Latest in Best of ces

Image credit:

Presenting the Best of CES 2015 winners!

Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

One week in Vegas, several halls filled with tech, but only one official Best of CES Awards. After a few tortuous nights of shouting at each other, debating the merits of each of our finalists, we eventually decided on our winners. Congratulations to all our finalists and winners, and to anyone who's survived this week of tech announcements, Vegas razzle-dazzle and occasionally-dubious celebrity endorsements.

Photos: Will Lipman

Best Startup: AmpStrip

We've seen fitness trackers in all shapes and forms, but AmpStrip's Band-Aid-like sticker still managed to impress us. Together with a disposable sticky pad, it sits on your chest and monitors your heart rate, steps and other vitals. Basically, it offers most of the benefits of advanced wearable health trackers without getting in the way. It's also waterproof, so it should be ideal for running a grueling triathlon. While it's only in beta right now, AmpStrip expects to begin production this summer. -- Devindra Hardawar, Senior Editor

Best Digital Health and Fitness Product: Bragi's "The Dash"


What makes for an award-winning health and fitness gadget? We'd say wireless headphones with built-in fitness tracking and a personal trainer would be a good start. Bragi's "The Dash" has those. They also serve as a standalone media player, double as a hands-free device and contain a heart-rate monitor. Oh, and they have intuitive touch-based controls. That's a lot of tech for a pair of earbuds. All the more reason why they're this year's winner of Best Digital Health and Fitness Product. -- James Trew, Deputy Managing Editor

Best Wearable: Bragi's "The Dash"

When you think of wearable technology, it's easy to overlook the humble headphone. After all, we've been "wearing" them for so long now. Bragi's "The Dash" earbuds aren't so easy to overlook though. The wearable buds have serious fitness credentials (activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, etc.) and intuitive touch controls. With so much tech packed into these things, it's no wonder they're this year's winning wearable. -- James Trew, Deputy Managing Editor

Best Automotive Technology: Mercedes' F 015 Luxury in Motion concept


The Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion concept is as outrageous and ridiculous in form as a concept can be, but it's also something the company believes is a possibility by 2030. Its vision sees the car as a salon, a lounge you drift from destination to destination in like an extension of your home. The seating rotates and the passengers can face one another, like at home in the living room or on a train. The interior is a mash-up of a Jetsons and Flash Gordon episode with reflective surfaces, soft white and blue lighting, clean white seats and console and even wooden flooring. The six interior displays and door panels support both touch and gesture control to access all the car's connected features and even take control from the autonomous system. Of course, it's absurd to think this is even remotely realistic car for today's roads or even in the immediate future. Still, we have to applaud the audacity of Mercedes to just drop this concept on us here at CES; it's exactly what the show needs more of. Congratulations. -- Sean Cooper, Associate Editor

Best Home Theater Product: Sling TV

Endlessly frustrated with the state of television and the lack of choices you have about where and how you get to experience it? Of course you do, along with everyone else -- and Sling TV is the first non-traditional alternative that looks like it could really work. Not only does it bring an interest-grabbing slate of content right off the bat (ESPN), but also the entire interface and system brings TV into the internet era. Even the price is on target, starting at $20 with no contracts in sight. Internet TV hasn't supplanted the cable hegemony yet, but this is the first significant strike -- and it's a good one. -- Richard Lawler, Senior Editor

Best (Connected) Home Product: Energous WattUp


We might not know exactly what the house of the future will look like, but one thing's for sure: It'll need power. Energous WattUp is a new wireless power solution that can charge wearables, phones and the hundreds of sensors that will one day litter your home. It's early days for the tech, but it's already close to a retail launch -- Energous believes its partners will have the first wave of devices on shelves by the end of the year. -- Aaron Souppouris, Senior Editor


Best Software / App: Sling TV

In a show where software and apps rarely take center stage, Sling TV was an obvious choice for both candidate and overall winner of this category. The $20-a-month service by Dish makes cord-cutting that much easier, offering premium content from the likes of ESPN and HGTV right off the bat. Not only that, but also the app itself -- available on Android, iOS and select set-top boxes -- is intuitive, user-friendly and surprisingly well-done. -- Nicole Lee, Senior Editor

Best Innovation (Disruptive Tech): Energous WattUp


A surprise star of the show, Energous' wireless charging solution WattUp has the potential to drastically alter the way we power our devices. It's capable of charging devices from 15 feet away -- imagine never having to take off your wearable, or your kids having toys that never run out of batteries because they're constantly being fed power from afar? WattUp could be a game changer. -- Aaron Souppouris, Senior Editor

Best Mobile Device: Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet

Dell isn't exactly known for putting out the sleekest, most exciting hardware, but its Venue 8 7000 tablet packs plenty of star power... even if the name is a bit of a clunker. There's a quad-core Intel Atom processor with 2GB of RAM thrumming away inside, but the real attention grabber is its so-called Infinity Display, also known as a almost bezel-less 8.4-inch OLED screen running at 2,560 x 1,600. With a waistline that measures only 6mm, Dell's tab is also -- for now -- the thinnest in the world. And the piece de resistance? A multi-camera Intel RealSense setup around the back that'll let you refocus your photos (à la Lytro) after you've already taken them. -- Chris Velazco, Senior Mobile Editor

