Tech Innovation

CES 2017: Tech Pushes Performance

Deb Miller Landau iQ Managing Editor

At the 2017 International Consumer Electronics Show, new technologies leveraging compact computer power, sensors and real-time data aim to improve performance and bring new experiences to life.

Innovative people push the boundaries of technology to create new ways of unleashing human imagination and potential. A slew of new technologies revealed at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas aim to help gamers, athletes, artists, industrial engineers and others reach peak performance and achieve new breakthroughs.

“Technology is extending far beyond consumer electronics,” said Brian Krzanich in a press conference, where attendees donned VR headsets — then went skydiving in Utah and waterfall gazing in Vietnam. “Innovation in technology will play an unprecedented role in transforming every experience we know today.”

Transformative technologies filled the Intel booth where some 85,000 people will visit this week, according to Victor Torregroza, program director for Intel’s Global Event Marketing team. Booth visitors saw several new VR experiences, as well as tech powering autonomous cars, artificial intelligence and fitness analytics tools.

The combination of computer processors and sensors in many of these new devices are helping people use data – often real-time data — to improve their performance and get more out of life experiences. 

Personal Performance

Runners can leave their phones at home when they are wearing the New Balance Run iQ, a new smartwatch that track a runner’s location, distance, pace and heart rate – without needing to be tethered to a smartphone.


“New Balance and Intel collaborated on a smartwatch true to runners – something they could rely on to perform but also wear the rest of the day,” said Caroline Tien-Spalding, director of marketing for Intel’s wrist wearables in the New Devices Group.

Oakley Radar Pace sunglasses came out in late-2016, but at CES athletes showed how it works. Using voice-recognition technology, a coach inside the glasses gives runners or cyclists real-time feedback about their workout. It will answer questions like, “how is my pace?” or give gentle nudges to help athletes achieve their best.

“Oakley is all about design,” said Chris Croteau, senior director of business development in Intel’s Headworn Products Division. “We had to invent totally new technologies, new manufacturing techniques. We put 50 pounds of tech in a 56-gram frame. When you put it on, you literally don’t know there’s technology on your head.”

A basketball court complete with dunk-slamming athletes showcased new activity-tracking technology. Tiny Intel Curie modules tucked into the shooter’s sweatband fed data wirelessly to a scoreboard, which revealed all kinds of personal metrics—dunk power, jump consistency, pass power, dribble frequency, jump height, jump length, and so on.

The court also converted into a baseball field, where people could put on a motion-sensor embedded Majestic Swing iQ shirt, which tracks 360-degrees of wrist, shoulder and hip movement 360° tracking of wrist, shoulder and hip movement.

Industrial Innovation

Introduced at CES in 2016, the Daqri Smart Helmet was joined this year by the Daqri Smart Glasses. Visitors to the booth could attempt to calibrate a nuclear fusion core – if they didn’t succeed, the core could (pretend) blow.


By putting on the glasses, designed for industrial engineers, users see an augmented reality overlay of the task at hand, which visually guides them step-by-stem to a successful calibration.

Visitors could climb into a BMW i8 and experience what it would be like to ride in an autonomous car. By donning Microsoft HoloLens “holographic computer” headsets, visitors could check out an augmented experience that lets them “see” what the car sees—sensor data from all sides, other traffic, and even data flying up and down from the cloud.


Atendees could go a step further to get a feel—from the cockpit or outside the car—for how the ultimate driving machine will pin passengers in the seat thanks to on-board AI and 5G connectivity.

Unleash Imagination

The art of selfies entered a new dimension as visitors used Pikazo to render their mug shot into a colorful, swirling masterpiece.


Powered by neural algorithms and machine learning powered by Intel Xeon processors, the Pikazo app takes a regular photograph and transforms it into a work of art.

Fistful of Stars is a 360-degree VR experience that follows the Hubble Telescope through a journey into the Orion Nebula. Astrophysicist Dr. Mario Livio narrates as he takes viewers – who wear VR headsets – into a rarely experienced trip into space.

Filmmaker Eliza McNitt said she created the film using photo-realistic simulations of Hubble Telescope imagery. Using photographs and data from The Hubble Telescope she created photo-realistic CGI imagery that represents what it might actually be like to travel thousands of lightyears into the cosmos. McNitt was a two-time winner of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) and is pushing the boundaries of VR as an entertainment medium.


“Being at CES I get to experience the sense of wonder and awe that viewers feel when they are deeply immersed inside of the film,” said McNitt. “For a moment viewers escape the madness of CES and float through the cosmos.”

When Fistful debuted at BRIC! Celebrate Brooklyn’s in the Prospect Park Bandshell, it became the world’s largest communal virtual reality experience, where over 6,000 people donned headsets to watch. The next live performance occurs at the Kennedy Center on May 25th in Washington D.C.

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