The 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show is this week in Las Vegas and on display will be a cache of innovative gadgets that are sure to fill wish lists in the coming years.
However, not all the new items featured at the show will inspire awe — some will surely elicit eye rolls as the world becomes even more dependent on smartphones for nearly every facet of life.
Here are some of the most exciting — and seemingly pointless — items that are expected to appear at CES 2015.
A smarter home?
In 2015, the dream of living in a completely automated home is more accessible than ever. But are some of these innovations really necessary?
Some of the coolest household items that will appear at this year’s CES include smart door locks like the August Smart Lock which will communicate with a Nest thermostat to automatically adjust your home’s temperature when you leave or get home. The Goji Smart Lock is another option, which boasts itself as being the only electronic deadbolt lock with a built-in camera to let you see who’s trying to get in your house.
Another intriguing household item is a series of versatile light bulbs from German firm Sengled. The company has introduced a bulb that will boost a home’s Wi-Fi signal, as well as ones that include speakers, microphones and cameras built in.
Parents that struggle with convincing their kids to brush their teeth will likely love the Rainbow smart toothbrush from Vigilant. Yes, even toothbrushes are smart now. The device links to a smartphone or tablet and uses brushing in interactive games to make the practice something kids might actually look forward to.
Two of the most head-scratching gadgets on display at CES 2015 include the Smarter Wi-Fi-powered tea kettle and a pot that can water your plants automatically. The Parrot Pot, made by one of the world’s top consumer drone manufacturers, measures the soil moisture, fertilizer and light available to your potted plant.
Tech you can wear
Wearable technology is hardly a new concept and thanks to the popularity of the Fitbit as well as the anticipation of the Apple Watch, these may now seem like old hat at an electronics expo. There will be some interesting new wearable gadgets on display at CES 2015, however, including one that may finally solve the issue of hearing a noisy partner’s snoring.
SleepPhones — described by the manufacturer as “Pajamas for your ears” — are headphones that are designed to be worn during sleep. This device, which is worn like a headband, is already for sale online.
Fitness enthusiasts who are tired of their earbuds popping out during an intense workout will be dazzled by Parrot’s Zik Sport headphones. These in-ear headphones will cancel noise, measure your heart rate and can last for up to five hours, according to Engadget. The Zik Sport is designed to fit snugly on your head and not budge.
Another forthcoming favorite of fitness freaks will be the GoMore device. This wearable is billed as the “World’s first stamina sensor” and pledges to give the user real-time updates on how much energy they have left during a workout.
Kodak is poised for a possible comeback in 2015.
Classics coming back
CES 2015 will be full of growing companies that are trying to establish a foothold in the tech sector, but a couple of mostly forgotten favorite brands are expected to make comebacks at the show.
Be honest, when’s the last time you thought about Kodak? It’s been three years since the photography giant even showed its face at CES, but this year they have engineered a comeback. Kodak will introduce a new smartphone, as well as a new line of video and still cameras. The company will also introduce a new baby monitoring system, which has already been honored with a CES Innovation Award.
Speaking of retro technology, the Sony Walkman looks to be coming back. Not much is known about the new Walkman but a promotional banner in Las Vegas shows what it could look like. Chances are it won’t play cassettes.
Dear Santa ...
Christmas shopping is probably the last thing you want to think about in early January, but this year’s CES will include plenty of items that are destined to line wish lists in the coming months and years.
In addition to 4K and 5K televisions and monitors, a slew of new smartphones will be unveiled this week. Top phones that are expected at CES include the HTC Desire A52, a selfie-takers dream machine fitted with a 13-megapixel front-facing camera, the versatile Alcatel OneTouch PIXI 3 which will reportedly be compatible with three different operating systems, and Sony’s newest device which has only been teased in a cryptic YouTube video.
The 2015 CES will take up more than 2 million square feet of space in Sin City and is expected to bring at least 150,000 tech-savvy attendees.
Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.