3 Tech Startups at CES That Are Looking to Up Your Fun Factor
LAS VEGAS – Starting and growing a business is tough work. But even the most successful entrepreneurs and professionals need to cut loose and have some fun every now and then. This belief isn’t lost on many of the tech startups that are exhibiting here at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Here are three new products that aim to get people doing something other than the usual grind.
1. Laser tag turned up a notch.
Startup LyteShot's goal is to create live-action gaming that’s more practical than laser tag and more interactive than firing off Nerf guns at each other. It’s essentially a simple system of wireless toy guns and sensors that players wear: You shoot at someone on the opposite team, for instance, and the sensors detect the infrared “shot.” Information is then sent to an app via Bluetooth that registers and tracks the damage caused by each shot.
Kind of awesome, right? The folks at LyteShot hope hobbyists and others will use their open platform to develop their own games and equipment.
Here, take a look:
2. Why walk when you can IO Hawk?
Remember the Segway? Remember how geeky people looked riding them? One startup has taken the fun and practical features of the Segway and made something way more socially acceptable.
Meet the IO Hawk. It’s sort of like a motorized skateboard, except you stand with your feet side-by-side instead of one in front of the other. Just step on and lean slightly forward or backward to get it moving. You will probably require a few minutes of practice to get your balance just right.
The IO Hawk can be used in an office or even to get around town. It weighs a little more than 20 pounds, so it’s not super lightweight (did you see those chunky tires?) but also not unmanageably heavy.
They’re also not inexpensive. There are three versions -- red, white and black -- and each will run you $1,800.
For a closer look, check out the demo by our friends at CNET.
3. The coolest 'paper' airplane you’ve ever seen.
If only the traditional paper airplane that we all love could be more durable and a lot more high-tech. Bret Gould and serial inventor Christopher Hawker -- the entrepreneur whose company, Trident Design, was behind the industrial design of The Coolest cooler, which went on to become the most-funded Kickstarter campaign -- has made that dream an awesomely fun reality.
Here’s the Carbon Flyer, a "paper" airplane made of carbon fiber, so it’s super durable, and equipped with dual built-in propellers.
You have to see it in action:
It’s controlled via an app on your smartphone and can fly up to 80 yards before losing its Bluetooth connection. Gould told me that the team is already working on a 2.0 version that’s powered by peer-to-peer communication, which should significantly increase the distance the Flyer can fly without losing communication with your phone.
There are a few days left on the Carbon Flyer Indiegogo campaign. It’s already raised more than $260,000, well above its $50,000 goal. It’s no wonder -- it’s very cool.