The 10 Coolest New Products at CES 2019
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While we went to CES last year, this was the first year MakeUseOf covered CES in a serious capacity. We went and walked the show floors at all of the venues over all four days of the event, and we saw a lot of cool stuff—and a lot of not-so-impressive rubbish.

Here’s a rundown of our coolest findings, including an invisible laptop stand, a headband that measures concentration levels, and a wall-sized TV that can shrink on-demand depending on what you’re watching.

1. Ultrahaptics

The 10 Coolest New Products at CES 2019 ultrahaptics gestures ces2019 collection

An invisible floating shape in mid-air that you can press, manipulate, and interact with? Sounds cool, right?

That’s what Ultrahaptics brought to CES 2019. Yes, they’ve been at CES for a few years now, but each time the company’s tech takes a giant leap forward. This year, it had advanced sufficiently to allow users to control the entire center console of a car. That includes the fans, music, GPS, and temperature.

The number of supported gestures has also increased significantly. Last year, only broad hand gestures were recognized and little else. This year, Ultrahaptics can also recognize pinches, swipes, mic drops, and more.

But it’s the underlying haptics technology that excites us the most. The number of implementations are near-endless. Keep reading to learn how it’s also being used in the VR world.

Contributed by Dan Price.

2. MOFT Invisible Laptop Stand

The 10 Coolest New Products at CES 2019 moft laptopstand ces2019 collection

Startups and crowdfunded products are a staple at CES, with IndieGoGo having a particularly prominent presence. I was lucky to receive one of these products to try out.

The MOFT is an invisible laptop stand, currently available on Kickstarter for USD 14. It holds up to 18 pounds and fits anything from a tablet to a 15.6” laptop. You can prop up your laptop at either a 15° or 25° angle. When not in use, integrated magnets ensure the MOFT remains flush against the back of your laptop. On our unit, however, the magnets appear to be missing.

MOFT attaches to the back of your laptop using an adhesive similar to the one you might know from phone grips, like the PopSocket. You can remove and reattach it up to 100 times. I can’t imagine using my phone without a grip anymore and the MOFT is proving to be equally useful for my laptop.

Contributed by Tina Sieber.

3. Sense Arena VR

The 10 Coolest New Products at CES 2019 sensearena virtualreality ces2019 collection

As you might expect, virtual reality was a huge part of CES 2019. Between the hardware itself and a slew of software demos, it felt like something related to virtual reality was looming around every corner.

One particular virtual reality demo that knocked me off my feet was the Sense Arena hockey training system. I started playing hockey 22 years ago, and this VR system completely shocked me with how well it was able to replicate the experience of being on the ice practicing.

The system is designed to allow a player to do thousands of repetitions without the risk that would come from being on the rink. It’s all about building muscle memories, and it really feels like it will work.

Between the haptic feedback from the special stick and the authentic visuals, this is a demo that justifies the existence of reality for the world of sports.

Contributed by Dave LeClair.

4. Bosch Driverless Shuttle

The 10 Coolest New Products at CES 2019 bosch shuttle ces2019 collection
Image Credit: Bosch

German electronics manufacturer Bosch had their vision of the future prominently on display at CES this year. Autonomous vehicles have been widely touted as the future of transportation, but it seems more likely that shared, autonomous public transportation will replace single-occupancy vehicles.

Bosch’s concept electric driverless shuttle can hold up to four people and is equipped with Wi-Fi and other connected services.

Although the vehicle was only a concept at this stage, Bosch intends to develop and integrate all services for autonomous transport and ride-hailing. The shuttle would be equipped with cameras that can identify if a passenger has left anything in the vehicle, and can arrange for the vehicle to be cleaned when necessary.

Contributed by James Frew.

5. The Wall by Samsung

The 10 Coolest New Products at CES 2019 samsung wall ces2019 collection

TV technology had advanced a fair bit in the last decade or so—just consider how 4K TVs with HDR are now affordable for pretty much everyone. I wasn’t impressed by the 8K TVs we saw at CES (without a side-by-side comparison, it’s hard to see a difference from 4K) but The Wall is something really crazy.

It’s essentially a full-screen TV that can scale to any resolution or size on-demand. So you could enjoy a cinematic movie with the screen at ceiling-to-floor size, then set it to a wide and short format to display digital art later.

I’d love to see The Wall interact with different games and movies, like zooming in for a moment when you jump off a ramp in a racing game or similar action. This feels like an all-new type of display instead of the small iterations we’ve seen lately.

Of course, this product won’t be out for some time and it will likely cost tens of thousands of dollars when it’s new. Though it’s just a cool concept at the moment, I find the idea of a screen that adapts to whatever you need in the moment really slick.

