Our editors have been on the ground for the better part of this week scouring every nook and cranny in Las Vegas to bring you the latest and greatest from CES 2016. And now we're ready to announce to you our finalists for the official Best of CES awards. Below you'll find our selections for all 14 categories, which range from best wearables to the most innovative tech we've seen at the show. We'll announce our category winners tomorrow, which is also when we'll reveal our Best of the Best award recipient, the most coveted prize of them all. That special award is selected from our pool of category winners.
If you want your voice heard too -- no worries! There's an additional category for the People's Choice, where you can vote for your favorite entry in our compilation of finalists. Just head on over to our poll right here to vote and the one with the most votes will win our special People's Choice award. All award winners will be announced at a special ceremony tomorrow at our CES stage, so be sure to come back right here on Engadget around 5 p.m. PT Friday afternoon to watch it all unfold.
Photo by Will Lipman
Not many wearables can claim to save lives, but Owlet's smart baby sock has already saved a few. It monitors your infant's heart rate and oxygen levels and alerts you when things get troublesome to prevent accidental suffocation. $250 is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
We've seen plenty of connected toys, but few that do a decent job of teaching children how to code. Hackaball looks like a typical ball, but it sports a motion sensor and multi-colored LEDs. Kids can even program their own games using a simple app to trigger lights and read those sensors. Recess will never be the same.
A truly smart water bottle that's able to inject nutrients, vitamins and other additions into your drinks. Of course, it can also track your drinking habits and it has a companion app.
We've seen some robotic arms before, but industrial-grade KATIA from Carbon Robotics is comparatively simple to set up just might help automate life's menial moments. It's plenty versatile too thanks to its swappable modules — beyond industrial applications like laser cutting, the team has used it the arm to automatically decorate cakes.
BEST DIGITAL HEALTH & FITNESS PRODUCT
Fitbit is known for its barebones activity trackers, but now the startup's ready to step out of its comfort zone. Enter the Fitbit Blaze, a fully-fledged smartwatch with a sleek design, color touchscreen, interchangeable watch faces and removable straps. Best of all, it's only $200.
The Misfit Ray is a wearable designed to complement your traditional watch. The most interesting aspect of it is its minimal look: You won't find a touchscreen here, which is what lets the Ray have an impressive battery life of up to 6 months, as well as be worn as a necklace. When Misfit's new activity and sleep tracker goes on sale, it'll be available for $100 with a plastic strap or $120 if you prefer the leather version.
The pelvic floor weakens over time, causing weakness in the bladder and decreased sexual function. Women looking to remedy this issue can do so by using this device, which offers real-time exercising coaching.
Withings' newest budget fitness tracker has an elegant E-Ink display and will last eight months on a single watch battery. If you're looking for a cheap entry in the world of fitness tracking but want something elegant, this is well worth a look.
It may be significantly more expensive than the Misfit Flash but it's certainly more elegantly designed and better looking. The hardware can also be clad in rubber bands in various colors, should you fancy a change.
There was a time when Casio made the smartest watches on the block. But that time passed, and Google, Apple, Samsung and co. got involved. The WSD-F10 is an attempt to regain that crown, but with a classic Casio twist. Android Wear sits inside a rugged G-Shock case, laden with sensors designed for the outdoors type (barometer, compass etc). The watch also has a two-part display. Bright LCD for the smart stuff, and a battery-saving monochrome section that'll sip power when you're on adventures.
A personal attack alarm that you can wear on your wrist, it's certainly an interesting idea to develop a new tool that'll help people in need. If you find yourself in trouble, a double tap will send your GPS location to a trusted contact via text message, which has the potential to save lives.
If you're looking to get the edge against your friends in your next paintball game, then the Empire EVS might be for you. The mask comes with Recon's Android-running heads-up display that can provide maps, images and other combat-ready data.
BEST AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY
The affordableish Chevy Bolt brings a 200-mile range electric vehicle to the rest of us. Throw in it's impressive customizable dash and companion app and you have a car that's cool and will actually be in showrooms. Eventually.
It's insane. In a world filled with cookie cutter smartphones, computers and even cars, FF's (the company wants to go by FF now) FZERO1 concept race car is ridiculous with Batmobile looks and a crazy 1000 horsepower engine that'll hit over 200 miles per hour.
An electric microbus that charges to 80 percent in 15 minutes sounds like a recipe for a roadtrip. The concept car is less flower child and more connected millennial. It won't make it into your driveway in its current iteration, but maybe a toned down version is on the horizon.
To help it determine where the biggest demand is for its smart scooter, the company has announced a home charger and an initiative people can sign up for to get the scooter into their city. Once Gogoro gets enough signups in a city, it starts selling scooters.
