Power the PowerWatch X With Body Heat

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Matrix suggests an interesting means to charge wearable devices at CES 2018-- the PowerWatch X uses excess body heat as a power source, thanks to a proprietary thermoelectric energy converter.

PowerWatch XThe PowerWatch X is a sequel to the PowerWatch, a device launched via Indiegogo back in 2016. The first generation PowerWatch also charged using body heat, but it was a limited device, being little more than a watch with a basic fitness tracker. The second generation wearable ups the functionality, with smartphone notification support turning into an actual smartwatch.

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HTC Intros Vive Pro Headset

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HTC presents an update of the Vive headset at CES 2018-- the Vive Pro, a VR offering featuring higher resolution 2880 x 1600 (1400 x 1600 per eye) dual-OLED displays, a 78% increase over the original Vive.

Vive ProAccording to the company, the Vive Pro is aimed at "VR enthusiasts and enterprise users who want the best display and audio for their VR experiences." As such, the headset also features improved audio through integrated headphones with built-in amplifiers promising "overall richer sound." Further additions include dual microphones complete with active noise cancellation and dual front-facing cameras.

On the ergonomic side the headset should be more comfortable to wear, thanks to a redesigned headstrap, decreased weight on the front of the headset and a redesigned face cushion. The nose pad is also improved to block off more light.

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Google Rivals Echo Show With Smart Display

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Google clearly means business at its first CES 2018 appearance, with a massive booth hosting the reveal of Smart Display, the search giant's take on the Amazon Echo Show devices.

Smart DisplaySmart Display is, essentially, a platform for Google Assistant-powered smart speakers featuring a display. Google insists such devices are not mere Android tablets, since they use a full voice interface and actually run on Android Things, a variant of the OS designed for IoT. Smart Display devices cannot run apps and present traditional assistant functionality using what appears to be a card-based UI.

YouTube support comes out of the box-- unlike the Echo Show, following the recent Google-Amazon kerfuffle-- while a built-in camera allows for Google Duo videoconferencing. It can also act as a home automation hub when paired with other Google Assistant-compatible devices, such as Nest cameras or thermostats.

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Karma Leads to GoPro Drone Exit

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Business is not going too well for GoPro-- the action camera maker announces it is slashing nearly 300 jobs (or over 20% of its global workforce), citing the difficulty of making a profit in an "extremely competitive" market.

Karma droneIn addition, the company says it is quitting the drone business following the non-success that was Karma. Announced back in September 2016, the Karma was GoPro's first (and last) drone. Supposed to be a great profit driver, the Karma proved to be the exact opposite. A fault causing random power losses during operation led to a November 2016 mass recall, while the specialist press compared the drone unfavourably to rivals from the likes of DJI.

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The Modular Ashley Chloe Ensembl Speaker

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Headphone maker Ashley Chloe presents a modular smart speaker concept at CES 2018-- the Ensembl, a rose gold and cream cylinder with a series of stackable plastic discs on top.

Ensembl speakerThe main cylinder making the Ensembl as as the main speaker unit, but the addition of different modules turn into nothing less than a "smart wirelessly charged home entertainment system," at least according to the company. Actual modules were not available at the show, but the Ashley Chloe says these can include a 360-degree IP camera, glowing lantern disc, Qi charging base, battery and even a pico projector.

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