Now that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is upon us, we thought we should share the top products from the show and how they will venture to help the everyday consumer in 2015.
3D printing goes beyond plastic
The biggest drawback for 3D printers up to this point would be the fact that every object is completely made of plastic. Well, not anymore. Makerbot introduced a 3D printer that can create items that are (partially) composed of wood, limestone, and metal. The new filaments are still primarily plastic, but they do contain tiny bits of wood, stone, and metal. There is just enough alternate materials to make the finished product look like it is made of limestone or bronze. Granted, the 3D objects cannot be used for your next cookware set, aesthetically, they can function for decorative pieces.
Another manufacturer, Voxel8 introduced their Gadget Printer, which can print metal wiring within plastic. In the past, to create any electronic device on a 3D printer, the pieces needed to be printed individually, then piecemealed together in order to create the final product complete with circuitry and functional components. The Voxel8 printed a custom hearing aid at CES, showing that the Gadget Printer can print plastic body and metal circuitry all at once. What does this mean for the future of designers? The world of prototyping will soon be incredibly accessible, economically and logistically speaking.
Wearable tech the size of a button
Intel introduced its wearable tech in the form of its Magic Button. This bite-size technology is a self-contained system that contains a wide range of sensors and Bluetooth functionality. Intel has always been a leading provider of ideas and possibilities, and then they let the market design products around their brilliant ideas. This is just another example of how wearable tech is taking over.
Smart thermostat, meet smart vents
The Nest smart thermostat may know when to turn off the heat when you are not home, but it does not track temperatures on a per-room basis. Keen Home’s Smart Vents are here to solve your cold back bedroom problem. The vents are designed to open and close based on the individual room’s temperature, ensuring each room stays at a consistent temperature. Granted, each vent will set you back $85, so cost-saving may not be reason someone would get this product.