Top 15 Buzz-Worthy Gadgets and Wearables at CES 2015

CES 2015 has been dominated by IoT gadgets, wearables and mobile-powered technology that will become available in 2015. This annual future-oriented show is abuzz with smart and connected devices including wearable tech, 3-D printers for just about anything, smart watches, disposable adhesive heart rate monitors, gadgets to help patients manage chronic pain, GPS trackers for kids, camera-carrying drones, smart ceiling fans and water heaters, and even a chair that burns calories, massages you, improves your posture and helps you build muscles, all the while recording your health data.

This year, it’s all about the data and data-sharing devices. It’s about smart, connected consumer gadgets that collect and analyzing the data they generate. The focus of these gadgets is to help improve people’s lives, jobs, health, fitness, tracking children and pets, and workforce enablement.  With more than 150,000 visitors and two million square feet of exhibits and event space, the show has about 3,500 companies showcasing new products and services. This year, considering the fast-growing IoT market, an improved economy, and huge spike in innovation, new devices and well-funded startups, CES is on track for record-breaking attendance.

The Internet of Things isn’t just a buzzword anymore and is powering a host of new companies, products and services as is obvious from the line-up at CES. International Data Corp (IDC), a market research firm, predicts that the global market for Internet of Things devices and services will exceed $7 trillion by 2020, up from $1.9 trillion in 2013.

Here are 15 of our favorite buzz-worthy gadgets and wearables, hand-picked from the thousands at CES 2015:

1. Ring

The Ring by Japanese startup Logbar, which originally debuted at last year’s CES, allows users to utilise gesture-based commands to control a home full of IoT things once the Ring is hooked up to residential wifi or Bluetooth. The Ring Hub which will be launched in March this year, is an infrared remote control that works with the Ring. By pairing the Ring Hub, users can do things like turn lights on and off, change the music or take and print pictures, with customisable hand gestures via the Ring’s app.

2. VIBE Smartphones & VIBE Band VB10 by Lenovo

Lenovo’s new, sleek P90 smartphone ($369) includes a 5.5-inch display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 13 megapixel rear camera and a 5MP front camera that can be gesture controlled. Lenovo also launched the Vibe X2 Pro smartphone with a 5.3-inch display (ideal for outdoor use), dual-SIM capability, Intel 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with eight cores (1.5GHz), 13 megapixel front and rear cameras (perfect for selfies). A Vibe Extensions Selfie Flash accessory ($29) plugs into the audio port of the smartphone (also works with any Android phone that has the app) and is the best phone flash we’ve seen.

Lenovo’s first wearable, the Bluetooth-enabled VIBE Band VB10 (available April 2015 for $89) boasts E-ink display and an impressive 7-day battery life. The device is waterproof and submersible and features full fitness tracking functions via Bluetooth. The band’s display can show up to 150 characters(great for tweets). It is also compatible with Facebook, text messaging and more.

3. The FitLinxx AmpStrip

The FitLinxx AmpStrip™ is a thin, discreet, waterproof adhesive patch that tracks heart rate and activity with accuracy. This disposable patch that first debuted on Indiegogo in December monitors heart rate, exercise load, resting heart rate, recovery heart rate, skin temperature, posture and other biometrics. The FitLinxx AmpStrip™ sticks to your torso and is comfortable enough to be worn all day.

4. HereO

The hereO is a GPS watch designed for children so parents can keep track of their location. The watch is the world’s smallest real-time GPS location device created specifically for children (ages 3 and up). By remembering historical locations, the phone helps parents track their children throughout the day and helps them ensure their children haven’t visited any unsafe places.

5. Seagate Seven

This ultra-thin 500GB storage device is possibly the world’s thinnest, sleekest, most beautiful portable hard disk. Priced at $100, the 7-millimeter, 500-gigabyte Seagate Seven hard drive is protected by a steel case and is thin enough to slip into a shirt pocket.

6. FITguard

The FITGuard™ (available in September) is the first mouthguard that can measure the force of an impact and illuminate LEDs to visually display the force from the impact. The color-coded LEDs provide an instant visual indication to the coaches and officials of when a player needs to come off of the field to be properly evaluated and get medical attention if needed. The FITGuard could be especially helpful in contact sports where concussions and other brain injuries are often difficult to detect.

