The CES 2017 show made a big splash in Las Vegas last weekend. For those uninitiated to this annual event it’s the go-to place for the biggest tech brands and manufacturers to present their latest innovations. Sadly the team at Snakehive didn’t get to visit Las Vegas personally… so instead we’ve reviewed the best articles and news pieces to find out how tech might get even more involved in our everyday lives, with a particular focus on smartphones and apps.
As way of background CES began over 40 years ago – it was the first to show VCR in 1970 and 11 years later the CD was shown here before anywhere else. These days you rarely see entirely new things. Apparently we’re in an in-between phase, where categories like drones, virtual reality and wearables are growing and advancing but still have a long way to go.
Combining function and design
At Snakehive we’re particularly interested in new launches that combine function with design. It’s a topic that runs close to our heart with our focus on functional design for our own phone cases - such as the multifunctional design in our Slimline Wallet collection. Wired.com has put together a helpful review of the Show’s 10 sharpest designs. We particularly like Tanvas, which is a new technology that can simulate different textures like grainy, fine or wavy so transforming a touchscreen from something you simply touch into something you can actually feel.
The alternative smartphone
Smartphone battery life may not be the most glamorous feature that was discussed at CES but as Wired.com reported it is a much needed area to improve. Better battery life means bigger batteries which goes against the trend towards thin gadgets. But the way we use our phones today means we use them more often, for more things and in more intensive ways – no longer do we simply text or call. The new Honor 6X smartphone was launched at CES with a focus on battery life over time. This was welcomed by Wired.com who concluded that the best gadget is the one that turns on when you need it to…
Our favourite technology finds
For the explorer
The world’s first Smart Whistle has GPS tracking and Bluetooth technology to call, text and email your contacts when you’re in need. You just blow on the mouthpiece or press on the Smart Whistle’s button for two seconds. The texts and emails will contain an SOS message, along with a map containing your current location, which will be continuously updated every two to three minutes until the alert is deactivated.
For the foodie
This connecting frying pan has weight and temperature settings, and can track how much food is in the pan enabling you to count calories. When you select a recipe from the supporting app, it gives you step-by-step cooking instructions based on real-time feedback from the sensors. You’ll never burn or over-cook meals ever again.
The FridgeCam is a wireless camera that fits inside any fridge allowing you to see the contents from anywhere via the app. Alongside the benefits of seeing the contents of the fridge remotely, the FridgeCam will also help track expiry dates, automatically add items to your shopping lists and suggest recipes based on the food in your fridge, which will save on money and food waste.
For the beer maker
The world’s smartest automatic brewing device producing high quality crafted beer from your own home. This lets you add your own ingredients and a recipe via the app to brew your own beer.
For the gamer
The world's first VR shoes and gloves enables users to feel the virtual world through vibrations to stimulate the feeling of being on different surfaces.
For the dog lover
We couldn’t help but notice a couple of interesting devices with our office dog Clover in mind. Link AKC is a smart dog collar that means you'll always know where your dog is via GPS on your phone; you can check your dog's activity and health; and record, save and share your doggy adventures.
Or if you want to understand your dog's behaviour you could try out the smart dog collar by Jagger & Lewis — designed to observe your pet, advise you in his care, and quickly alert you when he's not feeling well. You could find out how your dog is when you're not around. Is he feeling well? Is he anxious? Agitated? Does he bark during the day? Is he eating properly? The app will let you know.
Innovation at CES goes well beyond smartphones and apps obviously but as a wrap-up blog from a company designing and supplying smartphone accessories, we had to limit ourselves – it would be easy to get carried away with the many tech launches. Amazon’s Alexa was behind a lot of interesting devises for example – there were Alexa-powered fridges, Alexa-powered cars and Alexa-powered lights.
One area that inspired us is tech for good. An example project is Aipoly Vision. We’re really impressed with this app which helps blind people to understand their surroundings. The app reads aloud what the screen is displaying via image recognition software.
If you’re interested in seeing more ideas and products, check out the winners of the CES’s Innovation Awards. See what the judges thought was particularly special this year here.