CES, or the International Consumer Electronics Show for those unfamiliar with the conference, is a tech lover’s dream. Every January companies gather in Las Vegas to display more gadgets than you can imagine—or that can be covered in this short space. This year everything from a belt that can fasten and loosen itself to a self-driving car concept from Mercedes had people intrigued for the year ahead. But just some of the biggest tech trends to keep an eye on include a smarter home, a continued focus on health and fitness devices, curved displays and new travel alternatives.
Travel: New Urban Transport
In addition to the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion self-driving car concept, a startup company made the rounds with a new solution to revolutionize urban travel. Gogoro’s Smartscooter is powered by swappable electronic batteries. The idea is that large cities could have GoStations where people could exchange their dead batteries for fully charged ones. The scooter’s size is also ideal for cities where parking spaces are at a premium. And the Smartscooter offers more power than your typical scooter—going from zero to 31MPH in 4.2 seconds and reaching a max speed of 60MPH.
Smartphone: Ahead of the Curve
Last year, the trend was curved TVs, and while more of those were on display, it seems this trend is now carrying over to smartphones. LG’s G Flex 2 offers a curved design with a 5.5-inch Full HD P-OLED display and an Advanced Self-Healing back that repairs most scratches and nicks from everyday use. And the phone’s Fast Charge feature can add 50% of power in just 40 minutes. No price or release date was available at press time.
Tablet: Slim With Depth to Boot
Dell’s Venue 8 7000 ($399 to $469) is being billed as the world’s thinnest tablet at just 6mm, but what makes it truly unique is its integrated Intel RealSense Depth Camera. This camera creates a high-definition depth map so you can re-focus a shot even after you take a picture. And the new Dell Gallery collects all your photos from social media in one place that can be sorted by date, geography or even by person thanks to a facial recognition feature.
Health: Drug-free Pain Relief
There is no shortage of wearable health tracking devices on the market, and plenty more options will be available this year, but NeuroMetrix’s Quell (expected Spring 2015) is an FDA-cleared device for the treatment of chronic pain without a prescription. This wearable device offers 100% drug-free relief through NeuroMetrix’s proprietary, non-invasive nerve stimulation technology. It can help provide relief from chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, sciatica and osteoarthritis. And the device even calibrates to each person’s optimal stimulation level to ensure he/she receives maximum relief 24/7.
Home: Wireless Power For All
CES featured a few displays for the home of the future, but one of the most intriguing components is the possibility of Energous’ WattUp wire-free charging technology. Similar to Wi-Fi, a transmitter such as a “power router” sends energy via a radio frequency (RF) signal to your wireless devices (smartphones, tablets, wearables, cameras, etc.). Each device with a WattUp receiver can convert that signal into battery power. Energous will license the technology to outside manufacturers with the hope that consumer products will be available by Q4 2015.