20 Cool Stuff I Found At #CES2016

1. LIMA

Usually you need to get a NAS drive in order to have cloud storage. And their prices tend to be high. With LIMA, a NAS adapter, you connect one end to your router using an Ethernet cable and the other end to a USB storage device. This way, you can turn any USB drive, including thumb drive, into a NAS drive for $100.

2. LD West Phone Holster

Made using high-grade quality leather, this individually-inspected holster holds a wallet under your left arm and a phone under your right. Not only does it give a retro-nouveau look by having the wallet under your left arm and near your body. But it is impossible to steal RFID codes from your credit cards, and near impossible for pick-pocketers to steal your phone. Each holster is priced at around $100.

3. Helix Cuff by Ashley Chloe

I’m tired of wearing my Bluetooth earpiece all the time. But at the same time, I’m tired of wearing the wired earbuds/mic as an alternative. The Helix Cuff earpiece/mic combo can be worn around your wrist. It’s as good as a dedicated Bluetooth earpiece, but discrete and stylish at the same time. Price starts at $200.

4. STi:L iPhone cases

I can find iPhone cases that are protective. I can find iPhone cases that are stylish. Now, I have found iPhone cases that are both stylish and protective; one of which even matches my Hugo Boss suit! Every phone case is lined with high-impact resistant silicone on the inside, and various materials on the exterior, including chrom-plated polycarbonate, stainless steel. The Hugo Boss-matching model is made from a dust and water resistant cloth. Further, during a drop test at the show (dropping the phone from about six feet and hitting the corners of the phone to a metal plate), no scratches were visible.Pricing starts at $30, but the one I bought online just before writing this article is $60. There’s also one with silicone and aluminum X design for $100.

5. SleepPhones

You want to go to bed, you want to listen to your TV or music, but you have to wear a pair of headphones. Typically, you’d be stuck with wired or Bluetooth headphones and the typical form factor. SleepPhones solve the problem. By having the sonic transducer imbedded into the headband, you can wear the SleepPhones to lull you to your dream world. Available as a wired system or Bluetooth, and there’s also a package that includes a Bluetooth transmitter to turn any audio device (including your TV output) into a Bluetooth device and wirelessly send the sound to your SleepPhones.

6. Technicolor Supports UHD Alliance

Be confused no more. Even people-in-the-know are confused about the UHD HDR (High Dynamic Range) specification standards. After a year of dedicated work to define what next-generation video entertainment will look like, the release of the UHD Alliance specifications introduce a degree of certainty that should stimulate confidence in the industry, and, in turn, translate into new demand from consumers.

Technicolor says the specification provides the framework for how wide colour gamuts should be, what it means to meet high dynamic range (HDR) requirements, and how these technologies can be integrated into the development and distribution of new movies, television content and other forms of entertainment.

Further supporting the penetration of 4K with HDR, Technicolor is also working with content owners and studios to revisit content libraries to help this content meet the finalized specification. One of the ways that Technicolor is helping content owners and studios is by making its global team of colourists and colour scientists available to natively grade content in HDR. Technicolor has already graded several titles, including Twentieth Century Foxes’ Spy and Fantastic Four movies, and Amazon Instant Video’s Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle, and Red Oaks streaming television series.

In addition, Technicolor’s Home Entertainment Services Team is now fully certified by the Blu-ray Disc Association to create 4K HDR Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs in advance of the format’s launch during the first quarter of 2016 to coincide with the release of hardware solutions.

7. DiVoom – Aura Box

By default, the AuraBox is a digital clock and Bluetooth speaker that displays the hours and minutes in two bright rows. You can set alarms for the speaker through the app. The alarms can be set to different relaxing scenes to wake up to, like a green-tinged forest or a blue-tinged sea light show, each with its own pleasant melody and ambient sounds.

There are plenty of functions besides the clock and the raw Bluetooth speaker, though. You can also press the Light button on the top panel of the speaker, or swipe left or right on the main screen of the app to switch to a temperature display, a yellow-and-red graphic equalizer, and a handful of static and animated light shows like solid colour lighting, a rotating color pinwheel, and a fireworks display.
You can create your own pattern or download more patterns through periodic firmware updates. It also shows unique icons when there is an incoming call, missed call, WhatsApp, QQ, WeChat, Twitter and Facebook alerts are from a connected device.

I think for a Bluetooth 4.0 unit that had the honour of being displayed at MOMA (Museum Of Modern Art), the asking price of $70 is reasonable.

8. Impecca Poweritup 2-in-1 USB Car Adapter and 3,000mAh Power Bank Combo

The Poweritup USB Car Adapter charges devices while in the car through the cigarette lighter and the Poweritup 3,000mAh Power Bank charges devices everywhere on the go. The up to two-year standby time allows you to keep it in your car, bag, briefcase, or purse and charge devices anytime without worrying that the power bank has been discharged.

This is the first time a car charger comes built in with a 3,000 mAh power bank and such a long standby time. Typically, from previous devices I’ve seen, standby time is usually less than six months.

Priced at $29.95 the Poweritup USB Car Adapter/Power Bank saves money and space by providing two functions: USB car charging and mobile power bank charging. Poweritup charges over 1,000 times and saves time by charging in only 2-3 hours instead of overnight. In addition, Poweritup also protects against overcharging and over current with a replaceable fuse and features a comfortable ergonomic design with a rubberized non-slip finish to keep you from dropping it. Its four-level LED battery indicator also lets you know how much charging power is left, so there are never any surprises.

