CES is about to get started in earnest, but even though the show floor opens tomorrow, we’ve already found a lot of interesting technology at the show, ranging from the practical to the bizarre (but compelling). Read on for our rundown of the coolest things we’ve seen so far.
Last night we saw an electric bicycle the size of a suitcase, the Icoma Tatamel. Lots of compromises have to be made to get to that size (range, speed, wheel size, cost), but if you want an e-bike that fits in your boot it’s definitely worth looking into – it’ll be this later year launched.
If you’re the type of person who likes smart home lighting so you never have to reach for a light switch (how annoying, right?), Nanoleaf has you covered. Their new geometric smart lights supposedly learn how you use the lights and automate it without you having to set a routine. So when he sees you walking from the bedroom to the kitchen in the morning, he knows how to shine that soft, sun-like light. But when you enter from the dining room at 6am, bright cooking lights come on. Theoretically anyway.
But how do you get off the couch when you are immersed in the scent landscape of Aromajoin. Works with anything filmed in Smell-O-Scope, so nothing yet, but there are some demo experiences that let you enjoy the crackling sound and flickering light of a fire, for example, while getting that crucial smoke smell right up your nose . Haje called the scents “remarkably recognizable.” Coming out “soon”.
From the creator of the strangely soothing Qoobo soft robot cat thing comes Fufuly, a “breathing pillow.” Sounds insane, but it’s based on the idea that people naturally adjust their breathing rhythms to ventilators, or even those near them. The pillow acts as your breathing partner. Instructions: “Turn him on and hug him. This is all you need.” You said it, Shunsuke. Expect a crowdfunding campaign later this year.
I wrote down the Bird Buddy
last year in 2021, and now the company is expanding from live identification of backyard songbirds to hummingbirds with its new feeder. It recognizes 350 species and of course sends photos directly to your phone when you have visitors. Interestingly enough, the company also has a data game simmering – it records the species, time and location and builds a database of bird movements. Maybe there are patterns here that are worth packaging as a product…
Anyone who likes the idea of a smartwatch but isn’t particularly into the “watch” part should take note of the Nowatch, a device the company calls an “awareable.” It does the health tracking stuff without a display, which reminds me of the Misfit devices of long ago. No notifications, just steps, sweat detection and other stats with a beautiful stone or gemstone as a face.
Roku has been one of the smart TV brands of choice for years, but now the company is graduating from powering Samsungs and TCLs to making its own. The new Roku brand TV range ranges from 24″ to 75″ and includes the latest voice activated remote control. I have one and it’s super convenient to just plug in some headphones if you want to watch a show without messing around with Bluetooth or apps or whatever. The most expensive will still be under a grand, which is nice. Expect more details when they launch in the spring.
I remember talking to Formlabs in the gold rush of 3D printing, and the company has made amends over the years. Now it aims to embrace high-volume additive manufacturing with an automated ecosystem that helps printers work in an organized manner 24/7. More plastic trinkets for everyone!
Taking a urine test isn’t anyone’s favorite activity, but much of it is because it’s so primitive. Why doesn’t the lab just live in the toilet, where the pee already goes? Smart home company Withings is showing off a urinalysis device for home health monitoring — it might not be for everyone, but for those with certain medical conditions or those working toward a goal, it could prove invaluable. Europe will of course receive this first.
Amazon will soon make available an Echo-like smart display and a mouse-eared speaker that responds to “Hey Disney!” Wow, finally.
Toy company WowWee still sells the Roboraptor, but now they have a brand new robot dog named MINTiDDog-E. Hopefully Dog-E for short, although that could result in unwanted lawsuits. If you want a robot dog but find Aibo too basic, give this one a try. It communicates by wagging its tail just like a regular dog, if regular dogs have vision persistence LEDs embedded in their bodies.
Nuralogix claims to collect a thousand diagnostics from a 30-second selfie video, from blood pressure to stress, BMI, stroke risk and blood sugar. Sounds like a lot of craziness to me, but I think it’s fun to let them put their thing out there and judge it on its merits.
Canon is hard at work with 3D, AR and metaverse style environments and interactions with some funky 3D video calls and virtual camera prototypes. Pretty cool, but also has the feel of an unfiltered brainstorming session just before the holidays. M. Night Shyamalan was there, but I think the twist is they paid him to appear.
We spoke to the makers of Kokomo, the 3D VR thing, and they really think it’s something new in the rather stagnant virtual presence space. All but another gallery of gritty faces.
Delivery robots are still a novelty only found on a handful of college campuses and other private locations, but the technology is getting better and better: Ottonomy’s Yeti robot looks like the little rolling containers you might have seen rolling down the street or been hit by trains, but it can safely deposit its cargo in a special locker. That means you don’t have to be there to receive the package, although of course, like Daleks, things still can’t climb stairs.
Samsung has released a wireless charger that acts as a smart home hub. Wasn’t that already a thing?
Luminar founder Austin Russell gave a talk about the company’s ambitions (especially after acquiring a mapping startup) to do more than just create effective lidar devices. Apparently, it’s accelerating its “up the stack” movement by buying up smaller companies at huge discounts. Smart – I do the same at the supermarket with almost expired vegetables. The scale may be different, but the philosophy is the same.
Normally, when you’re in direct competition with Apple, you just sit in a corner and cry. Not Chipolo – its small object tracker devices compete with AirTags in a sense, but the company is fine with that. Theirs fills a different, simpler role (basically “you forgot something” and it beeps) and they’re glad Apple is taking over the “advanced global network with UWB” thing. “We don’t build a business because we want to build a business, right? We build the company because we want to help people. And that’s what Apple does. So it’s actually good.” How refreshing.
Portable chairs are getting pretty futuristic. What’s wrong with just lying down?
There’s a new Samsung washing machine in town, with a few innovations that could help reduce the microplastics that come off your laundry. Of course, that horse left the stable a long time ago and now fish and turtles are actually cyborgs. Let’s all agree to wear natural fibers!
Sony is making a Gran Turismo movie starring Orlando Bloom, directed by Neil Blomkamp. Ridge Racer has been robbed! Sony, call me.
Sony also makes an accessible controller to rival Microsoft’s awesome Xbox Adaptive Controller. Called Project Leonardo (for now, of course), it’s a UFO-shaped contraption that allows users to connect devices like switches and paddles so that people with physical disabilities can play as well as anyone else. We hope to learn more about that soon.