With the first day of the Nevada-based tech show, CES, now behind us, let’s have a rundown of our favourite emerging tech.
Smartphones and a roll-up display from LG
LG has announced two new smartphones called the K10 (above) and K7. The beginning of the K series marks the end of the C series, and the new phones are set to be available worldwide this year. Find out more here.
We’ve also seen a bit more of LG’s ultra-thin 18-inch OLED roll-up display, which was announced last year. The screen can be delicately rolled in one direction, and can’t be folded, so it looks like the technology is still in its infancy, but the scope for growth is massive.
LG’s dream is to have much larger screens available in the near future, meaning a TV may no longer dominate our living rooms.
Fitbit looks fit
Fitbit has some of the most accurate fitness trackers around, and now it has one of the best looking.
The company has just unveiled Fitbit Blaze, which has stylish smartwatch looks. It’s basically a solid, octagonal core that can be slotted into a variety of straps like rubber, leather or stainless steel to suit your tastes.
It also has some unique software features, like the ability to recognise what you’re doing. That means you don’t have to tell the Fitbit Blaze to start tracking a session on your bike as it’ll automatically know.
Unlike most Fitbits, the Blaze has a colour screen that has customisable clock faces. One thing it does have in common with the company’s other trackers, though, is the 5-day battery life.
Fitbit Blaze costs £159.99 and comes in three coloured rubber straps. Leather straps cost £59.99 and steel ones cost £89.99.
This is the droid you’re looking for
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the undisputed box office smash of 2015. And as with every Star Wars release, there’s a load of new merchandise to boot, with everyone’s favourite new droid, BB-8, front and centre.
BB-8 can be controlled with your smartphone, but the freshly announced Force Band has just changed everything. The wearable wraps around your wrist and allows you to gesture BB-8 towards or away from you – just like a Jedi. A consumer ready version of the wearable is expected on shelves later this year.
The sky’s the limit with Parrot
Parrot's back with a new flying machine, which unlike most drones doesn't feature four vertical propellers. The fixed-wing Disco drone weighs just 700g, boasts a 45-minute flight time and can travel up to 50mph. A 14MP Full HD camera sits at the front of the drone and offers full digital stabilisation.
To launch, you simply throw it in the air like a paper airplane, where the drone’s small rear propeller will take over to keep it airborne. And, everything can be controlled with a smartphone or tablet (iOS and Android), connecting through the drone’s inbuilt Wi-Fi network.
Although a working prototype is being shown off at CES, we shouldn’t expect to see it on the shelves until later this year.
VR and fitness tech from HTC
HTC and Under Armour have joined forces to create the UA HealthBox, comprised of three separate gadgets. A wrist-worn sleep and activity tracker, a heart rate monitoring chest strap, and a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled scale - namely the UA Band, UA Heart Rate, and UA Scale respectively. Read more here.
In other HTC news, the Taiwanese company has announced a new variant of the long-awaited VR headset, HTC Vive. The new headset will be called Vive Pre and sounds like its taken inspiration from Microsoft’s ‘mixed reality’ headset, HoloLens.
Vive Pre will have a camera on the front of the mask, meaning the user will get an augmented reality experience – like this from Microsoft:
Stay tuned for more news from CES.