The Five Coolest Gadgets from CES 2015

Oculus Rift Crescent Bay Headset

Oculus Rift Crescent Bay prototype side-320-80Virtual reality has never been more real. Oculus demoed the prototype ‘Crescent Bay’ headset to swarms of eager gamers, hungry for a more immersive experience. They will have to chill for a while longer however, as the commercial release of the product isn’t scheduled for a few more months. Tracked by a wall mounted camera, users could walk around the room in a virtual cityscape, and peer over the edge of buildings at the traffic below. The hissing wind, and honking of horns were made all the more realistic by the headset’s stereo surround sound. To eliminate the trailing cables, Oculus is partnering with Samsung to create a wireless version of the product, release date unknown.

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Belty

beltEat, much? ‘Belty’ is a self-adjusting, wireless ‘smart’ belt, designed to contact a smartphone and sound an alert when the user has consumed mass quantities. It will also send a message if you haven’t moved for a while, and are beginning to atrophiate. It loosens when you sit down and tightens when you stand up, sensing these movements with a web of embedded sensors. Emiota, the French company behind the smartbelt, has not yet shared a release date or any pricing information.

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Zano Drone Camera

zano-palmThe Zano flying camera, pitched by its creators as a ‘selfie’ drone, is powered by four little turboprop fans and controlled by your smartphone. The video, naturally, shows people taking (you guessed it!), selfies. But for those who have managed to get over themselves, this nifty little gadget offers some intriguing possibilities. The mind literally wobbles.

zano-blackIs your wife fooling around with that annoying guy with the crabgrass infested lawn? Send up Zano for a look-see. Holding out a smartphone to document a controversial event is just asking for a punch in the jaw. With Zano hovering about unnoticed, a surreptitious video can be safely recorded. Even if the drone is made, there is nothing they can do except whirl around madly. The Zano Black is a good color choice for this sort of activity. Is your ex being particularly obnoxious? Dive-bomb him with Zano, then chase him around the block. Then post the video on Facebook! Hunting? Send up Zano to see where the game is, then stalk it. A zano-targetfully charged battery provides 10 – 15 minutes of flight time, and is removable, so you can easily pop in a spare. Terrain mapping is another possibility. Find out what’s ahead – avoid quicksand, rockfalls, and trigger happy survivalists. This guy actually caught a fish with a drone! Fortunately it was a small one, a 30 pound muskellunge will take your bait, your float, and $200 worth of drone and drag it deep down under. And leave us not mention phone hacking or amateur espionage. It doesn’t matter that Zano will never be noticed hovering outside a window, or sticking a listening bug against the glass twenty stories up. Just. Don’t. Do it.

Ring

ring_big“One ring to rule them all, and in the darkness, bind them!” We don’t know how much evil you can get up to with ‘Ring’, a Bluetooth enabled gesture recognition controller by Logbar inc., but you will feel like a wizard when you use it. Designed to be worn on your index finger, by pushing a small button with your thumb, Ring connects to your smartphone and allows you to text, play music, pay bills, even turn the lights on and off – all by making gestures in the air. The battery is not replaceable, however, so when Ring finally dies (after about 1000 charges), the whole thing needs to be replaced. Tossing the old one in an active volcano is optional.

The Smart Spider Dress

Arachnia, Queen of the Spider People

Arachnia, Queen of the Spider People

Getting a woman has always been difficult. Were it not for alcohol, the entire human race would be long extinct. Now here comes Intel and Anouk Wipprecht, to make things even worse. “Spider Dress acts as the interface between the body and the external world,” said Wipprecht. “It uses technology and the garment as a medium of interaction.” What this means, is that the arachnid-like limbs on the wearer’s shoulder lash out at anyone who comes near. Using wireless biometrics and proximity sensors, the dress monitors the stress level of the wearer, and reacts accordingly. If you are attractive, and approach slowly, the limbs will wave, and beckon you in. Upon detecting a cretinous lout, however, the arms will fully extend and keep it away. “Often you see electronic fashion that only bleeps and blinks. I like to think of creating intelligent agents that live with us, on the notion of extremes, in the hope we can find new ways of interfacing with the world around us.” So, watch it. Those things could put an eye out.

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