The best of the CES show is often not on the beaten path. One key vendor we make sure to lock in on every year is the Imagination Technologies meeting rooms in South Hall at CES 2015 (way back in the corner). These guys are one of a select number of innovators that design the low-power, system on chip (SoC) technology needed to run our smart homes, smart cars, and smart mobile devices.
Fortunately I'm not addicted to an iPhone—but only because I don't have one. I do, however, tend to go through withdrawal if I don't have my iPad with me. It turns out, these gadgets have become so much an extension of ourselves that scientists have found that we suffer cognitive and physiological impairment if we're separated from them. A new study by University of Missouri researchers put iPhone users in a situation where they were separated from their phones while taking a cognitive test. Not only did they do worse on the test compared to their performance when they had their phones with them, they also had a significant increase in anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Keeping tabs on little ones can be a full-time job. Turn your head for a minute, and they can almost magically disappear and get into trouble (and if you were ever lost in a store as a kid, you understand). These days, there are smart sensors to keep tabs on everything, including your younglings, and the HereO GPS watch ($179.99) is an example of some of the kid-friendly, protective tech we were able to check out at CES 2015.
The Philips Fidelio NC1L on-ear headphones with Active Noise Cancellation ($299.00) made waves at this year's CES, touting a direct digital connection to your iDevice via Apple's Lightning port. Even though Apple (quietly) announced support for this headphone feature earlier last year, few companies have taken advantage of this connective potential, not even Apple's own headphone company, Beats by Dre. The ability of the NC1L to establish a direct, 24-bit, Digital to Analog Conversion (DAC) is impressive enough. Couple that with the fact that the NC1L draw power for their Active Noise Cancellation from your iPhone or iPad and it's no wonder that these amazing sounding cans are the recipients of iPhone Life Magazine's Best of CES award.
We were given a demo of the new Zuli Smartplug system ($135-3 Pak/$50 for single) at CES 2015. The first production units should start shipping next week. The Zuli smartplug can turn any electrical device into a smart appliance. You simply plug it into a wall socket and your appliance, and you can monitor and control your devices remotely (to include power utilization.) The included app also works with your Nest!
I wish I were at CES, but must be content with reading the news reports. One that caught my eye was an announcement by Philips of noise-canceling headphones that plug into the Lightning connector port and that don't need batteries. They're powered by the port itself. As you likely know, noise-canceling headphones use microphones to listen to ambient sounds and then generate sound waves to destructively interfere with the sound waves in the environment. The result is silence, giving you the full pleasure of hearing what's coming from your iPhone or iPad. The Fidelio NC1L headphones use Philips' own 24-bit digital-to-analog converter rather than the converter built into your iPhone or iPad. You can read a hands-on review and see a video on Digital Trends.
If you have had a sick baby, then you know how terrible you feel to have to wake them up to check their temperature. With Blue Spark's TempTraq you can do it easily and remotely, and all you need is your iPhone and an ingenious smart sensor which adheres under your little one's arm. We were able to get a demo of this new monitoring tech at the Sands Expo booth at CES 2015.
I loved the sound and comfort level of the new Wearhaus ARC headphones. I found theem over in the Sands Tech Expo area at CES 2015 (booth 75045). Though they do look cool with the flashing color-changing lights on the earpiece, the innovation extends beyond mere looks. Well-made material with smart wireless features set these $199 Kickstarted (and successfully funded) headphones apart.
Amazing that it's now been eight years since Apple founder Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone in January, 2007. You can watch a four-minute video of the introduction on YouTube and see embedded below. He rightly refers to it as yet another revolutionary device from Apple, and that Apple is reinventing the phone. He introduces it by saying it's three devices in one: an iPod, a phone, and an Internet communication device. And he emphasizes its ease of use.
You could do it the old way, of course. Water and monitor your garden and lawn health manually. You may also waste a lot of water, and potentially kill your newly planted hydrangeas in the process. GreenIQ ($249) purports to take some of the guesswork and dilemma out of the proper care and feeding of your outdoor environment by monitoring the weather and adjusting your irrigation to optimal levels while you get to sit back on the porch and enjoy your garden.
