Droning Out the Hype at Annual CES

Posted On April 17, 2017 By Angelo Gentile
A "sandy beach" at CES
A sandy oasis amid the CES chaos. Photo: Wired

The 2016 International CES, the annual consumer electronics show in Las Vegas this week, featured its usual giant exhibit hall (2.4 million square feet), a drone rodeo in the nearby Las Vegas desert, Hollywood stars, celebrity chefs, various booze-related ice sculptures, beach volleyball inside the exhibit hall (complete with sand), pro athletes, security dogs that were not to be petted and, oh yeah, product launches from innovative start-ups to icons of the corporate world.

Though some would say the event itself has become a bit overdone — the New York Times calls it “a noisy parade of puffed-up announcements” — the show usually offers a few items worth noting.

Compact 360fly camera
The compact 360fly camera easily captures spherical video. Photo: 360fly.com.

USA Today liked several items:

  • The 360fly camera, a baseball-sized, one-lens camera, which takes spherical videos. It doesn’t require complicated editing, and is available for $399.99 at Best Buy.
  • The Parrot Bebop 2, seen flying at the drone rodeo, is an affordable $550 drone that can be operated by a smartphone.
  • A steering wheel attachment for your car that helps curb distracted driving, developed by 20-year-old Tristan Evarts, who says, “Technology can be part of the problem, and part of the solution.”

Wearables remain popular items. Wired Magazine liked Cool Glass One — a variation of Google Glass, which is made by a Chinese company, and sells for a lot less than Google Glass. Cool Glass One will range from $300 to $500. Google Glass is priced at about $1,500.


Nvidia's automotive "brain."
Nvidia’s automotive super computer “brain” dubbed Drive PX2. Photo: theverge.com.

Finally, the “brain” inside of self-driving cars got the attention of ABC News. Chipmaker Nvidia showed off this brain, which is actually a super-power computer called the Drive PX2. Volvo will be the first company to test the computer with a fleet of self-driving cars hitting the road next year.

Eye on Innovation is a monthly look at new technology, products and scientific advancements that we’ve mined from crowdsourcing sites and other corners of the Internet.