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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for the ‘CES 2016’ Category

CES 2016: FitBit Blaze Fitness Watch

Friday, January 8th, 2016

In the world of fitness, FitBit is recognized as one of the most popular fitness tracking devices out there. This week at CES, the company unveiled its brand new FitBit Blaze – their second fitness watch to date. The Blaze is much different from what we are used to seeing from the brand and this year Fitbit has managed to deliver a Smartwatch that can compete in not only tech, but style as well.

Close-up of the sleek FitBit Blaze in a stainless steel band.

Close-up of the sleek FitBit Blaze in a stainless steel band.

Considering that the company occupies about 88% of the total health and fitness wearable market, bringing style to their technology is something many consumers’ have been waiting for. The fitness watch features a colorful touchscreen display and a collection of stylish leather and stainless steel band accessories to choose from. You can wear a casual band for working out and easily swap it out for a fancier choice when going out for the night.

Closer look at the FitBit display at CES of the different bands you can use to personalize the Blaze Fitness Watch.

FitBit display at CES.

The main purpose of the FitBit Blaze is still heavily focused on monitoring your fitness. It includes features such as PurePulse™Heart Rate monitoring, Connected GPS tracking, and On-Screen Workouts. Unfortunately, it does not come with built-in GPS to track your fitness on its own. However, you are able to tether it to your Smartphone and bring your mobile device along for a run or bike ride to still track your route. FitBit has also included On-Screen Workouts, a newer feature that allows you to choose from three popular workout plans accessible directly from your wrist. But perhaps the biggest difference that sets the FitBit apart from all the other fitness trackers is its SmartTrack feature. SmartTrack knows exactly what type of exercise you’re doing – without you having to touch a button. Whether you are hiking or bike riding, the built-in sensors detect your current workout and automatically log your movements for tracking. This applies to their sleep monitoring as well; the FitBit Blaze knows when you’re asleep based on your movements, so you don’t have to bother with simple tasks such as remembering to switch it into sleep-mode.

Last but not least, we absolutely cannot forget to mention that the Blaze fitness watch can also send notifications from your Smartphone to the watch. You are able to answer (or reject) phone calls, check out incoming text messages and receive calendar alerts, which is partially what allows it to hold a Smartwatch title!

All in all, the FitBit Blaze is a huge step-up for the brand in the wearable tech category. Not to mention, its thin and sleek design will surely appeal to fashionable health “techies” everywhere. Currently it’s only available to pre-order for the retail price of $199.95, with an expected arrival date in March of this year.

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CES 2016: Jaybird’s New X3 and Freedom Wireless Headphones

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

We’re big fans of Jaybird wireless headphones (they even provided the soundtrack for some of our Ragnar Relay runners), which put out great sound without the hassle of bouncy, tangly wires interfering with your workout. So we were especially stoked to see what advancements Jaybird had in store with their CES announcements.

jaybird x3 freedom wireless headphones

We stopped by their booth to get the low-down on two new products that will be available this spring. The new Jaybird X3 wireless headphones build upon the very popular Jaybird X2, offering a clever equalizer app that lets users embed custom profiles in their earbuds. This option will be a huge boon to anyone who is particular about how their music sounds and uses multiple devices, since the EQ profile goes where the headphones do. We also got a look at the new Jaybird Freedom headphones, whose tiny earbuds are so unobtrusive that a user can wear them under a tight football or skateboard helmet while still enjoying high-quality audio.

jaybird freedom earbuds

The Jaybird Freedom earbuds are seriously small.

Watch the video for a closer look at both of these exciting new offerings from Jaybird, and expect to see them on store shelves by May.

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CES 2016: D3O Impact Protection

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

In a convention full of gadgets and gizmos, we stopped by D3O‘s booth to check out their product, which—in its natural state—has a decidedly more organic look than the tech it’s designed to protect. Used in everything from smartphone cases to motorcycle jackets, the D3O material is what’s known as a non-Newtonian fluid; sometimes its properties resemble those of a liquid, sometimes it behaves more like a solid. This unique trait lends itself well to products that benefit from need to sometimes be flexible, and sometimes rigid. At their booth, D3O had a vat full of raw material:

And just in case their reps were pulling some sort of illusionist trickery on us, we decided to sacrifice Josh’s hand to find out.

