Sure, the International CES show was chock full of connected cars, smart home sensors, music gear and computer gadgets, as you’d expect.
There were even drones buzzing the 160,000-plus people that tromped across the 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space along the Las Vegas Strip. But if you didn’t get to see some of these goodies, well, you just haven’t lived.
Of the tons of products on display, here are a few that inspired, brought a chuckle, or made you just say, hmmm, yeah, I definitely need that. (Wink.)
Uber, Facebook, Instagram — sure, they've been all the rage, but with 2015 arriving we're all ready for something fresh. From ride-hailing to photo sharing, here are a few up-and coming apps and startups to watch in in the new year. Which will be the breakout hit?
TELL A STORY
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook Inc., now has 300 million users - more than Twitter. Scrolling through its snapshot feeds gives users a quick glimpse into the lives of friends and strangers. (At least the parts that include empty beaches, cappuccinos with perfect foam hearts and smiling babies in clean clothes.) Its simplicity is part of its appeal. But what if you want to tell a longer story?
The Humane Society of the United States announced the availability of ICE BlackBox, an app for Androids and iPhones, allowing users to record video of suspected animal cruelty and share the video securely with law enforcement for possible investigation and prosecution.
“Through innovation and technology, the new app provides another tool for the public to join the fight in stopping animal cruelty and abuse,” said Michael Markarian, chief program and policy officer for The HSUS.
As gaming consoles such as the Xbox and the PlayStation diversify into video, social media and other non-gaming apps, it seems only fair that streaming TV devices start nudging into gaming territory.
Amazon’s Fire TV and the Roku 3 both offer a multitude of games, alongside apps to stream video on the big television screen from services such as Netflix and Hulu. The game offerings — some free, some for a fee — are a mixed bag thus far, ranging from solid to silly.
Here’s a look at the experience for both:
With the sport of geocaching continuing to grow, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Geocaching Association placed “official” caches in 47 state park properties.
"Over the last 12 years, geocaching has become a great way to explore the outdoors using technology,” said Sherry Wise, chief naturalist for the Wisconsin State Parks program.
Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are in close proximity using a new feature the company is launching today.
Called “Nearby Friends,” the optional tool will only be available to people who choose to turn it on. The feature uses your smartphone’s GPS system to tell your Facebook friends you are nearby — provided they have the feature turned on. Rather than share your exact location, it will only show that you are nearby, say, within half a mile.
Roku Inc. is launching a line of TVs that play video from services like Netflix without requiring a set-top box. While similar to smart TVs on the market already, the company’s Internet streaming platform offers some 1,200 apps and more comprehensive niche content choices.
The Saratoga, Calif.-based streaming set-top box pioneer is partnering with two of the biggest Chinese TV makers in the world, TCL Corp. and Hisense International Co. Ltd. on six models. It showcased them on the sidelines of the annual International CES gadget show in Las Vegas this week.