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CES 2014: The Up and Coming Gadgets for Techies
By Laura Mooney, Arts Editor
Weeks ago, on 7 January 2014, Las Vegas was once again home to one of the world’s largest technology conventions, the Consumer Electronics Show, where the most well known names in the technological universe gathered to show off their latest triumphs, and causied all us tech geeks to mop up our drool from the floor. Featuring the best of the best in television, gaming, cellular, and much more, the four-day event provides the average consumer the opportunity to gain insight into what their favourite companies have been spending all their time on, and allows them to sneak a peek at the products that will be released in the upcoming months. While many of the products presented were simple improvements from past devices, some of the featured technology has been causing quite the excitement in the techie world, with many people waiting in line with a handful of bills and anxiously waiting to get their hands on these just announced products. Here are some of the best gadgets found at this year’s CES:
Oculus Rift – Taking the title of “Best of CES,” the Oculus Rift 3D virtual gaming headset was one of the most talked about items at CES, and still has a good part of the internet buzzing about it. While this particular piece of technology has been in the works for nearly a decade, never before has the world been this close to owning the piece technology in their own home, and at CES the prototype called “Crystal Cove” was made available for everyone to test. Featuring a 1080p display, this amazing piece of equipment will change the face of gaming as the headpiece takes you inside the game as never before. Now gamers will be able to view the game’s environment from all angles, instead of just the typical side-to-side view, you will now be able to look up, down, and every angle possible to gain a full view in the world of the game. The Oculus Rift also features seamless viewing; with virtually no lag or hesitation in the world the user is experiencing, the game appears more real than any prototype presented in the past. The great thing about this product though is that it is not strictly for games. The Oculus Rift is also being marketed for use in teaching labs, where medical students could use simulations to practice surgeries and basic medical procedures. All in all this product won Best of CES for a reason, and the consumer world clearly cannot wait to get their hands on this amazing gadget.
Audi A7 Piloted Driving- The world is one step closer to having vehicles that can drive you, with just the touch of a button. Audi premiered its newest adjustments to its autonomous driving program, now implemented in the beautiful A7, to crowds of people, some of whom were lucky enough to get a test drive. While semi-autonomous cars have been on the road for a few years now, including vehicles that can self-parallel park, Audi’s A7 is the first completely self-driven car to hit the convention scene. What makes the A7 even more appealing is the fact that its sensors are all neatly hidden in the body of the car, making it appear as though it were any other car on the road. This is a huge leap forward seeing as the only other autonomous car on the road is the infamous Google car, which is equipped with the rather large, rather conspicuous, detector on the roof. For those lucky enough to get a ride in one of these awesome Audis, they were treated to demonstrations of its ability to manoeuver with ease through (at this point) light traffic, while recognizing speed limits, and even using facial recognition technology to tell if the driver was nodding off or not paying attention, to which the car would issue an alert to the driver. So while Audi did not provide an exact date that the self-driving car would be released, this is the first major leap towards production that has been shown in the past couple years, but they assured the public during their conference at CES that once it is finally released, it will be just as fantastic as everyone has imagined.
iPhone Equipment- The iPhone in general has become famous for not only the phone itself, but also the infinite amount of things you can get to add on to your phone, and this year at CES, there was more than one single add-on that stood out. First up is the Mophie Space Pack, a case for the iPhone 5 and 5s that not only adds additional battery life to the iPhone, but also adds additional memory. In terms of the iPhone, the one major complaint heard from nearly every user is the inability to alter the amount of space one has on their iPhone, but now with the simple addition of the sleek Space Pack it adds up to an additional 32GB by just putting the case on your phone. These fantastic cases are already available for order and judging by the reaction of the fans at CES, they will be selling fast. One other fantastic tool for the iPhone shown at CES was the immensely popular iPhone stun gun case. Essentially the stun gun case is exactly what it sounds like, a case that fits snugly over your iPhone, and turns it into a high-powered stun gun. While the company Yellow Jackets introduced this product last year, this year they presented it with even better safety precautions, as well as the option to order one with a stronger charge for those who want their phone to be an even more powerful weapon. Although this particular item may not be the most practical, you still have to admit that it is definitely cool.
The Consumer Electronics Show is the place to go for those who want to be the first to have access to some of the best new gadgets that the top electronics companies have to offer, or even just to get a glimpse at what the future holds for technological advances. Either way, CES is a fun way to see just how far we have come in the way of technology, and is a great way to pick up a piece of that advancement for ourselves.