Wednesday, February 1, 2017

CES 2017

Fifty Years of Showcasing Consumer Electronics….




As is the case at the start of every new year, manufacturers, retailers, entrepreneurs and the media gather in Las Vegas for the largest exhibition of consumer products of its kind. This year was no exception with over 3800 exhibitors and 165,000 plus attendees in attendance. What made this a very special event was the commemoration of fifty years of existence since the first exhibit in 1967. The first show was held in New York City in collaboration with the New York Hi-Fi Show, and yes, I was there for that event too. I’m reporting on just a few unusual items from the show since CES has literally thousands.

In recent years, we’ve seen the auto industry join the array of exhibitors. This year we saw the addition of Nissan and Honda. 

Toyota unveiled the Concept-i, a concept car for the year 2030. It utilizes a single wide-screen, 3-D, full-color Head-Up display that blends into the interior with plenty of gee wiz gadgets for sure.

For the water sports enthusiast, the PowerVision’s underwater drone,  known as PowerRay, is a drone that can navigate 30 meters below water and uses sonar to assist in tracking fish. With its built-in wi-fi, PowerRay sends alerts back to the user’s smartphone on land that fish are nearby. It will even capture 4K video and pictures. Preorders for this $3000 tool start in February.

LG introduced the “W”, a/k/a WALLPAPER, an unbelievably thin 65˝ or 77˝ 4K OLED flat screen. It’s so lightweight that it attaches to the wall with magnets and is designed to look like you’re watching TV through a window or picture on the wall. No price, release date or web link were available at press time.

In wearables, MOTIV introduced the ultra light titanium Smart Ring. This ring is designed to be worn constantly since it maintains a 3 – 5 day charge. This ring measures active minutes, heart rate, calories burned, distance, activity type, sleep duration, resting heart rate and steps. It works with iPhone ios 9.0 or later and charges in less than ninety minutes. Available by preorder at $199 in rose gold and slate gray.

CMRA presented their solution to an upgraded camera for the Apple Watch. Incorporated into a sleek looking watchband that 007 would be proud of, are two HD cameras. One is aimed frontwards (2 mega pixels) for selfies and the other outward (8 mega pixels) for general use. An all day battery can capture 100’s of photos or up to thirty minutes of video per charge. LED indicators indicate when either camera is in use. Available by preorder with a Spring delivery target date. Preorders include an $80 discount and free charging dock. $249.00 MSRP.

Vuzix introduced a pair of sunglasses that appear to be headed where Google left off. These glasses pair up with Android devices and display what’s on the screen in the right lens. You can watch videos, get directions and read text messages. The glasses are voice controlled or by a touch pad on the right stem. The left lens is for snapping photos with the built-in camera. Availability third quarter and price TBA.

Kodak, who reintroduced the Super 8mm camera at last year’s show, did it again by bringing back EKTACHHOME film. This classic film will be offered for both still photography and Super 8mm motion picture film formats. Professional Ektachrome, a color positive film, will be available in a 135-36x format. Availability of both products is expected sometime in the fourth quarter of 2017.

DOK Solutions introduced a new docking product known as the DOK Talk CR25. It’s a device that’s compatible with every smartphone brand and charges up to any five portable media devices. USB Beam Forming Technology incorporates multiple microphones that “hear” from across the room. SCD technology adjusts current flow to ensure proper charging and includes surge protection. DOK teamed up with Amazon to allow playing songs from Amazon’s Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.  It can also manage your Amazon Echo and like Alexa it can answer questions, read audio books, and offer news, traffic and the weather. It gives information on local businesses, provides sport’s scores, schedules and much more. The CR25 can serve as a timer too. MSRP $189 - Shipping April 2017.

Robots were all over the show as were many products integrating the use of Amazon’s ECHO Alexa, voice control modules. Watch for future Alexa integration in many name brand products. CES was again a huge success!

Images: By the manufacturer or Google Images

Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at, or followed at for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings. In some cases news services and press releases made available to the GADGETEER are used to compile this column.