Tom Robertson takes a look at some of the hottest exhibits and announcements from the latest Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
Strange that while our phones and credit cards have security locks, most computers are still relatively unprotected. So it’s no surprise that one of the products gathering the most attention at the show was the Myris from Eyelock. Second only to DNA as the most effective form of identification, 240 points of the iris are read by the USB connected camera and, if registered to the correct user, unlocks the computer. One to keep an eye on. Available first half of 2014 for RO115 from eyelock.com
From Ascent technologies comes this nifty case for the iPhone 5 featuring both an integrated back up battery and thin-film solar panels that recharge your iphone by harnessing the power of the sun. Both slim and relatively light at 68g, the Enerplex Surfr offers a standby time for your phone of up to 250 hours. Could be just the thing to leave on the car dashboard while driving along under the Omani sun.
Available from enerplex.biz RO38
Announced at this year’s show, Urb-E is the world’s most compact –e-vehicle. It features a massive lithium battery that will carry you up to 30 kilometres at speeds of up to 25 km/h on just one charge. It’s also incredibly quick to recharge, doing so in just three hours. With its handy luggage rack, it’s designed for those last few kilometres of your commute. Perhaps one for those who intend commuting to work on Oman’s incoming train service. Price to be confirmed.
Pre-orders available from www.urb-e.com
Finally! High end features in a smaller more hand-friendly package for those of us who really aren’t convinced by the Phablet phenomenon. I’ve picked out this little beauty, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, because I’ve had my eye on it for a while. Why? Well, beneath its waterproof and dustproof casing is a whopping 20.7 megapixel camera making the X1 Compact the perfect companion for both staying in touch and snapping away happily while exploring Oman’s beaches. Available end February from sonymobile.com for RO282
Following the launch of the Playstation 4 just two months ago, a global army of Playstation fans were left feeling aggrieved by the PS4’s lack of compatibility with PS3 titles. Joyful news gamers; At CES 2014, Sony announced Playstation Now, a new service to resolve the problem. The digital platform will allow users to stream full Playstation 3 titles to a multitude of connected devices, starting with the Playstation 4 and PS Vita. Rolling out later this year, it’s a brazen move in the battle of the next-generation consoles vying for space under your TV. Price to be confirmed. www.playstation.com
Who said selfies were old news? Throw the Panono Ball Camera up in the air when you’re on a girls’ night out and the 36 onboard cameras will unleash a veritable photobomb at its zenith. Its software then stiches together all those images of half closed eyes, bad hair days and hilarious dance moves to give a 108 megapixel image of everybody around you. Available to pre-order www.panono.com for RO210
Aware of the unending need to remember passwords for everything from paying utility bills to online banking, PasswordBox has stepped up to the plate with an online vault for all your passwords. Allowing you to store up to 25 separate logins, the PasswordBox account syncs across all your devices allowing you to say goodbye to multiple usernames and passwords and to sign in with just one. Would you trust it? One million users already do. Available for nearly all devices and browsers from iOS and Android apps stores. Free.
Last year, the Pebble Smartwatch won fans with its simplicity but critics rallied against its toy-like appearance. This year, manufacturers are plainly aware that we’re not going to be sticking anything on our wrist that resembles something you get out of a cereal packet. Striking back in the battle of ‘wearable-tech’ – the buzzword of this year’s CES – Pebble have announced the Steel. Available to preorder now from getpebble.com for RO96. Shipping mid-February.