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10 products that caught my attention at CES 2015

10 products that caught my attention at CES 201510 products that caught my attention at CES 2015This week is CES 2015 week with a whole slew of products, announcements and interesting developments within the tech industry. This year is very much focused on wearables, Internet of Things, automobile, and some refreshes of existing products that I’ve been waiting for. Here are the top ten products (in no particular order) from CES 2015 that has piqued my interest that I’ll be looking forward to over the next few months.

1. Toyota Mirai – A hydrogen fuel cell vehicle

Toyota Mirai

Toyota has made a major push for global adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles at CES 2015, offering nearly 6000 hydrogen fuel cell patents royalty free to the automobile industry, allowing the entire automobile ecosystem knowledge and flexibility required to make the dream of mass adoption hydrogen fuel cell vehicles across the world. One of the most commendable announcements that has made major ripples into the automobile industry – now having two technology revolutions for adoption of electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Toyota Mirai (which means “Future” in Japanese) is truly the future of automobile industry, will be available in fall 2015 in the US. I truly hope to see hydrogen cars in Asia, especially Singapore since we already have hydrogen fuel cell public buses since 2010.

2. Sennheiser MOMENTUM Wireless

Sennheiser MOMENTUM Wireless

I’ve always been impressed by Sennheiser MOMENTUM line of headphones, not just the audio quality but also the style of it, and I’ve been waiting for the wireless version of Sennheiser MOMENTUM for the longest time, which I’ve mentioned several times over the past few years. Finally, Sennheiser announced their wireless versions of the MOMENTUM headphones, offering the same fusion of performance, substance and design, but with enhanced wearing comfort and now feature folding headband designs for even greater portability. It includes NFC technology to quickly pair Bluetooth devices, while the advanced Active Noise Cancellation technology and 22 hour battery life make them the perfect headphones for a superior listening experience on the move. It also has an integrated microphone (like any wireless headphones) but I’m skeptical with the quality and clarity based on my experience with other wireless headsets. The Sennheiser MOMENTUM will be available in Singapore after March 2015, and I’m looking forward to this launch.

3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2015)

Lenovo X1 Carbon 2015

I’ve always been a ThinkPad fan, especially the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. However, with the previous iteration, the modifications to the keyboard and trackpad were not that welcoming. Lenovo has listened and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is again an amazing ultrabook, with the (re)introduction of the dedicated function keys above, and the 3 button trackpad like the good old days. The keyboard isn’t the same as the old days, but they’ve refined the curved chicklet keyboard to a point where it actually feels good typing on it so I don’t have much complaints about it. The cpu upgrade to broad well, slimness (17.7mm), light sturdy frame (1.3kg), long battery life of 10.5 hours with rapid charging (80% in 30 mins), high resolution display (2560 x 1440 IPS touchscreen), the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2015) is probably one of the best Windows business laptop in the market to look out for this year.

4. Intel Curie – A button-sized wearable computer

Intel Curie

The wearable revolution is here. The Intel Curie module is a complete low–power solution for the wearable space with compute, motion sensor, Bluetooth Low Energy and battery charging capabilities, running on an open source RTOS. Not just stopping there, Intel has also announced multiple products and initiatives with different fashion, fitness and lifestyle brands. What’s exciting is the consumer products that we will start seeing towards the end of the year and next, having electronics like this seamlessly integrated into our lives, sometimes without us knowing about it. Oakley, specifically, is working to fuse premium, luxury and sports eyewear with smart technology using Intel Curie. I’ve got a few visual art projects in mind that might use something like Intel Curie.

5. Sony Walkman NW-ZX2

Sony Walkman ZX2

Honestly, I don’t really know where to put my finger on this. Based on the initial  first look (or listen) reviews, the all new Sony Walkman NW-ZW2 blows the minds of the audiophiles; featuring the S-Master HX digital amplifier, reducing distortion and noise for a much clearer acoustic experience, DSEE HX technology further upscales MP3 and other compressed music files. All these for a huge price of USD$1,119.99. But this new Sony Walkman NW-ZW2 has caught my attention, and I’ll definitely be interested to test the audio quality, and other features to determine if it actually justifies such an expensive price tag.

6. NVIDIA Drive PX Auto-Pilot Computer and Drive CX Digital Cockpit Computer

The power of the NVIDIA Drive PX and CX is simply jaw dropping. The computer vision and deep learning capabilities from the NVIDIA Drive PX, and the stunning graphics rendered by the CX to create the next generation driving experience within the car and cockpit/dashboard, simply makes this the single most exciting announcement from CES 2015. In conjunction with Sony’s push for imaging sensors around the car, the next generation “smart” cars that can drive itself, or at least help us drive is definitely a reality.

7. Samsung Portable SSD T1 – Ultra small portable SSD in your palm

Samsung Portable SSD T1

About size of a business card and weighing at only 30 grams, the Samsung Portable SSD T1 is powered by 3D Vertical NAND (V-NAND) tech and can transfer up to 450 MB per second and have a maximum capacity of 1 TB in this small form factor. 1TB will cost around USD$600, but this is a good start for high capacity cheap SSDs coming soon. Excited to check this out when it releases next month or two.

8. Intel HDMI Compute Stick

Intel HDMI Compute Stick

Rather impressive thumb drive sized stick, this tiny device have enough power to run Windows 8.1 apps on any HDMI capable screens/TVs/monitors. Intel has crammed in a quad-core Atom CPU, 32GB of storage, and 2GB of RAM, along with a USB port, WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 support and a mini-USB connector for power (HDMI power will come later). The Windows version is priced at USD$149, and the 1GB RAM/ 8GB storage Linux version will cost USD$89. The Intel HDMI Compute Stick will be available after March. ahem Now I can bring my entire linux rootkit tools in this small devices. ahem Yes, indeed I see many possibilities for a device like this.

9. Four TV OS – Tizen (Samsung), webOS (LG), Android TV (Sony), Firefox OS (Panasonic)

Samsung Tizen smart TV

What do you guys think? Out of the four TV OS, will that affect your choice of purchase? Or does it still come down to content, color/clarity/resolution, and price? I’m pretty excited to see what we will see over the year with all four TV OS, especially with Sony going all in with Android TV. I’ve seen what webOS and Android TV can offer from previous iterations, but the entrance of new players – Tizen and Firefox – will make this interesting. Or will smart TVs fail as badly as the push for 3D? Let’s see how it pans out in 2015 with the smart TV wars.

10. LG webOS smartwatch

LG webOS smartwatch

Word on the street is this won’t be coming out until 2016, but one can hope the LG webOS smart watch might be available sometime in 2015. The UI seems pretty cool, and based on The Verge’s hands-on of the LG webOS smart watch, it looks like a rather slick watch enough to compete in the upcoming watch wars. I’ll be keeping a look out for this watch!

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