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Today in Gear, CES 2015 Edition: January 6, 2015

This week on Today in Gear, we’re bringing you daily, on-the-ground coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show.


This week on Today in Gear, we’re bringing you daily, on-the-ground coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show. Expect a focused synopsis of only the most interesting highlights from the world’s biggest technology event.


Dish Network’s Sling TV
Here’s why this is important: it’s ESPN without a cable subscription. No “borrowed” passwords, and no dodgy workarounds. Slated to launch later this year with no strings attached to any pay TV subscription, Sling TV will enable single-user streaming of ESPN and a handful of other networks that pale in importance. The pain is $20 per month, which may well be worth it for sports fanatics who think that they can stay sufficiently entertained with ESPN and a Netflix subscription. This is undoubtedly a seminal moment in the evolution of TV. $20 per month

2016 Chevrolet Volt
Given that the automotive space has taken up permanent residence at CES, it’s not entirely surprising to see Chevy tease its next-generation Volt ahead of its official reveal at the impending Detroit Auto Show. The car is a huge deal for GM. It’s the first full redesign of the Volt since the original launched in 2007, and both electric and hybrid vehicles have since graduated from novelty to commonplace. Pricing and specifications won’t be revealed until next week; if you had your heart set on a new Volt, it’s probably worth waiting to see what’s on deck. chevrolet.com

Canon Connect Station CS100
You know those wi-fi hard drives meant to store media so that a car full of iPad-toting kids can all stream content from a local device? This is that, but for photographers. The 1TB puck ($300; shipping in June) is capable of offloading shots from honest-to-goodness cameras that have NFC and wi-fi embedded, and for older models, you’ll find SD and CF slots as well. In a sense, it’s a great backup solution for wedding or event photographers who simply can’t run the risk of shooting for too long without backing everything up, but the added HDMI port also makes it ideal for shooting and sharing instantly with friends. $300

Logitech’s original UE Boom was a surprisingly excellent Bluetooth speaker, which is why we’re pretty jazzed about its successor. The musical tube sports an IPX7-certified waterproof casing, sub-2-pound frame, 20 hours of battery life, and a 100-foot Bluetooth range. It’s best suited for beach-goers and ski bunnies who need something that’s both durable and listenable. But we aren’t passing judgment on those who look to go in halfsies on this thing with a buddy — $300 is nothing to scoff at. logitech.com

Garmin Fenix 3 SmartWatch
The wearables just keep rolling, but this one’s worth a look for those needing a smartwatch that can withstand a few bruises. Aimed squarely at adventurers, hikers, boaters, and cyclists, Garmin’s Fenix 3 is rugged, intelligent, and practical. Equipped with GPS and advanced tracking modes, the Sapphire edition is the one that gets our vote. It boasts a scratch-resistant sapphire lens — an essential amenity. Pricing remains a mystery, but it looks to be the watch to beat for those who plan to spend more time outdoors than in a boardroom. garmin.com

Avegant Glyph
VR is impressive, but much like Google Glass, one has to wonder how ready our society is to strap a set of goggles onto one’s face for prolonged periods of time. Avegant’s Glyph is different: it’s a high-end set of headphones that just so happens to double as a personal theater. With an HDMI input, it’s aimed at frequent flyers who’d prefer a more immersive experience when crisscrossing the world. And, if you happen to game with it, that’s just a bonus. The $500 price point shouldn’t scare those who are used to Beats and the like, but you’ll have to wait until the fall to find a shipping unit. ~$500

Audi’s Self-Driving A7
Given that Back to the Future pegged 2015 as the year in which a truly mind-boggling amount of futuristic stuff happens, we can only applaud Audi for bringing a bit of autonomous magic to Las Vegas. The company’s prototype A7 recently departed San Francisco en route to Las Vegas, but importantly, this is more than just showmanship. Audi asserts that the sensors used in directing the vehicle are “production ready,” which could mean that self-driving cars are actually more feasible than previously assumed. cnet.com

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