Highlights from Day 2 at CES 2015
Bandwagon is an app to help you beat the queue for a cab. If like me, you would rather walk until your feet bleed than wait in line for 10 minutes, this is clearly the holy grail of app services.
You simply put into the Bandwagon app your destination, and if 2 other people are matched to you, the three of you skip to the front of the queue, much to the dismay of everyone else.
You save time, get to split your fare, and save the environment too.
I wish I’d thought of that.
Storedot superfast battery charging
Regrettably, the status of your smartphone’s battery is something you are intimately familiar with, and battery performance is years behind the technology that relies on it.
However, a company called Storedot are claiming to have invented a superfast charging unit that will charge a mobile device in less than a minute. 30 seconds, in fact.
It’s important to note that this can’t be retro-fitted to standard phones – it’s a new type of battery more than a clever charger. It’s also important to note that it hasn’t been officially proven yet – this could yet be smoke and mirrors. But despite this, literally all of the tech giants are falling over themselves to get a piece of this Israeli firm’s innovation.
The future is looking brighter than your dimmed-to-save-power smartphone display.
Bluetooth light speaker
One of the smartest ideas we’ve found at CES this year is the LED light speaker.
This replaces your standard tungsten light bulb with a device which houses an adjustable LED light and a bluetooth speaker. This solves problems of wiring in speakers, the LED bulb saves you energy, and if you’d rather not have to look at your bookshelf speakers, almost hides them too.
There’s a wifi version to be released this year, which would allow more than one speaker to be used at a time (Bluetooth allows only one-to-one device connections). Furthermore, there’s a subwoofer accessory if you wish to have full range audio, to complete the package.
If I were handing out awards at CES this year, this would be at the top of my list for sure.
Ninebot – Transport of the future
As you’ll recall from yesterday’s blog, we’re not talking about hoverboards any more, but here’s something better.
Ninebot’s flagship model is an inferior Segway rip-off. But their own one-wheel design is an electric unicycle called Ninebot One.
The E version will do about 12mph, which is really fast for something you’re just balancing on, and it’ll pull you up a 15 degree hill climb without too much trouble. A very competent exhibitor was hurtling around all the punters on one, and I asked her if it it was easy to learn: “No. Very hard” came the reply.
Hmmm. I still really want one though!
Dino-lite USB Microscope
These days, it’s staggering how much tech you can get for $99. More specifically, you can get a stunning USB microscope from Dino-Lite.
I’m a curious chap, and while I’m sure there are some really good uses for this, I’m going to get one just so I can have a good ol look at stuff.
Learn to fly
Last year CES was all about unmanned systems, and we were well prepared from some serious advancements this year.
Yet still, we’ve been blown away by what has been achieved in 12 months. Things have got smaller, smarter and bigger, and seeing this stuff in the flesh is something else.
There’s loads of drones calling you to ditch your GoPro and rig up full blown camera systems, from a dSLR to RED cameras.
While the days of the expensive helicopter shots are surely numbered, I would still have my heart in my mouth sending up a few grands worth of high end camera equipment attached to nothing more than a beefed up hobbyists toy. I suppose that’s what insurance is for.
On the smaller end, this Nanodrone is made by Zano, a Pembrokeshire based firm whose aim was to raise £125,000 on Kickstarter. With £2.3M at the time of writing, it’s safe to say that they’re doing alright, and having spoken to a couple of the Zano guys, it’s easy to see why.
The drone captures selfies of you, by flying about, following you and filming you, always keeping a set distance.
If it loses you, it can go home by itself or go to where it last had contact. It’s a really impressive product, and there’s loads more planned for it.
It’ll retail at just £168 which is half that of a GoPro (which we love too, but hey, it just doesn’t fly!) and you are encouraged to check out their Kickstarter page for more info here.
We checked out some seriously cool Swarming drones too, they were performing some highly synchronised aerobatics, as you can see from this short video.