Curved OLED TVs, big tablets and smart jewelry: 5 things at CES you’ll want to buy
From self-driven cars to voice-activated thermostats and TVs that bend on command, the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show was rammed with the latest gadgets and a peek at what’s to come in the years ahead.
But what really stood out? And what’s more, what at the show would you actually want to buy?
Here’s a roundup of our Top 5 picks:
LG’s 77-inch 4K OLED TV (pictured above)
Whether curved or not, OLED TVs are just so damn thin — and LG’s curved 4K OLED TV stood out amongst all others.
The technical difference between OLED TVs and most other televisions — the majority of which are now LED — is where the light comes from.
The latter uses light-emitting diodes (LED) to illuminate the liquid crystal display (LCD). Organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) can light themselves, leading to fewer parts and thinner screens.
With a super slim display panel and the curve for viewing comfort, LG’s 77-inch OLED TV displayed gorgeous picture. Now with webOS, it appears to be the slickest smart TV interface around.
(Availability, pricing TBA)
Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 tablet
You don’t realize how nice it is to have a big tablet until you go back to using a smaller device. That’s when the extra screen real estate is missed.
With a 12.2-inch screen, the NotePro offers users enough space to multitask on the Android platform with up to four separate “windows.” This device, just larger than a standard 8.5×11 sheet of paper, has the potential to blur the lines between a tablet and a notebook computer.
The NotePro 12.2 jumped from app to app with ease and appeared to show no lag when tapping around, a trait that can be credited to the tablet’s two quad-core processors.
Sure, it’s a little big to lug around. But that hasn’t stopped people from buying phablets.
(Available Q1, pricing TBA)
Mio Link & Mio Go app
This smartwatch from the Vancouver-based company Mio monitors your heart rate, and then uses that data to create a virtual workout adventure for you.
The wristband is simple, with three LEDs that can light up depending on the heart zone you’re in (green, yellow, red). It’s the interaction with the app, however, that really sets this product apart.
Using the heart rate data from the wristband, you can go on virtual exercise adventures shown on an iPad.
For example, cyclists can take a virtual bike ride using the Mio Go app via an iPad mounted on a stationary bike. Especially during our cold Canadian winters, this could be a nice way to feel like you’re exercising outside, while staying warm inside.
(Available in March, MSRP $99)
The Revolv home “awesomation” kit is designed for the do-it-yourselfer who wants to connect various parts of their home, without having to get a second mortgage to afford it.
The teardrop-shaped device packs seven different radios designed to communicate with a range of connected home devices, like the Nest thermostat, Sonos speakers, or Belkin WeMo plug-in hubs.
While the list of compatible devices is a little short, Revolv tells me they packed seven different radio transmitters inside the unit for future compatibility. Compliance with ZigBee is expected later this year.
(Now shipping, $299)
This smart bracelet is designed to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, measuring exposure throughout the day and suggesting ways to protect yourself.
It syncs with a user’s smartphone using a low-power Bluetooth connection, regularly sending exposure readings to the phone.
The app then uses that data to suggest whether the user should slap on some sunscreen, seek out shade or even be outside in the first place. It’ll also suggest what SPF rating you should be using.
The app learns its user’s schedule and can predict if they’re going to get too much sun based on the weather forecast.
(Available this spring, MSRP $99)
What gadget from CES did you hear about that interests you most?