CES 2018 January 12

January’s annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas can be thought of as a technology forecast for the upcoming year. As 2018’s convention comes to a close today, thousands of companies and attendees head home armed with insights that will shape the future of the industry.

As you may know, Apple never attends CES in a public capacity, but has significant influence on the products on display. Touring the show floor and observing the sights and sounds of CES, one theme in particular stood out to me: anticipation. A silent impatience filled the air, an invisible twiddling of thumbs. It feels like everyone is waiting on Apple.

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CES 2018 January 11

Every year at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the world’s largest technology brands take over the city to show off some of the biggest and most impressive innovations that will shape the coming year. Walking the show floor feels like touring a monument to optimism – a vision of the future where everything is faster, easier, and more intelligent. Like the bright lights and musical sounds of Las Vegas itself, colossal, brightly decorated booths lure in passing visitors like a carnival.

Every circus has sideshows, though, and CES is no exception. Wander away from the noise and excitement of the main hallways, and you’ll find yourself in a gadget funhouse, where reality begins to distort and surprises lurk around every corner. Here awaits the world of unusual Apple accessories and product clones.

Step outside the big top and join me in a look at some of my favorite strange and copycat Apple gear at CES 2018.

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CES 2018 January 10

First Alert, known best for its home safety devices, has been a relatively early adopter of support for new Apple protocols. The company previously introduced the Onelink Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector with support for HomeKit, and this year at CES 2018 is showing off a new product that combines the safety features of a smart smoke detector with the home convenience of an AirPlay 2 speaker.

We stopped at First Alert’s booth to see (and hear) the new accessory in person.

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Nanoleaf, makers of popular HomeKit-compatible ambient lighting panels, made two significant announcements at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. Both a 12-sided, customizable remote control and brand new square lighting panels debuted on the show floor. We stopped by Nanoleaf’s booth for a full hands-on demonstration.

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Each year, the Consumer Electronics Show is filled with brands exhibiting their newest and best products. Even though Apple doesn’t make an official appearance at CES, the company’s presence is made known through the hundreds of accessories on display designed for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

Last year, we brought you the inaugural 9to5Mac Best of CES Awards to spotlight our favorite products introduced at the show. Once again for 2018, we’ve been pounding the pavement (and hotel carpet) in Las Vegas all week hunting down what’s new. Here are our 2018 picks:

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As the iPhone’s camera continues to improve with every generation of the device, shooting professional looking video with smartphones becomes more and more of a viable solution. To tackle this market, DJI introduced the original Osmo Mobile, a compact gimbal for your iPhone that allows for smooth stabilization and quick control over camera movement. This year at CES, DJI built upon what they’ve learned from customers and announced the Osmo Mobile 2. We took a hands-on look at what’s new.

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