CES 2015: The innovative, the odd and the ugly

[UPDATED] From the incredible to incredibly odd, CES showcases them all.
1 of 14 Hewlett Packard

HP and virtual reality

While we often associate Hewlett-Packard with laptops and printers, at CES 2015, the company showed us that there is more scope in the firm's future business plans.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas this year, HP launched a virtual reality display dubbed the HP Zvr. However, the device isn't intended for gamers, but rather may have enterprise applications should corporations choose to adopt the technology en masse. The HP Zvr, coupled with a headset and stylus, is meant to provide "true holographic viewing." In a demo of the product, users were able to use the stylus to manipulate holographic content in real-time. However, the question remains -- is the enterprise ready for, or interested in, virtual reality for the boardroom?

Read on: ZDNet

CES 2015 Highlights

2 of 14 Parrot

Just a plant pot?

Yes, this is a plant pot. No, its place in this gallery isn't a mistake. According to drone maker Parrot, a plant pot it may be -- but also it is much, much more.

If remembering to water your plants is too much effort, why not connect your plants to a smart water system? Parrot hopes you'll consider it -- as the Parrot Pot and Parrot H2O are products designed with 'eco-geeks' in mind. The pots are equipped with sensors which measure soil moisture, fertiliser, ambient temperature and light. This data is then recorded and sent via Bluetooth to mobile devices which have the accompanying Flower Power app installed.

Then, if you really want to, you can view this data via graphs, which estimate the condition of your plants. You can also set up the pots to automatically release water -- contained in the shell -- to keep your flowers happily watered.

CES 2015 Highlights

3 of 14 Parrot

Parrot Zik Sport

While high-tech plant pots might not be everyone's cup of tea, Parrot did reveal another gadget which has perhaps more enticing uses -- especially for those looking to trim away the holiday hips. Unveiled at CES 2015, the Parrot Zik Sport is a smart, wireless headset full of sensors to monitor your sporting performance.

The headset's biometric sensors monitor a runner's heart rate and analyses your style of running -- ground contact time, cadence and vertical oscillation -- in order to push data through to a connecting app which gives you tips and pointers on improving performance.

The product's headband also includes noise cancellation features, music streaming through your mobile and a 'street mode' which lets in noise from your environment.

CES 2015 Highlights

4 of 14 Linktop

Mechanical smartwatches and graphene thermometers

Well, I suppose this is an interesting use of graphene at least.

At CES 2015, Linktop Technology introduced a mechanical smartwatch and a graphene-based thermometer. The smartwatch has a mechanical dial as well as a transparent color TOLED display above, so the wearer can still tell the time if the battery runs out. When connected with a smartphone via Bluetooth, the U2 smartwatch notifies the user of incoming calls, SMS messages, email and social media accounts. The device also acts as a remote control for music and camera functions of a smartphone.

Graphene is used in the Linktop cloud thermometer, which the firm says will eventually replace all mercury-based thermometers. The slim, lightweight device is connected to smartphones through Bluetooth and is designed for kids especially, according to Linktop. The company claims graphene provides high accuracy readings, and so parents can be "alerted immediately when there is an anomaly in the temperature."

CEO of Linktop Bill Xu said "graphene-based products will soon become a trend and change the world." We shall have to see.

Read on: Linktop

CES 2015 Highlights

5 of 14 Netatmo

At home, the camera's watching you

With the smart home, connected thermostats, lighting and mobile-linked security systems, cameras are a natural progression.

It doesn't mean the idea of cameras in your home, tracking your every move isn't creepy.

Revealed at CES 2015, Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturer Netatmo showed off the Welcome HD smart home camera. The camera features in-built facial recognition technology which scans and detects family members when they arrive home, duly informing other users of their location -- and providing a live feed if required.

Useful for parents keeping tabs on their kids, perhaps, but there's something Big Brother about this product.

Read onNetatmo via MacRumors

CES 2015 Highlights

6 of 14 Connected Cycle

Connected Cycle

Bike thievery is a common occurrence in cities, despite chains, padlocks and other tactics owners use to try and keep their bicycles safe from sticky fingers.

Sadly, thefts still take place. However, if your bicycle is stolen, there is a smart bike pedal which can help you track its movements.

The Connected Cycle is a bike pedal equipped with GPS and GPRS sensors that monitor your movements and acts as a basic fitness tracker. The sensors power up and send data including speed and route to a connected app once the pedal starts moving, and so if you are unfortunate enough to be stolen from, this fitness tracker can also help you recover your bike.

