As usual, this years CES has given us a lot to look forward too. Lets start off the year with ETR’s Most Wanted Gadgets of 2015. Gidgets and gizmos aplenty were shown off on the biggest stage in the world, but there are a few in particular that peaked my interest. Oh yeah, we have finally reached the year 2015! As prophesied by Back to the Future II, this is finally the year we get hover boards, flying cars, Mr. Fusion, and Skyways! Hooray! What a time to be alive! There are also a few notable gadgets with highly anticipated sequels on the horizon. You can expect a full epic review of each device once it is officially released.
ETR’s Most Wanted Gadgets of 2015
Intel Compute Stick
Holy shit! What a horrible fucking name! But it is also my favorite gadget to come out of CES, so I will have to just let the name slide. The $150 (Windows 8.1, $90 for Linux) Intel Compute Stick (I’ll go ahead call it the ICS) is perhaps the ultimate micro computer for your TV. The Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast, and Roku Streaming Stick, should all be far less capable in comparison. Essentially, the ICS is a full fledged Windows 8.1 PC that can fit into the palm of your hand. Storage and power limitations aside, you should be able to run full Windows 8 and legacy applications from this bitch. You will need to purchase a USB or Bluetooth keyboard/mouse/touch pad device to control the ICS, I don’t think it will come with any kind of control device in the box. But I don’t consider this a big deal, I like the freedom it lends to the user.
Even though it supposedly launches in 2-3 months, and I have yet to see an actual product demo, so I will slightly temper my expectations, but I can imagine what it will be like. The possibilities are almost endless. Assuming its capabilities are what I think they are, here are a few ideas I am looking forward to trying out.
- Steam In-Home Streaming – Assuming the ICS hardware is up to the task, this should be a perfect device for steaming your PC games to your big ass TV.
- Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Spotify, VUDU, Google Play, YouTube, Pandora – Standard fare for any streaming device, the ICS should be more than capable of all of your normal everyday streaming needs.
- Flash Video and Games – Not such a big deal anymore, but still, the ICS should be fully capable of playing Flash video and games.
- Skype or Video Chat – The ICS should allow you to connect a web cam peripheral device, so you can video chat on the big screen.
- TV web browsing that doesn’t suck – The ICS should allow you to use a full, desktop web browser of your choosing.
- Media Server – Easily access your illegally downloaded music, pictures, digital movies and TV shows.
Dish Sling Television
Sling Television may finally serve as a means to an end for many a cable subscriber. I am fucking done with cable TV. For the amount of live TV I watch, I pay way too much for cable TV. Half of the shit I DVR, I don’t watch. There are a few shows I watch religiously, but there is always another way of watching the shows I might miss without cable. With Sling Television, I think it will make the cord cutting transition easier than ever. For $20/month, Sling TV plans to offer many of the more popular cable networks such as ESPN, ESPN 2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel, CNN, and ABC Family. Everything a growing boy needs. They also plan to offer various other package add-ons, such as kids programming.
Sling TV isn’t a device per se, rather, it is an application for many currently existing devices. Sling Television is a standalone app, with live and on-demand TV streamed over the Internet, and you can watch it on just about any device, such as your computer (Intel Compute Stick), tablet, smart TV, XBox One or streaming devices Amazon Fire and/or Roku. But it is currently unavailable for the Google Chromecast or Apple TV.
Sling TV is technically available now, but so far it has seen very limited access and is being sold on an invite only basis. If you want Sling TV you can sign up here for an invitation. I am not sure when they will begin rolling out Sling TV to the masses. Stay tuned for ETR’s full review.
The OnePlus Two
Being such a huge fan of the original device, the OnePlus One, it’s only natural that the OnePlus Two (or whatever the fuck they decide to call it) shows up on this list. How will OnePlus follow up their “mildly successful” launch campaign? I’ll give OnePlus a pass on their first go around. They certainly experienced their fair share of growing pains. Especially in the availability and customer service departments, even though I personally experienced very few problems with my device, there is clearly room for improvement.
My favorite phone of 2014 has a lot to live up to. Problems and issues aside, the OnePlus One was a beast of a phone, for an unbeatable price. Will OnePlus follow suit in 2015? Is their a price increase in store for 2015? I guess we will need to wait for an official announcement to see how it sizes up. But we do know that it is coming. There have been several rumored specs and design leaks. But as of right now, there isn’t a whole lot of concrete evidence to go off of. Never the less, the OnePlus Two will almost certainly be one of the most talked about devices of 2015, and I cannot fucking wait.