CES 2016 Wrap-Up

CES 2016 WAS FANTASTIC

Virtual and Augmented Reality devices, gaming, self-driving cars, robots–so many robots—and much more. CES 2016 was everything a technologically curious person could hope for. CES had it all, and this is my wrap-up from the trenches.

Virtual Views

Virtual Reality and Gaming was a huge category, and there were scads of new Virtual Reality headsets to see. Oculus Rift was obviously present, but since their line promised a minimum hour-long wait, I decided to spend my time checking-out HOLOSEER.

SEER AR goggles

Remember how I said I was going to test out HOLOSEER?

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Me, looking into the ‘great beyond’ of augmented reality.

The HOLOSEER images were crisp, and navigable using only hand motions. It felt like the holograms were right in front of me, which was so very cool. The applications for this tech are massive, from gaming to 3D-modeling. Honestly, it felt like the future had arrived. All initial ‘bugs’ aside, I’m super-ready to play around with one.

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The glory of Oculus Rift under glass. I couldn’t do much about staff getting into frame–they were everywhere.

Virtual Realism

Looks nice, doesn’t it? As I shot flying aliens using the Samsung Gear VR I also managed to chat with a few of those abundantly present Oculus Rift employees. Samsung Gear VR is certainly fun, but it’s not really the VR experience I wanted. This concerns me about the future quality of The Oculus Rift because others I’ve talked to have also said Oculus Rift didn’t meet expectations. We’ll see what happens.

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Infinadeck competition! Walking in virtual reality.

Above is another virtual reality form by Virtuix Omni. Personally, I don’t think this version matches Infinadeck, but it’s better on price.

I accidentally stumbled on a pair of augmented reality glasses made by ODG, and they were out of this world. I honestly couldn’t believe their capabilities. The ODG set turned flat surfaces into 3D buildings as I watched Spongebob. I’d consider getting them. There’s only one potential down-side. Although the shape is nicely suspended so you don’t feel the heat during use, I could really feel the heat when I took them off.

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R-7 Smartglasses look really cool. Image courtesy of www.osterhoutgroup.com

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Royole Portable Theater. Image courtesy of www.royole.com

I also stopped at Royole, for an interesting visit. They featured a new portable home-theater. They aren’t virtual reality goggles but a comfortably wearable screen that travels easily. Royoles also feature flexible touch sensors and displays–honestly, I am pretty sure they’re the same thing. Overall, this was one of the most impressive items because I love the idea of role-up TV’s, or a wristband phone for a little flash.

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The role-up smart phone of the future could be the size of a pen.

“Drones, Vehicles, and Robots, Oh My!”

After walking the trenches of CES, I’m sure drones are going to take over. They were everywhere, and every year they become larger and larger.

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Who needs a car, when you could have a drone?

So, this ins’t a flying car because it doesn’t have wheels, but it is a drone you can climb into and fly around in. Still no test drives, I asked.

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Instead of swimming pools, maybe the future will see people using drone submarines to explore the ocean depths, or the pool. Of course, there are drone submarines. They’ve been around for a while, but the difference between a drone and a remote control vehicle, now that’s confusing.

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There was so many different drones and so many different ways to control them.

Drones are fascinating, and many look cooler this year, but I feel the drone market is over-saturated. Good thing there were lots of self-driving cars.

Self-Driving Future

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Toyota was all about futuristic looks

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This one reminds me of my favorite childhood toy. A really cool toy.

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In a Mercedes, the coolest of all cars, future luxury looks slick.

Nvidia had a booth next to the car companies because they now make a motherboard that enables cars to self-drive. Nvidia also does the screen graphics, which basically means Nvidia has carved out an important chunk of the auto industry.

Bots Born to Rule

I’m increasingly confident drones and robots will inevitably team up, and proceed to take over the world.

This little guy followed me around and changed his expression based on my reactions. The more pictures I took, the happier he became, but when I stopped, he gave me such a look that I briskly walked away. I think he’s still happy, but I’m not quite sure.

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His name is Buddy.

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Star Wars made an appearance

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A robot for battling with friends

There were booths showcasing robot games, or let’s be honest, robot battles. The above picture is one robot that grabbed my interest. The team is actually developing a full-fledged game that allows you to battle your friends using a deck and general robot combat. I really want one.

Purdue University’s booth showcased miraculous tech, a glove that allows users to control robots with hand motion. I tested it out, and even in this early stage, it works phenomenally well.

360°

CES is a photographer’s dream, so there were lots of cameras and people taking pictures. Two cameras really stuck out.

Vuze won Last Gadget Standing, which is a very difficult and important CES competition. Vuze captures 360 degrees of 3D video at 4K resolution. Awesome huh?

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Vuze: A concern for GoPro?

It doesn’t necessarily look durable, but after I tested it out, it was incredible. Again, the future bells are ringing with an entirely new way to look at video. Being able to look everywhere, at anything in such high resolution, not to mention astonishing 3D, devices like Vuze will forever change the way consumers watch sports.

Another serious GoPro threat is the 360FLY.

