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Fitbit’s Blaze.
Fitbit’s Blaze.

CES 2016: The saga continues

Another day, and even more gadgets are on show at the world's biggest technology exhibition

New Delhi: The fun has started for the geeks. And this time around, what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 is focusing on computing devices, smart car technology, entertainment and wearables. We look at some of the exciting new gadgets and concepts.

Fitbit’s Blaze

Fitbit, a popular name in the fitness wearables ecosystem, has unveiled the Blaze fitness smartwatch. It tracks the heart rate and comes with GPS and a built-in personal trainer. Fitbit says the straps are interchangeable, and it has a battery life of five days. It will connect with the Fitbit app on iPhones, Android and Windows smartphones. It will be available from March for 19,999.

LG 2016 OLED TVs

LG has released the global TV line-up, with the highlight being the eight new 4K OLED TVs. Like the 2015 versions, these also play High Dynamic Range (HDR) content, but now have the upgraded HDR Pro feature.

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These models support all HDR formats, including HDR10 and DolbyVision, and are expected to be certified according to the new Ultra HD Premium specs. These TVs run the WebOS 3.0 smart TV software. No pricing details, but should be heading to India this summer.

Sony Bravia 2016 TVs

HDR capabilities are the feature that most TV manufacturers are focusing on this year. Sony’s new Bravia line-up is certainly not missing out on this feature that improves detailing, contrast and colour reproduction.

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The X930D will be available in 55-inch and 65-inch variants, the X940D will have the 75-inch variant while the X850D series will have 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch and 85-inch models. Like the 2015 Bravia range, these TVs also run Google’s Android TV, allowing access to apps, games and the Play Store. Pricing and availability details are awaited.

Nikon D5

Three years after the D4, Nikon has revealed its successor. The D5, Nikon says, focuses on speed and accuracy, and features a 153-point AF system; it will cover wide area photos better than rivals. It has a full-frame 20.8-megapixel sensor, 12 fps continuous shooting mode and the completely new EXPEED 5 image processor.

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The D5 will be released globally in March, and will command a $6,500 (body only) price tag.

Volkswagen BUDD-e concept

The Micro bus nostalgia is back, but in a futuristic avatar. The BUDD-e uses touch, voice and gesture controls to operate large infotainment panels.

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Directly in front of the driver is a three-panelled Active Info Display with navigation, vehicle status and infotainment. Passengers get a separate head unit for entertainment or information. The BUDD-e can also hook up to your smart home and control gadgets from inside the car. Volkswagen imagines a world where the BUDD-e can order and receive its own replacement parts. The BUDD-e’s 101-kWh battery has a range of 373 miles and a top speed of 93 mph.

Microsoft car sensor

While an autonomous car has multiple cameras, radar and LIDAR, laser-based sensors and transceivers, chances are all these devices may still miss out on some critical information on the road. Microsoft has tied up with Michigan, US-based IAV Automotive Engineering Inc. to develop a sensor that “sees" what cameras and radar might not pick up.

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The connected highly automated driving (CHAD) vehicle uses Microsoft Corp.’s Azure Internet of Things (IoT) and Windows 10 platforms. It allows access to Cortana voice assistant, the ability to join a Skype conference or view a PowerPoint presentation on the instrument panel screen, all while the car drives itself.

BMW i8 mirrorless concept

The car of the future may not have any outside rear view mirrors (ORVMs). German carmaker BMW believes cameras can do a better job instead. The company has removed the ORVMs from the i8 electric car, and installed four cameras instead—the feed shows up on the dashboard.

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BMW says that removing the mirrors improved the car’s aerodynamics by 3%, with a 1% increase in driving range on single charge. There are also two stereoscopic cameras, looking out back. BMW is speaking with governments in Europe and the US, and hopes laws will make this road legal.

Audeze Sine

Audiophile grade headphones aren’t always the lightest and most comfortable to wear. The Sine is different.

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These are planar magnetic on-ear headphones, which use a thin uniform diaphragm rather than typical headphone drivers. The result—higher accuracy and more detailed sound, but also reduced weight (230g). This is one of the few headphones that can pull music from an iPhone’s Lightning port—perhaps that is an indication of the future. Priced at $499.95.

HP Spectre x360

One of the best laptops of 2015, the Spectre x360 has received the 2016 refresh. In addition to the 13.3-inch screen size, there is the new 15.6-inch screen option too.

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This screen has the 4K (3,820 x 2,160) resolution, which makes this highly future proof. To power the 8-million pixels, HP has upgraded the graphics to Intel’s latest generation Iris family and now has options of up to 16GB RAM. There is Bang & Olufsen’s audio tech for multimedia enthusiasts which goes on sale in some markets in February, with prices starting at $1,149.

HTC UA HealthBox

Sports apparel giant Under Armor and smartphone maker HTC have launched an entire ecosystem of fitness apps and gadgets. One part of the package is the UA Band, which connects with the Record app for smartphones, and logs weight, steps, workouts, and calories. Then there is the UA Scale. It is a sleek WiFi-enabled smart scale that can also monitor body fat. There is also a heart rate monitor. The Healthbox is priced at $400 while you can purchase each of these products separately too—band ($180), scale ($180) and heart rate monitor ($80).

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