Here’s a bit of info on how D3O works:

how d3o works

We’re looking forward to seeing the D3O material integrated into more products in the future. Have you had any experience with a product that uses D3O? We’d love to hear how you liked it!

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CES 2016: 3D Printing Continues to Evolve

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

One of the great things about attending CES annually is not just seeing wild conceptual products, but getting to see how many of those products get refined from year to year, growing from concepts to readily-available consumer goods. An industry where that’s been most visible is 3D Printing. This year, we didn’t see anything as mind-blowing as the debut of the first affordable consumer-level 3D-printer. Instead, we got a look at the iterative advancements being made in the industry: more choices for consumers, more materials being used commercially, and advancements in the process that make 3D printing a quicker, more reliable option.

Further countering the criticism that 3D printers are only good for creating fragile trinkets, industry-leader 3D Systems unveiled a flagship commercial printer, the ProX DMP 320. This high-precision metal printer allows for not only rapid prototyping, but the creation of finished metal parts that can be used in critical mechanical systems.

The ProX is capable of some pretty impressive metalwork:

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CES 2016: HYDRAO Smart Shower Head

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

When it comes to taking a shower, many of us do not realize how much water we actually consume on a daily basis. A simple ten minute shower can eat up to 50 gallons of water, which according to the AWE (Alliance for Water Efficiency) is considered to be “wasteful”.

Prototype of the HYDRAO Smart Shower at CES 2016.

Prototype of the HYDRAO Smart Shower at CES 2016.

At CES 2016, we’ve discovered a nifty tool created to track water usage in order to help conserve it and in turn reduce our aquatic footprint. The HYDRAO Smart Shower Head (developed by French firm Start & Blue) is designed with an array of built-in LED lights, each of which changes color based on the amount of water you are consuming during each session. The HYDRAO system connects to a special app, available for iOS and Android that allows you to set three alert intervals. For example, you can set it to 5 gallons, 10 gallons, and 15 gallons (start at a point where you are comfortable), and the HYDRAO will light up each time you pass a set amount with the color you chose. Once the final color continues to flash, this is your cue to hop out!

The special HYDRAO app let's you choose the amount of water and LED light color you would like to be notified at for your three separate intervals.

The featured app helps track your progress.

The HYDRAO Smart Shower Head fits any standard shower head and uses no batteries, making it eco-friendly. Instead, a small turbine inside the shower head uses the water flowing through which creates enough energy to power the lights and the need for Bluetooth connection. The app allows you to set profiles for different users, so that the whole family can compare and encourage each other to change their water-usage habits. The HYDRAO Smart Shower can help save you money in the long-run, which is always an added bonus.

As of right now, the HYDRAO Smart Shower Head is only available to pre-order for $99 here and should be available in the US around September 2016.

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CES 2016: Panasonic Counter Top Oven With Instant Heat

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

This week at CES 2016, our team stopped by Panasonic and got a closer look at their new upcoming product. Panasonic showcased their new Counter Top Oven with Instant Heat. The product displayed Panasonic’s new, sleek design that will carry over to other upcoming models in their product line, like the vibrant blue non-stick interior. The new Panasonic counter top oven with instant heat is a 6 slice standard sized counter top oven.

The all blue interior of the Panasonic Counter Top Oven With Instant Heat.

The all blue interior of the Panasonic Counter Top Oven With Instant Heat.

The  Panasonic counter top oven also has great features, the small appliance has instant heat technology, making it convenient and easier when you cook, broil, bake and more. The device also has a touchscreen interface, it’s just like using your smartphone. You touch the screen to interact with the device. The touchscreen feature replaces the buttons that you find on any other appliance, you simply touch the screen to cook, bake, broil and more! But what makes this counter top unique is the USB port found on the side of the oven. The USB port can pull in information from a connected device and can allow you to  pull in recipes or from cooking websites like allrecipes.com or the foodnetwork.com. Talk about easy cooking! No more damaged and stained cooking books.

You can pull in recipes by using the USB port on the side of the oven.

You can pull in recipes by using the USB port on the side of the oven.

Panasonic’s Counter top Oven with Instant Heat makes cooking easier and the cooking ideas are endless. From roasting a chicken to baking pizza rolls, this counter top oven can make cooking hassle-free. This great small appliance will be available to you in the Fall 2016.

 

If you can’t wait until the Fall for a new counter top oven, check out our selection of counter top ovens by clicking here.

