2016 is coming to a close and yet there are still so many new gadgets, devices, and gizmos that were announced this year that we have yet to cover. Of course, it would be impossible to cover every single one, but here is a taste of some of the year-end leftovers worth looking into. Keep in mind that some of these devices aren’t scheduled to hit the market until 2017—so, this is as close as you get to the cutting edge.
Mirror: Skin Care Analysis
HiMirror ($189) is a smart mirror with a Skin Analysis Engine that helps assess your skin’s conditions, including wrinkles, fine lines, complexion, dark circles, dark spots, red spots, and pores. The HiMirror then uses big data analytics to create a custom-built skincare routine for you complete with skincare tips and product recommendations. And the mirror will also track your progress so you can see which products have worked best on your skin.
Navigation: Clear View of the Road
Most car navigation systems require the driver to look away from the road. But Navdy ($799) allows you to keep your eyes straight ahead. This clear display sits right above the driving wheel on the dashboard without obscuring the view of the road. It also connects to your phone, so in addition to directions, it can relay text messages, phones calls, and it allows you to play music. And its steering wheel dial allows you to zoom in on maps, skip songs, and make selections, all without taking your hands off the wheel.
Headphones: No Phone Required
To this point, headphones have to be tethered to a phone or other music playing device, but Vinci ($199) envisions a future in which headphones will be the central hub of your connected world. These wireless, smart headphones are controlled by your voice and powered by cloud technology. Simply say the name of a song and Vinci will play it. Or say a genre or mood you’d like and Vinci will pick a song for you. Vinci also acts as a personal assistant—so you can ask for directions, appointment reminders, venue recommendations, and more.
Desktop: The Creative’s Dream Workstation
Microsoft’s Surface Studio ($2,999 and up) is designed specifically to cater to the creative process with a 28-inch PixelSense Display that promises a higher resolution than 4K. The screen can be used upright or lowered so you can draw, paint, or edit as if on a drafting table. And it is compatible with the new Surface Dial, which offers new ways to interact with the display and your work, which includes the ability to make fast and fluid color adjustments or rotate and adjust the scale of the canvas.
Headset: Not Virtual, But Mixed Reality
Last year saw the rise of VR headsets, but in 2017 you can prepare for more mixed reality. Similar to the Microsoft HoloLens, Stereolabs’ Linq brings virtual objects into the real world. But unlike the HoloLens, Linq promises images beyond transparent holograms and it doesn’t require you to map out the space beforehand. Linq’s built-in camera scans the environment in real time and provides positional tracking without the need for any external sensor. The device will launch for select developers in early 2017 before a wider release later in the year.