From an Android powered pocket projector to self-driving and self-parking cars, here are five killer pieces of tech from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show that every business owner should keep an eye out for.
1. The car dashboard that knows all
The dashboard is getting smarter with car manufacturers and technology companies showcasing some impressive in-car experiences on the show floor. Thankfully, players like Parrot are bringing their impressive RNB 6 to older cars so you won’t have to invest in a new vehicle to enjoy the latest dashboard tech.Parrot’s crisp 7-inch 720p display auto infotainment unit replaces your existing car stereo and brings modern day features such as maps, voice controls, in-car AC control, on-board diagnostics display like tyre pressure, fuel consumption and maintenance alerts, a HDMI input for external video and even the ability to stream and record video from any front and rear cameras that might be attached.
But the killer feature of the RNB 6 is that it’s the only aftermarket unit that supports both Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay. This means that anyone of your employees can mirror their phone to the in-car dash, regardless of whether they own an iPhone or an Android smartphone
2. Windows PC-on-a-stick
With the abundance of media streaming sticks like the Google Chromecast on the market, it was only a matter of time before we saw a stick that can transform any HDMI display into a Windows 8 computer. And that’s exactly what Intel has done.The Compute Stick is a full-blown Windows PC with an Intel Atom quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage. Intel has also managed to squeeze in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a full-sized USB port, a mini-USB port and a microSD card slot for adding even more storage to the tiny 10cm dongle.The powerful device is expected be a cost effective and extremely portable solution for regular presenters or road warriors.
3. The pocket-sized projector
What happens when you combine a pocket-sized projector with Android? You get the ZTE SPro 2.The Android powered projector is capable of projecting a high-definition 720p image at up to 120 inches with a brightness of 200 lumens. It also includes a handy auto-focusing and auto-keynoting feature that can correct warped projected images within seconds making the setup almost hassle-free.It also boasts a five-inch touchscreen located on the top of the mobile projector that runs a customised version of Android. Beam PowerPoint presentation, videos, web browser and other Android apps directly to the projector – no more fiddling with an external screen.
The SPro also packs a 6300mAh battery, allowing it to project up to three hours straight before it needs a charge. Another ace up its sleeve is the ability to act as a 4G mobile hotspot for up to eight devices via the included SIM card slot. Additionally, the SPro 2 boasts a microSD card slot on top of the 16GB of internal storage, Bluetooth, a full-sized USB 3.0 and HDMI ports.
4. The home automation plug
If you operate a small office or run a business from home and are constantly looking at ways to save on your electricity bill, then home automation products like iHome’s smart plug are well worth considering. The Smart Plug lets you to control anything you plug into it via your iPhone’s voice assistant, Siri.With a Smart Plug connected office, you can micromanage your power consumption, turn on/off lamps, workstations and other office equipment that might be hooked up to a Smart Plug equipped power point all from your iPhone.
5. The car that self-parks and self-drives
We waste a lot of time looking for parking and most of us spend an embarrassing amount of time trying to find our parked car afterwards. But what if you could use your smartphone/smartwatch to tell your car to go and find a spot itself and then have it pick you up from your location when you’re ready? Well that’s exactly what car manufacturers like BMW, Hyundai, Toyota and Volkswagen showcased at CES 2015.Hyundai also demonstrated how you can remotely turn the car engine on/off, lock/unlock car doors, turn on horn/lights, and even send you turn-by-turn directions to tell you exactly where your car is parked using their new BlueLink app which runs off your smartphone or smartwatch. Imagine how much of a lifesaver that would be when you’re rushing from meeting to meeting!
What’s more, all major car manufacturers had self-driving cars ready to go. Audi even demonstrated how its A7 drove just under a 1000 kilometres straight from its office in San Francisco to the Las Vegas show floor.BMW encouraged attendees to try and drive its latest i3 electric car into a wall to show off how its built-in 360 degree Collision Avoidance system, which uses high-resolution laser scanner to pinpoint what’s around, can proactively stop the car once it gets close to obstacles.
While these cars aren’t available to buy just yet they aren’t as far off as you might think. According to several car manufacturers, we should expect to see these impressive pieces of tech in select models of cars within the next five years.