Contributed by Ben Stegner.

6. Dell XPS 13

The 10 Coolest New Products at CES 2019 dell xps13 ces2019 collection

It’s hard to definitively say which was the “best” new laptop at CES. However, from a purely personal perspective, it was Dell’s new XPS 13 which impressed me the most.

The XPS 13 is a seriously sexy device. Indeed, it’s easy to argue that Dell is taking the fight to Apple when it comes to building the most beautiful laptops on the market.

Of course, the big attraction is the death of “nostril cam”; Dell has finally found a way to place the cam above the screen while retaining the ultra-thin bezels.

But the XPS 13 is about more than new cameras. The high-spec models pack in 16GB or RAM, a 3,840 x 2,160-pixel touchscreen, and up to 2 TB of storage.

Prediction: This one is going to fly off the shelves.

Contributed by Dan Price.

7. Skyroam Virtual SIM

The 10 Coolest New Products at CES 2019 skyroam simo ces2019 collection

Anyone who travels a lot knows that staying connected can be a challenge. If you’re tired of switching out SIM cards or paying an arm and a leg for data plans (eh, Canada?), you know what I’m talking about. Here’s a product that could solve those issues once and forever.

Skyroam, also known for Solis, the portable data hotspot, has partnered with a chip manufacturer to build hardware that supports its virtual SIM. With SIMO, you will benefit from Skyroam’s collective buying power and get data packages at highly competitive prices wherever you go. All you need is a phone with the right hardware and Skyroam’s app to purchase data plans on the go.

Unfortunately, SIMO hasn’t rolled out beyond Indonesia yet. While no timeline is available, the next markets Skyroam is targeting are the Americas and India.

Contributed by Tina Sieber.

8. OBSBOT

The 10 Coolest New Products at CES 2019 obsbot camera ces2019 collection

Another product that felt like it had some pretty serious implications on the future was the OBSBOT. It’s a small camera that acts as an automated camera person. For anyone who wants to create content without a friend to shoot them, this could be a big deal.

Basically, once you assign a subject to the camera, it’s able to track that person in 360-degrees, meaning it functions a lot like a human holding a camera would. It uses simple hand gestures to change shooting modes, which makes it easy to control even from a distance. For content creators who want to work alone, OBSBOT is definitely a device worth keeping an eye on.

OBSBOT is scheduled to hit Kickstarter on January 15, so we’re sure to find out more information about it then. However, unlike many products seeking crowdfunding, we were able to actually use the OBSBOT, and it worked exactly as advertised. Even with the immense amount of people walking between me and the device, OBSBOT never once lost sight of me.

Contributed by Dave LeClair.

9. BrainCo FitFocus

The 10 Coolest New Products at CES 2019 brainco headband ces2019 collection

Focus can be hard to achieve, and there have been many products over the years promising to get you in the zone. The latest innovation comes from BrainCo. The company was at CES, showcasing their newest product, the FocusFit; an EEG headband designed to determine your level of focus.

The headband sits over the top of your forehead and behind your ears, a bit like a pair of glasses but higher up. The rear of the left-side has sensors to measure your brain activity, and an algorithm turns that into a measure of focus. BrainCo pictures you using the headband pre-workout to improve your concentration.

The headband connects to the FitFocus app, and once you achieve the desired level of focus, a video will begin to play. You can then start a workout from the optimal level of attention. Post-workout put the band back on, and you’ll be guided through a meditation to close out your session.

Contributed by James Frew.

10. Nubia Smartphones

The 10 Coolest New Products at CES 2019 nubia smartphones ces2019 collection

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Nubia showcased their new phones the dual-screen Nubia X and the gaming phone the Red Magic Mars. Although my previous experience with Android-based Nubia UI smartphones was less than favorable, these two new phones offered some hardware features in a market that has begun to stagnate.

The Nubia X is a dual-screen phone, with the standard screen on the front and a secondary one on the rear of the device. Switching between the two screens is as simple as squeezing the side of the phone. The Nubia X screens can either operate independently of one another, with separate apps running on each screen, or you can choose to have the same screen appear on each display. Sadly, only one screen can be enabled at any one time.

The Red Magic Mars is optimized for gaming, and while its hard to tell whether the on-device support will fully materialize, the aesthetic of the phone is enchanting. Gaming accessories often included customizable LEDs, and the Red Magic Mars offers such a strip along the middle of the rear-side. It’s a small touch, but when coupled with the in-built gaming controllers, accessed by gripping the sides of the phone, it makes the Red Magic Mars a potentially excellent gaming phone.

Contributed by James Frew.

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