In a sea of biggest, brightest new products you can imagine from the industry powerhouses, sometimes it’s the clever, small items that catch your eye the most. Here are some of our favorite gadgets from CES 2017.
iPowerUp Solar Charging Phone Case
Solar-powered phone cases are nothing new, but good solar-powered phone cases are. In our experience, the cases typically never meet their claimed specs, taking much longer than expected to deliver any worthwhile juice to your phone. So we’re optimistic that the iPowerUp cases live up to their claims. Thanks to refinements in photovoltaic technology, the extra-efficient panels on this case can produce 450-500 mAh of power in one hour of sun exposure. That means a typical smartphone battery should be charged to full capacity in five to six hours. If the iPowerUp Solar Case lives up to its claims, we can see this being one of the year’s most popular iPhone accessories.
Humaneyes VUZE 3D 360° VR Camera
There’s no question that Virtual Reality is here to stay, even if it’s not quite at widespread mainstream adoption. One of the things that will hasten its growth is making it easier for casual users to create VR content—something akin to how GoPro opened up the world of POV video to consumers. The Humaneyes VUZE camera aims to do just that. Equipped with eight lenses, the Humaneyes VUZE captures panoramic, stereoscopic videos on each of its four sides. That video is seamlessly stitched—on the fly—into an all-encompassing, 360° 3D 4K video that can be fed right to an embedded online 360° viewer like those used by Facebook or YouTube. Or the video files can be viewed on a VR Headset like the HTC VIVE or Samsung Galaxy Gear. For just $800, we’re expecting to start seeing lots of killer VR content produced once the VUZE hits the market.
We discussed the Mohu AirWave in a little bit more depth last week, but feel it needs mention on this list. As fans of cord-cutting, we recognize the advancements it offers to viewers who depend on OTA channels. We’re sure this is going to be a cord-cutting favorite this year.
Drones are just about as ubiquitous as smartphones these days, and there weren’t any major industry announcements at CES. But we were pleased to come across Powervision and their assortment of unique quadcopters. We especially enjoyed the PowerEgg for its unique secondary controller and the option for users to personalize the blank canvas. Can’t wait till we see our first Dragon Egg flying through the skies of Glenview.
This one-wheeled, self-balancing scooter has been around in some iteration since at least 2012, but we always get a kick out of watching them on display. Meant to be used “in harmony with other people” (read: “on busy sidewalks”), the UNI-CUB emphasizes user control and mobility. The omni-directional device is easy to steer and stop, and the seated position makes it easier to plant a foot if needed, as compared to device like the Segway. Who knows if we’ll ever see these used en masse, but it’s fun to see people at CES try them for the first time.
Alpine ICE In-Cooler Entertainment System
We highlighted this one last week, but it gets special mention again here because, quite frankly, we really want one. A giant rugged cooler with Alpine Audio built-in. What more is there to say? One of the coolest—pun intended—products at CES.
LG Levitating Bluetooth Speaker
Yes, a levitating speaker. Does levitation make the LG PJ9 sound any better? We have no idea. Does it make it 1000% times cooler than any other Bluetooth speaker on the market? Absolutely (it was scientifically measured). Ground-based sound systems just don’t have the same allure once you’ve witnessed this magical speaker that you just know Lando Calrissian is bumping up in Cloud City. This is one of those things where you really just have to watch the video description, so check it out: