CES is around the corner, and even though the show is virtual this year, we still love the gadgets and gizmos of inventors, engineers, and product managers, listening to the same passion and innovation. As always, Digital Trends will highlight one of the best at our top Take Off CES Awards, where we throw the most light on our hard earned cash technology.
But how perfect are our pics, really? Do we always nail it? Are the products we highlight really great? Before CES 2021, let’s take a look at last year’s winners and some of the gear from the last decade that we’ve seen when we picked up the wonders … and when we missed the magic.
Hit: Top Take Off 2020 – Brenco Dexus Prosthetic Arm
Last year we shook hands with someone – and gave him an award. Max Newlon is the president of Brenco, and the brain behind the company’s Dexus, a brain-controlled prosthesis that absolutely floats us. Brenco specializes in brain-machine interfaces (BMI) and that expertise is used to create prostheses fully controlled by the wearer’s thoughts. The company’s innovation was as a prototype at CES 2019; In 2020, Brenco brought a working prototype to the show and blew us away. What has happened since?
“It’s been a wild year since the last CES,” Newlon told Digital Trends. The company transformed the prosthetics division into a separate team, called BrainRobotics, and spent most of 2020 working with the construction team to prepare for mass production and submission to the FDA. They are on track for submission and possibly approval by the end of March 2021, Newlon told us. Brainerobotics began testing with US amputees, most notably Captain Carrie Duval, who lost her right hand in Afghanistan.
“Carrie played Jenga, held a book with both of her hands, played Connect 4, played video games, opened a can of her favorite energy drink, and even hung a wreath (when it was the holiday season) Gave – hands with all the Brainrobiotic Prosthetics, “Newlon said. Awesome.
Hit: Top Tech of 2019 – Impossible Burger 2.0
Our Top Tech Award for 2019 went to some robot butler or colossal TV and not a pile of fake meat. Impossible Food’s latest recipe for plant-based ground beef left a surprising impression of the real thing. We were right on the money with this one: Since its CES showcase, the new Impossible Burger has become a sensation, showing in supermarkets and restaurants everywhere. Burger King launched an Impossible Whopper and United Nations awarded Impossible Foods the award for its Momentum for Planetary Health.
By 2020, with COVID-19 changing the country, plant-based meat products were discontinued. According to Impossible Foods, at the beginning of the epidemic, the product was available in fewer than 150 grocery stores nationwide. Within six months, Impossible Burger was available in about 15,000 stores.
Miss: Top Tech of 2018 – Nvidia Xavier Chip
CES 2018 saw a lot of cool gadgets, but we gave Best in Show some higher concept: Nvidia’s Xavier chip, a processor designed to be the brainchild of fully autonomous vehicles. A highly complex chip with 9 million transistors and eight cores, Xavier promised the future of Level 5 (no human input required) autonomous vehicles. But did it deliver?
It was more of a concept than reality, it seems. While the platform Nvidia has built – and the technical wizards behind it – remain incredibly smart, a company cannot do it alone. Automakers have been saying for years that autonomous cars are around the corner, and they stay just around the corner. Meanwhile, Nvidia has broadened its vision for the use of chips and Xavier platforms, which it now describes as “ideal for autonomous machines such as delivery and logistics robots, factory systems and large industrial UAVs”. But not a car, we believe…
Miss: Top Tech of 2017 – Samsung Chromebook Plus
A more traditional pick, our top tech of 2017 was the Samsung Chromebook Plus. At the time, we called it “one of the stardiest chromebooks we’ve placed in an area full of systems that are cheap with plastic components and low-resolution panels.” In particular, we noted that this was the first Chrome OS product to support the Android App Store, by merging two different platforms and opening up new worlds for Chrome OS.
However, did we review the final product? Emotionless. Certainly, the platform was neat, but the Chromebook’s design itself was “old school, fitting better with the first pair of Chromebooks.” Having said that, the Chromebook has been a runaway success in general and the OS as a whole, due to the advancement in this model. Chromebooks dominate the education market, and in general, exclude Apple’s Mac laptops. not bad!
Hit: 2020 winner – Damon HyperSport
Running for two years, we have found the most innovative technology in the automotive space at CES, not in cars but in motorcycles. Two years ago, we highlighted Harley Davidson’s efforts to electrify its hogs, representing a significant change for the store brand. Last year we sang the lesser-known Demon, which brought unheard technology to the bike-riding world. For starters, the bike had a shape-changing nature, which literally transformed you from a hunk-over sportbike to an easy-ride upright position. It also includes important safety features that have been around for cars for decades: LEDs in the windscreen when you have a car in a blind spot, and the handlebar will instantly buzz if you’re sailing towards an obstacle that you notice. Don’t. And did we mention that it is powered by the QNX operating system from BlackBerry – yes, That Blackberry?
Did the consumer world hold on? The company noted orders for the hypersport brand, with a 60% increase in the first half of 2020, despite the epidemic crisis. And in mid-November, Damon unveiled two new versions of HyperSport, an SX model with a 15kWh battery and an SE model with 11kWh battery. Can you ride one today Not necessary. Because the border with Canada is closed, the company is unable to deliver … but is ready to do so as soon as possible.
Hit: 2020 winner – VR: Pmax 8K X
When Pimax announced plans for the 8K VR headset for the first time in 2017, people were skeptical. They were right to hesitate: We didn’t get our eyes or our eyes in the headset until January 2020, when it did enough to give us one of the top tech hardware of the CES Award. The Pimax 8K X offers an 8K resolution and 200 degree field of view, well ahead of Valve Index or Oculus Quest. Elevating the resolution makes a noticeable difference in image sharpness, while the fine text and detail that is difficult to see on most VR headsets look clear on the Pimax 8K X.
The epidemic delayed things a bit, but Pimax finally began shipping the headset in September. And true to our hands, the review shines – albeit a bitch, $ 1,300 price tag. Having said that, VR remains a very niche market, despite which it has continued. Pimax is a spirited product in a buoyant space, meaning that its overall reach and impact on the world at large is likely to be modest.
Virgin: 2020 Winner – Lenovo ThinkPad Fold x 1
Sometimes, it takes longer than other times to get a product in the world. At CES 2020, Lenovo released some audacity: a gorgeous 13-inch, 4: 3 display that can either be used as a tablet held in your hands, a laptop folded in half, or on your desk The screen form is prepaid on its kickstand. It is all in tablet, laptop and desktop. With a magnetic keyboard that does all this work.
We finally tested the device a few weeks ago, when it was shipped – almost a year later. Did it live up to the hype? Not necessary. We described the ThinkPad X1 fold as “the kind of laptop I want to love” because of its uniqueness and novelty. It remains one of the most exciting PCs to be launched in 2020. But amidst those exciting experiences were moments of despair, confusion and despair. There is so much to making this product that can be suggested to anyone but the boldest early adopters. Whose horn