LAS VEGAS -- Following every New Year’s since 1998, new gadgets and technologies have taken center stage in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This year is no different.
In my experience as a digital media professor and a startup founder who has attended the past 10 CES events, I usually discover a handful of new devices and services that make running a startup a little easier, faster or more efficient. Here’s my roundup of this year’s must have tech for entrepreneurs unveiled at CES:
1. Sleek laptop chargers to lighten your load.
For the entrepreneur who is constantly running from meeting to meeting, there are ultra light laptop chargers from FINsix and Zolt designed to replace the bulky, heavy brick charging box that came with your laptop. These chargers will lighten your load and make room for a few extra business plans.
FINsix's Dart will retail for $89 and Zolt will retail for $99. Both are currently available for pre-order and are expected to be available later this year.
2. Never lose a number with this smart pen.
Taking notes by pen is often the fastest, easiest way to jot down ideas when they come to you, but it can be a real time drain to digitize them. Even worse, you can misplace that one crucial phone number or email address. Enter the Livescribe 3 Smartpen, which turns your iOS and some Android devices (as of CES 2015) into a true digital Bluetooth notebook by recording written and audio notes through its Livescribe+ app.
The Livescribe 3 Smartpen retails for $149.95 and is currently available on the company's web store.
3. A solution to that MacBook charger problem.
MacBook chargers go anywhere a MacBook goes and in the case of entrepreneurs, that's just about everywhere. Wound up and unwound over and over, MacBook chargers can fray at the point where the cord exits the charger body. I personally have had to replace two chargers from fray failure in the last year and was thrilled to discover a startup out of Ohio that solved this problem through an innovative MacBook charger case called JuiceBoxx.
The JuiceBoxx case slides nicely over a MacBook charger and completely prevents the cord from bending at greater than 90 degrees from the base of the charger, effectively saving your cord from fraying. JuiceBoxx will be available later this year and can be pre-ordered for $19.99 from the company's web store.
4. Scan those pesky receipts.
Running a business is hard enough -- keeping track of receipts makes it all the more challenging. The Neat Company, which makes smart organization systems, has a product called NeatConnect that scans receipts into digital files, extracts relevant tax information, categorizes expenses and sends the data by email or uploads it to any number of cloud services.
NeatConnect does not require a computer connection, has apps for both Android and iOS devices and is currently available for $499.95 through the company’s website.
5. This board does the work for you.
Commute to work in style on a ZBoard 2 electric skateboard. The ZBoard 2 is a motorized skateboard with a range of 16 miles that can get you to the office at speeds up to 20 MPH. Complete with a front headlight and rear taillight, the ZBoard 2 goes up hills and has a breaking system that is triggered by leaning back.
The ZBoard 2 is currently available for pre-order through the ZBoard website starting at $899 and will be available later this year.