The Vegas sun has set on Day Two of CES 2017, but there was plenty of brand-new technology revealed. Although major player Asus announced two next-generation smartphones, one with the shooting power of a DSLR camera, it's the lesser-known companies that earned a bit more time in the spotlight.
A French firm designed a virtual-reality rig that lets riders soar through the virtual skies like a caped hero, while a gadget maker from the same country unveiled a smart sommelier system that improves wine just before it is served.
Two small companies showcased notable Kickstarter products. The first was a dog collar that tracks your pet's movement and behavior, then delivers a mood assessment of your pup. The other was a smartwatch for kids designed to teach healthy habits.
Here's our roundup of the coolest gadgets we saw yesterday (Jan. 4) at CES 2017.
This Asus smartphone may be your next DSLR. When it launches next month, the ZenFone 3 Zoom will shoot pictures using two built-in lenses. One is a 12-megapixel, f/1.7 aperture, 25mm wide-angle lens, and the other is a 12-megapixel 56mm option with an instant 2.3 optical zoom. In addition to 4K recording, excellent motion shooting and manual controls you'd find on a budget-priced DSLR, the ZenFone 3 Zoom also has a massive 5000mAh battery to keep taking great pictures all day long.
MORE: Asus ZenFone 3 Promises Pro Photos, Insane Battery Life
Can you put a price on soaring through the virtual clouds like Superman? We've tried the Hypersuit Exoskeleton, and we say "No!" Paired with a flying game in the HTC Vive, the Hypersuit lets a user lie on her belly with arms outstretched to simulate navigating the skies. Your head controls the view and your arms direct your flight. The Hypersuit will likely cost too much to land in your gaming room anytime soon, but Theory, the French company behind the device, hopes the rig will become a staple in VR arcades.
Sommeliers can pair a great wine with your meal, but can they serve your glass at the perfect temperature to maximize flavor? The D-Vine Connected Wine System can. This French-made, internet-connected device works with prepackaged wine capsules and purchased bottles alike. You can program the device with food details and wine options, and it'll aerate, chill and pour you the ultimate drink.
Asus is the first company to combine Google's room-mapping Project Tango software with a virtual reality-capable smartphone. The end result is a phone that's not only built with powerful circuitry (Adreno 530 GPU, 6GB of RAM, six motion/depth sensors, high-quality cameras), but also has the power to read, measure, map and augment real places while you're using it as a virtual headset. It will make possible virtual games tailored to your immediate surroundings, shopping apps that let you preview furniture purchases live in your living room, or instructional mechanic videos overlaid on the engine of your car as you work.
This 14-inch laptop offers the ZenBook line's trademark soft curves and polished gray tones, with a few yearly upgrades to boot. Beneath the shiny chrome is Intel's latest Kaby Lake CPU, three USB Type-C ports (two with Thunderbolt support) and Harmon Kardon speakers. We didn't like the low endurance of last year's ZenBook, so we're happy to see this generation's beefier battery. Look for the ZenBook 3 Deluxe to go on sale in May for $1,699.
When you play virtual baseball with the HTC Vive, you'll hold a real bat. The puck-size HTC Vive Tracker attaches to handheld objects and tracks their movements in the virtual world. With the Tracker affixed to the narrow end of a Louisville Slugger, we battled an elite pitcher in a virtual baseball game. HTC hopes developers will build the Tracker into other experiences, such as remote surgeries and firefighter training. Pricing is still in the works, but look for the Tracker to be available later this year.
Screens. Who needs 'em? The Typlet T1S computer uses a projector and an infrared sensor to let users navigate its Windows or Android operating system by touching an image projected onto a desk or tabletop. At $700, the PC is a bit pricey for offices, but a projector-only model that connects to any third-party computer is available for 400 bucks.