While there are still a few months left in 2016, 2017 new car models are already rolling off the assembly line and making their way to showroom floors. And while carmakers are still focused on making their vehicles as safe, fuel efficient, and comfortable as possible, if there’s one thing that’s overshadowing every improvement, it’s the technology that’s finding its way into even the most affordable base model vehicles.
We might not quite be at the “Jetsons” level of flying pods that can fold up into a briefcase when you arrive at the office, but the number of technological bells and whistles you’ll find in 2017 cars far surpasses anything we’ve seen so far.
So what can we expect to see this year and over the next few years? Thanks to developments in tech like Microchip’s Controller Area Network (CAN), wireless technology, and more, you might find some of these features in your next vehicle.
Connectivity Becomes Standard
Even just a few years ago, features like touchscreen controls, in-dash navigation, and Bluetooth connectivity were limited mostly to high-end luxury cars, or were expensive add-ons features in mid-range models. Today, those features come standard on most vehicles at all price points, with only the lowest-priced economy cars still offering them as options.
However, carmakers aren’t stopping there. With consumer demand for connectivity at an all-time high, OEMs are responding by adding connectivity to their vehicles as a standard feature. General Motors, for instance, has added in-car Wi-Fi to many models, allowing them to essentially serve as mobile hotspots.
As other manufacturers race to catch up, consumers have the option of using apps like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to essentially turn their vehicles into an extension of their mobile devices, as they access apps and other data from their vehicle screens. Expect for the boundaries of connectivity to continue to expand, and that at some point in the not-too-distant future, all cars will have at least some level of internet connectivity.
Wouldn’t it be great to get in to your vehicle, enter a destination, and have your car safely deliver you there? Well, for the time being, that particular scenario still won’t be entirely possible without a driver, but most cars in 2017 will have some features that put us further down the road (so to speak) toward self-driving cars.
Already, a number of vehicle models have features just as lane assist or automatic breaking, which will alert the driver or even apply the brakes when the car gets too close to an obstacle, like a car that suddenly stops in front of you. A few models even offer a “self-parking” feature, which uses sensors and cameras to help maneuver the vehicle into a parking spot safely. However, the technology is making strides all the time, and many experts predict that it’s only a matter of time before hands-free driving will actually be possible, at least in some circumstances.
Several luxury car manufacturers, including BMW and Mercedes, are testing new communication systems that allow cars to communicate with each other, without driver input. Known as Car-to-X, this system uses NFC and SIM cards to allow cars to sense obstacles and other hazards and communicate that information to other cars automatically, via a central cloud-based server. This same Car-to-X technology is expected to play a major role in the development of hands-free driving as well.
In the not too distant future, you probably won’t have to worry about turning your high beams on and off any more, as several carmakers are developing technology that automatically adjusts the beams for you. Other illuminating technology includes Volvo’s “bending” headlight technology, which doesn’t actually bend the light, but rather automatically swivels the headlights to each side as you drive to more effectively light up the road. This feature will be standard in all Volvo models in 2017. Don’t be surprised if actual light bulbs become a thing of the past as well, as more carmakers shift to ultra-bright fiber optic lighting in their new models.
These are just a few of the major technological upgrades that drivers can expect to see in the coming year. Whether or not we see George Jetson’s “briefcase car” in our lifetime remains to be seen, but there’s no denying we’ve come a long way from AM radios and manual windows.
Enter To Win A Carrier Cor Wi-Fi Thermostat
If you’re looking to make your home a little smarter, it’s time to invest in a smart thermostat. Sure, you probably already have a programmable thermostat that lets you turn down the heat or A/C while you’re at work, which helps to bring down your energy bill each month. But they run on simple schedules and have limited capabilities.
Enter the Carrier Côr Wi-Fi Thermostat. As the name suggests, this smart thermostat can be accessed over Wi-Fi, allowing you to control your home’s heating and cooling from anywhere in the world, as long as your smartphone has an Internet connection. Simply fire up the Côr app and adjust the temperature to your liking.
Just think about that for a second. Have you ever gone away for a long weekend in December and forgot to lower the heat before you left? Or worse yet, you go on vacation in the summer, and in order to save on utilities, you turn off the A/C complete. Sure, you save money on your utilities, but when you get back home, it can take hours for the house to cool down again!
With a smart thermostat like this, those situations are a thing of the past.
The innovative Côr thermostat is designed to combine home comfort with reduced energy use, with homeowners saving an average of 20% on their heating & cooling energy costs. Features like Ideal Away let the thermostat intelligently adapt beyond manual programming for greater efficiency, while still meeting your ideal comfort levels. Energy reports help you see exactly when your energy dollars are being spent so you can modify settings to maximize savings. It even provides you customized energy saving tips. How cool is that?
