The most incredible gadgets from the biggest tech conference in the world
Christmas 2017 can't come early enough
Possibly the greatest gathering of adult virgins outside of Vatican City, CES - the tech conference held annually in Las Vegas - is a veritable nerd fest.
With prototypes vaunted around vast, glittering showrooms, and more substantial hardware carted out on stages, it’s the only place you’re likely to see the best gadgets of the future, as well as the ones you’ll soon be pre-ordering for next Christmas.
And so, with this year’s CES fully underway, we’ve compiled a guide to the most interesting pieces of tech and how useful they’ll actually be.
Faraday Future FF91
In a nutshell: Fastest electric car ever.
What you can do with it: Speedier than even Tesla’s Model S, this beauty has been clocked coasting from 0-60mph in 2.39 seconds. The eco-friendly motor also comes equipped with special user software allowing drivers to share movies and route plans to the car from personal computers via a virtual FFID account.
What you’ll probably do with it: Take it for a cruise around winding, picturesque country roads and feel like a billionaire playboy. Right until the second you realise you forgot to leave it on charge and end up calling the AA for a lift. As the chassis is loaded onto a tow truck, you’ll also remember that you needed to get a second mortgage to pay for it and break down weeping.
Release date: Early 2018.
Price: TBC (but it will cost you £4,080 to pre-order)
In a nutshell: The Amazon Echo killer.
What you can do with it: A sassy alternative to the monotone personal assistant being ignored in your parents’ kitchen, this smart-looking donut could be a game-changer. Its makers, Emotech, boldly claim that with enough interaction over time Olly will develop its own personality based on moods as well as preferences, coming across to users like an ‘old friend’, and in time making the relationship between man and machine more of a two-way street.
What you’ll probably do with it: Throw it out of the living room window when Olly bangs back on about why Sky Sports misses the “harmless” banter of Keys and Grey. He went and said it and you finally snapped. Panicked, you’ll then wait until midnight before burying it in a shallow grave and proceeding to tell any visiting friends that Olly went on a trip.
Release date: Later this year.
L’Oréal: Kérastase Hair Coach
In a nutshell: Smart hair brush that listens for breaking hair.
What you can do with it: If MI6 ever went into the grooming world, this would be its key piece: a microphone, gyroscope and accelerometer, among other sensors, have been fitted into a battery-operated brush, vibrating if users brush too hard and recording the sound of broken hair. This data is then sent via wi-fi or Bluetooth to an app, from which you’ll be able to monitor the effects of your bonnet sprucing on the go. Oh, and it will even be able to recommend products. Handy for L’Oreal that.
What you’ll probably do with it: Oh, man, you’re Danny Zuko, the Fonz and any other fictional character obsessed with brushing their hair all rolled into one. The brush won’t look as cool as a comb, mind you, but you’ll learn to love and respect it all the same, cherishing its advice whenever it offers it. Hair Coach is always right. Sure, your bathroom cabinet will be buckling under the immense pressure of L’Oreal products you’ve never even opened, but that’s not the point. Listen to the brush.
Release date: Later this year.
LG’S ‘Wallpaper TV’
In a nutshell: An ultrathin telly you can slap on your wall like a poster
What you can do with it: LG’s OLED W TV isn’t just ultrathin, it’s stupidly thin. A supermodel with a cocaine problem sort of thin. All killer, no filler, it sticks out at just 3.85mm from a wall when mounted onto it, and can even be hung up using magnets. Available in 65-in or 77-in models, it comes equipped with built-in Wi-Fi, 4K video, while one single cable runs to a sound bar comprising all of the usual connectors so it won’t be a mess at the back.
What you’ll probably do with it: Hang it in on your wall as the TV gods intended and watch Sky Arts for three solid hours.
Release date: End of March
In a nutshell: Robotic vacuum cleaner that also acts as a mobile home security camera and humidifier.
What you can do with it: Skynet meets Mary Poppins, this domestic appliance can do it all, from floor cleaning (both vacuuming and wet mopping), to air purification, to security footage. Using a special smart drive moment, allowing the cleaning apparatus to reach 90 degree corners, no ground surface will go without a buffering. It can even also detect smoke, sending an image to the home owner’s mobile phone if a risk is ever detected. Attaboy.
What you’ll probably do with it: Try and modify it into a far more sophisticated version of DJ Roomba. It’ll play tunes, cool guests down in the VIP area, and also throw some out when they’re being too rowdy. The dream, basically.
Release date: TBC
Lenovo’s Windows holographic VR headset
In a nutshell: VR machine that won’t cost you Oculus Rift dollars.
What you can do with it: Windows user? Go on, take a good hard look, because this might be how you get your VR fix in the near future. Weighing in at a relatively dainty 350g and taking inspiration in design from PlayStation VR (a pair of 1,440 x 1,440 OLED screens flat in front of your face), it will also make you look a bit like Robocop. Dead or alive, you’ll be wearing it.
What you’ll probably do with it: At first, all goes swimmingly. You shoot and blast your way through PC games, browsing song folders and generally immerse yourself in a non-tangible world like an absolute pro. But disaster strikes when, out of nowhere, the Microsoft Paperclip shows up, larger than life and more fucking annoying than ever. You can’t sleep for weeks after that.
Release date: TBC
In a nutshell: Ultra-thin digital tattoos able to measure your biomechanics.
What you can do with it: As reported in Wiredlast year, biotech tattoos could one day become big business. And like eighties science fiction cinema incarnate, US-Chinese firm Rotex Technology have just displayed some of their wares, which they claim are the ‘thinnest, softest, and lightest biometric sensors ever invented’. This, they hope, will allow wearers to measure cardio levels, breathing, temperature, hydration and movement inside a piece of digital artwork the size of a credit card etched into the skin.
What you’ll probably do with it: Enjoy the novelty of it, showing it off at parties to all who fancy a look at this slice of digital art, before one day you think ‘Meh’ and have laser surgery to get rid of it. Unfortunately, the laser triggers a malfunction, the wiring reacts with your blood levels, pulsating an electric shock in your body so forceful that it kills you.
Release date: TBC
The Matrix Powerwatch
In a nutshell: Watch that uses body heat to power it.
What you can do with it: Smartwatches may well be the future of the horological world, but give us a gnarled Casio over ones we regularly have to leave on charge any day. Hopefully going some way to remedy this battery flaw, if relatively simple on functionality itself, the Matrix Powerwatch works from the energy given from your body heat. Great for joggers, bad for polar explorers.
What you’ll probably do with it: Wear it like a champ, because it’s bloody lovely.
Release date: July
Price: £120 (for pre-order on Kickstarter now)