BEST HOME THEATER PRODUCT
Philips' living room speakers have a rather useful feature: they're modular. The two stereo speakers can be used as a surround sound system thanks to detachable top portions. Speakers in the top are easily removed and placed elsewhere for better audio coverage. What's more, you can use them to play music from Google Cast, Spotify Connect and more.
A wireless turntable? Yep. Audio-Technica took its fully automatic belt-drive tech and added Bluetooth connectivity. This means that you can play those vinyl records on your wireless speakers without having to be in the same room. If you prefer a wired connection, there's dual RCA jacks for analog output, too. It's also budget-friendly.
Dish's newest Hopper DVR isn't only 4K-ready, it packs in 16 tuners. That means you can record up to 16 shows at once and store them on the box's 2TB of storage (500 hours). There's also a Sports Bar Mode that lets you watch four live games at the same time. It'll be here in time for March Madness.
When you travel and want to catch up on your favorite shows, the Dish Hopper Go can lend a hand. You can load 100 hours of content on the device and stream it to your iOS or Android devices. And you can do so without a network connection.
BEST (CONNECTED) HOME PRODUCT
A Bluetooth router that extends range up to 1,000 feet and connect 22 seperate Bluetooth devices. The companion app controls all those devices even when you're not at home.
It's an outdoor WiFi camera that sports a flood light and can tell the difference between people, animals and cars. The companion app will notify you what type of thing has entered the camera's range and record video of that moment. Under lights if it's at night.
Imagine the Amazon Echo but with an LCD display. That's what LG is selling with the SmartThingQ hub. The speaker connects to Zigbee, WiFi and Bluetooth smarthome devices while cranking out the tunes.
BEST INNOVATION (DISRUPTIVE TECH)
Yuneec and Intel have combined this year to offer a drone solution with real value The Yuneec Typhoon H drone can use an add-on with Intel's 3D "Realsense" camera to effectively avoid obstacles. As anyone who's ever flown one into a tree will tell you, this is a meaningful evolution of the drone sector.
Is it a drone, is a helicopter? Well, a bit of both. The Ehang 184 is a quadcopter pod with room to fit one passenger. Ehang says, just like a drone, you'll be able to program a warcraft into the craft's computer and it'll autonomously whisk you away. There are obviously some big hurdles to overcome before the 184 becomes a reality, but the prototype at CES this year is exciting stuff.
So this is clearly a concept, but if VW can charge a 373-mile range car to 80% in 15 minutes then this is clearly innovative and pushes electric cars way closer to gas in terms of convenience. The platform itself is said to launch in 2019, probably to more traditional cars.
BEST MOBILE DEVICE
Despite how you feel about its software, Huawei's knows how to build a good phone. The Huawei Mate 8 is a case in point: its sleek construction, powerful Kirin 950 chipset and the enormous 4,000mAh battery make it an impressive device from a company in his heyday.
It might sound French, but the Le Max Pro is the product of Chinese media giant Letv. Beyond a well-built body and a 6.33-inch screen that's easy to hold, the Max Pro is also the first smartphone in the world to run one of Qualcomm's next-gen Snapdragon 820 chipsets.
BEST TV PRODUCT
Sony's XBR-X930D enters its 'unique' Slim Backlight Drive technology to push stunning 4K and HDR pictures. Other than its stylish frame, the latest addition to the XBR line is packing Android TV and its app store, and support Google Cast means it's the easiest to control from your phone.
How does the best get better? LG followed up last year's Best of CES winner with this new 4K OLED TV. The 77-inch G6 brings out the best of Ultra HD and HDR, and the 'Picture-on-Glass' design lets the screen disappear into its slim frame.
The DX900 uses a new backlight of its own to prove that LCDs still have life in them. Panasonic's Honeycomb delivers both the extreme brightness and deep blacks required for HDR, and comes away with an Ultra HD Premium and THX stamp to show for it. When Ultra HD Blu-ray arrives, this will be one of the best ways to watch it.
Every TV these comes with some sort of 'smart' features built-in, and Roku's platform brings one of the deepest app stores available. Roku's design has been around for a while, but its focus on providing a consistently-updated smart TV experience means that next year, owners won't simply be looking at a bunch of new features they can't get -- other than HDR, which it will have for TVs shipping later this year.
BEST GAMING PRODUCT
The chaperone feature might not be just for gaming, but the subtle interaction with HTC's VR kit will make particularly active gaming a hazard-free experience. For VR to make it into homes, it has a few issues to work out. This solves one of them.
Razer's done a classy line in slim gaming laptops for a while, but the Stealth has an important upgrade: through Thunderbolt 3 you can connected to an external graphics card. A gaming laptop that you can upgrade down the line is one tempting notion.
