Society Staff Writer | Ben Vizy | firstname.lastname@example.org
Every year since 1967, Las Vegas has hosted the Consumer Electronics Show, a gigantic convention that gives tech and design companies the opportunity to show off new products and prototypes. Today the event is so large, it would be nearly impossible to see everything, with booth after booth demonstrating new ideas for mass consumers. Some may never be seen again, while others have the potential to find a place in many American households in the near future. Whether these products become a consumer reality or not, the show is a fascinating look at the current state and direction of technology. Here are four of the coolest new gadgets unveiled at CES 2017:
- The Neonode Airbar
‘Wow, the new MacBook Airs have a touch screen! It’s about time!’ Well, not quite. In fact, adding a touch screen to your MacBook Air is now as easy as spending $75.00 on the Neonode Airbar. This product, for now only available for the 15.6” Air, rests between the screen and the keyboard and plugs into your USB port to emit an invisible light field that reacts to any disturbances your fingers make. This allows you to use your MacBook much like a touchscreen — pinch, swipe, tap, or do anything you would do on your iPad (just be careful when you close your laptop!)
- The LG OLED W7 Television
One of the most talked-about products at CES was LG’s new flat screen TV. It probably seems like flat screens can’t get any thinner. LG accepted the challenge by putting all the innards of a television into a soundbar, apart from the screen. The result is a TV as flat as a poster, a flexible screen that hugs snug to the wall using magnets. Any flatter and the TV would have to be the wall itself (which, based on some of the products at CES, may not be so far in the future). Until this technology becomes more available, however, expect to drop a couple dimes – the 65” model will cost you around six grand.
Have you ever been disappointed at how glassy your touchscreen feels? Ever felt that that cute cat video could be just a little bit more real? If you have, your worries may not last much longer. Tanvas, a Chicago-based company, debuted its prototype tablet at CES, a device that uses electrostatic technology to create friction and texture on its touch screen. Some of the textures listed for the device include choppy, grainy, fine and wavy. While it’s hard to imagine how you could feel this through a phone, Tanvas’ website shares that it will allow you to realistically feel the turn of a page or the flick of a switch, making for an even more immersive digital experience as the line between virtual and real becomes ever more blurred.
- Hisense A-2 Dual Screen Smartphone
Though smartphones were relatively sparse at CES this year amidst a sea of drone and VR technology, one company did exhibit a pretty interesting innovation. The Hisense A-2 Dual Screen Smartphone has a screen on both the front and the back of the device. The front of the device operates like a normal smartphone, but the back screen utilizes an electronic ink display: This means that if your phone turns off, it will still emit the same screen it was on before.
This could be extremely useful in the rare occasion that you are going shopping or boarding a plane with 1% battery. Though both screens use Gorilla Glass, I foresee an unavoidable increase in cracks in the future should this technology ever come to the US.
Each year, the CES shows us where the future is heading. The futuristic, chrome, digital future that people have imagined for so long, may finally be coming to reality. This generation has seen a massive boost in technology, and this is only just the beginning.