The annual International Consumer Electronics Show is currently being held in Las Vegas, and runs until 8 January. The event showcases over 3,600 exhibitors, and more than 150,000 attendees are expected to be walking the floor.
To help you keep on top of it all, here’s a roundup of the latest tech news winging its way from Nevada. Be sure to bookmark this page and keep checking back, as we’ll be updating it regularly.
A charger that tells you when to use it
If you’ve ever kicked yourself because you’ve forgotten to charge your phone before you leave the house, then this is the charger for you. Because Griffin Technology’s PowerBlock Beacon actually lets you know when you should be using it.
The charger itself doesn’t speak to you, as cool as that would be. It simply connects to the accompanying app on your phone over Bluetooth, and monitors your battery level. When your percentage drops below a certain amount (which you can specify), you’ll get a reminder to head to your nearby PowerBlock Beacon. The good people at Griffin Technology reckons this smarter-than-the-average-charger be available in a few short months, along with a PowerJolt Beacon for in-car use.
Two new phones from ZTE
Chinese phone maker, ZTE, has announced details of two new phones. The first is a new addition to its popular Blade series.
The Blade V8 Pro offers a large 5.5-inch display, fingerprint scanner, dual 13MP camera and a hefty 3,140mAh battery. It’s a US-only release at the moment.
The second ZTE is something a little different. It goes by the name of Hawkeye, and it’s being crowd-funded on Kickstarter.
Hawkeye has eye-tracking capabilities and is self-adhesive. So in theory you’ll be able to stick it on a wall, mirror or the back of a train seat, and use it hands-free. Initial deliveries are planned for September.
HTC Vive’s new tracker can turn anything into a VR controller
HTC has unveiled a new VR accessory that could have a huge impact. The Vive Tracker has all the tracking points of a Vive controller built-in, and it’ll let developers turn virtually any real-life object into a controller.
Imagine playing VR tennis with an actual racket, or fighting a VR fire with a proper hose (but without real water, obviously). You get the idea.
LG’s home robot
Another day at CES, another robot – so say hello to the Hub bot from LG. It’s powered by Alexa, and has a strangely cute animated face that looks at you when you’re speaking to it. Hub bot can control your connected smart home products, and mini-Hubs will be available to place throughout your home, so you can issue commands from different rooms.
Honor 6x – an affordable smartphone
The Chinese phone manufacturer Honor unveiled its new mid-range smartphone, the Honor 6X, and we were especially impressed with the dual camera that lets you create some impressive effects. Take a look at the video above for more details, or check out this article: Honor 6X revealed at CES 2017.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 - faster charging and better VR
Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 835 chip is on its way, and we’ll start seeing it in devices as early as the first half of 2017. It features Quick Charge 4.0 - brand new fast-charging tech that Qualcomm says will give 5 hours of use from just 5 minutes of charging. And perhaps even more exciting, the next-generation chip also promises to give us better VR experiences, with faster 3D graphics and 60 times more colour. Sound processing has also been improved, to give you true-to-life sounds when you’re immersed in a VR world.
Swarovski smartwatch for ladies
During Qualcomm’s press conference it was revealed that a Swarovski smartwatch for ladies is coming soon. The teaser video above doesn’t go as far as revealing it unfortunately, and no other details have been revealed – apart from the fact that it’ll be an Android wearable powered by a Snapdragon processor. The official release will be at Baselworld in March 2017.
Olly the desktop robot
A UK-based start-up has created a desktop robot that goes by the name of Olly, and claims to be more personal than Amazon Echo. Apparently it’s smart enough to develop a different personality for each user in the home, and can play music, control smart home products, and dish out helpful information and answers.
Slip into some VR shoes
Japanese company Carevo has developed a set of VR shoes to help you fill the boots of your character in a VR environment. You’ll be able to dish out satisfying kicks to your enemies, and slide and skate your way through compatible games. It should be available some time in the second half of this year, so don’t ditch your real-life footwear just yet.
A smart hairbrush
CES is a great show for unveiling smart products that we didn’t think needed to be smart. Such as this smart hairbrush – the result of a collaboration between L’Oreal and Withings.
If you’re worried that your hair-brushing technique is below par, then you’re in for a treat. This £160 hairbrush is packed with sensors to stop you brushing too hard. It’s got a microphone that listens out for the sounds of breaking hair, and it’ll vibrate if you’re laying into your locks a little too energetically. Data then gets shared with an app that monitors the effects of your brushing routine, assesses your hair quality, and recommends which new haircare products you should be investing in – presumably manufactured by L’Oreal.