I was tempted not to write this post. Summarizing the best and worst gadgets of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is subjective and limited. Though my previous post covered the most important tech trends at CES, this post is for my friends that just wanted to know about the gadgets.
Coolest Consumer Tech:
1. Laundry folding
Nearly 200,000 people preregistered for Foldimate’s $799 automatic folding laundry unit. Simply hang the clothing onto the rack and Foldimate will neatly fold them. No word on when they’ll be able to put them back in your drawers.
Neofect’s Rapel is a rehabilitation glove that builds strength in a person’s wrist. Using Rapel’s sensors and games in its app, patients have an enjoyable way to improve strength in each finger.
3. Window Cleaning
Watching people strapped to the side of high rises to wash windows always makes me uneasy. Windowmate‘s RT Series robot, starts to solve that with a Roomba-like window cleaner. Using strong magnets to prevent dropping, the RT Series is perfect for the home market. Soon, the same technology will be available for high and dangerous window cleaning.
4. Connected Apparel
Xenoma’s e-skin shirt has 14-sensors to measure movement across a person’s upper body. Fitness, gaming, and health-care are some of the initial use cases Xenoma’s promoting.
Maybe I liked Platysens products because I know I can be a better swimmer if I just had the right gear. With Platysens’ Seal product, swimmers can accurately measure each stroke’s force, rhythm, cadence, and depth. Their Marlin product is a GPS-enabled tracker that measures swimming distance. With its audio component it also tells you your timing, lap speed, and distance milestones while underwater.
1. 3D Printing in Automotive – Divergent
Using aluminum and carbon fiber material, Divergent displayed a 3D printed super-car (0 to 60 in 2.2 seconds) and motorcycle. Their technology reduces the environmental impact in manufacturing, decreases the parts used per vehicle by 75%, and can reduce the weight of the car by 50%.
2. Augmented Reality – ODG
ODG’s R9 series glasses are untethered mini computers that help users experience Augmented Reality. The R9 series are sleek and deliver the highest resolution and field of view (50 degrees).
3. LiDar – Quanergy
Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is neither a breakthrough technology nor one that is the most attractive. However, Quanergy’s solid state LiDAR
sensors demonstrate how crucial this technology is for nearly 30 verticals including autonomous driving, security, industrial automation, and drones. With some of the smallest form factors on the market, Quanergy’s sensors are being embedded onto the bumpers and side view mirrors by leading manufacturers like Daimler Benz.
4. Solid State Drives – Samsung
Miniaturization dominated CES again this year. About the size of a US stamp and half the weight of a penny, Samsung’s PM971 solid state drive showcased this trend. Built for ultra-slim computers, the drive has up to 512GB storage capacities and reads up to 1.5GB/s.
5. IoT Home Security – Norton Core
With its WiFi network router Norton Core, Symantec protects home devices from malware, viruses, and cybercriminals. Using Deep Packet Inspection and other intrusion detection techniques used at most corporations, Norton Core will automatically detect and notify users of potential security breaches.
Per my earlier post, CES definitely demonstrated that we live in a golden age of invention. Tomorrow, everything will be connected and measured. I recognize that many of the inventions on the list below may be an initial experiment that later becomes something greater. But on the surface, many of these felt frivolous.
I purposely concealed the vendor names wherever possible.
1. Smart Pillow
Apparently, a lot of people have trouble sleeping. Sleep tech was prevalent at CES but Smart Pillows (yes plural) puzzled me. The pillows can stream music, produce an alarm when you snore, vibrate to wake you up, and analyze your quality of sleep and your snoring.
Though the technology is certainly there, I’m not sure I want so many electrical items near my head for prolonged periods.
2. Subconscious mind reader
By analyzing pictures you’ve clicked on in social media, this company purported to do the “remaining 95%” of subconscious analysis that Facebook is unable to do. They claim to determine real buyer intent, unknown interest, and other psychological nuances. However, when probed further, the companies representatives basically admitted they use the same photographs and behavior analysis that Facebook already uses.
This WiFi enabled toaster not only lets you stream your favorite music but also imprints the weather onto each piece of toast. Just when I thought toasters had reached their peak of innovation.
4. WiFi Trashcan
A trashcan is a simple a device. Or so I thought.
Trashcans are now becoming intelligent. They can count how many times you throw away trash, how much weight each bag has, and even order new bags from Amazon.
This technology will certainly benefit municipalities and large businesses, but inside the home, it seemed too pricey ($700+) for its capabilities.
5. Faraday Future
The highly-promoted electric car manufacturer, Faraday had a massive booth at CES but very little substance. This Tesla competitor is rife with rumors of shutting down as they have yet to release a product and their cash balance is reportedly depleted.
Faraday’s Future car was the only thing on display at CES but had no marketing information or access to the vehicle. If they needed to build more hype, they certainly did so. But their product display fell short of expectations.