Consumer technology is one of the driving forces behind technological advancement. There is a demand for electronics that are more impressive than the previous year’s model.
Many new tech devices were introduced at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but some stood out above the rest.
One specific type of gadget that was shown at CES had an emphasis on bracelets and arm bands that respond to and interact with a smart phone or tablet device. Smart accessories are not only fashionable, but they can have health benefits too.
Some of the new smart health gadgets are earpieces and armbands that monitor a person’s heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. These devices gather sufficient data that can determine physical and mental conditions such as a fever and even depression based on information collected without effort on the part of the person using the device.
Intel-Edison paired up with Mimo, creators of The Smart Baby Monitor, to create Nursery 2.0, a baby monitor designed to clip on to an infant’s clothing to display vitals and movement.
Mitchell Randazzo, senior nursing major, said Nusery 2.0 is “useful to have for parents, especially if they have an ill child.”
Ranazzo also commented that being able to read basic vitals would be an additional benefit for parents.
Another focal point at CES this year was 3-D printers. The aim was to create cheaper and more user-friendly 3-D printers. Designers demonstrated that they could print with a wider variety of plastics, as well as with metal and even food.
The incredible precision of the printer allows it to quickly print prosthetics, organs, microprocessors and many more intricate products.
“Right now it’s still too expensive to use a 3-D printer for actual mass production, (but) there are still several other various production methods that can help with that, but for the home user, a desktop 3-D printer makes perfect sense,” said Brian Gaut, part of the recent Maker Movement that has their main focus on do-it-yourself technology.
Jumping from 3-D printers to 2-D screens, CES revealed several ultraviolet high-definition smart TVs. Samsung offered a screen that could flex at the push of a button, which creates a surrounding image, as well as produce 4K resolution.
“It is the beginning of a new generation of in-home entertainment bringing the quality of the theater to your living room,” said Brandon VanBuskirk, senior nursing major. “It is exciting to know that there will be picture quality four times better than what we are currently looking at.”
CES also displayed a variety of car models that offered both inside and outside features that could set the bar for the audamotive industry.
Audi, in particular, gave a demonstration of the 2014 Audi A7, which is a self-driving car. The A7 uses radar scanners as well as cameras and a laser track to move. The vehicle can only travel a short distance at low speeds, but shows how advanced technology has become nonetheless.
Another tech prototype that was revealed was the Oculus Rift. Oculus, a company that specializes in virtual reality technology, released one of the most talked-about items at the show. The Oculus Rift is a highly-advanced virtual reality headset that allows the user to fully immerse themselves in game play on consoles and computers.
Unlike previous prototypes, Oculus Rift is able to translate head motions not only into in-game orientation movements, but also into actual motion without the use of another controller.
CES continues to showcase new and upcoming technology that could enhance the modern lifestyle in the years to come.