CES 2017 might have grabbed all the headlines, but outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center is a special event showcasing some of the best new gadgets on the scene. Check some of the amazing gadgets and gizmos on show at this year’s Pepcom Las Vegas.
Endless Mission Mini and Mission One computers
Small, compact computers are nothing new, but rarely do they look as classy as the new Mission Mini and Mission One computers from Endless. Made from sustainably harvested bamboo, the two computers run Linux-based Endless OS and are packed full of apps and tools to help teach coding.
How often do you see your kids on an iPad and wonder, “maybe they should be doing something a little more active”? Rather than question your own parenting skills, the Think & Learn Smart Cycle sort of kills two birds with one stone by providing educational games designed to teach them STEM subjects and also get them pedalling at the same time. It connects to a device via Bluetooth, comes with free and paid-for apps and by the looks of things, is big enough to give your own brain a mini workout session.
In-ear headphones are notoriously uncomfortable if you have weird ears, which is why these Decibullz earbuds will be sweet music to your lugholes. By soaking the thermoplastic earpieces in hot water they can be moulded and shaped to match your ear, meaning they are much better at isolating sound, way more comfortable and significantly sturdier so they won’t drop out as you trot around the park. And if they don’t feel quite right you can just reshape them by heating them up again.
Why do you need a smart bike lock, surely all it needs to do is lock your bike up and make sure nobody nicks it? That’s true, but let’s face it, enough bikes are pinched these days that any extra security tricks are worth their weight in, erm, bike locks. The Ellipse smart bike lock uses Bluetooth technology to alert your phone up to 240m away if the lock is being tampered with so you can peg it back to see what’s up. It’s solar powered, so it’s not going to run out of power on you and Lattis, the company behind it, hopes they will be used as part of an affordable bike-sharing scheme.
We’ve all had what was once a delicious hot cup of tea until you left it a little too long and is now a tepid cup of disappointment. The Ember mug is a temperature-controlled mug that keeps your tea or coffee at your preferred heat for hours, which is pretty cool if you ask us.
Ever turned Run DMC up to 10 only to find you’re the one person on the dance floor who can’t pop, lock or breakdance? No? Just us then… These Atomic Bands from Funky Bots are designed for poor saps like us with two left feet to get us grooving by providing haptic feedback to the two-wrist mounted motion bands helping to teach street dance with the accompanying app. As well as looking like a futuristic yin and yang, they also provide apps and games for learning martial arts as well as helping with fitness training.
Hands up if you hate commuting. There are probably a few lofty palms up there right now, which is why the URB-E is probably going to be on the top of your gadget wish list. Powered by a removable battery, the URB-E is a folding electric bike that weighs in around 13kg (a little more than a Brompton), which will have you nipping in and out of traffic as you nip between A and B. It’s made in the USA with aircraft-grade aluminium and has a top speed of 14mph with range of about 16 miles. Best bit – it has a bottle opener in the seat for popping open a refreshing beverage when you get home.
Think of German engineering and he likes of BMW and Audi probably spring to mind, but the clever bods at Vorwerk have put their skills towards engineering the perfect kitchen gadget instead. The Thermomix weighs, chops, blends and whizzes up meals and drinks in moments thanks to its multifunctional bowl, and carefully guides you through the cooking process with clear step-by-step instructions on the screen. It has thousands of recipes in the database, including one for the very tasty margarita it made for us.
Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean they can’t get on the fitness tracking game. As well as doing the business of pushing babies around, the 4Moms Stroller has power-generating wheels that provide juice to the LCD dashboard, which measures temperature, time, distance travelled, speed and battery levels. It’ll also charge your phone and power the head and tail lights on the buggy. You can also sync it up to an app for more fitness tracking fun. And push a baby…
We first got a glimpse of the HP Omen X back in August, but what we’ve not yet seen is an awesome screen with seemingly supernatural specs. And lo, the new screen from HP designed to match this beautiful gaming box with NVIDIA G-Sync technology to reduce stutter and lag, and a whopping 35-inch WQHD 21:9 display curved screen. The portents are strong with this one.
Sitting somewhere between a moped and a scooter, the OjO is a pretty groovy way to get around town. This fully electric scooter will last a full 25 miles on a single charge, with three speeds to chug along at, maxing out at 20mph. It comes in seven funky colours, has Bluetooth speakers built in and has an interactive touch screen.
The Airbar is a USB adapter that sits under your laptop screen and uses light to turn the monitor into a fully functioning touchscreen. It’s not the first time that we got to see the Airbar, but Pepcom gave us the first opportunity to try out – all we can say is that it works really well and were genuinely surprised as to how quick and accurate it was. It now works for Macs as well, which means you can smarten up your dumb old retina screen in to a fully-fingerprinted screen of dreams.
Teaching kids to code was big news at CES 2017, but most of the time you needed a computer or tablet to get things going. The KUBO Robot uses TagTiles, which are coloured tiles that the smiling little android rolls over for instructions, getting rid of any need for devices. There is quite a list of commands that teach maths, language and music, and watching the little fella trundle along is quite a delight for the mini-coders out there.
If anybody tells you CES is no work and all play they are having a laugh – traipsing miles around convention halls and playing with oodles of gadgets is a trying exercise. Fortunately, the Muse meditation glasses were like a little oasis of calm. They look like shades but they measure your brain signals to take a snapshot of your resting rate and use this to guide you through meditation sessions. You can then see how your session went on the accompanying app. In the words of Willie from Lock Stock…
Beef wellington – one of the single most terrifying foods to cook for fear of overcooking your pastry-entombed hunk of meat. June is a clever convection oven with an inbuilt thermometer and internal camera so that you can keep an eye on whatever it is you’re cooking up, getting rid of the guesswork and meaning you’ll never have an overcooked steak again. There are a huge amount of presets built in and you control it all from the inbuilt touch screen. Hot stuff!
Well, this could be peak IoT. Withings are usually associated with fitness trackers and but hair’s a new gadget to add to their roster of health products. Filled with sensors like a microphone, accelerometer and conductivity sensors, this smart brush is able to work out the quality of your hair and assess your brushing routine, giving you enough info to stop hacking the hairs out of your head and leaving lovely, luscious locks. Still, with L’Oréal behind it, let’s not just brush this one aside.
Coffee is hot right now and there were plenty of cool machines at CES to serve you a fresh cup o’ Joe in the morning, but the Bonaverde was the only one we saw that takes you all the way from green bean to mug. All you do is put the green beans in the top and 15 minutes later the Bonaverde will have roasted them, ground them up and poured you a drink Agent Cooper would be proud of. We didn’t get to try it, but apparently it is smooth as the roasted bean doesn’t get a chance to oxidise and make it bitter.