Consumer Electronics Show 2018 brings us a bit closer to the future, and part of that future includes giving humans superpowers.
For example, with FLIR, you can glimpse into the infrared spectrum using special heat-sensitive camera technology. FLIR (which stands for Forward Looking InfraRed) Systems uses a sensor and display package that translates heat imaging into spectral imaging, like the alien from the movie Predator. Imagine it like this: you can see heat rather than feeling it.
Heat Vision Like the Predator
Here’s a video of FLIR in action:
While FLIR has been out for a while, in 2018, they finally got the price of their basic heat camera under $200, making it affordable to most consumers. But who needs infrared vision? Pretty much anyone involved in industries where even slight differences in heat may mean a potential fire hazard or a lack of insulation. That includes construction, security, and more.
FLIR also runs a virtual reality training program for using the heat visualizer. Which can shorten the training period that employees use in order to understand how to use FLIR.
FLIR infrared camera received several new models, aimed at sectors as diverse and construction and home security. These include a headset and a VR training program.
Robotic Assistants Like Tony Stark
The biggest winners from 2018’s CES are Amazon Alexa and Google’s Assistant software. Both smart assistants made their way into an endless number of smart home hubs, switches, and other products, such as Belkin’s Wemo series.
Wemo allows users to control lights and other appliances with just their voice. While none of this is new, what’s novel about it is Google Assistant voice integration. What’s novel about Google Assistant is its superior voice recognition capabilities, compared to Alexa and Siri. Overall, Google Assistant does a lot more than its competitors.
Among the biggest trends this year — aside from the emergence of Google Assistant and Alexa-enabled smart home products — are the diverse and endless waves of remote control drones. Drones fly in the sky, race along the ground, and now swim in the sea.
Swim in the Ocean Like Aquaman
You won’t literally swim in the ocean like Aquaman, but drone technology allows users to remote control an underwater craft equipped for catching fish or exploration. PowerVision will manufacture two models of underwater drone, one targeted at fisherman and one aimed at underwater exploration. Both tie into virtual reality headsets (VR drones can be controlled with headsets), which lets you see what the drone is seeing. The superpower name for this is telepresence.
While the concept sounds just as preposterous as a king of Atlantiswho can communicate with all underwater creatures, think of it this way: fisherman could catch a lot more fish if they knew where the schools of future fish sticks are.
Using drone technology, fishermen can peer under the water, finding the most plentiful schools of fish using their augmented senses. PowerVision currently manufacturers one underwater drones: the PowerRay. The PowerRay comes in three versions, ranging in price from $1,488 to $1,888.
PowerVision also has an upcoming underwater drone, the PowerDolphin. The PowerDolphin is more or less a faster, more powerful version of the PowerRay.
Do You Want to Literally Fly Like Superman?
Yuneec manufacturers an ultra large drone capable of transporting a human being. Unfortunately, it requires federal certification in order to enter U.S. markets, which means it may never become a product. While you can’t fly in a drone, you can, however, get a racing drone. Unlike hovering drones, a racing drone can hit (size-proportionate) speeds approaching that of an actual human-flown aircraft.
The upcoming Yuneec HD Racer offers a combination of low video latency, built in stabilization, good range of 300 feet, and a 13MP camera. While the price hasn’t been announced yet, it’ll probably retail for less than $100, which brings midrange drone specs into the striking range of those on a shoestring budget.
Yuneec also manufactures the Breeze 4Kselfie drone. We gave it an amazing review. Overall, they make great drones and the HD Racer will likely be as good as their other products. In fact, Yuneec ranks among the best drones around .
The Big Winner of CES 2018: Personal Assistants
Unfortunately, most people aren’t ever going to be getting even the affordable drones that are coming out. The big winner of CES 2018 is Google Assistant.
What superpower did you wish you could get at CES? Let us know in the comments.