With the arrival of CES 2014, the main focus will be on wearable technology like smart watches, smart glasses and even smart socks. But behind the glitz and glamour of the big companies, there are a number of smaller companies looking to make their mark.
Up until a few years ago, the personal mobility sector was considered something that would be used by people who simply could not get around by walking anymore.
Then the Segway came along and whole new breed of people who felt that the basic idea of walking was just too boring and old-fashioned.
Now Acton Global, a company which has previously released a pair of rocket skates, is looking to make a more down-to-earth model that can be brought with you to work.
The scooter resembles a child’s tricycle and, honestly, looks a bit silly with a full-grown adult riding one but it certainly won’t keep some people from going out of their way to pick one up.
In terms of spec for the scooter, it has a top speed of 19km/h with a range of about 24km.
Weighing about 30kg, the scooter takes about four hours to charge so you’ll be back causing havoc in the office in no time.
PowerUp 3.0 – Electric paper plane
Forget about trying to master the construction of a paper plane with working flaps and ailerons this year as a small toy company has caused quite a stir online with its own electrically powered paper plane. Funded entirely by Kickstarter, Tailor Toys will be launching its third model of the engine, which is controlled through the user’s smartphone.
The only physical component of the PowerUp is the small processor unit which is then connected to the propeller at the rear of the plane to give it a stable platform.
From there it’s just a case of doing some old-fashioned plane building using printed templates you can download from Tailor Toys' website and downloading its app to control it. Currently, it is only available on iOS but is supported across most of Tailor Toys' popular devices.
The little device certainly gives you better range than the traditional models as it is powered by a 1,000 mAh Lithium-ion battery with a range of 180 feet and a lifespan of 10 minutes.
It is expected to cost between US$40-US$50 from the Taylor Toys online store.
Unmonday wireless speakers
The strangely named Finnish company will be showing off its latest achievement at CES, in the form of its ceramic set of wireless speakers that are more than just a simple sound system.
Recently launched across Europe, Unmonday Model 4.3 is billed as the world's first wireless multi-channel speaker that recognises the sound required simply by positioning.
The most noticeable feature of the speaker set is its curious hexagonal shape. However, this is not simply for design’s sake. By placing the speaker on a particular side, you are able to quickly change the setting you want for front-right, front-left, rear-right, rear-left, or centre speaker as your primary, or switching to mono mode.
It is easily transportable as it requires no external power cable so can be moved to another room or place in a moment’s notice. The system also streams audio from iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac over Wi-Fi across one to five speakers, allowing for mono, stereo, multi-room or surround sound, even when there is no network coverage available.
While electric cars in Ireland are yet to take off, it is abundantly clear that the number of electric car users will grow in the coming years as fuel prices increase and the efficiency technology improves.
For the moment however, owners of these silent machines require them to charge them up at home through a mains socket.
At CES 2014, Australian company Persepsicon will be showing off its advanced charging management system for electric cars that aims to both reduce costs for the owner of the vehicle, while taking any unnecessary strain off the wider electricity grid.
When activated, the ChargeIQ device integrates with smart metres, meaning it can automatically determine the most cost effective time to charge the user’s vehicle with their electricity provider.
The device also allows the user to monitor and manage the vehicle’s charging remotely via the internet, their smartphone or through email/SMS.
This product is sure to get the attention of the gadget lovers who struggle to make room in their carry-on luggage at airports for all their bits of tech.
Just like a gunslinger in the Wild West, the Techslinger contains two holsters under your arms to store your phones, tablets and gadgets for quick and easy access on the draw or as the company itself calls the ‘holster for geeks’.
The left-hand side has a 10.75 x 6.5-inch snap pocket for your tablet while the right-hand side has a 3 x 4.5-inch pocket for your smartphone. On top of that, you have an extra zipper pocket for all your various batteries and accessories.
Expect this to test Las Vegas’ conceal and carry laws to a new level.