Chris Higgins, January 6, 2017

The Esports Gadgets That SHOULD be at CES 2017

The annual gathering of the finest technical minds on the planet is underway in Las Vegas this week, as CES 2017 shows off the gadgets of tomorrow. While being able to get a smart hairbrush that tells you the health of your hair is no-doubt revolutionary to people who leave the house, the Consumer Electronics Show is severely lacking in devices for the esports market. We’ve asked around and think we’ve discovered the peripherals and gizmos to be looking out for on the show floor next year.

Slant

Mice are one of the most important investments for a pro gamer, and there’s already an army of models out there with all the customizable configurations you could ever need. Adjustable weight, programmable buttons, and context-sensitive LED lighting arrays are now almost as standard as DPI settings and a scroll wheel, we need some of that CES-brand innovation in the esports market.

That’s where Slant comes in. The first ever smart mouse aimed at pro gamers will come with all the usual bells and whistles, as well as 12 zinc-plated receptors built into key points across the contact surface with your hand. These thermo and hydro-static sensors on the mouse buttons and palm grip will detect pulse and perspiration changes throughout a match to provide you with readouts of six key stress indicators throughout a match.

The Slant can be connected to your in-game client and associate match history and key events with notable changes in heart rate and palm sweatiness, and optionally provide alerts when it thinks you’re tilting. Alerts can be customized to whatever helps you calm down most.

/Ping

The hectic lifestyle of a pro-gamer and those in training often necessitates long hours in front of screens, scrimming and going over tactics with the team. Many of the best players try to stick to strict schedules of taking breaks for exercise and eating, but when you don’t have the backing of a major org and all your team-mates in the team house keeping you on track, it can be hard to remember the little things.

That’s why this Bluetooth-enabled doorbell comes in handy. /Ping is simple to install, just place it outside your front door and pair it to your computer or wireless headphones and you won’t have to worry about missing the pizza delivery again. In the middle of the teamfight, or clutching in overtime, you’ll know when the food’s arrived and with an optional phone app, you can quickly let the delivery driver know you’re on your way down with the tap of a button. /Ping does not guarantee your opponents won’t unpause as soon as you leave.

Tatlr

Aside from mice, the other key (ha!) component of any gamer’s setup is the keyboard. Looking into the features that pros need, the Tatlr model comes with 21-key rollover, anti-ghosting, Cherry MX switches and a metric ass-ton of LEDs. It also has the usual media controls (so you don’t have to alt-tab to skip Mango Bay), programmable macros that can be disabled for tournament use, but there’s an added bonus aimed at an often over-looked aspect of the pro-gamer life... parents.

Tatlr’s proprietary firmware detects flames typed in over 12 languages, complete with typos, and sends them directly to your mom’s WhatsApp account. There’s no getting around the problem of BM in high-skill matches, and tackling it at a young age is increasingly important given the effective age range of esports athletes. Tatlr aims to help parents open a dialogue with their kids about the impact of flaming on opponents, team-mates, and ourselves. The product also accounts for the rapid evolution of language by trawling Reddit and various *chan boards for new insults to add to its codex.

MEMEᴹᴱᴹᴱ

Memes are hot right now. They’ve been hot for a while, actually, but it takes a few years for corporate to catch on. What’s caught their eye most recently is the power of memes in the election of walking meme Donald “The Donald” Trump. In an attempt to harness this power, they’ve accidentally created an AI so advanced esports will never be the same again.

Using machine learning algorithmswhich are also very hot right nowMEMEᴹᴱᴹᴱ (Meme, to the power of memes) predicts which pro plays have high memetic coefficients and automatically creates gifs of them for on-the-fly social engagement. After a short analysis period, the software also presents a list of relevant other memes to cross-pollinate with and the percentage chance they have to bang and produce big numbers. Memes are big business now, friends.

Log-n

The age debate in esports doesn’t just address those on the cusp of being too young to play. It’s a cut-throat world and teams are constantly shuffling rosters to try and keep the best talent on their side. That’s where Log-n comes in. This Logan’s Run-inspired palm implant marks players for death the second it detects the onset of age-related dips in reaction speed.

It can be customized, of course, to simply terminate their contract, or flag it for review with an assigned handler instead of immediately killing them. There was a rumour that SteelSeries were already developing this technology but mysteriously stopped after the retirement of Evil Geniuses’ Clinton “Fear” Loomis. Odd.

Right, well, in case you couldn’t tell and are thinking of sending in a copyright complaint or funding offer, these are all fake. Really obviously fake. Honestly, that I even have to write this disclaimer is a sad reflection on the state of the tech business these days. Anyway, if you’ve got any ideas of your own for hot new esports gadgets for CES 2018, let us know in the comments. (On second thought, if you do want to discuss funding, my Twitter handle is below).

Chris Higgins

Chris is the silent solo support.