, banks, etc… the Leenby creators also told us that the robot could eventually be smart enough to accompany hospital patients and make sure they get back to their room. The robot is completely autonomous and doesn’t need a cloud connection to work. It can also learn about its surroundings to move around autonomously. The learning can subsequently be copied to additional robots.
Toyota Concept AI Prototype
Created in Toyota’s California Research Center, the Toyota Concept AI has been built to demonstrate a user interface called Yui. Based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), the interface uses the car’s surfaces to display information, whether it is the current drive mode, greetings or messages meant for other drivers outside the car (usually, safety messages). Inside the car, communications with the interface happen via sounds and touch, but also with images and light. Overall, the idea is to spark a closer “relationship” between human and machine. Note how AI is written 愛i, which means “love” in Japanese.
PK Vitality K’Track Glucose Monitor
The PK Vitality K’Track Glucose Monitor can check for sugar levels without making the user bleed. This feat is possible thanks to the use of micro-needles that are only 0.5mm long. PK Vitality says that this is not deep enough to draw blood, but enough to access interstitial fluid which also contain information about the body’s glucose levels. All of this is neatly packaged in a wearable device and functions at the touch of a button.
BMW i Inside Future Concept with the HoloActive Touch
At CES 2017, BMW has built a car sculpture that serves as a demonstration platform for the BMW I Inside Future Concept which shows BMW’s revolutionary ideas about how cars’ interiors and interaction will change in the coming years. BMW shows how the cockpit will change depending on the drive mode (autonomous or not) and demonstrates how user interactions with the car can leverage voice, hand hovering, and touch. Even the audio aspect is innovative, with each passenger of the car having their audio island, thanks to mini speakers embedded in the seats.
ODG R9 Augmented Reality Glasses
The ODG R9 Glasses are Augmented Reality Glasses with a relatively large (for AR) field of view of 50-degrees. The AR display has a resolution of 1080p, and there’s a 13 Megapixel 4K front camera. The ODG R9 can receive additional modules such as low-light vision or 3D scanning. The most important benefit of the ODG R9 is the excellent image quality it displays, which is definitely in the upper range of what’s available for AR. It is also powerful, thanks to the Snapdragon 835 chip that Qualcomm just announced at CES 2017. Finally, it is compact and more affordable than Microsoft’s Hololens (~$1700).