Read on:CNET

7 of 14 Rollkers

Roller skates which replace the underground

Roller skates bring children to mind, but Rollkers wants its high-tech variant to replace public transport when we need to move quickly.

The French firm, making its debut at CES 2015, has introduced Rollkers; skates which affix to the bottom of your shoes to improve your walking speed. The company claims that the skates can help us reach walking speeds of up to seven miles an hour without additional effort. The "under shoes" consist of motorized, cushioning wheels which act as a personal travelator. However, the shoes are currently only in the prototype stage so it will be a while before you can get your hands -- or feet -- on a pair.

Read on: Rollkers

8 of 14 Brio

Child-proof safe outlets

While this product has been on the market for some time, CES 2015 provided exposure for the safety-based Brio Safe Outlet.

The Kickstarter-based company's Brio Safe Outlet, demoed at the event, are designed to give parents with young children piece of mind. The smart outlets activate only when they detect a plug -- and so tiny fingers which go where they shouldn't are not at risk in your home.

Read on: Brio

9 of 14 Quell

Pain relief via smartphone

NeuroMetrix believes that pain management can be improved through mobile technology, and so unveiled the Quell pain relief device at CES 2015.

The US firm's wearable is a lightweight gadget worn externally. Designed to provide relief from chronic pain, including diabetes, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and degenerative knee conditions, the device uses "non-invasive neurostimulation technology" to control pain generated by nerves. Users also have the option to connect the device to their smartphone in order to track usage.

In addition, the device does not require a prescription, according to FDA rules.

Read onNeuroMetrix

10 of 14 Nick Statt/CNET


Sometimes the strangest ideas capture the imagination of the masses. According to sister site CNET, Emiota's "smart belt" debut did just that.

While "hideous," the Belty prototype is worn around the waist, where it slims or expands itself based on your posture. Whether sitting up, standing or following a large meal, the motorized belt adjusts to your frame to compensate. Its hulking, bulky design is unlikely to appeal to the masses, but at least can bring a smile to your face.

Read on:CNET

11 of 14 Misfit

Misfit, Swarovski and wearable tech

Whether you consider these wearables gaudy or gorgeous, fitness tracking device maker Misfit hopes a new partnership with Swarovski will entice you to use your wearables for longer.

Announced at CES, the partnership has resulted in two new, waterproof Shine wearables: one clear Swarovski Shine with a crystal face and a violet alternative. The latter uses "energy crystal" technology to power itself, according to Misfit. If the bling isn't enough, the new Shines also can be paired with nine matching Swarovski accessories.

Read onMisfit

12 of 14 Quitbit


Present at CES 2015, Quitbit is a smart -- or not -- lighter designed to help you quit smoking. The lighter tracks how much you smoke based on how many times you light up, and can 'block' you from lighting up again if you go beyond goals set through an accompanying iOS or Android app. You can also use the app to track your smoking habits and set additional goals as necessary.

The lighter is available for preorder for $99, and is expected to ship in March 2015.

13 of 14 Sony

Sony's new walkman

Only for serious audiophiles -- or those with cash to burn -- Sony's Walkman ZX2, unveiled at CES 2015, could be an interesting prospect. The walkman is expected to debut in Spring with the eye-watering price tag of $1119.99. For their money, users can expect high sound quality thanks to Sony's S-Master HX digital amplifier, wireless audio and support for digital music files up to 192 kHz/24 bit. The walkman has 128Gb storage, but runs on an old version of Android.

Read onSony

14 of 14 Kube


Kube is a high-tech speaker system which combines high sound quality and refrigeration.

Unveiled at CES 2015, Kube is a music system with a sleek design and Bluetooth connectivity of up to 50 feet. On a single USB charge, the Kube is able to deliver sound for up to 20 hours. The speaker system also includes a 33-quart cooling storage compartment, where you can place drinks or food.

Kube is currently available for pre-order with a $99 deposit -- the full price being $1000 -- with an estimated shipping date of summer this year.

Read onKube

CES 2015 Highlights

Related Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza

Related Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza

26 Photos
A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex

Related Galleries

A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex

22 Photos
Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup

Related Galleries

Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup

8 Photos
Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'
Full of promises!

Related Galleries

Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'

8 Photos
Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup
Asian woman working at a desk in front of a computer and calculator

Related Galleries

Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup

8 Photos
Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup
Person seated at a booth in a cafe looks at their phone and laptop.

Related Galleries

Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup

10 Photos
Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida

Related Galleries

Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida

16 Photos