The Consumer Electronics Show every year in glamorous Las Vegas is one of the highlights of the tech calendar. We went to CES Unveiled, a preview of next year’s show at the slightly less glamorous South Bank of London to see what techs finest had to offer.
Roku have been locked in an arms race with the Apple TV to provide amazing puck-sized boxes that stream hi-def content to your TVs. The Roku 3 packs a lot in a little package, with Spotify, Netflix, Plex and services like iPlayer and Now5 built in. The motion-sensitive remote also works like a Wii controller so you can play Angry Birds. The remote also has a headphone jack so you can listen to TV without disturbing your flat mates. Sadly (and like all Roku boxes) there’s still no official streaming support for YouTube or Vimeo, which is a little like an Italian restaurant that has taken pizza and pasta off the menu.
Fitness trackers are all the rage, with great devices on offer from Fitbit and Jawbone (and potentially Apple if the 5S co-processor takes off). However, new kid on the block Fitbug were showing off their Orb activity tracker, which logs exercise,monitors sleep and doesn’t need recharging – all for the low, low price of £45. The a Orb can be worn as a watch, clipped on a belt or discretely attached to your underwear. Much like the latest Fitbits, data can be streamed wirelessly to an app. And to keep you motivated to actually use the thing, Orb comes with Kik – a digital coach.
Google Glasses may have a powerful amount of mindshare, but they aren’t the only horse in the wearable camera market. Sunnycam have been producing video recording glasses for a while and their latest range both look and ‘see’ better, with improved optics recording up to 1080p and a refined design, prescription lenses and shatterproof glass. They can also ‘hear’ better with improved audio recording capabilities. All this and more can be on your face from Q1 2014.
Arcam AV950 AV Receiver
Arcam have always treated audio with gravitas and their top of the line AV950 combines reference-grade audio quality with an iPad app – so despite the extreme power at your fingertips, it remains easy to install and use. Even on a crowded conference floor the precision and power of the sound was abundantly clear.
OnBeat Solar Headphones
Want high-quality sound on the go? The over-ear headphone market is pretty crowded but OnBeat have figured out a way to stand out – helping out smartphone users’ perennial plight – running out of battery. The solar panel built into the top of the OnBeat Solar Headphones generates enough power to be able to constantly recharge smartphones and tablets whilst they are playing music. The integrated flexible solar cell has a power output of approximately 0.55W. The energy is stored in two light-weight Lithium Ion batteries held within the two ear cups for a balanced weight and fit on the head. Definitely my favourite thing.