The Droid Everyone Is Looking For

The Droid Everyone Is Looking For

Boulder, CO-based Sphero already had toy versions of BB-8 controlled by a mobile app in production, but now the company is adding gesture control through a wristband. This is an early model; the final version of gesture control is due in the fall.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Drink Up

Drink Up

The crew from Somabar, who hail from the WeWork Hollywood co-working space in Los Angeles, CA, said they have plans to start selling their smart cocktail maker through a high-end retailer in the second quarter of the year.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

A Winner in Wellness Tracking

A Winner in Wellness Tracking

Ōura's smart ring health tracker was picked as a CES Innovation Award winner for wearable technologies, embedded technologies, and the fitness, sports, and biotech categories.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Deeper Immersion in Media

Deeper Immersion in Media

Rochester, NY-based Vuzix got Best of Innovation awards in gaming and virtual reality, along with other awards from CTA, for its iWear wireless video headphones.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Casting Some Light on Hair Regrowth

Casting Some Light on Hair Regrowth

Laser treatment for hair growth is gradually becoming more of a "thing" with HairMax and rival devices on the market.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Not Quite VR Mobile Theater

Not Quite VR Mobile Theater

Royole-X, developed by teams in Silicon Valley and China, is an audio and video headset that is not virtual reality per se, but does combine inputs from multiple types of media sources.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Taking Temps Smartly

Taking Temps Smartly

Withings, whose U.S. office is in Cambridge, MA, displayed its Thermo smart thermometer, which offers advice to users in addition to tracking temps. Thermo was a winner of a CES Innovation Award in the fitness, sports, and biotech category.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Xconomy New York — 

Before this week’s big reveals of new technology at CES, a few teaser events are offering glimpses of things to come.

CES Unveiled Las Vegas, one such event held Monday evening, had a smattering of gadgets eager for their share of the spotlight (see slideshow). A number of the devices I spied, such as Somabar, Ōura, and Sphero’s Star Wars-themed BB-8 toy droid, have been seen before. The BB-8 toy is getting an update though, and Somabar is advancing its smart cocktail maker toward retail sales.

This time of year is always fraught with anticipation for what the consumer tech scene will produce. So far, it seems 2016 will see a hodgepodge of gadgets clawing for attention, but no clear must-have devices.

Press conferences for the major exhibitors start Tuesday, with the annual CES trade show hosted by the Consumer Technology Association to kick off on Wednesday. I will have more coverage as the week unfolds.