A bed with sensors that automatically adjust to your position while you sleep (and retails from between $7499-$9499 depending on mattress size) sounds a bit like a luxury science-fiction story, but it is a real technology on display this year at CES 2015. The ReST smart bed indeed alters the pressure areas from inside the mattress based on your movements and they even throw in an Android tablet (iOS app also available) that monitors and reports on your sleep activity.
If you know portable power, then you know Anker is a trusted source for affordable, reliable, and efficient portable power accessories. At CES 2015, we were able to get the rundown on the latest and greatest charging and ZOLO portable battery packs ($29.99–$59.99 MSRP), and even learn a little about PowerIQ: The excellent technology that speeds charge cycles to any device...
Users of Android devices have long had the option of using external memory to expand storage on other devices, and now that option has come to the iPhone and iPad. The iBridge Mobile Memory, made by Leef, is a thumb drive that plugs into the Lightning port and offers up to 256 GB of storage. As can be seen in the photo, the iBridge conveniently curls around the back of your device. It has a Lightning connector on one end and a USB connector on the other so that you can also connect it to your desktop computer. Prices range from $59.99 for 16 GB to $399.99 for 256 GB.
CES is a great showcase to find anything for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and TYLT is aiming to meet the demand for extended battery protection with their newest ENERGI cases. That's not all we found on display at their booth however. Read on for the full skinny on what these power pro specialists are featuring in 2015!
ShowStoppers at the 2015 CES was awash in great tech products and featured two noteworthy headphone vendors that we were able to demo at the show. The excellent Sennheiser announced at least two new models, and Cleer had several of their DJ-oriented models on display. Read on for the full report.
Much is known about the Apple Watch — except for the date of its arrival. And we'll likely be seeing many rumors in that regard. On Tuesday 9To5Mac passed along the rumor that the Apple Watch will go on sale in March, with staff training scheduled for mid-February. Citing sources familiar with the Apple Watch's development, 9To5Mac said that representatives from Apple Stores across the US will be sent for training Feb 9–16 to familiarize them with the new watch. Prior to the release, these employees will then train other Apple Store personnel. At least that's the plan. Apple itself probably hasn't yet pinned down a date when it will go on sale, since it all depends on how smoothly production goes.
Despite Apple's best efforts to line up a streaming TV offering and disrupt the cable TV industry, Dish has succeeded where Apple has failed, announcing their new Sling TV service that will cost $20 per month. Their bundle of 12 channels will initially include ESPN, ESPN2, CNN, TBS, TNT, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, and Cartoon Network. More are expected to be added. Plus, for $10 per month one can purchase add-on packages of special-interest channels, such as news and children's programming. This is the sort of low-cost, à la carte offering that many had been hoping for. The web-based service can be streamed to one's computer, smart TV, and mobile devices. There's no contract, no installation fee, no special equipment, and no credit check.
Apple began selling unlocked iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models on Tuesday that can be used with carriers around the world, as well as with with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint in the U.S. An unlocked iPhone 6 with 16GB costs $649 and 6 Plus $749. Apple had already been selling an unlocked model, but it came with a T-Mobile SIM card.
The New York Times has a helpful article that narrates writer Mike Isaac's spending a day using Apple Pay. His experience varied widely, going off without a hitch at some businesses and causing a bit of confusion at others. His best experience was at Whole Foods, where the clerk estimated that three out of every 20 customers use Apple Pay. At Babies "R" Us he never did get it to work after waving his iPhone four times. At some places the clerks were familiar with Apple Pay, at others they just gave him a blank look. Overall, he feels that there's room for improvement among the retailers.
But what really caught my attention in this article were two comments that were posted explaining that the newer "chip-and-PIN" credit card terminals apparently accept Apple Pay by default. One person posting a comment said that these terminals are universal in Europe and that he was able to use Apple Pay a number of times there. He just waved his iPhone and it worked.
CES 2015 is just around the corner and the iPhone Life team will be bringing you live, on-the-ground coverage of what is the largest international gathering in the tech industry. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, this sprawling event will cover over two million square feet and is expected to attract well over 150,000 industry professionals to the city of Las Vegas. CES 2015 is sure to offer plenty of surprises as well as previews of some amazing new technology. Read on after the break for some of our CES predictions and a glimpse into what we can expect from this year's grand event.
Want more? Get our weekly newsletter: