Every January, the consumer electronics industry has a massive expo in Las Vegas that shows off the latest and greatest in technology. Every year there are some stand-out, amazing products… and some that are just plain dumb. In this article we look at some of the best – and worst – of CES 2014.
Five of the best
1) High Resolution Audio
A range of manufacturers displayed new products designed to support the rapidly growing area of hi-res digital audio. In the portable arena Sony showed off a new hi-res Walkman along with Astell & Kern with a $2,400 player. High Res Audio (or HRA as it has been dubbed) was flagged by Consumer Electronics Association boss Howard Shapiro as one of the biggest trends for 2014 and beyond, and it has gained plenty of support from major record labels, artists and manufacturers.
2) McIntosh MXA70
Some may say it’s heresy for a venerable audio brand like McIntosh to produce a ‘lifestyle’ system. However when you take a look at their new MXA70 system you realise they haven’t strayed too far from tradition…and haven’t cut any corners either.
The MXA70 doesn’t yet have a release date or price, so watch this space!
3) Intel SmartBowl
A nifty idea from Intel – a bowl that charges up all your gadgets just by dropping them in. Using magnetic resonance technology, the Smartbowl is a future product (no timeline provided) that will charge everything from phones, tablets, Bluetooth headsets and more.
4) Naim Statement
In case launching a new amplifier with a $200,000 price tag isn’t enough of a statement, Naim decided to call it Statement too. Consisting of a pre-amp and mono-block power amp, each pair will weigh in at over 160kg and deliver 750w of power. This video reveals all.
5) Pebble Steel Smart Watch
Wearable technology was big at CES 2014, and Pebble’s Steel smart watch is the pick of the products. With an e-paper display and both metal and leather bands supplied, it can look as traditional or modern as you want. Best of all the upcoming app store will deliver a huge range of dedicated apps.
…and five of the worst!
This device looks like a cross between a Russian Babushka doll and a Weeble, with an insidious smile that hints at what’s to come.
The idea is that the coloured ‘cookies’ can be attached to any object – like a toothbrush or water bottle – and the Mother unit will tell you if you’re drinking enough water or your kids are brushing their teeth. The makers Sen.se say that it helps you manage your life. We say it nags and dobs.
Their tag line is ‘Mother knows everything’. Simply terrifying.
Fancy someone on the bus or on the street? Use the upcoming app ‘NameTag’ to take a picture of them, and the app uses facial recognition software to match the pic to their social media and online dating profiles.
You won’t come across as at all creepy as you try to capture the perfect headshot! And we’re sure it’s 100% accurate in matching your sneaky snapshot with your target’s 150×150 pixel thumbnail on Facebook.
3) Navigate Jacket
When you’re trying to get from A to B, why would you want to look at a map or your phone, when your Navigate Jacket can tell you the way?! This oh-so-stylish smart jacket syncs with your phone’s mapping app to guide you to your destination using vibrations in the left and right shoulders.
So if you wear the same clothes every day, are map-illiterate, and are fond of bad ’80′s make-up, this is the jacket for you!
No that’s not a typo. Apparently someone thought that human actors can be a little too realistic so they came up with Robothespian. A programmable robot performer, he speaks, gesticulates and acts just like a real actor, only robotic. Look out Keanu Reeves!
5) iPad Toilet Roll Holder
Forget piles of dated magazines and newspapers in the dunny. Now you can sit on the loo in style with this must-have lavatory accessory!
Exactly why you’d need a holder for the iPad in the loo is a mystery (Dad never needed anyone to hold his newspaper for him), but there you go. Just don’t forget to wipe it down after you go.
Seen any ridiculous (or amazing) gadgets lately? Let us know by posting a comment below: