Each year CES kicks off with the Unveiled event, giving us a glimpse of what's to come on the show room floor. Granted, CES Unveiled is considerably smaller than the convention itself, but that is one of the great things about it. We were able to attend and talk directly to the teams behind some of this years most exciting new tech.
If you take a look back at our CES coverage from last year, Amazon's Alexa was everywhere. Even before the Unveiled event, it's easy to gather what the theme for CES is going to be. This year Google has heavily invested in "Hey Google" advertising, continuing the ongoing Google v. Amazon battle. There is also a large variety of "quality of life" products targeting retail launches in the first half of 2018. At Unveiled I saw multiple companies focusing on solar energy, air purification, water purification, and health & wellness. Teraillon was featuring their intriguing new Homni smart sleep solution, which is a category I envision gaining a lot of traction this year. ThirdEye, a family owned company, was showcasing their AR smart glasses with aspirations of evolving the enterprise workflow. Without a doubt, AR and VR are going to have a massive presence this year.
Let's take a look at some of the companies and products from CES Unveiled that caught my eye.
WiSurf is a modular wireless charging solution for your desk. Puzzle like pieces measuring either 15x15cm or 30x30cm can be interlocked together to create a charging pad for your desktop. Most currently available wireless charging solutions have a relatively small footprint and are designed for one device. WiSurf wants to potentially replace the entirety of your desktop. They offer a wide variety of magnetic vanity plates for each charging square so you can either match your existing desktop or mix it up. The charging pads present at CES Unveiled were either 5W or 7.5W for fast-charging, though the company did say they are working on a 65W pad that will allow you to wireless charge a laptop.
In the past year, 360-degree video has become more prominent. With the rise of VR, more platforms are adopting the video format and more tools are being made available to creators. None of those tools appear as innovative as the Rylo 360 camera. Not only is it a great 360 camera, it's a fantastic action cam. At their booth, they had multiple demonstrations showing footage from mountain climbers, mountain bikers, and cross country skiers. The footage was incredibly crisp, and thanks to their software, the smoothest I have ever seen. Paired with their Rylo app, Cinematic Stabilization does a jaw droppingly great job at leveling out your footage. I get a decent amount of use out of my current action cam, but when I'm not out on the hiking trail it usually sits dormant in the studio. One of the most intriguing features of the Rylo cam (for me), is in the software. I'm personally not uploading a lot of 360 video, so in post, Rylo allows you to edit in a standard frame but choose the angles and frames you want. This opens up the possibility of creating pans, even though you didn't physically pan while filming. Couple that with the Cinematic Stabilization, and you have everything you need to create compelling video of you and your surroundings. A 2018 goal of mine is to travel vlog more, so I'm hoping to get my hands on the Rylo as it seems like the perfect tool for this scenario.
HyperX Cloud Flight
HyperX, a leader in gaming peripherals, gave us a look at their Cloud Flight wireless gaming headset. Available now for $159, it pairs with your PC or Playstation 4 (Pro) to provide you up to 30 hours of comfortable gaming immersion. This is HyperX's first wireless gaming headset, and it is currently the longest rated on the market in terms of battery life. It has 90-degree rotating ear cups with 50mm drivers and a detachable mic controllable via the headset. Aesthetically, the headset is very clean looking, sporting adjustable accent LED's in the ear cups. Stay tuned as were hoping to get a chance to review the Cloud Flight in the coming months.
For me, tech that solves an everyday problem or promotes safety is some of my favorite. That's why the Cosmo Connected is towards the top of my list of cool CES tech. Started as a Kickstarter last year, Cosmo is promoting a brake light you attach the the back of (nearly) any bicycle helmet. It syncs up to an app, as well as your GPS, to indicate when you are braking or turning. If you live in a city without many bike lanes, this can immensely increase the safety of your ride. Coming soon, Cosmo Connected is also offering an attachment for the back of motorcycle helmets. It appears that moving forward, this is the French startups focus, as most of their website is geared towards the "Cosmo Moto."