7. SmartMat

The SmartMat (available September, $297 if you pre-order) is a responsive yoga mat makes it easier to improve and refine your yoga practice. SmartMat detects when you’re out of alignment and gives you real-time feedback on how to correct your pose. You can also track, store and monitor your progress with the free SmartMat App on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet. The first time you use the SmartMat, it takes you through a series of movements to calibrate your body shape, size, flexibility and personal limitations. This information is stored and will help SmartMat detect when you’re out of alignment or balance. Over time, it evolves with updated data as you improve your yoga practice.

8. Parrot Pot

This sleek, white pot includes multiple sensors and a water reservoir inside, and using the companion app, you can water your plants by just by tapping your phone’s screen. The sensors in the Parrot Pot also measures temperature, sunlight, and fertilizer requirements. The Parrot Pot helps keep plants alive for weeks, even when you’re out of town, and allows you to monitor your plants via smartphone.

9. Hydrogen-Powered Cars

Toyota showcased its sporty, beautiful hydrogen-powered car, the Mirai, at CES this year (the car was first unveiled in Japan last year). And as part of an effort to promote the hydrogen auto industry to flourish, Toyota is opening up royalty-free use of 5,680 fuel cell related patented or patent-pending technologies. The Mirai is due to be sold in the U.S. by October.

10. Motorola Scout 5000

This advanced collar-mounted device (available in June, $199) lets you track your pet’s location at all times. The device incorporates a GPS tracker, Wifi connectivity and a wide-angle camera capable of taking 720p video so you can watch a live video stream of where your pet is. It even lets you talk to your pet when he or she is away from you. The Scout 5000 also uses geo-fencing so you can create an “invisible fence” on your property. The collar emits a high-pitched sound that dogs will hate is they stray outside the invisible fence.

11. Garmin Vívoactive Fitness Band & Fenix3 GPS Watch

Designed for the athlete who wants to stay connected, Garmin’s new fitness band can be paired with a smartphone via an app. Once the device is synced, it gentle nudges the user to “play harder”, “work smarter” and “live better” as Garmin describes it. Garmin’s Fenix3 multi-sport GPS watch ($499-$599) which will be available this spring comes in three new styles including a “Sapphire” model with real sapphire crystal face. The device can record walking, running, swimming, hiking and skiing activities. Its display is readable in direct sunlight and can last for six weeks in watch mode or 20 hours if being used actively.

12. Haiku® with SenseME™ Smart Ceiling Fan

Controlled by a Nest Learning Thermostat, Haiku with SenseME is the world’s first smart ceiling fan that features an on-board computer and sensors to help users control it automatically. These connected fans monitor occupancy and environmental conditions and learn user preferences, and are expected to save users up to 30% on air conditioning costs.

13. GoGoRo Electric Scooter

Created by a Taiwanese start-up, The GoGoRo is a cloud-enabled, connected, pollution-free electric scooter that’s unlocked, enabled and personalised through the use of the companion smartphone app. Every function of the scooter is monitored and maintained in real-time through cloud computing, with self-diagnosing capabilities should a fault occur. Users can also use the app to personalise the colours or themes on the scooter’s dashboard. It’s not all about good looks and connectivity. Instant torque delivers full power allowing this beautiful scooter to go from 0-31 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds, with a vehicle maximum speed of 60 miles per hour. The company claims this scooter is twice as strong and 30 percent lighter than any other scooter.  

14. Belty Smart Belt

The world’s first smart belt from Paris-based startup Emiota is equipped with multiple sensors, an accelerator, a gyroscope and motors that expand and retract based on waist size, so it can measure your movement, activity and girth. The Belty connects with an app that saves the data it collects and sends you real-time suggestions and feedback based on how the belt adjusts. The belt buckle gets looser when you sit, tighter when you stand up, and vibrates to remind you to get active if you’ve been sitting for long. The current version features a large metal buckle, is heavy and considered a luxury product that’s expected to be be available for purchase at the end of 2015.

15. Mercedes Benz F015 Electric Self-Driving Car

Mercedes-Benz is turning the futuristic vision of millions of self-driving cars into reality with its new F015 sedan. The driverless car has an unusual shape and size and features huge LED lights used to communicate with other cars around. The car has four rotating chairs allowing passengers to sit face-to-face with each other. Plus, all the windows of the vehicle can be used as display screens. The F 015 automatically rotates the seats by 30 degrees once a door is opened to allow passengers to easily step out of the car.