Before the showroom floor opens at CES, the enormous consumer technology conference that takes place in Las Vegas each year, there's a special event just for the press.
It's called CES Unveiled, and it gives companies a chance to get their products out in front of the media before the madness of the show really ramps up. HowStuffWorks was there for CES Unveiled 2016, and here's a wrap-up of what we saw.
First up was ZeroUI, a company known for its Ziro robotics kits. This year, the cool item being shown off wasn't the robot — it was the control interface. The company has developed a control glove, allowing you to send commands to a robot through hand gestures. You could say you have robotics in the palm of your hand!
Next up was the Immersit, an interesting way to make your movie-viewing experience at home more engaging. Immersit is a collection of small platforms upon which you would place a chair or couch. The platforms can move up and down, jostling you as you watch movies. According to the creators, the product includes software that can recognize what you're watching (or playing in the case of video games) so that your couch's motions match what's going on in the film.
We next paid a quick visit to DJI's table. The company makes camera drones for both consumers and professionals. One of their drones on display can shoot video at 4K resolution and costs under $1,000. Remember when just a few years ago a 4K camera cost tens of thousands of dollars? And that one didn't even fly!
Next on our tour was Smart Me Up. This wasn't a physical product so much as it was software that could be put to an endless number of uses. At its heart, it's a facial recognition program. But it doesn't just verify or authenticate — it also can draw conclusions about the person on camera. It identifies gender, guesses a person's age and even gauges behavioral traits, such as happiness. Imagine setting this up as a security system so that only young, happy people can get in!
Our final stop was at Cerevo, where we saw the Orbitrec bike. It has parts that were made by a 3-D printer and sensors that upload information to a cloud service to help you track your rides. It's a combination of 3-D printing, Internet of Things and quantifying the random data you generate in a day. In other words, it's about as CES as you can get.
That's just a glimpse at some of the things that were on display at Unveiled, and not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to CES. Stay tuned as our team travels the length of the show floor to find the most interesting, bizarre, useful and cool technology coming to store shelves in the near future!