Wearable technology is all the rage these days with dozens of fitness trackers, smart watches, body cameras and smart glasses to choose from, but one of the more intriguing pieces at CES was the Belty – a smart belt that can tighten and loosen itself. It has a built-in fitness tracker so it can count your steps, measure how long you’ve not been moving and coach you to be more active. All this is something that nearly every other fitness tracker does but the belt is where it differs; once you set your tightness level the buckle keeps the belt at that level. So when you sit down the belt loosens automatically as your waist expands. When you stand back up, it snugs down again. Eat too much at lunch and the same thing happens.
USB 3.1 Type C
USB is used to connect millions of devices together, but how often have you been frustrated by the number of different ends? USB Type C moves to end that nightmare. USB-C uses the same connection on both ends, regardless of the type of device being connected. It also allows for much higher transfer speeds (up to 10Gbps, twice as fast as USB 3.0) and power throughput (20V, 5A), giving USB 3.1 enough flexibility to connect and power everything from monitors to cell phones and it could even replace laptop charging cables. The downside to all this progress is that while USB-C will be backwards compatible with older devices you will need an adapter to fit your older device.
LG Twin Wash Washing Machine
As part of the rapidly emerging “Internet of Things” many new home appliances are getting online so you can access them via the World Wide Web. LG’s Twin Wash washing machine also gets into the online game by letting you operate it remotely, but that’s not its most innovative feature. That would be the fact that it can wash two loads of clothes at once. Yes, now you can wash your jeans and shirts in the upper, larger wash bin while your more delicate items are washed in a smaller bin in the pedestal. In addition to twin bins for washing, the Twin Wash has a turbo setting for most of its wash cycles to get your dirty clothes cleaner faster. Unfortunately LG didn’t seem to have a “Twin Dryer” based on the same concept so what are you supposed to do when both loads of wash are done?
Microsoft’s New Browser, Codename: Spartan
Microsoft is developing a new web browser to compete more directly with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Expected to be released with Windows 10, Spartan is not meant to replace Internet Explorer directly but rather seems to be a program all its own. Although details are still sketchy, Spartan is said to support extensions (which IE doesn’t), include Cortana support (Microsoft’s version of Siri), the ability to use a stylus to annotate webpages and enhanced tab control. Spartan will also be installed like an app from the Microsoft Store and because it’s not built into the operating system, it should be updated more frequently.
Wireless Music and LED Lights
The big thing in music tech this year is multi-room streaming. Basically this technology allows you to stream music from your phone or other device as you move from room to room. Of course you’ll need some wireless speakers, but why not get a two-for-one upgrade and get an LED light bulb with it? The LED revolution and the Internet of Things have brought some cool innovations to “ye olde light bulb,” including integrated wireless speakers, multi-color support, wifi range extenders and even security cameras. So now you can get down on your own dance floor and upload it to YouTube from the comfort of your living room, all while saving energy.
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