Where there was once the World’s Fair, the event where citizens from around the globe would travel to a foreign land to marvel at the technological wonders that the best and brightest of the age were putting on display, there is now an exhibition that garners nearly the same type of audience: CES. In 2016, CES (AKA Consumer Electronics Show) had representatives from almost every country on the planet, 200 government officials, 68,331 senior-level executives, and 32,949 representatives from buying organisations. Needless to say, it’s a big deal in the tech world.

Regardless of all the hype around CES, we were curious about one thing in particular. Since email is on the rise and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in the foreseeable future, what are the newest, coolest ways to view your email coming out of CES and in what ways will they enhance the email-viewing experience?

We did a deep dive and compiled this list of the gadgets that we think will bring email into the next wave of innovation.


Tanvas

Tanvas

Photo Credit: Digital Trends

When it comes to modern email technology, you are extremely limited in your options as far as sensory input is concerned. You can obviously see emails, if you have a text-to-voice option on your device you can hear emails, but you can’t smell, taste, or feel emails.

While most of us may never know the secret behind what emails smell and taste like (library books and cinnamon, respectively), thanks to the incredible surface haptic technology developed by the innovators at Tanvas, feeling your emails is suddenly a very real (and very odd) experience.

Tanvas developed what they call “TanvasTouch” technology, which allows for the real-time control of electrical currents between your fingertip and the surface of a screen, resulting in a physical pull between the screen and your skin. This “pull” can be manipulated to the point where it can simulate different textures and surfaces creating the sensation of actually touching whatever is on your screen.

We don’t know about you, but to us the prospect of sending cotton emails to our friends and sandpaper emails to our enemies is really exciting.

Razer’s Project Valerie

project valerie

When you’re checking your email on the go and dealing with multiple tabs at once, getting actual work done can easily get bottle-necked by your limited screen space. Sure, you could get a laptop with an extra-large screen, but there is a point of diminishing returns with large laptops and at a certain point they become too large to even be regarded as portable.

Razer’s brand new laptop, titled Project Valerie, is here to finally shift the laptop screen paradigm. Featuring three 4K resolution screens, two of which fold out on command, this behemoth of computer engineering is looking to change the way you think of mobile computing.

Although Project Valerie is primarily being marketed as a gaming computer, all that really means is the computer’s specs are maxed out, making checking and responding to multiple emails at once even more efficient and pleasant. Plus, just imagine the look on all the hipster’s faces when you sit down at your local coffee shop and fold out this 12K monster. That alone would be worth whatever insane price point Project Valerie will eventually hit the market at.

Neonode AirBar

Sick of sitting down to work every day and jamming your fingers into your unresponsive screen, only to once again remember your screen isn’t touch-responsive and never has been? Of course you are! After all, scroll and click interfaces are so 1984-2013. But then again, touch screen monitors cost a pretty penny so it looks like you’re forever resigned to laboriously scrolling through and double-clicking on all of your emails, like a neanderthal.

At least that was the case, before the incredible new AirBar from Neonode took CES by storm. This game-changing little device attaches to the bottom of any computer screen and instantly transforms it into a responsive touch screen! By emitting an invisible light field across the surface of your computer screen, the AirBar can determine the X and Y axis of where and how you are interacting with the screen and perform the corresponding action on your device.

Finally you can touch, drag, pinch and flick all of your emails like you’ve always wanted. The only thing we’re wondering now is if you can attach an AirBar onto each one of Project Valerie’s screens and start every morning like Tom Cruise in Minority Report.

HTC Vive

HTC Vive

Photo credit: ifixit.com

Last, but certainly not least, is the HTC Vive virtual reality headset. Although this particular headset wasn’t released at this year’s CES and isn’t hot off the presses “new”, innovations in virtual reality are right up there with self-driving cars in terms of relevance in the current cultural zeitgeist so we thought it deserved an honorable mention. Also, HTC announced several amazing innovations coming out for the Vive at CES 2017, including the tracker which allows you to bring real life objects into a virtual space, a wireless battery pack, a VR subscription service and a content marketplace for VR developers.
Virtual reality desk
Through this VR headset’s unique room-scale technology, which allows you to actually walk around in a virtual world as opposed to being a static observer, you are able to immerse yourself in countless virtual realities unlike ever before. “What does this have to do with my email?”, you may be asking. Thanks to the VR program “Deskverse“, you can access and manipulate your email, or any other program on your desktop, in a virtual space.
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Exactly why you would want to interact with your email in virtual space remains unclear at this point in time, but the fact that you even can is still pretty incredible. The HTC Vive application store is still scant but, with the massive potential for programming innovation, it is truly the most exciting space to be in as a programmer and will certainly breed a litany of amazing applications within the next year. Who knows? Maybe one of those applications currently under development will change the way people want to receive and interact with emails.

 For tech nerds like us, CES is like another Christmas. So many crazy new innovations that the biggest names in tech have been keeping under wraps all year long, all being unveiled in one spot is a spectacular sight to behold. For a list of everything new that came out of CES this year, check out this list. For all things email, check out StoneShot.