Tech to expect
Bangalore, January 9 2017: The annual CES show in Las Vegas (formerly Consumer Electronics Show) which ended on Sunday, had its usual quota of tentative technology, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, a lot of it irrelevant to Indians.
Among the more bizarre this year was a $ 200 smart hair brush, embedded with WiFi, pressure sensors and a microphone. It 'listened' as you brushed your hair, picked up signs of dry hair or split ends - and dished out appropriate advice through your mobile phone.
But there were a few more practical pointers to personal technology trends that would touch us in 2017:
Asus unveiled the world's first mobile phone -- the ZenFone AR -- enhanced for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. It is enabled with Google's Tango, a set of sensors for motion tracking and depth perception, that gives the phone the ability to understand space and motion like a human. It is also equipped with Daydream, another Google technology for mobile VR. The phone is TriCam -- ie, it has 3 rear cameras for creating a 3-D model of its surroundings. A motion tracker tracks its location and measures distance from nearby objects. There are a host of practical applications. To name just one: You can use the phone to take room measurements and place virtual furniture before redecorating your home.
Acer educational Chromebook
Acer has adapted the Chromebook format for educational use. Knowing that students tend to be rough with their tools, the makers have built the 11.6 inch Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) to military specifications of ruggedness -- it can endure a 60 kg blow on the cover; or a drop from 122 cms height; it can withstand cola spills on the keyboard; it won't slide on the desk. Its battery will keep it working for 12 hours; it weighs just 1.35 kg and can be hinged 180 degrees to sit flat for sharing in class. And there are no whirring fans to disturb the class.
Away, backpack blues!
What's the biggest pain when travelling abroad with your laptop? Removing it for the X Ray scan, every time you pass airport security. Targus has launched the Mobile ViP backpack which does away with this requirement. Good for laptops or tablets from 15.6 inches or smaller, the backpack has a zipper which lays the two halves of the bag , one for the laptop, the other for accessories, flat when passing through security. Apparently the US Transportation Security Administration which seems to be setting the standards for many countries is OK to inspecting the bag in this condition The ViP has just won an award for its design and engineering at CES and is available later this week in India, for Rs 5500.
For images of these products see here
Tomorrow: more tech from CES