As CES 2016 has come to a wrap, it’s that time again to share with you some of the most innovative and interesting finds from this year’s show. (If you haven’t reminisced yet, take a look at the coolest and most useful devices from CES 2015).
Before we list off our 6 favourite picks from this year, it might interest the reader to know that while CES 2015 was a playground for groundbreaking ideas, CES 2016 was seemingly more about following through on last year’s promises, and significantly improving 2015’s disruptive innovations.
Top Smart Home Pick: Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
For a while now Vordik has been touting the mass potential of consumer IoT and the blossoming smart home market, and we are certainly not the only ones. Yet with every well-known household brand trying desperately to jump on the trend and advance household appliances, many of the ideas we’ve seen have been more flashy than truly useful to consumers. Samsung’s Family Hub smart fridge is the first attempt that may actually break the mould. The name comes from the idea that the kitchen has always been a gathering place in the family home. Instead of a traditional door, there is a digital panel with a variety of capabilities. Samsung has re-imagined tacky magnets in to sleek digital notes, integrated a music streaming application, and given the panel the ability to see in to the fridge without having to open the door. In this transparent mode, consumers can add virtual expiration labels on items, as well as being able to send images of the fridge’s contents directly to their phones, making grocery shopping a much less daunting task.
Top Virtual Reality Pick: Sony PlayStation VR
It seems wherever you looked; virtual reality dominated the scene at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016. Those in the tech industry have had the opportunity to play around with virtual reality for a few years, and it seems that the general public will finally be getting their turn very shortly (if you’re okay with Oculus Rift’s recent price hike). The great thing about Sony’s version is that it only requires owning a PS4 to work, which means 36 million people will easily be able to get their hands on the device without needing to buy anything new. Whether you have one or not, however, get ready to see a whole lot more of VR in the near future!
Top Fitness Tracker Pick: Lumo Run Smart + Run Sensor
The face of fitness has been changing very rapidly with the help of technology. This was very obvious at CES 2016, where many of the new wearables were geared towards improving consumer health and fitness. The Lumo bundle comes in the form of workout shorts that are meant to act as a personal running coach. Fitted with an IMU, accelorometer, magnetometer, barometer and gyroscope, the shorts train through haptic feedback and data that is collected on the consumer’s smartphone. They can distinguish between different movements; compare the user’s activity to that of an Olympic runner, and coach runners on improving running skills. Overall, a very interesting concept!
Top Drone Pick: Lily Camera Drone
This little lightweight drone is controlled through a wrist device and marketed more as a camera than a multi-purpose drone. That is probably the aspect that makes Lily one of the most immediately useable devices in its category. With a simple toss in the air (or even under water), Lily acts as a personal photographer/videographer, producing stunning high quality imagery wherever it flies.
Top Business Device Pick: RFI6 Cube
As we are a design and development agency, we have always been fans of simplicity when it comes to technology – and it doesn’t get much simpler than the Cube mobile projector. For the size of the device, it packs a powerful punch, blowing up videos and presentations up to 120 inches without sacrificing image quality. All in all it’s a great little tool, and its portability takes a lot of hassle out of conferences and meetings on-the-go.
Top Home Entertainment Pick: Samsung HW-K950
It’s impossible to talk about the Consumer Electronics Show without mentioning some of the show-stopping new products in home entertainment. Every year, the fight for the clearest picture is aggressive, but Samsung was a serious contender in 2016. The biggest selling point of the HW-K950 entertainment unit, however, was the innovative surround sound system. It is incredibly simple in design, and very easy to set up, yet the sheer power that emerges from the Dolby Atmos “3D sound bubble” is enough to satisfy even the pickiest of audiophiles.
Once again, CES left us inspired, refreshed and very optimistic about the technological advances that 2016 will bring. If you’re hungry for more you can always check out the thousands of products that we simply didn’t have time to cover here.
Until next year, CES!