Devices |

The best 5G gadgets at CES

By Luke Hopewell January 14, 2022

You think 5G is just for smartphones? Think again. This year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas showed us how versatile 5G can be.

We’ve said for a long time that 5G is designed to connect the world’s next wave of smart gear. From cars to translators and more.

On the road again

5G is set to pave the road for the true self-driving car of your dreams.

Both Qualcomm and Sony were out in force to demonstrate that at this year’s CES.

Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon Digital Chassis at the show, which is a suite of connected systems designed for near-future self-driving cars.

The systems – all connected via 5G to the cloud – it’s a suite of systems that come together to create a view of the car’s surroundings.

Using this information, both the driver and the machine can have up-to-the-second info about what’s happening around the car.

Cheap and cheerful

5G isn’t just for thousand-dollar super phones. Nokia is seeing to that.

At CES this year, it demonstrated that 5G is available to even the inexpensive end of the smartphone line-up.

The Nokia G400 will go for just $US239 when it launches this year. And it’s no slouch, with a 120Hz display for a smooth experience and a 48-megapixel camera.

We can expect to see 5G devices get cheaper and cheaper in coming months and years. It’s even coming built-in on many laptops coming out this year too.

5G for your nan

At first the idea of an umbrella that doesn’t keep you dry seems silly. But then you realise that it’s the 5G-enabled Essence SmartCare Umbrella, and it’s a personal protection system for your nanna.

The Essence Umbrella is what’s known as a “mobile personal emergency response system” (or mPERS), and it’s designed to keep you safe wherever you go.

It features “built-in fall detection, real-time activity monitoring and two-way voice capabilities” so those living alone or in senior care scenarios can feel safe.

It’s a tiny device that runs on 5G CAT-M networks, so it also functions as a location device.

A babel fish?

We’ve seen awesome translators come out on smartphones recently, like the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

But what if you need to translate something to a bunch of people at once? That’s where VM-Fi works best.

The VM-Fi is a 5G-powered translator that can broadcast live translations to multiple people in a single room.

With a range of about 50 metres and a super-fast connection, it can translate speeches, tours and meetings in an instant.

Devices |

The 10 best smart home gadgets from CES 2022

By Luke Hopewell January 14, 2022

The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has just wrapped for 2022. It brought us a wealth of gadgets that will make your home truly futuristic.

These are the best smart home gadgets from CES 2022!

Your next TV isnt a TV

While TV manufacturers announced great new technologies like Mini LED and QD-OLED, we started to see glimmers that your next TV, might not be a TV at all.

Maybe you could try something like the Samsung Freestyle projector? A slick and practical projector that can give you a 100-inch image on your wall or roof.

No need for a TV in your space at all!

Alternatively, those looking for a desktop TV for gaming or computing might want to look at Razer’s new creation. It’s a desk with a computer and OLED screen built-in.

The ultra-modern design might not suit everyone’s taste, however.

Maybe you want an even slimmer gadget to replace your TV? In that case, you’d be after TCL’s NXTwear Air cinema glasses.

These 75-gram specs contain the equivalent of a 140-inch screen, all thanks to two 1080p micro OLED panels in the lenses.

If you really want a TV, however, it might be worth looking at this one from LG that follows you round.

Alternative power for an alternative world

As climate change takes centre-stage as the greatest challenge of our generation, we need to start thinking about alternative ways to power our stuff.

Thankfully, the world’s tech giants are on the case.

There’s the Exeter portable Bluetooth speaker that takes the ambient light in your home and converts it to power.

Better still, there’s Samsung’s new remote, which takes the waves emitted by your router to recharge.

Nifty!

Getting the best nights sleep for longer

You spend around half your life asleep, so it’s important to have a good bed for your shut-eye.

But your sleep needs change over time, it can be hard for your bed to be a true 10-year purchase.

The folks from Sleep Number want to fix that, with a bed that adapts to your needs as you age.

It’s essentially smart furniture that changes as you do. If you get pregnant, it adjusts the mattress to your changing body. If you’re getting older and need more support, it adapts accordingly.

It also warms your feet as you drift off for a deeper and more relaxing sleep.

Taking care of yourself

CES is the same show that previously gave us the “smart fork”. Since it has been away, the gadget industry has had a bit of a think about what actually needs to be “smart” around the home.

Beauty giant L’oréal has an answer, with a gadget that helps make taking care of your colour even easier.

It’s called the Colorsonic, and it’s a handheld wand that blends hair colour together and applies it in an easy and consistent way like magic.

Elsewhere, Oral-B is continuing to gameify brushing your teeth with a new brush that collects stats on your habit and displays them for you (and your dentist) to see.

Connecting it all together

And to tie it all together, there’s a Smart Hub from Samsung.

It’s called the Home Hub, and it’s an 8.4-inch tablet that connects to all your Samsung SmartThings-enabled appliances around the home.

Samsung is also supporting standards that should bring support for other devices sometime soon.

In the meantime, it can tell you all about the power usage of the compatible devices in your home, as well as tell you what needs cleaning and when.

Good home internet to power your future

Of course, without great internet, these futuristic gadgets won’t be able to do their work.

We’ve been at this internet caper for a while, and have found that not all nbn providers are created equal.

Getting strong Wi-Fi around the house is just as important as getting connected quickly. Thankfully our Smart Modem 2 does both.

With built-in 4G backup, you’re online as soon as you take your modem out of the box. That means you don’t have to wait while your connection is configured on our end to get connected.

We know how important getting strong Wi-Fi around the house can be, which is why we continue to improve our Smart Modem Gen 2, with its strong Wi-Fi capabilities and mobile backup for more reliable connectivity.

We also offer a booster and a guarantee that your Wi-Fi will work from wall-to-wall or your money back.

The Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2 also makes sure you’re getting the best of the service you’re paying for. If you ever have any issues with your home broadband experience, our field technicians have one-click access to vital stats on the health of your home network making it faster for our experts to get you back online.