 

Stay tuned for more coverage from CES 2016!

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CES 2016: Transparent TVs

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Televisions have been getting thinner and thinner every year, bringing us to today’s svelte OLED TVs that measure under a centimeter in depth. An ultrathin TV flush-mounted to the wall blends into existing home decor much better than the huge tube TVs of yesteyear. Even relatively recent plasma TVs are bulky in comparison. But view an OLED TV from the side and it almost disappears. So perhaps the next evolution in TVs will be to make them almost literally vanish with the push of a button. This year at CES, we’ve scoped out transparent TVs from two of the big names in display technology.

Panasonic cleverly integrated their transparent LED TV into home shelving, so when the TV is powered off it acts as a display case for knick-knacks or photos.

Samsung, meanwhile, utilized OLEDs to achieve a similar effect.


Samsung’s display hints towards a more commercial application, as opposed to home use. Although, we do like the suggestion that panels like these may one day replace windows—we’d never have to suffer through a gloomy Chicago winter day again! There’s no definitive release information set for either of these examples, so don’t expect to see transparent TVs (pun intended) in stores any time soon.

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CES 2016: Faraday Future Electric Supercar

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

One of the concepts getting the most buzz at CES isn’t a home electronics device or an appliance, it’s an electric car from a company that almost no one has heard of before.  Faraday Future, a California-based electric vehicle startup, pulled the wraps off their concept vehicle, the FFZERO1.

With a single look, it’s clear that the FFZERO1 is no electric econobox. It’s not here to compete with the Prius or the Volt or even the Tesla. This drool-worthy EV is straight-up supercar. And it’s got the chops (allegedly) to prove it. Because it’s not just about sleek lines. Each wheel is powered by a dedicated electric motor that put out a combined 1,000 horsepower, pushing the FFZERO1 from 0 to 60 in less than three seconds and hitting a top speed of 200 miles per hour.

FARADAY FUTURE

FARADAY FUTURE 2

The Faraday Future FFZERO1

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CES 2016: Samsung with World’s Largest 170″ SUHDTV

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Samsung is one the largest manufacturer of TVs in the world, they just showcased the largest 170 ” SUHDTV this week at CES 2016 and our team got to see it. It is huge! The gigantic TV and the rest of Samsung’s SUHD TV line, 8 series and above, possess quantum dot display. This type of display will enhance the view of colors, brightness, and contrast, making it an enjoyable, realistic view. The quantum dot display consists of 1000 nits of brightness that will create a brighter picture and with Samsung’s new ultra black technology, this feature will accentuate the blacks while viewing. The quantum dot display is great for high dynamic range content like Amazon. To make the viewing experience exceptionally realistic, the SUHD TVs will have a larger color spectrum, that means more colors and a brighter picture.

The picture is amazing on Samsung's 170" SUHD TV.

The picture on Samsung’s 170″ SUHD TV is amazing!

But that’s not it! This 170″ TV isn’t just one big TV. The 170″ TV is made up of multiple small TVs to make one big picture, Samsung calls this concept “Modular TV“.  Modular TV consists of  smaller TVs -without bezels , linked together to create a seamless and bigger view. Although Samsung has not started this concept, the bezeless design is carried over to their consumer line. Customers interested in the 8 and 9 series SUHD TVs can also benefit from the bezeless design with a near invisible bezel.

 

These modules have a bezeless design to create a seamless look.

These modules have a bezeless design to create a seamless look.

It might be a while for Samsung to have 170″ TVs in stores, but Saumsung’s 8 and 9 series SUHD TVs are available to customers. Maybe one day this 170″ SUHD TV will be displayed at our store!

 

 

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CES 2016: Alpine In-Dash Restyle System for Trucks and SUVs

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

It’s no secret that we love Alpine audio. Their lineup of Restyle in-dash navigation and entertainment units for trucks and SUVs has been immensely popular, with the X009-WRA system being the choice for our very-own Jeep Wrangler project vehicle.

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The Alpine X009 Restyle unit installed in our Jeep Wrangler project vehicle.

So we were stoked to spend some time at Alpine’s CES booth, learning about what they’ve got in store for 2016. As expected, much of the focus was on the continued evolution of the Restyle line, including improvements to the user interface for easier operation, especially in a truck. There’s also a new ability to control external vehicle accessories—like LED fog lamps or powered winches—from the in-dash touchscreen.

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