The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show took Las Vegas by storm this week, and as usual, the tech extravaganza brought out some crazy, cool and altogether weird people and products.
There were highlights, to be sure. Drones were all the rage, with a particular focus on personal drones that can monitor and capture your image from overhead. 3-D printers got into the food game. And analog icon Neil Young has gone decidedly high-tech, throwing his considerable cred behind the high-definition audio PonoPlayer, which plays uncompressed digital files for crazy sound quality. ’80s aficionados and millennial hipsters alike will appreciate the reboot of the Sony Walkman, if for nothing else than nostalgia’s sake.
Here are some of the very coolest tech and gadgets from the 2015 Consumer Electronic Show.
Sony Walkman ZX2
This isn’t your daddy’s Walkman from the 1980s, baby. The Sony Walkman reboot ditches the orange foamy headphones and goes way upscale with its latest version, the ZX2, due out next month. The device is for the hard-core audiophile, with tons of equalizer customization options. But at $1,200 you’re gonna need a second job to get that kind of quality. Yowza.
Backed by the ionic Neil Young, the new PonoPlayer and corresponding music service promises the ultimate high-quality audio experience by streaming uncompressed master recordings and restoring what Pono calls the “ear-body connection.” Pono, which means “righteous” in Hawaiian, has already scored a major victory by securing the Beatles catalog for its streaming service. The high-end audio system also comes at a high-end price: $400.
Nixie Selfie Drone
If you’ve ever wished you had a professional photographer following you everywhere you go, then you might be a narcissist, and also you might want to take a look at the Nixie Selfie Drone, which is essentially a drone camera you wear on your arm. It’s a quadcopter that unfolds from your wrist, takes off, knows where you are, flies up, captures the perfect selfie and returns to you. Pretty neat.
Airdog is a personal drone designed to take your GoPro to the next level. Mount your GoPro to the Airdog, launch it, and it follows you wherever you go thanks to a continuous Bluetooth connection. As you bike, ski or climb, the Airdog will follow you and shoot remarkably stable video thanks to its Gyroscope Stabilized Gimbal. The Airdog is now available for preorder for about $1,300.
3-D food printers
3-D printers get a delicious makeover with the new 3-D food printers that are kitchen-ready to start printing confections and more for professional bakers, high-end chefs and event planners who want to make completely customized fare. The printers are being developed by the likes of Sugar Lab at 3D Systems, a leader in 3-D printing technology, and XYZ, which is printing everything from cookies to pizza.
Audi’s self-driving car
— Audi (@AudiOfficial) January 4, 2015
Audi showed off the very latest in what it calls “piloted driving” or a self-driving car by sending it on a road trip from San Francisco to the CES show in Las Vegas. The slick Audi A7, nicknamed “Jack,” made the 550-mile trip successfully, giving us a glimpse of a day when we can take a nap while our car does the hard work for us.