As you can see, the Côr thermostat is also pretty sharp looking, with a full-color touchscreen display (which features intuitive, on-screen prompts, along with local weather 4-day forecast), a screen off option during sleep mode, and motion sensor that brightens the screen when it senses someone approaching it. The silver bezel gives it a modern look, and it takes very little wall space, measuring at 4″H x 4″W x 1″D.
The Carrier Côr Wi-Fi thermostat retails for $250. For more information on Carrier systems, please visit www.airconditioningsoutheast.com.
As promised, we’re giving away a Carrier Côr Wi-Fi thermostat to one lucky Guys Gab reader, and it couldn’t be easier to enter the giveaway. Simply leave a comment below telling us why you want to win. We’ll pick a winner at random on June 30th at 5pm EST.
The NES Classic Edition Is Returning To Stores Next Month
Back in November 2016, Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition, a mini-sized version of the iconic NES console, which came loaded with 30 popular games from Nintendo’s past. The cost of reliving those nostalgic memories? A very reasonable $59.99.
The only problem? Nintendo drastically underestimated demand for the NES Classic Edition, and they were pretty much impossible to find, and many nostalgic fans like me never could get our hands on one, even after searching stores for over six months.
And then came the death blow, the announcement from Nintendo in April 2017 that they were discontinuing the NES Classic Edition, and that if you hadn’t got one by then, you were pretty much screwed.. or forced to pay $200+ for one on eBay.
Thankfully, it looks like Nintendo had a change of heart, recently announcing on Twitter that they will be re-releasing the NES Classic Edition, with the highly-coveted retro console returning to stores on June 29th. YAAAAASSSS!
The NES Classic Edition will cost $59.99 upon its return, just as it did when it launched in November 2016. The games included on the console will also stay the same.
Here’s the full list of the games that come loaded on the NES Classic Edition:
- Balloon Fight
- Bubble Bobble
- Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
- Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Double Dragon II: The Revenge
- Dr. Mario
- FINAL FANTASY
- Ghosts’N Goblins
- Ice Climber
- Kid Icarus
- Kirby’s Adventure
- Mario Bros.
- Mega Man 2
- Ninja Gaiden
- Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
- Super C
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 2
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Tecmo Bowl
- The Legend of Zelda
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
As you can see, there’s a little something here for everyone: a nice mix of timeless favorites, cult classics and maybe even some games that you never got around to playing as a kid.
Needless to say, if you missed out on the NES Classic Edition the last time around, you’ll want to line up at the store come June 29th, as these are sure to sell out quickly!
Libratone’s TRACK+ Wireless Headphones Keep The Chaos Out And The Music In
When the Libratone TRACK+ Wireless Earphones were unveiled at CES earlier this year, I was intrigued by their Smart Noise Cancellation technology, which lets you control how much of the world you want to let in or out.
Now, active noise cancelling headphones are nothing new, and they’ve long been a must-have for frequent travelers like myself who want to “get away from it all” and just enjoy their tunes.
But Libratone has taken it a step further, with the TRACK+ offering 4 levels of adjustable noise cancellation so you can control how much you hear of the world around you. You can even let Smart Mode do it for you automatically, adjusting based on your environment and activity.
When the TRACK+ detects movement like running or a workout, it will automatically allow in slightly more ambient noise so you’re aware of your surroundings. Because let’s face it, the last thing you want is to get hit by a car or bike because you couldn’t hear them coming!
Similarly, when you’re sitting still in a loud place (like an airplane or train), the earphones will cancel the maximum amount of outside noise so you can focus on the music and nothing else. And in that respect, they work incredibly well.. assuming you read the directions.
You see, during my first testing session, I wasn’t all that impressed with the TRACK+, as there was too much ambient noise coming through, even on the highest noise cancellation (-20dB) setting. The problem? The eartips weren’t forming a perfect seal with my ear. Once I switched to a larger eartip (four different sizes are provided), the difference was night and day, with the outside world completely disappearing.
Since then, I’ve taken the TRACK+ on a few flights, on a train ride to New York, and even into a crowded Starbucks. And in every case, they performed amazing well, allowing me to focus on my music, movies, podcasts, and such without being distracted by the outside noise.
Those planning on hitting the gym will be pleased to know that they have a splash-proof IPX4 rating, that the earbuds are sweat-proof, and the included sport fins allow you to run on the treadmill without concerns about them falling out. And thanks to the ANC, you can drown out those grunting meatheads and focus on what you’re there to do.
Overall, there is a lot to like about the Libratone TRACK+ Wireless Earphones, and I’d highly recommend them to anyone who’s looking to drown out some of the outside chaos. At $199, they’re not to cheapest option out there, but they’re well worth it. These wireless eadbuds offer high quality sound, 4 levels of adjustable noise cancellation, long battery life (8 hours), and a sleek, minimalist design. Seriously, what more could you ask for?
Visit www.libratone.com to learn more about the TRACK+ earphones.