The Consumer Electronics Show curtain raiser, dubbed CES Unveiled, offered a glimpse of consumer market trends and how small and midsized companies are leveraging emerging technologies to create variations on current products.
One unmistakable trend is the proliferation of devices using wireless (WiFi and Bluetooth) and sensors, along with gadgets designed to work with apps running on smartphones and tablets.
Click on the image below to see some of the latest devices that just might catch on with consumers this year.
PURE, which initially built its reputation by developing Internet radio, has added wireless HiFi adapters to WiFi and Bluetooth (shown, front) along with wireless speakers. Plug in the HiFi adapter, and the company claims you can transform a HiFi system into a multi-room audio system. PURE also introduced portable wireless speakers (shown, rear) with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The wireless speaker offers 360-degree sound (mono and stereo). WiFi can be used to stream synchronized audio to multiple wireless speakers in and outside the home.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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