Our Favorite Gear from CES Vegas 2016

Review of: CES Best of Show
Version:
All

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On January 16, 2016
Last modified:December 1, 2016

Summary:

Tucker and I took a stroll down to Vegas to check out CES. We explored those nitty gritty depths with one goal in mind: discover the secret gems of CES. There were some absolutely breathtaking new announcements at the show, like 8k tvs and single passenger autonomous drones. But that is not what we were searching for, we were on the hunt for the items that everyday Joe’s like ourselves would actually be able to afford in the near future. Here is what we discovered:

MEE Audio X7 Plus

MSRP: $99.99

For $100 these little guys are off the charts. Sweat resistant and bluetooth make it ideal for any indoor or outdoor physical activity.  The cable is a flexible memory wire that goes over the top of the ear and helps keep it securely in place no matter how crazy you are jumping around. It also has an 8 hour battery life so you don’t have to charge it every couple of hours.

mee audio2

 

DJI OSMO

MSRP: 649.99

A little full disclosure, we happen to own a DJI Phantom II and absolutely love it. I have renamed ours “the Phoenix” because I am an awful pilot and have had to repair it twice. But it still flies and the gimbal on that thing is out of this world. Our shots are so incredibly stable it is absurd. Which is why this guy is my favorite of the entire show. It is basically DJI’s handheld version of that incredibly stable gimbal with their X3 camera attached. It also lets you switch for the higher quality X5 and is customizable, so I am sure they will keep adding new attachments and mounting options. I love that you can use the DJI app on your phone to link up to the camera and see a live feed. Below is a picture of me taking a selfie (inception?).

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iFamily

MSRP: UNKNOWN!

This little guy was one of those discoveries that most people probably wouldn’t hear about if not for us, so I am happy to be here for you all. As I mentioned, we have a DJI Phantom II. We had to purchase a second battery because we love to venture out into the wilderness and fly our drone around. Even with 2 batteries we only get roughly 40 minutes of fly and video time.  The iFamily is a portable battery charger that will charge your drone batteries twice as fast as a regular wall charger. Also you can charge up to 4 batteries at a time and charge each battery up to 8 times on one full charge. This product is so new that they don’t even have a website yet. The company rep actually said they only just completed the prototype one week before CES. If this guy doesn’t hit the market that will make me a sad drone flier, but if it does at the very least change the industry, then I will be very grateful.

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PicoBrew:

MSRP $999.99

As the Gearographer gear and beer editor I had to give the Pico Brew a look.  My brother and I just started our third batch of home brewed craft beers. We are only making a few gallons at a time, but they taste pretty good and give me a great feeling of accomplishment when I finally get to crack open that growler and have a taste. Now this little buddy is $1000 and the PicoPaks are $40 apiece, making a 5 liter mini-keg pretty costly. But what sold it for me was the flavor. We had the IPA on draft and it was so delicious. Maybe it was the fact that I had walked about 4 miles that day, but that beer was glorious. The only downside I see to the PicoBrew is that making craft beer at home, although a pain in the ass, is a creative process. This kind of takes away that feeling and turns it into a cookie-cutter hands off experience. To counter that argument, the beer tastes great every time, not just once.

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Aqua Power Systems:

MSRP: $49.99

If you have ever been to CES then you know that Eureka Park is to CES what Mordor is to LOTR. It is a cut-throat, scary, sometimes violent little area. Especially if you have the cahones to be wearing a “media” badge. Eureka park is where the new guys begin, and many times end, their CES adventure. It is like being a gladiator back in ancient Greece. Only the best and strongest survive.

Somehow within Eureka park we stumbled across the Aqua Power Systems. This lamp/charger combo is run entirely off of salt-water. The rep explained that the big yellow one can run an LED lamp for 160+ hours on a single bottle of salt-water. This works by using a magnesium air-fuel cell and lots of techno-stuff that I didn’t entirely understand. But it is clean energy from salt-water and is amazing, which is all I need to know.

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Vivint Doorbell Camera:

MSRP: monthly charge based on house size and security needs

This was probably the largest company to make our gear of the show list. At first glance they look like just another “smart home” company. When you take a closer look you realize they have integrated their products to sync with one another as well as many different technologies.  These guys are beginning to make the  “smart home” stuff look a lot more appealing to the not-so-tech savvy individuals. Each of their products compliments the next. They also sync up to the Amazon Echo as well as the Google Nest.

My favorite product is their doorbell camera. This little guy replaces your current doorbell and lets you lock and unlock the door from your phone. You can also check the door whenever you want (helps avoid pesky door-to-door salespeople) and it shoots you a notification and picture of whomever rings your door. Furthermore if you are throwing a party it will allow you to give certain people access to the door for a short amount of time. It just makes your life a heck of a lot easier and stress free. They do mostly security packages so you will have to call in to get a quote, but from some quick research it’ll probably set you back about $50-$75 a month.

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Yoon Kim

Yoon is a freelance journalist who writes for SNEWS, The Outdoor Retailer Daily, Retailing Today, Gear Junkie, and many more. He writes mostly on outdoor topics including business, gear, event coverage and interviews with outdoor athletes. Yoon is an Insanely Big Mountain.

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