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 AR FEATURE

5 cool things for gamers from CES this week

Fun stuff from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
Product: Smartphone news | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad, Virtual Reality, AR
 
Every year the Consumer Electronics Show - or CES to its Mum - rocks up in Las Vegas to show the world what's coming in the world of gadgets.

This year's CES is just about wrapping up, so we thought now would be a good time to summarise the general themes and specific tech that might be of interest to the kind of people who like playing games on the go.

We're cutting through all the TV and smart fridge news to bring you the fun stuff. On this occasion that means AR tech, a VR headset, a great-value smartphone and a robot dog.

Yes, really.

AR lightgun games



We'll start with something of a CES 2018 trend. There were a few companies showing off AR gun peripherals on the show floow.

Merkury Innovations had the likes of the Holo-Blast Haptic and Merge Labs the 6DoF Blaster (pictured), but all basically amount to the same thing. You slot your smartphone into the top of a plastic toy gun, and essentially run through an AR-driven virtual light-gun games shooting and dodging stuff.

This isn't exactly a new idea, but with Apple's ARKit platform in full swing this looks set to become a much more polished and mainstream proposition in 2018.

uSensAR



Another interesting AR showing at CES 2018 was uSensAR. You might think that Android already has an equivalent to Apple's ARKit in ARCore.

The issue with Google's augmented reality platform is that it's geared towards high-end phones, which only represent around five percent of the overall Android market. That's where uSensAR claims to come in.

Computer vision company uSens has come up with an AR platform that's been optimised for more humble hardware. The ideal result: people with cheap Android phones will be able to play decent AR games.

Honor View 10



For big smartphone handset announcements, you'll really want to pay attention to Mobile World Congress 2018 at the end of February, but that's not to say that CES was without interest.

Honor is the low-cost spin-off brand of Chinese tech titan Huawei, and the Honor View 10 looks set to be a great pick for budget-conscious pocket gamers. It offers a huge 6-inch display, a high-end Kirin 970 CPU, oodles of RAM and a dedicated AI processor.

All this and it'll retail for just £449/$500 - several hundred pounds/dollars less than more established flagship phones. It recently launched in Western Europe, and should be making its way over to the US soon.

Lenovo Mirage Solo VR headset



The trouble with mobile VR is the need to wear your smartphone on your face. Which is a bit awkward really, isn't it?

The Lenovo Mirage Solo does away with such a need. Though it's built on the Google's Daydream View VR platform, it's actually a stand-alone VR headset.

Essentially it has a high-end Android phone built into its frame, with a 5.5-inch QHD LCD display, a Snapdragon 835 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. You just won't get any of those annoying notifications or clunky UI issues while you're gaming on it.

Sony Aibo



Sony's robot dog is back! After the series was quietly taken away and put down in 2005, Sony showed off a new and improved metal pooch at CES.

This new dog has learned a few tricks, thanks to better sensors and improved AI. The Aibo pup responds to petting through sensors on its head, chin and back.

It can also responds to vocal prompts, while its eyes are actually little OLED displays. Oh, and it has a camera in its nose so it can search for and recognise stuff.

What's this got to do with portable gaming, you ask? Er, it's a little puppy, which you can play with on the go. Shut up!

 

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 12 January 2018
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