I’m just back from CES (Consumer Electronics Show) and desperately trying to catch up on life, sleep and make the pain in my knees from 4 days of standing/walking slow go away. A few of you asked, “What cool things did you see at CES?”
There were a few, though my version of “cool” and “new” may differ from yours. Here’s an info dump of things I saw. Where I’ve been able to easily find one, I’ve included links to websites, etc. Feel free to hit me up with questions.
There was the suitcase that follows you around the airport which I wrote about last week.
Amongst the sea of travel chargers there was this interesting slim version for those traveling internationally. Billed as the thinnest international charger, you can find a review here.
The sideclick remote is cool for AppleTV or other ancillary device users where the remote is tiny. Not only does it work as a serviceable universal remote but it makes those damn tiny remotes harder to lose. You can view and purchase on their website.
The LoveHandle. I currently have them (not enough exercise). And now, I have one on my phone. I had surgery last year on my elbow for some nerve issues and still have problems holding my phone, etc. The LoveHandle probably isn’t for everyone, and iPhone purists will tell me I’m ruining the beauty of the iPhone. But, I did that already with the protective case. My hand hurts less when I grab my, ahem, LoveHandle. Oh, and the link above is an Amazon affiliate link, which means if one of you buys 100 of these, I can buy a copy of Starbucks.
Snakable, one of a number of different ways to try to keep your cables from breaking. I still feel like all of these solutions need to come down in price relative to the prices people like Monoprice are charging for knock-off cables.
Want to make a drink using your smartphone? This, from Somabar, likely makes a good discussion item at a party.
The good and bad sides of waterproof bags for your smartphone. Here’s the first one I looked at:
I asked about warranty and was told that they’d happily replace the bag if it leaked. When I asked about the wet phone, the answer wasn’t quite as confident, but they were really confident in their bags. They offered to let me try to tear it with my hands:
Oops. They told me that bag had been plied by previous customers and asked me to test a new one. In fairness, it held up better:
That being said, if I wanted to be a jerk I could have ripped that one as well. Moral of that story is the bags are not indestructible.
I did find another waterproof bag that I was a bit more interested in, since it had an integrated headphone jack. Manufactured by Gosh!, they had a few other cool things, but let’s start with the phone bag. I took two pictures of the same thing in their booth. The first is in the bag, the second outside the bag. You be the judge, but I found the pics pretty clear.
Here’s what the bag itself looks like.
They had a couple of other devices that travelers might find interesting. I haven’t done the research to see if there are competitors in the market for all of these (for one product I’m certain there is as I’ve seen it). The first is an external flash drive of sorts which holds micro SD cards of varying sizes of up to 512GB.
Another item I liked is a sim card holder that links up with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to your phone. It’s literally as thin as two credit cards and can fit in your pocket or a pouch in your backpack. Using an app, it allows you to easily switch SIMs in your phone without having to physically pull the SIM (something I’m not fond of doing).
They demonstrated an app installed on an iPhone that you can use to make and receive calls using your normal phone number as well as text, email and surfing the web. The app even tracks the battery life of the spare sim device. I’ll definitely plan to test this on an international trip in the near future.
Gosh also sells a small travel charger with interchangeable heads. I really think most travelers have their own opinion on form factors, so I’m passing this on in case it fits your desires.
I saw two interesting products from iOttie. I haven’t purchased anything from them before but know others that have. They have a wireless charging case that works pretty handily with the iPhone. The thing I liked about it is that it makes it very easy to switch from wireless charger to standard iPhone charger, whereas all of the other battery cases I’ve seen require you to charge with a micro-USB or similar cable.
The other item I liked as well was the magnetic wireless phone mount for your car that clips to any standard vent. You put a small piece of metal in the back of pretty much any standard phone case and from there it attaches to the vent mount. It was extremely sturdy in my tests (video below).
R2D2 battery? Yup, CES has that covered too.
This next one passed on without comment. Never did figure out what the metal plates were for. Honestly, didn’t try that hard.
Smart luggage lock from egeetouch. I’ve seen others before and never actually lock my suitcase. But, if you have the need….
Trackr has a new device for inside your home. The explanation here is essentially that the Atlas plugs into an outlet in each room in your house. Then, anything with a tracker on it (think Tile) is catalogued. Someone moved what you’re looking for? Their app will tell you which room it’s in. I’d say I need this in my house for all the things my wife and kids move around, but it would cost me a bloody fortune to tag everything.
Ily is bringing you the next version of the landline phone for your house. I like the thought here, though my kids may be too old when this comes out (and already have their own smartphones, a day I dread almost as much as my daughter’s first date). I use Ooma now, mostly to make my smart phone work in my house, but it also serves as a phone that we can establish a curfew on for the kid’s friends not to call and also control who can and can’t call the house. But, no video options with Ooma. And, no truth to the rumor that I got Ooma because my wife doesn’t answer her cell phone when I call. No truth at all.
These shoes look ridiculously dumb, but my wife has a problem with her SI joint that causes her severe back pain when she runs (something she loves to do). I’ll be keeping my eyes on this, if only to make my wife happy.
There were, of course, plenty of TVs. All with splendid pictures, in many shapes and sizes.
It still amazes me how one little camera can turn into such a phenomenon. The booth was packed wall to wall, and quite large.
Panasonic was showing off some new innovations that don’t appear to be certified, but seem cool. They’re offering wireless charging for mobile devices built into the tray table along with plenty of USB power and HDMI ports. They’re also offering 4K TVs for business class and first class installs. I’d expect the middle eastern carriers to take the plunge on 4K TVs soon since they buy all the other opulence on the market.
It’s CES, so there were plenty of games. We got to try one of the largest VR Demos I’ve ever seen, a few dozen of us screaming on a life-like roller coaster VR ride.
And, a few really big video game setups which would look great in my basement.
And, finally, there were cars. Lots of cars. You could drive concept and street legal BMW cars that most people will never get a chance to be in.
There was the Mercedes autonomous car of the future.
The Toyota FCV Plus looked pretty awesome.
But, the Toyota Kikai may have been my favorite.
Finally, if you have a daughter like I do, or are an adult who loves Hello Kitty, there was plenty of that as well.
What are your thoughts about my list?