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What the Tech? Best of CES

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This was my 5th year attending CES and every year I think I can't be wowed more than the year before.

Every year I've been wrong.

The largest tech conference and show in the world wrapped up in Las Vegas Sunday and over the past 4 days I have seen things even the Jetson's couldn't have predicted. We may not have the spaceship vehicles for school and work, but aside from that, the technology that's either here or coming soon far exceeds what the creators of that cartoon imagined.

It's not possible for me to name just 1 thing that blew me away more than the others, but several gadgets, devices and inventions stood taller than the rest.

The Snoo baby bed is just one of them. This basinet includes a wrap inside that straps the newborn in the snug position recommended by doctors. This does not allow for the baby to roller over on his or her side or back which can be dangerous. It plays a white noise that is similar to the sounds the baby heard in the womb and it gently moves the baby back and forth that helps the baby fall asleep. If the baby begins to cry the Snoo will rock the baby similar to how a mom or grandmother would do to quieten the child. Virtual reality was all over this years show with companies large and small introducing headsets that are intended to give the user the sense they are playing baseball, fighting monsters and walking a plank high above a city.

Samsung's Gear VR was widely demonstrated even by non-Samsung companies. Samsung itself displayed the Gear to visitors with a roller coaster simulator. Riders were strapped into a roller coaster seat and wearing the headsets. The simulator then shook, moved side to side, turned and even went upside down.

Merge VR is a soon-to-be-released headset that provides the user both a virtual and augmented reality world. Wearing the headset the user holds a small box that appears to be magical while looking at it through the headset. The box can look like a game, a spinning piece of art and an educational tool to help students learn more about science and anatomy. The Merge VR will be available later this year.

Freer was one of the most impressive things I saw this week; it allows a person to play a game using only their brain. The game was actually a driving simulator and when the user paid close attention to the screen the video of the car would move down the road. If the driver became distracted a recorded voice alerted them and then the car would stop.

The developers of Freer Logic told me the technology could be used in vehicles in the future to help cut down on distracted driving.

CES 2017 was, again an impressive week and as tired as I am after covering as much of the show floor as I could, I can't wait until next year.

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