CES in Las Vegas has so many new tech products, prototypes, and crazy ideas to show off it can be hard to see it all. From the amazing to the downright weird, CES is definitely my favorite tech show of the year. CES 2018 has been no exception. Let’s get into it!
What am I most excited for?
I am excited about more than a few items I have seen from CES 2018. Some of these I may even purchase for myself. Here are my top 3 that will definitely see the light of day.
Big Format Gaming Display
First is Nvidia’s Big Format Gaming Display or BFGD for short. We all know what gamers will actually be calling the technology *wink wink*. Nvidia is in partnership with the AU Optronics, who will be the sole supplier for the display panel. Specs are amazing. It is a 65-inch 4K panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, can handle HDR content, & has G-Sync! While Nvidia would like us to think of this as a “Gaming Monitor,” I think of is more as 4K TV with some added bonuses. I know I can’t be the only one with a gaming rig that doubles as a home theater PC… can I? Another thing that puts this directly into the “TV” category is Nvidia’s Shield TV. Thier brand of Android TV will be built right in. Asus, Acer, and HP are all on board as OEMs for this and as stated before all use the same panel and the same Nvidia Shield software.
Fingerprint Sensor Under The Screen!
Another one that should be coming to phones soon was just shown off as working at this years CES. That would be putting the fingerprint sensor underneath the display of a device. The Chinese brand VIVO brought its new working, almost final build phone to the show and it really does work. It is using Synaptics optical sensor underneath its OLED display. While slightly slower than other sensors out there… this is under the display! It is still optical and works by reading your fingerprint through the displays OLED pixels. This tech will NOT work on displays needing a backlight. I’m a huge fan of the rear fingerprint sensor placement, such as on the Google Pixel 2. I would give it up for having it under the display not taking up any real estate though. Here is Mr. Mobile himself Michael Fisher showing off how it works.
Vuzix Blade AR Glasses
As soon as I saw the Vuzix Blade AR Glasses being shown off for the first time I was hooked. I immediately got nostalgic about Google Glass and the month I spent using them. Almost 4 years to the day after I picked up my pair from the Google offices in Chelsea NYC, these come to my attention. Glass was NOT ready for primetime but man they were fun to use. I mean look how much fun I had…
The Vuzix does indeed seem ready for primetime and has employed better tech to make that happen. Instead of using a prism to reflect an image into your vision, Vuzix uses a form of DLP projection to put the full-color image onto the inside of the sunglasses. Yes, these are full sunglasses and are even prescription ready! Pricing right now is for DEV units only. Preorder/reserve for $495 and will be $1,997 total. This includes the DEV unit AND a full production model once they drop. Too rich for me but I will be on the lookout for when the final models are available!
CES 2018 The Weird But Great
These are the weird or crazy, but ultimately cool things I found at CES 2018. Things I hope happen or things I think are just nifty.
A Real Working Tri-Monitor Laptop?
Many will remember Razer’s crazy 3 screen laptop, Project Valarie from last years CES. You may also remember that 2 of them were stolen from the show and sold on Taobao in China… I digress. The Slidenjoy is the child of that idea and I would say an even better implementation. Better because it is fully modular. You can have it there when you need it, connected by a single USB-A or C cable. Attaches by clipping to 4 round stick-on mounts on the back of your laptop screen. I personally would put the mounts on an outer shell case of some sort but they look low profile enough. Overall I think this could be a very cool product for some people and they have so many options for color and material to make it your own.
A Phone Docked Into a Computer, That’s Not New But…
The idea is almost as old as the smartphone as we know it. Take the empty shell of a laptop and plug your phone into it and BOOM, you now have a machine that can do more than your phone. At the same time less than your laptop. Anyone remember the Motorola Atrix and it’s “lapdock?” it was one of the first and it was terrible. Cool idea but before it’s time. There was the Asus PadFone which did the same with similar results. Samsung and Windows phone manufacturers have been getting better but I think they have all been bested. Bested by a computer manufacturer turned phone manufacturer.
The Razer Phone is a beast of a phone. It is very large but also is one of if not the most powerful Android phones. It has a huge 4000 mAh battery and the best speakers on any phone period. All of these factors come together with the very sleek but empty chassis of Project Linda. Just as nice a chassis as you will find on any Razer Laptop but without a touchpad or speaker for that matter. The phone’s screen becomes the touchpad and the phone’s speakers are powerful enough so the dock does not need them. It does have its own battery to power the display and to give up to 3 charges to the phone. Pretty neet. Sadly Project Valarie never made it to market but this has a much better chance. it seems to be getting a good amount of hype from fellow bloggers & vloggers. It just might be a real thing.
CES 2018 had some big announcements. I have been into VR since, well, forever. I have Google Daydream headsets but the best VR experience I have had to date is on my HTC Vive! It finally showed me and the rest of the world just how cool VR could be and I love it.
HTC Vive Pro
There have been plenty of rumors about a successor to the original Vive but nothing solid. At CES 2018 HTC announced the Vive Pro. It is an all-new design and is marketed more towards the prosumer. With that design comes updated optics. The resolution is up 78% over the OG Vive to 2880 x 1600 (1400 x 1600 per eye, and 615 ppi). It also seems to come with attached headphones this time around. The design looks very much like the deluxe audio strap available for the Vive. All in all, this looks like quite a step up compared to the two-year-old Vive.
As an OG Vive owner, I was worried about my investment into VR. No need to worry too much as HTC will be selling the Vive Pro with a head-mounted display only option for the first couple months. This means current Vive owners will be able to be the first to give this new unit a try as it is backward compatible with the existing Vive base stations and controllers. A trade-in program when upgrading to the Vive Pro would also be nice but we shall see if that comes. HTC should be selling just the Vive Pro HMD by the begining of the Q2. I for one am super excited!
Wireless VR Becoming Mainstream
If there is one thing I dislike about VR are the wires. When sitting down it is not an issue but when you are dancing around the room while in room-scale, is quite another. That is where HTC’s new wireless adaptor for the Vive and Vive pro comes in. We have seen other adapters for the Vive like the TPCast which goes for $299. This is a bit different as it is a first party accessory and is using Intel’s Wi-Gig 60Hz wireless tech to power it. I am very much looking forward to this. As with the Vive Pro there is no pricing as of yet and avalibility is stated as summer.