Looking to upgrade your business technology in the new year (or even just have a hot lunch at the office?). Here is a roundup of some of the most interesting devices on display at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.
Owl Labs, a company who promises to “bring teams together for better work” has released a 720p, 360-degree camera that sits in the middle of a conference room table. It lets you get a better angle on what’s happening by switching camera focus from speaker to speaker, giving everyone participating in the conference camera time. It has integrated microphones and provides picture-in-picture views of meeting participants and a widescreen panoramic view of the entire room. It’s a very neat device that can really be put to good use if you have employees that work remotely.
Just what it sounds like, this is a wireless projector meant to be used with a cellphone. Its big selling point is that it goes from landscape to portrait automatically (although it requires that you pick it up and set it on its end). It has a unique design that lets you “roll” it when horizontal to find a good angle for viewing like on a wall or ceiling. It also has outlets for HDMI, a micro SD card and a USB C connector. The battery will last up to five hours and will even recharge phones in a pinch.
The Teamplayer is a set of devices that bring interactivity and adds gamification to meetings.
It is both a group of hardware devices and software apps that work together around activities like quizzes, surveys and live messaging augmented with AI-enhanced brainstorming sessions.
Klaxoon has several different components: the Klaxoon Box, the MeetingBoard, the Wheel and the Pad.
The Box generates its own Wi-Fi network with or without an internet connection. It coordinates meetings using the apps and the presenter. It acts as the brains of the meeting using hardware and software coordinating between both. Offline, up to 50 team members can interact using all the devices listed below. Online, up to 100 or more can participate.
The MeetingBoard is a mobile 49 to 65 inch touch-screen monitor that links to the Box. It gives the Box a visual element that can be interacted upon by the presenter and participants using a capacitive and multi-point touch screen and linked devices. It enables the apps, presenters and meeting participants to interact together in a visual medium, displayed in real time on the MeetingBoard.
The Wheel is a wireless navigation device allowing you to turn, push, grab or press to access the collaborative apps and receive notifications from those apps via the Klaxoon Box.
The Pad has nine adaptive screen keys which offer visual shortcuts that adapt to the meeting in real time.
The collaborative apps it is designed around are: Meeting, Brainstorm, Quiz, Survey, Adventure, Capsule. Stats. Notes and Studio.
Who doesn’t want a hot lunch? The Heatbox uses steam to reheat your meals and claims it is healthier and less of a hassle than trying to reheat food in a microwave. It is leak proof due to a dual lid system and looks stylish with an outer bamboo lid. Using an app connected to the lunchbox, you control when to heat up your food, which takes from 8-12 minutes. The device has a good-sized rechargeable battery that can be used up to 3 times on a single charge.
At the beginning of the day, you pour 20ml of water in the Heatbox under the stainless-steel food tray. You place your food on top of the chamber with the water then seal it up with the inner lid and outer bamboo lid. When you’re ready for lunch, you simply set the app to start heating your food. The Heatbox is on preorder now and should be shipping in July.
ThinkSmart View is a new communication device for workers using Microsoft Teams. Lenovo refers to it as a “Smart Office” product. Designed to make the best use of Teams and all its features, it can sit on your desk in portrait or landscape formats. It displays your calendar between calls and meetings. Lenovo also bills ThinkSmart view as a device for remote employees, as you can take video conference and audio calls from your home office. It can pair with a Bluetooth headset if you need privacy or are in a louder environment and it lets you see the participants of the video call on an 8-inch tall or wide display depending on its orientation. It has an integrated camera with a physical privacy shutter for added security. It also boasts two far-field microphones to capture audio anywhere in a small room. The biggest draw for this device is the ability to participate in meetings, and not monopolize your computer. It starts shipping in February.
Kandao Meeting 360 is a conferencing camera very similar to the Meeting Owl Pro. It has many of the same features such as focusing on the presenter during a meeting and compatibility with most web-based meeting systems. The main draw to the Kandao is an 8K resolution camera. It also has a top-mounted, pop-up camera system. When the camera is pressed down upon from the top of the device, it reveals the camera and triggers the device to start the meeting. When pressed down again, it hides the camera and the device goes into standby. If you’re in the market for an 8K camera and meeting clarity is a big deal to you, this might be your “go to” for conferencing cameras.
Check out what gadgets showed up last year, especially the rideable suitcase!
For a quick look at the rest of the tech shows at the beginning of 2020 check these out.