Events, Reviews

The 5 Coolest Video Tech Products We Saw at CES 2018

From virtual reality to 3D printing to autonomous cars, it’s been clear for a while now that the future of technology will rely on the inclusion of robotics and some form of autonomy. The latest innovations in video and cameras at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show were based on such technology, including an auto-stitching 360 camera, 3D immersive audio, a laptop-free hard drive, and an all-in-one gimbal camera. Below is the coolest video tech from CES 2018 you need to see.

1. LaCie DJI Copilot Laptop-Free 2TB Drive

By eliminating the need to link to a computer, the LaCie DJI Copilot is perfect for professional drone pilots who capture and edit a lot of footage and need a solution for quickly transferring files on the move. Plus, while these are designed for and marketed to drone pilots, you can actually use this autonomous drive with virtually any camera gear and accessories, including, but not limited to, action cams, DSLRs, memory cards, and more.

Key Features:

  • No laptop needed — copy files directly from any camera
  • SD card slot (card reader), USB 3.0. USB-C, and built in lightning cable to charge your iPhone
  • Comes with a MicroSD Adaptor, Micro USB cable, and UCSB-C cable for Android
  • Status screen indicating when transfer is complete
  • Review footage with the Copilot Boss app on your phone
  • Rename files, organize, and delete with the app
  • 2TB of space — about 60 hours of 4k video
  • 1-month Adobe Creative Cloud membership included

Available for pre-order at $349.99

2. Sennheiser’s AMBEO Immersive 3D Recording Headphones

Debuted last year, this compact, over-ear AMBEO headset designed for 3D audio recording lets users record and listen to binaural audio recordings on their smartphones. Simply put on the AMBEO headset, plug it into your phone, open your camera app, and hit record. Hold the camera directly in front of you for the duration of the recording and the AMBEO headset captures your environment in 3D audio.

The best part is that if you want to share the audio with a friend, they don’t need their own set of AMBEO headphones to experience the 3D sound — any regular headset will work. I got a demo of the product from a Sennheiser audio specialist on the show floor, and together we recorded some binaural recordings at the booth — you can listen to the sounds for yourself in 3D here. Pretty cool, right?

Key Features:

  • Lighting connection for iPhone or iPad (iOS version 10.3 or later)
  • In-ear connection with wrap for over-ear
  • Two built-in omni-directional microphones (left/right)
  • Transparent Hearing lets you hear sound around you while you listen to audio
  • Free AMBEO Smart Headset App lets you control input levels, EQ presets, and more
  • Built-in mic for calls and voice control

Available Now for $299.95

3. REMOVU’s Self-Stabilizing 4k Gimbal Camera

The REMOVU K1 self-stabilizing 4k handheld camera is the perfect all-in-one camera package for vloggers, travelers, and families. With the K1, you don’t need to bring a lens, a stabilizer, bulky chargers, or an external screen — it’s all there. It comes with a built-in mic and 1.5″ LCD screen in the grip, which makes it easy for you to view and play back videos on the go.

Key Features:

  • 4k video @30fps
  • FHD 1080p @120fps (super slo-mo)
  • Four different recording modes: Pan mode, follow mode, timelapse mode, and selfie-mode
  • 12MP still photo
  • Custom designed F2.8 wide angle lens
  • Interchangeable USB chargeable smart battery (four hours of continuous filming)
  • Built-in mic and screen and 3.5mm jack to connect external mic

Available for preorder at $429.99

4. Selfly’s Phone Case Drone Kit

Selfly (pronounced “cell fly”) raised over $1,300,000 on Indiegogo to support their flying phone-case camera that can easily fit in your pocket (they ran a Kickstarter campaign, as well). At just over $100, it’s a genius idea for travelers or just everyday users. You no longer need to ask someone to take your photo when you can just pull out your phone, detach the drone and control it from your mobile device.

Key Features:

  • 1080p video @60fps
  • 13MP photo camera
  • 3 Flying Modes: Fly by Picture, Fly by Joystick, Fly-Pod Control
  • Drone folds into a 10mm thin phone case
  • Fits most 4-6″ Smartphones (iPhone 6/7/8, iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S6/7, and more
  • Replaceable USB-chargeable battery
  • Wi-Fi controls
  • Android and iOS compatible

Available for pre-order at $109

5. Pilot Era 8k 360˚ Camera with Real-Time Stitching

Pisofttech, a Chinese technology company, has developed the first ever 8k panoramic VR camera with real-time 8k stitching. What makes it unique is an object-recognition algorithm that enables the Pilot camera to detect and stitch images together with more accuracy. You can also select settings and resolutions directly from the camera’s large on-screen interface. No other 360-cameras I’ve seen have been big enough to include a 2×1-inch screen. As Pisofttech CEO Adler Shen notes, “The new Pilot camera frees photographers and VR content creators from days of painful post-processing to stitch together panoramic video.”

Key Features:

  • 4xF2.2 fisheye lenses
  • Real-time dynamic stitching
  • Ambisonic audio recording
  • Video Resolutions: 8192×4096 @30fps, 6144×3072 @50fps, 4096×2048 @100fps
  • 180 minute battery life, 2 batteries
  • Controlled by a camera touch-screen, voice, or app remote control
  • Supports 4D/Wi-fi/RJ45 .ivestream
  • Livestream to Facebook and YouTube at 4k resolution
  • 4 Preview modes: fisheye, VR, little planet, and equirectangular

Expected availability in April 2018 at $3,000. Until then, you can request a trial of the Pilot Era here.
Check out my full video from the CES 2018 floor below. In addition to reviews, I make weekly video editing and production tutorials on my Premiere Gal YouTube Channel. If you want to learn something specific, just let me know!

Top image: LaCie DJI Copilot and gear, courtesy of LaCie