CES being what it is, there were of course numerous displays of techno-wizardry; and the business world being what it is, most of the new businesses built around these technologies will fail, while a few will thrive. Here's a few we'd like to see make the cut.
We know that the odds are against Pulse Wallet, because it's one of those technologies that needs to be ubiquitous to work, so we hope they've got a good marketing team. Because here's what it promises: The ability to leave your credit cards at home and pay with your finger. After registering with the service, which is free, the vein pattern in a finger of your choice is scanned and linked to whatever credit/debit cards you'd like. Then (assuming merchant uptake), you can pay for your purchases at a touchscreen register with a finger-scanning device.
Velodyne Acoustics is a high-end audio manufacturing company that, having mastered soundwaves, is now messing around with lightwaves (specifically, lasers). The result is their LIDAR system for realtime 3D scanning. By placing a small, spinning, blender-sized contraption on top of a car, they can generate a CG map of the immediately-surrounding environment in realtime.
Machinery company Caterpillar has already signed up, so we'll reportedly see earth-moving and construction equipment kitted out with Velodyne's system.
The head-mounted device is meant to be worn for 30-minute periods at specific intervals, depending on your situation; when worn it transmits UV-free light to your eye's photoreceptors, theoretically helping your body clock get back on track. That light transmission is apparently not a blinding affair; the company claims you can watch television and read normally while the device is in operation.
A company called Translusense has developed a technology they're calling FTIR, or Frustrated Total Internal Reflection, which will be embedded in their forthcoming Luminae Keyboard.
The Luminae is essentially a blank slate of glass (with a customizable LED border), onto which you overlay film of a keyboard pattern of your own design. Keys and controls would be activated by tapping or swiping, with your fingers read by a combination of a built-in camera and infrared sensors. CAD monkeys, for instance, could customize the surface to create commonly-used commands and navigational tools. And of course, the thing is a breeze to clean.
We've seen electrically-tinted windows before, but a California-based company called Sonte (no website available at press time) has come up with a twist: They've developed a user-applied adhesive film that you cut to size, then connect to a power source yourself. The film is wi-fi enabled, meaning you can control it with your phone or tablet:
Rumor has it Sonte's going to go Kickstarter or IndieGogo to work up the scratch for production. We'll keep you posted.