This year’s CES showcased a lot of new and enticing technology products. I had the opportunity to spend some time walking the show floor and here are the top five products that caught my eye.
1. Panasonic AX800 4K LCD TV
Panasonic has always had a reputation for producing some of the best plasma TVs on the market. However, just a couple of months ago they announced the discontinuation of their plasma product line due to declining profits, leaving TV picture quality enthusiasts (myself included) to wonder how they could ever replace those amazing black levels and smooth motion with an LCD display. Enter the AX800 4K LCD TV.
Panasonic had a small black room setup for a comparison of their ZT60 plasma (the best on the market) versus the brand new AX800. Overall, the side-by-side comparison was very impressive. The black levels were still minimally better on the ZT60 but the rest of the colors were much more vibrant on the AX800. This is Panasonic’s first real try at incorporating their plasma TV expertise into their 4K LCD displays and based on this example, the future of 4K television looks promising.
2. LG Flexible OLED TV
Curved TV’s were everywhere at the show this year, as mostly all TV manufacturers had a curved TV on display. They claim that the curve enhances the viewing experience by providing the perfect angle, but the problem is that if you aren’t looking straight on, the picture can become unwatchable. The 77-inch flexible OLED display from LG presents a solution to this problem. With the press of a button on the remote control the display actually bends back and forth so if you are watching with a small group and looking straight on, you can watch it in the curved position but when you invite all of your friends over for the Superbowl party, you can make the display flat for easier viewing from any angle.
No word yet on when this TV will hit the market or how much it will be but at least it shows what the potential can be for flexible OLED displays.
3. Mio Link
For fitness buffs, monitoring your heart rate accurately normally requires wearing an uncomfortable chest strap. One of the best fitness products I saw at CES solves that problem. The Mio Link is a heart rate monitor that is worn around the wrist and provides a continuous measurement by reading your heart rate using an optical sensor that monitors volume of blood flow directly underneath the skin. The Mio Link will be available to purchase this Spring and will hook up directly to your smartphone through the Mio Go app using Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ technology.
The best part about the Mio Go app, however, is that not only does it provide you with all of your heart rate data but it also helps you with your workout routine. You can use the app to recreate the beauty of running or cycling outdoors even when you are stuck working out on a treadmill or cycling trainer. The app provides some preset courses and a visual display to chart your progress through the course based on the reading from your heart rate.
Do you remember when the iRobot came along and revolutionized the way that we clean our floors? The WINBOT from Ecovacs is attempting to provide the same level of convenience and automation to the cleaning of our windows.
The WINBOT uses suction technology to stick itself on to the window but still has the ability to move freely so it can automatically clean. If you have some large windows in your home that provide you with a breathtaking view, this device provides a fun and innovative way for keeping the window constantly clean. On the show floor they had several WINBOT’s setup that were constantly moving around and they didn’t have any issue with staying secure to the glass, and they certainly kept the glass clean.
5. Muse brain sensing headband
There are several booths at CES that are setup to grab your attention but as I was perusing the show floor, no booth stood out to me more than that of Muse. There was a long line leading up to a massive clear dome with just a few people inside wearing a headband and relaxing calmly with their eyes closed.
That headband they were wearing was Muse, the brain sensing headband from InteraXon. The Muse headband contains seven EEG sensors that monitor brainwaves and relay that information to a smartphone app called Calm. The Calm app walks you through a series of exercises that try to keep you focused and still. It receives feedback from the sensors and adjusts the exercise accordingly. The goal is to help you learn how to settle your mind by reducing stress and improving concentration.
What products announced at CES 2014 are you most excited for?