Thanks to Pete Wassell at Augmate and contributions from the companies who are the real veterans in head mounted displays, there was a very nice and informative showcase at the entrance to the Eureka Park in the Venetian.
I have personally been monitoring this sector for 15 years so this was a bit of a nostalgic experience for me. I was involved in the very early days with Reflection Technology who broke early ground. Then Microvision launched their Nomad product which sported a Virtual Retinal Display and in cooperation with Metaio, sold this into the automobile industry as a repair mechanic's aid.
If you think Google Glass is a breakthrough product you only have to look at what Vuzix (called Icuity then) and MicroOptical (myvu) launched in the late 1990's to see that this headworn display technology has been around for a while from these early innovators. The difference from then to now is that the belt or backpack worn PC that drove this is now completely headworn and in the case of the M100 from Vuzix, is a complete open platform Android OS device, so the Applications software can come from several sectors in parallel.
So the Journey from HMD's of 10+ years ago takes us right into a new era of Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality. Thank you Google for bringing this onto the radar screens of the potential user sectors. The Technology is now available and in the hands of developers!
Market researchers ABI predict that 2 million Smart Glasses type devices will be sold this year (2014). This seems a bit optimistic, but with Vuzix M100 commercially available now and Google Glass and Epson coming into general commercial availability in the next months it's at least a possibility from the supply side of the equation. This has never been the case before.
The next chapters in this story will be very interesting ones!
The FIND by SenseGiz is a tag which can be used to prevent losing or misplacing objects like keys, bags, pets, phones etc.
You can hook it or stick it to any item that you want to find immediately or do not want to lose. If you leave that item and start going away, your smartphone app will give off an alarm alerting you about the item left behind. The FIND comes with a phone protect mode as well, where the FIND in your bag or pocket starts beeping if you have misplaced your phone. Or you can use the app to FIND any item whenever you need it! The FIND app is supported on iOS and Android phones.
So simple, yet so many uses.
Available soon for about $20. each.
Looks like SanDisk is starting to think outside the dongle! This is effectively your Personal Cloud in your pocket. And can be shared across iOS, Android devices and to PC & MAC as well. On iOS this all works well over iCloud, but having web connectivity is a must. So the two things that caught my attention on this is that it could save you from buying the iOS devices with the biggest memory, you could get away with less (£$€) and that wide area connectivity is not needed to keep all your devices sync'd up. I see the value, but have lots of questions as to how seamless this is for the user. Only answered when the review unit I have been promised arrives. I will update....
olloclip lenses for iPhone were one of my favourites from last year at CES and they pleasantly surprised me this year when I saw them at Showstoppers with a whole range of new lenses and multi-lens combinations. The ones that most impressed me were the Macrolens combinations, 7X, 14x and 21X all in one package. Also a new telephoto plus polarizing filter combo and a 4-in-1 fisheye, Wideange and two Macro combinations. With a few of these in your pocket you can capture just about anything on an iPhone. The combination of the wide angle plus the new Pano capability in the iPhone camera App makes a powerful combination to capture 360° or panoramic scenes. Well done olloclip!
While strolling through the Gold Pavilion at CES I ran into this company called BarcodEye. They are writing Android Applications for the Vuzix M100 Smart glasses. This App simply takes to your line of sight the information associated with a barcode, QR code, etc. that the M100 camera picks up in your direction of glance.
Simple, but very effective way to read barcodes by just looking at them. Many applications which require hands to be free to do other tasks will benefit from these types of applications plugins. Since the M100 runs Android these can be easily adapted from Smartphone Apps or written from scratch.
As reported by the BBC the word "selfie" has been declared the most important new word of 2013 by the Oxford dictionaries. How relevant to have a product that is an APPcessory to your smartphone that is easy to carry, but extends your reach so you can take that all important "selfie" or to get your camera above the crowd. It even has a button by your finger to snap the picture with!
it's from Looq Systems
Since most of us can't get through the day on a single charge of our smartphones, we all seem to be carrying auxiliary batteries, which themselves have been getting smaller in size and bigger in the amount of power they punch. Problem is, carrying the long version of the USB cable that comes with the phone is that it takes up too much space on my person, so these key chain-sized cables are just the ticket. These two Caught My Eye at CES!
The small (1" diameter) Ozobot 'robot' gaming pieces bridge the physical and virtual online world with robots that respond to what they see beneath them on the tablet screen or tabletop or both. Basically, they move themselves! An interesting new innovation that could bring tabletop social gaming back to life. Devices and Apps not available until later this year, but I will be looking forward to trying this one.
The fun will come when lots of games and Apps appear.
see video of basics here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xFjTXQ8uho
I have been a big fan of Scanadu for quite some time, following their progress and have pre-ordered a unit, but I was able to get an update from co-founder, Sam Lounis De Brouwer at their table at Pepcom. Very knowledgeable both from the technology and medical applications aspect. So often lacking in tech companies I see where they wax lyrical about the technology, but often don't understand the user value side of the equation.
This discussion with Scanadu has left me with a very warm feeling about the sector in general and the dominance of Scanadu within it.