It’s the big brands that dominate in tech. Samsung and its newest smartphone or Sony and its latest TV hog the headlines and the shelves at Currys. Unfortunately, big rarely means British in the world of technology – but it’s a world that is changing.
The number of companies launching new devices and exploring new technologies has exploded in recent years. And there are some British companies that are blooming. Here at CES 2016 we have hunted down some of the best products being launched by British-born companies.
Best smart hubs – the best hubs for controlling your smart tech
Cloudtag Track – a better beat on your heart
We’ve tested dozens of fitness bands and the truth is that many of them can’t make head nor tails of your heart rate. That’s where Cloudtag hopes to help.
The Cloudtag Track is a wearable fitness tracker that uses clinical grade ECG (electrocardiogram) measurement, which Cloudtag claims makes it more accurate than its rivals.
The tracker can be worn as a traditional fitness watch, or you can clip it to your clothing. Cloudtag says clipping the tracker closer to your heart makes it more accurate. The Track also measures energy expended and steps taken. In conjunction with the Cloudtag app, the tracker will recommend a personal fitness regime based on how much energy you are using when you exercise and what your fitness goals are.
The price tag of £79.99 is mid-range for a fitness tracker and a UK release is said to be imminent.
Smarter fridge camera – no more forgotten milk
We weren’t a fan of the iKettle from Smarter and its wi-fi wizardry. Yes, you could put your kettle on to boil from the comfort of the sofa using you smartphone, but you’re still going to have to brave the kitchen to handle the tea bag and pour the water.
But the latest burst of products from Smarter hold a little more promise. We especially like the Fridge cam. It’s placed inside your fridge and takes a picture of the contents each time you open and close the door. That means that whether you’re on your way back from work and want to know if you need more semi-skimmed or out doing the weekly shop and haven’t counted the eggs, you can take a peek inside your fridge from your smartphone. We previously covered the Samsung Family Hub fridge, but this won’t be available in the UK, so the Smarter camera is your best bet for avoiding forgotten groceries.
The camera will launch in September and should cost around £100.
Intelligent Energy – hoping to help you unplug
Intelligent Energy are one of the bigger British names at CES. You won’t find their products at Argos, but they are the brains behind fuel cell technology. Basically, they are trying to solve one of the greatest limitations in current technology – short battery life on ever more power hungry devices.
At CES they are showcasing embedded fuel cells in laptops and smartphones. The fuel cell is powered by hydrogen and oxygen and works alongside existing lithium ion batteries. Details on the practical implications of a hydrogen fuel cell battery are still somewhat theoretical and the products we saw were prototypes– but Intelligent Energy are claiming it could lead to smartphone battery life lasting up to a week. That’s a big claim, but battery life is certainly a problem that needs solving.