There wasn’t a new piece of standout tech at CES this year, but there was a whole lot of experimentation and progress in tech we are already familiar with. We’ll be taking a look at the best new laptops, cars, and TVs separately, but there’s plenty of interesting tech in the ubiquitous category of “gadgets”.
Whether it’s drones, wearables, virtual reality, smartphones, or smartwatches, we’ve collected the 10 best gadgets from CES 2017:
10. Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller
The idea behind the Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller is to solve the problem of using a PC in your living room and not having a good way to get around on it. Lenovo has sold the miniature keyboard and mouse combo separately before, but now they’ve combined them into a single controller that does both.
It’s a bit small for a keyboard, but the fact that you can click, swipe, and even two-finger gesture on it, makes it a pretty neat little gadget for your living room.
9. Polaroid Pop
You might think Polaroid is a dead brand, but it’s been making attempt after attempt to bring its vintage love into the digital age. Its newest iteration is one of the most promising—the Polaroid Pop. It can print right there like a traditional Polaroid, as well as save the image digitally.
The important thing is that the Pop has some impressive specs, most notably the 20-megapixel camera and a 3.97-inch LCD touchscreen for navigation.
8. Motiv Fitness Ring
Smart rings have been around for a while, but the Motiv Fitness Ring seems like one of the most interesting to come out so far. Unlike having a device in your pocket or around your wrist dedicated purely to fitness tracking, a ring seems fairly nonintrusive.
The Motiv Ring has a 3-axis accelerometer can do all sorts of different tracking: activity type, active minutes, activity intensity, sleep duration, heart rate, calories, distances, and steps. On top of that, the ring is waterproof as well.
7. Seven Hugs Smart Remote
Remember when universal remotes were a problem everyone was trying to solve? The Seven Hugs Smart Remote takes that idea and puts it in the context of your entire home. The image above is the best way to understand what this little remote can do, but essentially it knows what smart device you are pointing at.
From there, you can turn things on or off or adjust contextual settings of those smart home devices. Who knows how useful this would actual be in your home, but the “magic” factor of this one makes it stand out.
6. Fove Eye-Tracking VR Headset
Virtual reality has been a big deal at CES for the past few years, but none quite like this year. One of the most impressive conceptual ideas at the show was the Fove Eye-Tracking VR Headset, which does exactly what it claims to do.
By tracking your eye movement, this VR headset can help prevent motion sickness and present the virtual worlds in a way that’s more realistic to how we see the real world. It can also help users perform some more practical functions in VR such as navigating through menus and gaming.
5. NVIDIA Shield TV (2nd Generation)
It takes a lot for a set top box to stand out for the crowd these days, but the 2nd generation Shield TV does exactly that. The original product was great when it came out a couple of years ago, but NVIDIA has really upped the ante here. First off, the actual device is much smaller than its predecessor—and even comes with the game controller packaged in at no additional cost.
Just some of the features NVIDIA has packed into this include support for Google Assistant, HDR capabilities, GameStream in HDR, a new interface, support for the PC/Mac GeForce Now update, and bunch more. There’s a lot to unpack about what NVIDIA is doing with its game-streaming services, but the Shield TV looks to be one of the most exciting television/gaming devices of the year.
4. Misfit Vapor
We’ve always loved the Misfit Shine, a simple little wearable for fitness tracking. Now, Misfit is finally fully diving into the smartwatch game with the Misfit Vapor. Like its previous products, the Misfit Shine focuses on minimalism with its 1.39-inch AMOLED display and simple design.
It’s got its own unique interface that is a riff on what Samsung has done with the Gear S smartwatches. On top of that, Misfit is promising two days of battery life on a single charge, as well as being waterproof. With Pebble phasing itself out, the Misfit Vapor is looking like it could be the next big independent smartwatch manufacturer heading into 2017.
3. HTC Vive Tracker
The HTC Vive has been the virtual reality headset to beat in the last couple of years. Most excitedly, HTC keeps pushing its experimentation and desire to create a more fully immersive VR experience.
HTC has now introduced the Vive Tracker, which is a little device that can hypothetically turn anything into a virtual item. What that means is that you can turn a baseball bat or a toy gun or pretty much anything into a useable item in a game or VR experience. The idea of a blindfolded person swinging a bat around comes with some legitimate concerns, but one can’t help but marvel at the way HTC has continued to push virtual reality tech further.
2. Xiaomi Mi Mix
The design of the Xiaomi Mi Mix is one of the most exciting things in smartphones right now. You may have never heard of this bezel-less phone, most notably because it still hasn’t come to North America. The phone has a footprint around the same size as a traditional 5.5-inch smartphone, but the actual display is 6.4 inches.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix might not ever truly make a splash over here in the States, but the splash it makes in the smartphone design community is what will really count. Based on some of the leaks we’ve seen about the iPhone 8, it may already put its fingerprint on the market.
1. Dell Ultrasharp 8K Display
A monitor as our best gadget of CES 2017? Well—this isn’t like any monitor you’ve seen before. Dell has been doing a lot of things right in the past few years and this monitor falls right in line with their great design and forward-thinking tech.
This is a 32-inch monitor with a resolution of 7680 × 4320, which alone should make your mind spin. The numbers might not matter to you, but this 8K display really is an accomplishment that is sure to catch the attention of the industry. It might cost $4,999, but it’s a true peak into the future.