A Look into the Future: The Best of 2016’s Consumer Electronics Show

By

Aaron Feigenbaum

This year’s Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place from January 6-9th and presented new, exciting advancements in the areas of high-tech cars, smart homes, virtual reality and TV display technology. Here are some of the best and most innovative gadgets on display.

Faraday Future’s FFZERO1: The secretive carmaker Faraday Future, which recently received major incentives from the Nevada state government to build a factory in the state, finally unveiled its much anticipated concept car. While it’s not quite the “Tesla-killer” that many in the tech press had anticipated it would be, this unusual electric car does show promise, particularly in its performance and design. The roadster can achieve a whopping 1,000 horsepower at a top speed of over 200 mph. The unique aerodynamic build sucks in air to reduce drag and cool the battery. Faraday hasn’t said much about the interior tech, but they did say that the steering wheel has a built-in compartment for a smartphone, allowing for superior control of the vehicle both inside and out. Faraday plans to debut its actual production model sometime in the future.

Faraday Future

Chevy Bolt: A more serious contender to the Tesla, the Chevy Bolt, is being dubbed by some as the “first mass-market electric car.” Chevy claims the car can travel 200 miles on a single charge and costs as low as $30,000 after a federal tax credit. The Bolt is equipped with all the latest tech including radar and camera-based collision avoidance, a rear camera mirror, a touchscreen dashboard and a 4G LTE WiFi-enabled smart hub that’s compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Overall, for its price, performance and cool gadgetry, the Bolt promises to be a significant new entry in the electric vehicle market.

Chevy Bolt

Fitbit Blaze: Fitbit’s thin, light and sleek wearable fitness tracker dominated much of the talk at CES. For its latest model, Fitbit has put in a more accurate heart rate sensor, automatic sleep and activity tracking as well as improved the functionality of its app.

Fitbit Blaze

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator: Smart home technology was featured throughout the CES display halls, but this innovation is undoubtedly one of the best in the field. The large, Android-powered touchscreen enables users to browse the Web, research recipes, see items in the fridge without opening the door, via a camera, and more. One of the most useful features is that it can automatically replace groceries that are low in stock and have them delivered to your home. The refrigerator is also fully connected to Samsung’s other Internet of Things devices, which means you can use it to do things like turn on and off lights or stream music and T.V.

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

LG Signature OLED TV: LG’s latest TV screen was a favorite at CES, and for good reason. Its crisp, bright 4K OLED (organic light emitting diode) display and astonishing thinness of less than 3 millimeters makes it one of the most striking and beautiful of its kind. Manufacturers are increasingly storing the electronic guts of the TV inside the base but few have done so as elegantly as LG has with this unit. Add to that Dolby Vision high dynamic range and you have a truly advanced piece of technology.

LG Signature OLED TV

 

Ehang 184: Chinese drone manufacturer wowed CES audiences by announcing an electric quadcopter that’s big and sturdy enough to carry a passenger. The company says their self-flying 184 model can sustain a flight of 10 miles or about 23 minutes. While Ehang didn’t show off any videos of people taking off in the 184, they say they’ve completed successful trials in China. However, it’s unlikely that this concept will take off anytime soon due to FAA regulations and potential safety concerns. Nonetheless, with the popularity of self-driving cars and drones increasing, it’s not unlikely that a combination of the two might one day roam the skies.

Ehang 184

Oculus Rift: CES 2016 was a defining moment for virtual reality technology with the announcement of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift. Oculus, owned by Facebook, promises to deliver one of the most immersive VR experiences available. The Rift is set to have a strong selection of games and strong sales when it releases at the end of March, although the price ($600) and the necessity to have a high-end gaming PC to power the unit are major points of contention for many VR fans. The Rift faces steep competition with company’s such as Sony and HTC, which are set to debut their own VR units later this year.

Oculous Rift

Hydrao Smart Shower: Water-conscious Californians will appreciate the technology behind this sophisticated smart showerhead. It connects to an app that tells you how much water you’re using and the showerhead itself will light up in three different colors as you reach each interval of water used (e.g. 5 gallons etc.) Hydrao fits any standard shower and uses the water running through it to power its LED lights and Bluetooth connection.

Hydrao Smart Shower