The “Superbowl for the gadget world” took place last week in Las Vegas, and Fargoans joined techies from around the world to watch the tech giants strut their stuff, and get a three day glimpse into the future.
Based on the glimpse from last week, the future is one of autonomous cars, drone taxis and virtual reality. Some of the most memorable items include a Samsung TV that can morph and separate into cubes, and a transmitter that can wirelessly charge an iPhone.
Fargo had its own representation at the tech mecca event. The team from Fargo 3D printing came to see the latest gadgets in 3D Printing and came equipped with video equipment.While there they interviewed the CEO of Makerbot, a leading manufacturer of affordable 3D printers (Fargo 3D printing is one of their re-sellers). They also hosted a meet-up for anyone interested in 3D printing at the Bellagio. So, so fancy.
Fargo 3D Printing co-founder John Schneider said that, while the new gadgets were cool, there was nothing groundbreaking.
“This years CES felt evolutionary rather than revolutionary,” he said. “Many technologies, specifically 3D printing, felt as though they are maturing and becoming more stable. There were very few revolutionary 3D printers announced this year. Most are just taking what is already out there and making them more reliable, faster, and more user-friendly.”
Here’s a video from them of one particularly nice 3D printer that they got to drool over. This is Mcor’s new Arke full-color 3D printer, which uses paper to create full-color molds with .1mm accuracy. Very impressive for a desktop model printer.
Overall, the 3D printing realm was well represented at CES. Major players like 3D Systems and XYZ Printing showed up with new printers and dazzling displays. Over a dozen vendors showed up with a variety of materials as well (I wonder if any of them had filament made from coffee? or beer?).
The year of the drone
Terri Zimmerman, CEO of Botlink, was present as well, representing North Dakota’s drone industry.
This was a big year for drones at CES– some even called it “the year of the drone.” One that got special attention was a small copter that claims to be the future of “autonomous drone taxi transportation.” It’s clearly a BETA version, as it can carry only one person for a whopping 23 minutes of battery life. It also has no manual drive so, you know, potentially life threatening. But the idea is there. Perhaps Jetson travel isn’t far off.
Another snazzy drone that got a lot of love is the Parrot disco drone, a fixed-wing thing of beauty that can fly up to 50mph.
Although it got a little less love, Intel’s Yuneec Typhoon 4K was recognized as pretty dang cool as as well. It’s a small drone that can be set to a “Watch Me” mode and instructed to follow you as you rock climb, mountain bike, eat your cereal, etc.
Then there’s this cute little guy – the Fleye drone, which is currently being funded on Kickstarter. It’s shape makes it stand out from it’s quadcopter cousins, making it look much more like the imagined flying robots of the future.
“The Fleye flies – and spins your salad,” wrote Kickstarter’s David Gallagher in a tweet.
Other tantalizing gadgets debuted in those three days – from the Internet of Things realm to jaw-dropping loud speakers. Check out this article from Wired of CES gadgets that are on the market right now.
But for all those who missed it – til next year!
Photos courtesy of Fargo 3d Printing and CES. Videos by Iain Butler, Intel and David Gallagher.