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This ‘ball of awesomeness’ is  the future of action-sports video capture

360FLY captures 360 degrees of 4K resolution in two distinct camera styles.

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360FLYs remind me of the Star Wars Trash Compactor monster, affectionately known as a “Dianoga

The camera looks cool, but the video is better. 360FLY automatically tracks motion, so it always sees the action you’re focused on. It’s set up so the most action-filled video painlessly uploads to social media or YouTube. It’s a view I’ve never seen before, watching a video multiple times from different perspectives based on where you look. I am excited to see more 360FLY video. Cool stuff!

360fly_BRG Mt Bike Helmet_Bike 360FLY designs lie flat making it highly aerodynamic

Final Thoughts

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Hoverboard, by Lexus

Lexus’s overboard doesn’t work on grass or a normal streets. It’s designed for a specific kind of future skate-park that looks normal, but uses a magnetized surface. Its the closest thing to Back To The Future I’ve ever seen.

One of my personal favorites was the Phonotonic. I love to dance, but this piece of tech truly busts moves and shakes booty. It helps those who have less musical talent than they think create their own unique rhythms by shaking the Phonotonic. Beats change based on how much you shake it.

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Ain’t it just adorable? Image courtesy of www.phonotonic.net

There you have it, my CES wrap-up. There was so much more at CES than I could possibly cover, but here you will find some of the things I thought were really cool. Keep a weather eye out for drones, and have a great week!

— Ollie (Ollie climbs out of the CES trench, returning to his native land)

CES Is Just Around The Corner

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Logo from cesweb.org

That’s right, CES begins in 24 hours, and I couldn’t be more excited. This year promises many new exciting gadgets and tech trends.

I will be your man in the trenches, updating K-UTE social media with the latest and greatest from CES, 2016. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of blogging to follow up. I am most excited about virtual reality. Oculus Rift is expected to come out Q1 2016. This is the year virtual reality makes its big debut. Keep your fingers crossed.

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 Kyle Tezak | Oculus Rift 2016

Along with Oculus Rift, there’s Infinadeck, which looks awesome. It is the world’s first true Omnidirectional Treadmill. The VR user can now run-walk. Instead of creating the illusion of walking or running, users can actually walk or run in one location. In the end, it’s all about a virtual world that seems completely real, definitely a big jump to a seamlessly realistic experience.

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Does he even know he is walking on a treadmill? Image provided by Infinadeck

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This brings a whole new level to gaming realism. Image provided by Infinadeck

I am also curious to find out how good holograms look on Microsoft’s HoloLens because my secret Death Star plans need to be extremely detailed, so I can send them to my rebel friends.

Use gestures, gaze and voice to control Microsoft HoloLens

That looks pretty good to me. Image taken from microsoft.com

Microsoft is not the only company trying to create holograms. HOLOSEER is pretty much doing the same thing, and I’m currently trying to set up a demo with them during CES. Whether or not my schedule allows remains to be seen. Either way, SEER is pretty cool, and there are lots of demos on their website www.caputer.com. Stay tuned, I hope to show one to you guys.

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A new perspective for the future! Image provided by HOLOSEER

Aside from the many cool gadgets that literally change the way I see things, I also want a peek at self-driving cars. Apparently, these cars have been ready since the last CES. But the population isn’t yet ready, and current laws don’t exactly favor them. One thing worth mentioning, is Nvidia’s emerging relationship with auto retailers. They are now helping to make self-driving cars possible with smarter and nicer-looking interfaces. Count on me checking this out.

I think jet pack and laser gun should be included. Image from prodigitalweb.com.

HUDs or Heads-Up-Displays are also riveting. Multiple versions are to be showcased at CES. HUDs can be used while driving so you drivers can do just about whatever they please. I definitely see lots of practical uses for HUDs, but it also seems like they could potentially distract drivers from important things, like keeping their eyes on the road.

I received the funniest email in preparation for my CES trip titled, “TELEPORTATION will be showcased at CES.” I fell out of my chair it was so funny. Was it possible? But as you might guess, it turned out to be a letdown. It definitely wasn’t the teleportation I was looking for. Nevertheless, it’s still interesting what “Expert Teleportation” is doing, which uses smart glass that basically allows people to communicate and move data very quickly. To my dismay, I don’t think any molecules are being torn apart.

Undoubtedly, Mad Catz will release stuff that looks even more like Transformers. I’ll really be impressed the day I get a genuinely autonomously transforming mouse/robot friend.

All the new phones will be exciting, but what really gets me are their virtual capabilities. The idea that virtual reality goggles can exist inside our phones, capable of augmenting the world we know, is mind-blowing. It would also prevent loss of expensive equipment because of careless drops, and the price tag for an Oculus Rift. All you need is a snazzy head-strap with a place to snap your phone in.

There will be much to see at this year’s CES, which means I’ll probably be distracted the entire time. But please, let me know what you’d like to see at the show in the Comments section (below).

Hope you got your fill of games with the Steam Winter Sale and are enjoying the first week of the New Year!

-Ollie (grabs his camera and prepares for the trenches of CES)