Bionic eyes, virtual reality headsets, FitBits are all here. And with the new year just around the corner, tech junkies, analysts, manufacturers, enthusiasts, innovators, and entrepreneurs alike are gearing up for the CES 2015, a consumer electronics and technology tradeshow that takes place every January in Las Vegas, Nevada. On display you will find the newest and most cutting-edge technology in the 2015 lineup. With 2014 bringing us groundbreaking releases in the areas of wearable technology, smart glass, virtual reality, bendable technology, 3D printing and much more, 2015 is sure to delight. In today’s In the News segment, we’ll look at some innovations that will debut at next year’s CES show.
Bionic Eye- 3D Printing Merges Contact Lens and QLEDs
Have you ever wanted a state-of-the-art, custom-made eyeball with super-natural abilities? While technology hasn’t quite gotten there, it seems like it’s on the way. A technological marvel in and of itself, Princeton’s LED 3D printer has moved one step closer. Through the use of quantum dot LEDs (light emitting diodes) in combination with a standard contact lens, a Princeton University team of researchers was able to create a device that could project colored beams of light. This “bionic” eye isn’t ready for wear yet due to the hard plastic material used for the lens itself. Though no small feat, researchers hope with continued research and experimentation that they will be able to create a way to integrate an internalized power source as well as a soft lens into a working “wearable” eye. (C|NET)
Virtual Reality Headsets- How Oculus Rift Has Started a Games Revolution
Virtual-reality (VR) is likely to take center stage at this year’s CES conference. One of the three big VR contenders, Oculus Rift, has already made quite a splash in the industry. In 2012, taking advantage of the growing popularity and success of crowd-funding, 19-year-old Palmer Luckey raised $250,000 to begin development on virtual reality headsets. Surpassing all expectations, the campaign raised $2.4 million. It was clear people saw potential in this project, including Facebook who later purchased Oculus Rift in March of this year for $2 billion. Gamers worldwide are anticipating the “out-of-world” experience promised by this blossoming technology. Though not quite ready for consumer use, CES attendees will be dazzled by Oculus Rift’s capabilities. (The Guardian)
FitBit Surge v. Microsoft Band
Tech companies are all jockeying for a top spot in the rapidly changing wearable technology industry. An area receiving some attention this year is the fitness technology industry. A huge leap from the clunky and cumbersome heart-rate monitors from high school gym class, the new face of heart-rate monitoring is sleeker. However, it is still a messy territory in need of some fine-tuning. That won’t stop companies from clamoring to convince consumers why their technology outdoes their competitor’s. Two such brands are the FitBit Surge and the Microsoft Band. Though the Microsoft Band is a bit easier on the pockets, and packs some impressive hardware, critics place FitBit Surge above its competitor due to its “wearability.” Microsoft Band’s extremely flat surface makes it clunky and uncomfortable on the curved surface of the wrist. Though not as flashy, the FitBit Surge’s varied size offerings and rubber strap make it excellent to use while on-the-go. (Wearable.com)
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