Amidst the big tech innovations like rollable TV screens and signs of things to come like laptop notches, there are a bunch of under-the-radar products being shown off at this year’s CES that deserve a little attention. They aren’t for everyone, but they might be just right for you.
Belkin BoostCharge USB-C to Lightning cable
This is the first Apple-approved USB-C to Lightning cable being sold by a third-party. No, at $US24.99 ($35) to $US34.99 ($49), it’s not cheaper than Apple’s first-party cables, but it’s an encouraging move. It looks high-quality, will get your fast-charging done, and you can think of it as a tiny protest of Apple’s decision to no longer include a headphone dongle with the iPhone. Belkin’s cables are expected sometime in the spring.
Panasonic Lumix-S full frame camera, additional details
Panasonic has been teasing its first foray into full-frame cameras and lenses for months, and it announced some new details on Monday. We already knew the Lumix S1 and S1R would pack 24-MP and 47-MP sensors, respectively. Now we know that it will be including a high-dynamic-range still-photo mode that can play back on Panasonic HLG-compliant 4KTVs. And it’s adding a high-resolution mode that quickly fires off eight photos and combines them into a single image. We’re stoked to see what Lumix brings to the table in the fierce battle to top Sony’s full-frame dominance, and we expect to have an answer by the end of March.
JBL Link Bar
JBL has partnered with Google to make a soundbar that turns any TV into a smart TV. It promises to bring high-quality sound with integrated Chromecast, Android TV, and Google Assistant features. The product was first announced back in May, but now we know it’ll be available in the spring with the Link Bar going for $US399 ($560).95 ($561) and the optional subwoofer priced at $US299.95 ($421).
Nemeio E Ink Keyboard
For a very special type of user who demands extreme customisation and is decidedly not a mechanical keyboard freak, Nemeio has an intriguing E Ink keyboard coming. If you’re a designer switching between custom setups for different programs or a gamer who doesn’t care about the most precise action on your keys, this could be for you. Unfortunately, we don’t have a price or release date yet.
Unless you just fucking love bread and have a ton of money, you probably won’t be bringing home the BreadBot. But maybe your local grocer will make an investment. Nothing will be a substitute for fresh bread made with love, but this thing goes from flour to loaf at a rate of 10 loaves per hour, which is tough to beat.
Audeze Bluetooth cable converter
Those who love their high-end Audeze in-ear headphones can rest assured that they won’t get left behind when Apple inevitably kills the Lightning jack. The Cipher Bluetooth Module will drag your fussy corded headphones into the wireless future for $US99 ($139). It’s available to order now.
Volta’s Mookie smart pet bowl
We’re not sure how many people really need a smart bowl that recognises their pets faces and distributes the correct food. But we’re just going to give props to a company for making some tech that has all of the invasive hallmarks of useless gadgetry and manages to not be overtly creepy.
HyperX Cloud Orbit and Orbit S
Audeze 3D audio technology blew us away when we tried it in the Mobius headphones last year. Now the Audeze Planar Driver and Waves 3D NX technology are coming to set of cans by Kingston’s HyperX. The Orbit and Orbit S will go for $US299.99 ($421) and $US329.99 ($463), and hopefully, they’ll further usher in a new wave of realistic spatial audio for gaming.
Griffin PowerBlock Wireless Charging stand / pad
Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat for the iPhone and Apple Watch is still MIA. But Griffin has an alternative option coming in the next few months that seems nice and will only cost you about $US80 ($112).
Danby’s Parcel Guard
Listen, if you have a package-theft problem that warrants paying $US399 ($560) for a special package mailbox, then we’re going to say you have a serious package-theft problem. In that case, Danby has you covered with the Parcel Guard, and pre-orders open this week.