Best tech to come from CES 2015

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held in Las Vegas from 6 to 9 January 2015. It is an annual event where big as well as up-and-coming players in the technology arena congregate and display their latest wares. If you want to know what trends to expect in the year ahead, then this is the event to keep an eye on. We have rounded up some of the gadgets and new releases that had the tech world talking this time around:

LG G Flex 2

LG G Flex 2 Curved devices seem to be all the rage now and LG is cashing in on it. Its G Flex 2 is a curved smartphone with a 5.5 inch screen. The first version of this device was 6 inches making it hard to handle. You can liken its shape to a banana which will likely seem impractical to most people. The phone’s buttons are located at the back, unlike most other smartphones that have side buttons.

Another feature worth mentioning is its self-healing back. A clear plastic adhesive prevents small scratches from appearing on the back of the phone and if they do, it repairs itself automatically. People are, however, sceptical as there is no evidence to support LG’s claim of self-healing. The G Flex 2 is the first device to have the Snapdragon 810 processor and people seem to like the fact that you can simply tap the display to wake up the phone.

Let’s hope this curved phone is flexible enough to withstand everyday usage.

Samsung S9W SUHD television

Another curved device made its appearance. Samsung and Swiss designer Yves Béhar put their heads together to create the 82-inch S9W SUHD television. It has the ability to fully immerse the viewer in whatever he is watching, regardless of where the TV is positioned. It is no doubt a thing of beauty but many people are still scratching their heads as to why a curved anything is needed.

Neither a price nor a release date has been announced, but it is unlikely that the average consumer will be able to afford it even if they did want to buy it.

Sony Walkman ZX2

Sony’s Walkman series has been around since the 1980s and it helped to reshape the world of music by giving people the ability to take their favourite tunes with them wherever they go. Nowadays the trademark Walkman design, cassettes and big squishy headphones may seem silly, but back then it was a revelation.

However, the Walkman isn’t dead yet. The new ZX2 is sleek with curved edges and a matte black casing. Despite its sleek look, the quality of its sound is what makes this device special. It has been designed with audiophiles in mind – people who are enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound.

It has an SD slot for when 128GB of built-in storage is not enough to store all of your tunes. It is running the, admittedly old, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. You can download apps for the device from the Google Play Store, but it is by no means a match for the advanced smartphones currently out there. It supports DSD, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, Apple Lossless, and more formats. It also has Bluetooth for wireless streaming and near-field communication (NFC) for one-touch connection to speakers and headphones.

It is pricey though, coming in at $1,119.99 and will be launched in the first quarter of 2015.

Zboard 2

Zboard 2 - CES 2015 This is one of the more fun gadgets to come out of this year’s CES. It is a superlight, weight-sensing electric skateboard. The first Zboard was developed with students in mind who need to get around campus quickly. Initially, the Zboard was crowdfunded through Kickstarter and became a major success all over the USA.

This time around crowdfunding for the Zboard 2 was done through IndieGoGo and so far more than $164,000 has been raised. With its weight-sensing footpads you can control how quickly or slowly you move. Its top speed is 20 miles per hour (about 32 kilometres). A regenerative braking feature means that when you lean back to brake when going downhill while simultaneously recharging the battery simultaneously.

It has a 500W motor that allows you to push the skateboard with your feet whenever the battery is low or has run out. It can be ridden on wet surfaces because of its waterproof connectors that protect its electrical components. It has two handles for easy carrying and LED head- and tail-lights for night skateboarding. It charges to 100% in 90 minutes. When it is released the Zboard 2 Blue will cost $999 and its higher-end brother Zboard 2 Pearl will cost $1,199.

Dell Venue 7 8000 and Intel RealSense Technology

Dell Venue 7 8000 This Android tablet is the thinnest tablet in the world at 6mm and the first one to have the Intel RealSense 3D camera (also called the Snapshot Depth camera) as part of its features. It won the Award for Best Innovation at the 2015 CES.

The RealSense 3D camera provides interactive photo technology. It can sense depth, and because of its three lenses can also place photographs in layers, that can be manipulated post-shoot. You can refocus the image after it has been taken to place the emphasis on one part more than another. Distances between objects can also be measured to provide real-world dimensions to photos.

Other features of the Dell Venue 7 8000 include an 8.4 inch screen with a 2560×1600 OLED infinity display, the screen runs continuously from one edge to the other, and speakers designed to give an immersive experience. The addition of Dellcast allows users to turn their screen into a desktop PC and use a mouse and keyboard with it.

Intel’s RealSense Technology is groundbreaking stuff. The company will soon be bringing hand and finger tracking, facial analysis, speech recognition, augmented reality and 3D scanning to other tablets and laptops.

2015 is already making the tech world buzz with excitement at the innovative gadgets and futuristic technology it will bring to users’ living rooms. The Internet of Things is slowly becoming a reality.