7 unexpected products that we would like to find in a bar
Over the weekend, our friends at Android Central surprised the wearables industry by publish a series of photos of the long-rumored Pixel Watch in the wild. Sure, we’ve seen renders and heard rumors about this watch, but seeing it in the flesh (so to speak) is a whole different matter. According to the report, the item was found in a restaurant, and if you’ve been paying attention to the tech space for a while, it might conjure up memories of Gizmodo finding an unreleased iPhone 4 in a bar years ago.
One of the main benefits of finding material in nature is that it is proof that the thing we all want and have heard so much about actually exists. The Pixel Watch is something Google is currently working on. Not only that, but the physical hardware also suggests that a release could be imminent. Until now, the Pixel Watch has only existed in rumors and renders (which are really just rumors plus CAD software). Now we know that’s a thing.
So this got us thinking, what other unadvertised products would we like to find in a bar somewhere? Here are some ideas we came up with.
Apple AR/VR Headset
We’ll start with an article that’s been rumored for as long, if not longer, than the Pixel Watch. Apple has been emphasizing AR over the past few years. It has integrated lidar into the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro, as well as iPads. Speaking of iPad, it’s currently Apple’s best portal to the world of AR, but it’s not the best implementation, is it?
Yes, the iPad Pro’s large screen can help you visualize AR in the real world, but a the headset is always on and always there, waiting for you to discover the world. But so far this hardware hasn’t been seen anywhere in any form, so it’s still a rumor at best – and a patent filing or two. Seeing the hardware would help us believe that we are finally going to get the hardware that Apple is not ready to give us.
Nintendo Switch Pro
the Nintendo Switch is one of our favorite gaming consoles today. It’s flexible and portable, and can still push some pretty powerful games. The Switch is also home to one of the best games of all timee, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Recently, Otto Kratky wrote for Digital Trends about the issues an update to the game might encounter. Specifically, will the Nintendo Switch be able to handle a game like The Legend of Zelda 2. Accordion to Kratky, the next version of the game has to be bigger in every way, and the older Switch would struggle to be continued.
Enter the Switch Pro, or the theoretical Switch Pro, that is. Of course, the device does not exist. Rumors of its imminent unveiling have been dragging on for years. The closest we got was last year’s Switch OLED, which is fine, but we’re not there yet. Finding a supercharged Nintendo Switch would once again excite people and confirm that just because Nintendo’s gaming hardware is portable doesn’t mean it’s not powerful.
TCL rollable phone
Oh TCL, you were showing such promise. TCL kicked off 2021 with a bang, promising to not only release a foldable phone before the end of the year, but also show off a concept idea of one. 17 inch rollable screen. Since then, we’ve seen more tame concepts like the Chicago Foldable and my personal favorite, the Fold ‘n Roll. That’s fine, but we already know they exist. The roll-up concept at CES 2021 is another matter altogether. This rollable was honestly more science fiction than concept. TCL is said to have dozens of folding and rolling concept prototypes, and this is the one I’d like to see.
Of course, that almost certainly won’t work. But even a concept prototype that doesn’t work could go a long way to show how it might work. That alone is worth the price of admission, and I’d be all over the place trying to figure out the engineering behind it and the possible use cases for it.
When I asked Digital Trends A/V Editor Phil Nickinson what he would like to find in a bar or restaurant, he simply replied with “servers.” I admit I was surprised, not really expecting such a business-focused solution. But it really does make sense when you think about it. Servers are the backbone of the communications industry, which is so important in today’s hybrid work environment. So finding new and upcoming hardware to power that back-end could be a huge red flag for the industry as a whole.
On second thought, it’s also entirely possible that I interrupted Phil at lunch, so maybe it’s best to move on.
We have another Apple entry on the list, and why not? Apple practically invented the idea of leaving hardware in a bar. This product is however not a rumor. We know it’s coming. We just don’t know what it will be like when it gets here. the The M2-powered Macbook Air will have a radically different design and insane amounts of power. Sure, the Macbook Air is already ridiculously thin and light, but Apple is looking to up its game with a slightly larger screen, the reintroduction of MagSafe, and similar color choices to the 24-inch iMac. The Macbook Air could also see a notch in the display and a square design in the chassis.
But of course the star of the show would be the M2 processor. Apple has already upped its processor game with the M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra, but we haven’t seen an M2 yet, and you can bet the folks in our computing section are eager to put in something just as powerful to the test. The M1 is already incredibly fast (with native apps, of course), so seeing how much extra power is possible is exciting. Seeing it before everyone else is just the icing on the cake.
Sonos is synonymous with sound, but the company has yet to deliver a set of wireless headphones, and what’s up with that? Well, it turns out Sonos might be looking to flip the buffet table in the world of wireless sound by introducing Wi-Fi to wireless headphones. Wi-Fi would allow a much better sound signal to reach your ears than Bluetooth can currently provide. But it is fraught with pitfalls. For starters, the batteries need to be bigger and the cables need to be thicker.
Finding a Sonos headset would be pretty amazing, as we would get a glimpse of how Sonos solves those particular problems. In addition, it would finally be proof that Sonos is actually working on this product, and not just filing patent applications. It’s one thing to design it; it’s another thing to do it. If Sonos implements this technology, we really want to get our hands (and head) on it.
Just imagine sitting in a TGI Fridays, eating your endless basket of mozzarella sticks and contemplating other bad life choices you’ve made, and you look up and see a robot just sitting at the neighboring table. It really could happen to anyone. The engineer just got up from the table, checked their wallet, keys and phone, then walked to the car and “Oops! I forgot my robot!
As we do.
Well now you have the option to grab that thing and throw it in the back of your PT Cruiser and hurry home to fill our form of tip. Think about it, of all the robots in all the restaurants in the world, this one ended up in yours!
As much as we like to think these things could happen, they probably won’t. But that’s also what we all thought about the Pixel Watch. You never know. So the next time you head out for a nice dinner with the family, or sit down at the bar at your favorite watering hole, keep your eyes peeled. You never know what might be sitting on the next table.