Best TV Product: LG Art Slim 4K OLED

So how could LG improve on last year's OLEDs and their impressive picture quality? Show an impressive pace of price drops, crank up the resolution and give us a flatter option -- and that's just what it did. Despite a strong showing of quantum dot-loaded LCDs, this "Art Slim" OLED packing webOS 2.0 is the one we most want on our wall. The only question remaining is how much will it cost to get it there? -- Richard Lawler, Senior Editor

Best Gaming Product: Razer Forge TV


That an Android TV microconsole is winning 2015's Best of CES award for the gaming category says a lot about the selection of gaming stuff at this year's CES. It's not that Forge TV isn't neat -- it is neat, especially its ability to stream any PC/Mac game to your living room TV. It's that Forge TV isn't especially innovative or groundbreaking. What it is, though, is an inexpensive and solid microconsole with a particularly neat gimmick. -- Ben Gilbert, Senior Editor

Best Offbeat Product: Belty

Much to the delight of Back to the Future fans and sneaker-heads alike, Nike has promised Power Laces will become a reality this year. Now, we might have another automatic item of clothing to look forward to in 2015 in the form of Belty: a motorized belt buckle that tightens and loosens itself. If you've eaten a little too much for lunch, for example, it'll slacken slightly to make you more comfortable until you've had a chance to digest -- then tighten back up before your pants become a the wardrobe malfunction that previously was waiting to happen. It also has activity-tracking capabilities, with the added bonus of being able to monitor changes in waist circumference. Right now, it's at the bulky, prototype stage, but it works as promised, and is just the type of fun, quirky and potentially viral product that deserves top honors in our Offbeat Product category. -- Jamie Rigg, Reviews Editor, Engadget UK


Best Maker-friendly Technology: MakerBot composite filaments


The future of 3D printing isn't in the printers themselves, so much as the materials. MakerBot, despite its high prices, has already made the technology as user-friendly as it's going to get. At CES 2015, the company turned to maplewood, limestone, iron and bronze (blended with plastic, of course) to push the 3D-printing world forward. The bronze can be polished to a shine; the iron can be magnetized; and the wood actually smells vaguely of maple. You can't really print a useful hammer, but this is one step closer to printing a finished product (instead of a useless prototype). This is, hands-down, the most exciting 3D-printing announcement to come out of CES in years. -- Terrence O'Brien, Managing Editor

Best PC: Lenovo LaVie HZ550


It's difficult to convey just how light the Lenovo LaVie HZ550 is. What does it mean that a 13-inch laptop can now weigh just 1.7 pounds? Perhaps the most telling thing we can say is this: It's so light, we were skeptical at first that it was even a working machine. When a computer is this light -- 43 percent lighter than even the MacBook Air -- you have to question if there's even anything inside that magnesium shell. As it turns out, though, the HZ550 is very real, and it promises performance that's on par with, if not better than, a typical Ultrabook. That includes Intel's new fifth-generation Core processors and a battery that's said to last between seven and eight hours on a charge. So far as we can tell, the only trade-off is that it lacks a touchscreen (that would add to the weight, after all). Even then, Lenovo has an answer to that: Its just-announced LaVie HZ750 convertible has a 360-degree hinge allowing it to fold back into tablet mode. And guess what? Lenovo says it's the lightest 13-inch convertible laptop in the world. There you have it, folks! -- Dana Wollman, Managing Editor


Best Robot or Drone: AirDog


What separated AirDog from the many (many) other drones at CES this year was its clear focus. Its sole purpose is to be your dedicated aerial cameraman. It supports Sony and GoPro cameras, follows you wherever you go, folds down to a backpack-friendly size and comes with custom "modes" for different sports. It may be designed to follow, but when it comes to action sports video, it leads. -- James Trew, Deputy Managing Editor


Best of the Best: Sling TV

Many of us have been waiting, hoping and even lusting after Sling TV before we'd ever heard of it: an internet TV service that gives you the channels you love, on any screen, anywhere, without a subscription to traditional cable or satellite TV service. Our long wait finally, blessedly ended at CES 2015. Sling (don't call it Dish) TV is a big deal, folks. It could very well be the beginning of the end for traditional pay TV here in the US, and that's not something I ever thought possible before this week. That, friends, is why Sling TV is taking home three Best of CES awards, including Best in Show. -- Michael Gorman, Editor-in-Chief

People's Choice winner: Razer Forge TV

The people have spoken, and Razer's Forge TV is the People's Choice winner for Best of CES 2015! It was a close call, however, as it won with only 16.13 percent of the vote -- the AirDog drone came in second at 14.62 percent and the Misfit Bolt clocked in at third with 11.96 percent. Only a few thousand votes separated first, second and third place! Still, Razer's Forge TV won fair and square -- not only did the Android TV microconsole win our Best Gaming Product award, but it also scored your votes too. -- Nicole Lee, Senior Editor

From around the web