Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
While its VW Group siblings are busy working with electrical architecture, new infotainment and autonomous technologies, Bentley is keeping things simple at CES. It's partnered up with the audio specialists at Monster to unveil the Monster at Mulliner, a Continental GT V8 S with a monstrous sound system and custom look – car tech done old school.
Plenty of Bluetooth speakers can get outside and play music at the beach, campground or poolside. Not as many are purpose-built for paddling into the waves and catching the big one, though. Designed to stand up against rolling saltwater, shock and other hazards of the great outdoors, the Hercules WAE Outdoor Rush speaker can mount to your surfboard or snowboard and bring the tunes along for the ride.
Auto companies – particularly German ones – are taking infotainment systems to the next level at this year's CES. Bosch has set the driver afloat in a sea of displays; BMW has updated its sporty i8 plug-in with next-gen screen technologies; and Volkswagen has revived the classic Microbus (sort of) to showcase its own ideas about the future of in-vehicle infotainment. Audi is getting in on the action with a new AMOLED-based virtual dashboard concept and also previews a few upcoming autonomous technologies.
Hopeful whispers about a new Volkswagen Microbus concept have been vibrating air molecules and filling blog pages for much of the five years since Volkswagen last showed a modern minibus concept in the Bulli. It's finally here and it's called the Budd-e. What it lacks in historically honest styling, it makes up for with an explosion of high-tech features big enough to get road trippers, neo hippies, surf bums and daily commuters alike excited for what's to come.
If CES concept cars are any reliable indication, the automobile interior is going to have a load of digital screen space in the future. Whether we're talking about the array of large displays in fully autonomous concepts like the 2015 Mercedes F 015 or the touchscreen controls of the 2015 VW Golf R Touch, concept car designers are showing little restraint in packing the car cabin with digital displays. Bosch's all-new, all-flashy CES 2016 show car offers yet another take on digital screen overload, presenting the driver with a full-length digital dashboard that bleeds into the doors and center console.
Harman is working to appeal to a wide range of drivers with its suite of in-car technologies on display at CES 2016. In addition to high-tech smart car technologies, it's debuted the Voyager Drive, a simple plug-and-play Bluetooth audio solution that it imagines finding use in basic, affordable cars. The system hinges around a compact speaker that docks in the dashboard and removes for use outside the car.
As the new year gets underway, Anthony Jannarelly finds himself one of the busiest men in the automotive world. We recently looked at two of his very cool but very different designs in the W Motors Fenyr Supersport and Zarooq Sand Racer. Now he's working to get his own eponymous company off the ground with the Design-1. Inspired by the timeless roadsters of the 50s and 60s, the mid-engined Design-1 is cruising toward a launch later this year.
Always looking for new ways to distinguish its automobiles from the daily commuting hordes, Bentley is now furnishing its interiors with stone veneers. Sourced from India, the slate and quartzite stone options give the interior a raw, natural look. Stone works for upgrading kitchens and landscaping, so why not a $200,000 sedan?
Munich-based startup Icaros GmbH has a new way to motivate people to exercise more. Its somewhat intimidating fitness system blends the physical world with the virtual world, making you the protagonist of your own video game while working key muscles up and down your body. The company hopes the system will motivate folks that have come to avoid the gym like it's radioactive. Gimmick or a viable modern spin on exercise?
"Modular" has been the buzzword in camper design of late. Modular designs certainly aren't an all-new phenomenon, but they did seem particularly popular throughout 2015. Several of our favorite motorhomes and caravans of the year featured removable/rearrangeable modules, as did one of our favorite car-camping innovations. German camper manufacturer Hymer has its own ideas about modularity, and they look pretty convincing in a camper van design study developed with Mercedes-Benz.