Gizmos and gadgets that have the power to improve and revolutionise our lives have been presented at the latest Consumer Electronics Show. The show is an opportunity for big manufacturers and small start ups alike to showcase their technology innovations.
Some are already bound for mass distribution, whilst others are still a little while off hitting the market. Here is our pick of the 7 most exciting innovation from the show.
The show was a buzz with a smart watch that actually looks smart and works well too. It has a range of cool features, the best being its ability to interface with your iDevice or android via Bluetooth. It is both shock and water resistant, has USB connectivity and a battery that lasts a week.
At just 38.2grams, its polycarbonate design and interchangeable watch band makes it a viable fitness watch as well as a fashion item. There are many apps that work on Pebble so that it functions as a source of entertainment, information and also a watch.
To bring Pebble to fruition the company put the idea on Kickstarter
, a site that gives people the ability to fund projects that they believe have merit. Pebble raised $4 million in 8 days, making it the most successful project to list on Kickstarter.
We like it because Pebble just works and has an edgy side to it as well; it also represents the start of the wearable technology revolution.
Tactus Morphing Touchscreen / Pop-Up Buttons
Now you see them, now you don’t. If you struggle to operate a touch screen keyboard, the problem has now been solved by Tactus Technology. This innovation is quite remarkable. Silicon pop-up buttons rise up from the screen each time you need to type information on your tablet mimicking the feel of pressing real buttons. They then melt back into the screen when you don’t need them, so as to not take up any screen space.
These buttons can be configured by the developers in any design, from a QWERTY keyboard to a gaming console design. The benefits are endless and most of all it just works.
We like this because it solves a real problem and thinks outside the box.
The inventors of Lockitron have managed to make a complex task simple. It’s a DIY solution to keyless entry. The Lockitron fits easily over any deadbolt and can be up and running in minutes. The device has built in WIFI, which allows control by an iPhone 4S or iPhone5.
With Lockitron you can lock or unlock your door remotely and provide access to family, friends or tradesman when you not home.
Lockitron chose to run their own crowd funding to bring their product to market and succeeded in raising $2.3million with pre-sales of 15,000 units.
It’s a smart, simple design that works – we like it as an entry level keyless entry product.
Sony’s 56 inch HD OLED TV
If you are confused already by TV’s, here’s another one to add to the plasma, LED, LCD mix! It’s the new HD OLED TV by Sony. It is basically an organic material that lasts longer than other TV’s, is thinner and the best quality picture available in the world today. Other manufacturers have never combined the HD technology with OLED so Sony has pulled a game changer by showcasing this world-first large (56 inch) HD OLED TV at the show.
The picture quality is absolutely flawless and ups the ante by which all pictures will now be measured. There is no price or release date as yet, but you can be sure that Sony is aiming to be first to market so watch this space.
We are really impressed by this technology as it all about continuous improvement.
HAPIfork (and spoon)
Your fork just got smarter. This show is all about innovation – but no one expected to see utensils with USB connectivity. It seems very James Bond. But in fact, the HAPIFork has some distinct benefits.
It is an eating tool that measures three things:
1. How many mouthfuls you take in a meal;
2. How long you wait between mouthfuls; and
3. How long you eat for at a meal.
The data can be used in conjunction with a web-based app to give you a picture of your eating habits, just plug your fork into your iDevice or android (not a phrase you’ve probably ever heard). If your fork vibrates whilst you are eating, it’s not a malfunction! It’s a feature to alert you to the fact that you are eating too quickly. It’s a clever fork indeed.
Completely water resistant and dishwasher proof, the HAPIfork had tongues wagging and mouths a buzz at the show.
We like it because the HAPIfork is smart, simple and easy to use and gives real life data otherwise difficult to manage.
The Sunny Bag - Wearable Smart Tools
Fashionable technology that you can actually wear was a focus for innovators this year at the show. Tapping into the iPhone generation is a lucrative business!
The first technology that grabbed our attention is The Sunny Bag. Using solar panels on the outside of the bag, the wearer can charge their iPhone on the go. This solves a constant battery problem for people and enables iPhone charging simply.
I’m here – GPS tracker
A little off beat but still really useful is the second wearable pint-sized tracking device called I’m Here
. The tracker itself can be tied to shoelace, placed in a bag or suitcase and allows GPS tracking as part of an accompanying app. Handy if you want to check on the whereabouts of your luggage, your wayward teenager, an adult with dementia or preschooler in a large playground. The benefits are and real world applications are infinite.
These two new wearable tools solve a real problem for people, cleverly; which is why they make it into our top 7.
LIFX –The remote controlled light bulb
The light bulb hasn’t seen much innovation over the past 100 years, but LIFX is about to change all that. The light bulb has truly been reinvented.
LIFX has a built in WIFI in the light bulb which can be controlled using a simple and free iPhone app. Using LED technology which outperforms existing light bulbs on energy and longevity, you can now remotely change the colour of the light to set the mood, turn your lights on and off and dim one or all of your lights. You can also set timers so that the light can come on automatically to greet you when you come home or as a safety measure when you are away.
The light bulb can even flash to notify you on an incoming email or sms. Why not create a disco in your home with changing light colours and effects. But don’t worry if you lose your phone you can just flick the switch on the wall, it still works as an ordinary light as well. It’s incredibly smart technology that is green too, using just one tenth of the power of a regular bulb and lasting up to 25 years.
It’s a simple approach to lighting control that is smart thinking, we really like it.