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For gadget freaks, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas provides the best cure for the post-holiday co...
For gadget freaks, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas provides the best cure for the post-holiday consumerist hangover that is synonymous with the month of January. The massive trade show is a mecca for all things innovative and cool, and it gives them an early start on the coming year’s wish list.
This year was no different, with dozens of products that left jaws on the floor and hands reaching for wallets. The one product everyone is talking about is the Oculus Rift virtual gaming headset. It’s still only in prototype phase, but those who got to try it out were floored by its improved performance and the completely immersive experience it provides. While no one’s going to be taking one of these home just yet, CES did offer a peek at some other products that will be hitting the shelves this year.
It should come as no surprise that mobile technology is at the heart of many of these new gadgets: smartphones, tablets, and, now, the smartwatch. Such is the circle of technological progress. When cellphones became ubiquitous, their built-in clocks meant people no longer needed watches. Now that the watch has evolved to run apps, it’s only a matter of time before it replaces your cellphone. In the meantime, the watch integrates with a variety of apps; Google’s already on board and development deals have been struck with mobile companies like Yelp. Coolest of all, there’s an app that can make your smartwatch look just like an old-fashioned analog watch. Progress!
But while smart devices continue to get smaller, high definition displays keep getting bigger. LG’s new 34-inch ultra-wide Multitasking Monitor, with its 21:9 aspect ratio, eliminates the need for multiple displays on your desk. And Vizio’s new 120-inch (that’s 10 feet) Ultra HD television frees you from the antiquated requirement of having to sit in the same room as your TV if you want to watch it.
For me, though, the two most impressive products are little unassuming devices. One is for purely creative endeavours: the Panono Panoramic Camera houses 36 three-megapixel cameras inside a plastic sphere. Throw it up in the air and the cameras fire simultaneously, the results of which are stitched together to form a single, 360-degree image.
And finally, there’s a product of extreme usefulness. The Seagate Backup Plus slim is a USB 3.0 connected external drive, with two terabyte capacity, which can easily backup the important data on your Mac or PC. But it’s also Wi-Fi enabled so you can backup photos and other media from your iOS or Android device, and it will even grab all your photos from Facebook and Flickr. This doesn’t have the same “Wow” factor as a 3D printer for consumers, which also debuted at CES this year, but it’s something we could all use, and it protects against the loss of the data we gathered with all our other cool toys.