CES ain't quite what it used to be. Pretty much all the big guys have pulled out in favor of doing their own events. The phones are OK and the 4K TVs pretty, but a dime a dozen. But there are still some hidden treasures that are amazing. Here's all the stuff from CES that made us squeal with glee.
The Oculus Rift may not be ready for consumers yet, but with each beta revision it's becoming more and more incredible. This year's beta model—complete with positional head tracking like never before—is more mind-blowing than ever. By far the most exciting thing at CES, even without being finished.
Alexx Henry teamed up with Nikon to create this xxArray camera system that uses over 64 cameras to create a perfectly detailed 3D model of a person. Naturally, Nikon inserted that 3D model into a video game. And being that person/model was a dream come true.
Yes, the WWE is getting its own network, and yes it was one of the best things at CES. Whether you're into wrestling or not, the WWE's new all-you-can-stream buffet-style offering is a shot at what the future of television could and should be for every channel and interest. So shirtless men throwing each other around while wearing spandex or not, this is fantastic.
A car with laser-cannon headlights? Sure, why not. Audi's crazy-awesome Quattro is just a concept, and probably not destined for roads any time soon if ever, but that doesn't mean it's any less of a tech marvel. And while the Quattro itself pre-dates CES, we didn't find out the true glory of those laser headlights until last week, and frankly they could make this list on their own.
Want Predator-vision? You got it. FLIR's thermal camera for the iPhone is exactly that. Thermal imaging is far from new, but this implementation is cheap(ish), convenient, and super want-able. You can't tell me that you don't want that on your phone right now, even if you might not want to pony up the (comparatively cheap) $350 for it. If that doesn't make a killer CES gadget I don't know what does.
There's no MicroSD expansion slot on an iPhone, and they're harder and harder to come by on Androids too. But Mophie's solution—a battery pack that also adds storage—is a perfect solution for digital hoarders everywhere who suddenly decided they need more storage after buying the device. It's not the flashiest gadget ever, but it solves a persistent problem pretty elegantly. And that's super dope in its own subtle way.
People have been building their own desktop computers for ages, but Razer's Project Christine takes the tried and true hobby to an awesome height of ease. Snapping in parts like Legos seems like a joy, and each module is liquid cooled by default for extra coolness. And even though this is probably vaporware—Razer is just testing the waters and looking for reactions—it's damned cool.
Curved or flat, flexible or not, 4K TVs are beautiful. But they're also expensive, huge, and just TVs. High res is fun but *yawn*. Sony's Life Space UX Ultra Short-Throw 4K Projector, on the other hand, is a more novel take on the 4K craze, and mercifully easy to move. Of course it will cost a small fortune, and who knows if it will ever really make it to market, but damned if we all don't want one right now.