A map of your allies and your terrain inside your helmet? Maybe it's cheating. Maybe it's the best thing to happen to paintball in a long time. Embedding a wearable heads-up display inside your helmet could bring an entirely new dimension to paintballing.
BEST OFFBEAT PRODUCT
Hey Bart! Segway's back, in robot form! The venerable personal mobility platform is making waves at CES 2016 with a new self-balancing pedestal, dubbed the Ninebot, that transforms into a mechanical companion when you're not riding it. It's equipped with a live streaming camera, facial-recognition software and Intel's Realsense obstacle avoidance system -- even a pair of adorable LEGO-esque arms to help its human with a variety of household tasks.
Not sure you're spending enough time with your loved ones? Now you can be certain thanks to the Soul Time-Tracker. This Bluetooth enabled wearable senses when it's near another Soul Time-Trackers (or, at least, another device running the Soul app) and tracks the length of time they're within proximity. With it, you can see exactly how much or how little time you spend around the people you care for most.
Why waste the time learning to pilot a helicopter when the 184 from Ehang can do the flying for you. This car-sized quadcopter ferries its rider up to 10 miles with minimal guidance -- the passenger simply inputs the destination on an associated mobile app and the drone autonomously handles the rest.
As if your collection of erotica weren't titillating enough, the E-sensory company has developed a smart sex toy that synchronizes with erotic e-books. As the action on the page heats up, the device responds with ten vibration variations.
BEST MAKER-FRIENDLY TECHNOLOGY
LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 is a robotics kit that teaches elementary school kids the basics of coding. The pieces in the set come together to form a robot that can be controlled through a companion app. A child can play around with a set of icons that acts as commands for the robot. When strung together, the icons replicate a line of code that helps instill the basics of sequencing and programming.
Glowforge is a 3D laser printer, cutter and engraver rolled into one. You don't have to be a designer to create patterns with this machine. You can draw on a variety of materials including wood, leather, acrylic, fabric or even glass and an in-built camera will detect the pattern for the laser to follow. The company raised over 27 million dollars in its own independent crowdfunding campaign late last year. The $2395 pre-ordered machines are scheduled to ship next quarter.
If you've ever wanted to control a robot with hand gestures, the Ziro has you covered. This robotics kit lets you manipulate robots by simply moving your fingers, via a smart glove that connects wirelessly to four motorized modules — that means you can have a rolling or flying device. Better yet, you can pair the Ziro Kit with an iOS or Android device, allowing for easy configuration of your robot's settings. The kits are expected to cost $200 each.
Lenovo won a Best of CES Award last year for an absurdly light 1.7-pound laptop, and this year the company is back with yet another impossibly thin machine. Meet the Yoga 900s, a 2.2-pound PC that Lenovo says is the world's thinnest convertible. Indeed, while 2.2 pounds might not be quite as light as last year's entry, it's still quite impressive considering this system packs both a touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge, allowing the screen to fold back into tablet mode.
Yes, it's another Surface Pro rival. But goodness, is it a nice one. At 1.53 pounds for the tablet only, Samsung's new TabPro S is even lighter than the SP4. Aside from the super slim design, we came away impressed with the Super AMOLED screen (a first for a Windows 10 machine) and the premium build quality. Oh, and the keyboard comes in the box, which is more than we can say for Microsoft's Surface Pro 4. No word on price yet, and it's too early to say how well the keyboard holds up under extended use, but if nothing else, we can say that among loads of Surface clones, the TabPro S manages to stand out.
This new Compute Stick fixes pretty much all of the issues we had with the first model. It's more powerful, it has more USB ports and the entry-level model retails for around $159 with Windows 10. Even better, Intel managed to squeeze faster Core M3 and M5 processors into more expensive versions.
Razer has refined its flagship gaming laptop into a thing of beauty. It's thin, relatively light and supremely powerful. You can also add in a more powerful desktop graphics card with an additional dock accessory.
BEST ROBOT OR DRONE
Yuneec announced the new Typhoon H alongside a partnership with Intel that gives it one of the most advanced object avoidance systems in the air. Using Intel's RealSense technology, the Typhoon can spot objects in its way, and figure out how to avoid them. No mean feat.
The Ehang 184 is unlike any other drone you've ever seen, of that we can be sure. Think of it as a personal transport device of the future. It's designed to autonomously fly one person up to 10 miles, all you need to do is enjoy the ride. Oh, and have the $200,000 or so dollars (and a liberal aviation authority) whenever it comes to market.
Nixie is the high-tech future of selfies. The mini drone has legs that snap around your wrist so you can wear it like a watch. When inspiration strikes, and you want to take a picture, simply take it off, throw it away from you and it's take a picture, then fly right back. Nixie? More like nifty.