The Coolest Tech From CES 2017

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a technological orgy of mythic proportions and brings together some of the most innovative minds once a year to show us what’s in store for tech.  From the immediately practical like the latest in smartphones and VR gear to the more futuristic like automated drones and 8K camera gear, it’s always an enlightening experience.  This year, there was a lot to be excited about as the tradeshow celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with more than 3,800 exhibiting companies in attendance. Here’s a look at some of our favorite breakout products helping to shape the future (and earn your hard-earned dollars) in 2017 and beyond.

LG Signature OLED TV W7
Release Date:  Sometime in 2017
Price:  $8,000
News that LG actually had plans to release their thin OLED (organic light-emitting diode) concept TV that could literally stick to the wall leaked a few months ahead of CES and got people buzzing. The company did indeed come through with a real 2.57-mm thick model: the Signature OLED TV W7, known as “the wallpaper TV” because once it’s mounted (with magnets!) it looks like it’s part of the wall. Even without much size or weight, the TV delivers 4K resolution and is HDR ready. LG is selling them in 65 and 77-inch models and it was a Best of Innovation honoree at CES this year. 

Corning Gorilla Glass for Automotive
Release Date: Unclear when/if they will be added to cars
Price: N/A
Corning has been saving phone screens from toilets and concrete drops for years with their tough-as-hell gorilla glass covers, and now they’re making the jump to cars. The company unveiled a concept car at CES with glass that was thinner, lighter and stronger than what’s currently being used. How much does glass actually matter? According to Corning, the weight reduction means better fuel efficiency in cars and, of course, fewer cracks in windshields. Where it gets really interesting is that the glass can even be used for touchscreen displays inside and is more easily shaped to consoles and dashboards.


Zero Zero Robotics Passport Drone
Release Date: Out Now
Price: $600
Drones have become a massive draw at CES (they even have their own wing now), and if you haven’t noticed we’re in the midst of a huge arms race as makers are hammering out smaller, lighter, more capable, and more advanced drones at both the consumer and pro levels.  The Passport was probably the most buzzed about consumer drone this year even though it’s already out and shipping.  It’s small size and impressive feature set (13MP stills, 4K video, advanced self-tracking and facial recognition) made waves as the high-end consumer drone tech-heads were lusting over.

Neonode AirBar Touchscreen Functionality for MacBook Air
Release Date: Late summer 2017
Price: $69
Neonode’s AirBar sensor for enabling touch function on laptops was only available for PCs until now. At CES, the company introduced an AirBar for the 13.3” MacBook Air, and it’s as simple to use as attaching the bar below the screen and plugging it into one of the USB ports. It works by creating a light “shield” on the screen that your touch essentially breaks apart. It obviously won’t compete with true touchscreen technology, but is perfect for anyone looking to do some basic swiping on a laptop they already own.

Sony Bravia XBR-A1E OLED 
Release Date: TBD
Price: TBD
Like LG, Sony unveiled an incredibly thin TV in the Sony Bravia XBR-A1E OLED, but stepped up the cool factor by adding Acoustic Surface technology that turns the screen into a speaker. Sony promises the vibrations won’t be visible to the eye, no matter how loud the volume is. The wires are cleverly hidden away in the TV’s actual stand, too. It will be available in 55, 65, and 75-inch models, and have 4K resolution and HDR compatibility.

Zero Zero Robotics Passport Drone
Release Date: Out Now
Price: $600
Drones have become a massive draw at CES (they even have their own wing now), and if you haven’t noticed we’re in the midst of a huge arms race as makers are hammering out smaller, lighter, more capable, and more advanced drones at both the consumer and pro levels.  The Passport was probably the most buzzed about consumer drone this year even though it’s already out and shipping.  It’s small size and impressive feature set (13MP stills, 4K video, advanced self-tracking and facial recognition) made waves as the high-end consumer drone tech-heads were lusting over.

Honda Self-Balancing Motorcycle
Release Date: Still a concept for now
Price: Unknown
In the last few years, car manufacturers have turned their attention to building vehicles smarter by reducing the number of things drivers have to do (see: self-driving capabilities). Honda showed off a motorcycle at CES that stabilizes itself when the bike is going under three miles an hour through Riding Assist tech. At very low speeds, the internal computer will take over and adjust the steering and angles to keep the bike from falling. While it’s not the first time we’ve seen one of these, since BMW unveiled one last fall, but the difference here is that Honda’s prototype moved away from gyroscopes and doesn’t look so futuristic.

Under Armour Speedform Smart Shoes
Release Date: TBD
Price: Starts at $140
Under Armour took wearables to the level they needed to go by introducing three new shoes that keep track of your performance during workouts. The shoes will even store up to five workouts before they need to be synced with Under Armour’s MapMyRun app. The tech’s coolest feature, though, is the Jump Test, which analyzes your muscle fatigue and readiness to tackle a tough run. They’re built to last about 400 miles and notify the owner when it’s time for a new pair.    

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
Release Date: Available now
Price: Starts at $999
Dell’s XPS 13 got a lot of praise when it was released, so it’s no surprise that the XPS 13 2-in-1 wowed the tech community at CES. It has the sleek, borderless InfinityEdge display of its predecessor, there’s no fan, and it has a versatile hinge, so you can switch it to a tent or tablet position. An Intel Core processor is under the hood, and it features a webcam and a fingerprint reader.