And in case you didn’t notice, the shape is very similar to a Porsche car key.

9. LG Super UHD TV lineup

Although there is no such thing as “Super UHD,” I can forgive LG for using this moniker. Not only does the lineup use an advanced IPS display, but it also employs True Black Panel technology that minimizes reflections and enhances contrast ratio for a more comfortable viewing experience. Contrast Maximizer delivers more depth and contrast by separating objects from their backgrounds.

Further, the use of Color Prime technology heightens HDR performance compared to sets that are only HDR compatible. It includes an SDR-to-HDR conversation engine so viewers can enjoy near-HDR content from any standard source.

To enhance colour reproduction, LG’s Color Prime Plus is also utilized. Color Prime Plus expands the palette of colors that can be displayed on the screen. The technology uses a combination of a new, thicker colour filters as well as new LCD phosphors to achieve approximately 90 per cent of the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) colour space. Another innovation, Billion Rich Colors, gives the LG Super UHD models the ability to render over one billion possible colour variations for an even greater sense of realism.

The 2016 UHD TV lineup also comes with the newest generation of LG’s acclaimed webOS Smart TV platform. webOS 3.0 adds advanced new features to make finding and switching between LG’s expanded content options – including broadcast TV, streaming services and external devices – simple and fast. With enhanced mobile connectivity, remote features and more content options – including those offering streaming HDR, LG webOS 3.0 makes it even simpler and more fun than ever for users to find and enjoy the content they want to watch.

10. UHD Bluray Are Finally Here!

Warner, Fox, and Sony Pictures plan on starting off their support of the early 2016 launch of 4K ultra HD Blu-ray players with the release of four newly remastered 4K movies including The Fifth Element, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Life of Pi and Exodus and the company will then expand their selection from there to more than 35 other titles throughout the upcoming year.

The four initial titles that will be released by Warner consist of Mad Max: Fury Road, San Andreas, The Lego Movie and Pan. Furthermore, all of these titles will also come with HDR support for the new high dynamic range format, which is part of the main pillars of UHD format (the others being high resolution, wider colour gamut and higher bit-depth).

“Following quickly” according to Warner, there will also be releases of theatrical new release titles on the same days and dates in both Blu-ray 4K and DVD versions. And these will be accompanied by catalog movie titles throughout 2016, which include films like Man of Steel and Pacific Rim. Some of these titles will also include Dolby Atmos soundtracks as part of their new technology.

In addition to the upcoming Warner Bros. releases, the very first Sony Pictures Home Entertainment versions of assorted movie titles will also be hitting the shelves in the new 4K UHD Blu-ray format in early 2016. These, too, will include HDR support and Dolby Atmos.

The first releases planned by Sony include The Amazing Spider-man 2, Salt, Hancock, Chappie, The Smurfs 2 and Pineapple Express.

Get ready for at least 80 titles to be released this year!

11. Darbee’s Updated DVP-5000S Processor

I love Darbee video processing technology. On the other hand, I was very vocal with my complaints of the dinky remote control, lack of HDMI power output, and video artifacts, especially on subtitles at higher processing levels. It appears the DVP-5000S solves these issues. The new remote control is more rugged than its predecessor, there’s a more powerful HDMI power output, and zero artifacts at the processing level I usually use. In fact, the demo impressed me so much I put in an order for one right then and there.

12. DTS:X is Finally Here (well, that’s the claim)

Although DTS does not have a booth at CES 2016 to showcase DTS:X (the booth is to showcase DTS HD Radio), it has been confirmed that DTS:X firmware will start to roll out starting March 2016 (depending on the brand) through the end of April 2016. DTS:X will also be part of the UHD BD specifications, so wait for UHD BD in DTS:X releases from various studios. One that has already been confirmed is 20th Century Fox, and there’s a high probability for Walt Disney Studios as well.

13. Samsung’s Atmos-Enabled Soundbar

I have to admit, I wouldn’t typically look at soundbars. But this is the type of soundbar that actually makes me contemplate buying one. Samsung’s soundbar comes equipped with a wireless subwoofer and a pair of wireless Atmos-enabled rear speakers, making it the first soundbar with true Atmos 5.1.4 capability (versus simulated Atmos). The demo was quite amazing (for a soundbar) with a very convincing soundfield and above-your-head sound. Information on pricing is a mixed bag: depending who you ask, it ranges from US$800 to $1,000 to “to be determined.”


14. Audio Technica Bluetooth Turntable

First, there was the AT-LP60, Audio Technica’s entry-level, fully automatic turntable with a (switchable) built-in phono pre-amp, belt driven and street price of around $120. A year later, Audio Technica added USB output to the AT-LP60 and called it the AT-LP60USB, with a slightly higher street price of around $150. This year, the turntable has evolved further into the AT-LP60BT, which adds Bluetooth connectivity for an approximate street price of $200.

15. Sony DSD Turntable

No, it’s not the turntable that is DSD. This $700 unit is a direct-drive manual turntable with switchable phono pre-amp, a USB output, and free PC software that can capture the audio and digitize the album into a DSD HiRes-Audio format.

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