Ten Innovations from CES you should know about
Hundreds of innovative new gadgets were unveiled last week at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Here are my picks for the 10 that are most likely to change how we live and work:
3D Home Printing. With several companies introducing 3D printers for home use, you’ll soon be able to produce toys, belts, cups, spare parts and other plastic items at home as easily as printing a document. 3D Systems is launching CubeJet, a unit about the size of a microwave which prints full-color plastic objects. The company also offers CeraJet for producing ceramics and ChefJet for producing fancy chocolate- and sugar-based confections. Instead of buying small objects, simply buy the designs online and print them out at home.
Health and Fitness Monitors. Healthcare and fitness training are getting better through inexpensive monitoring devices that track everything from blood pressure to oxygen intake, send the results to a cloud website and allow you and your doctor to analyze the output. iHealth makes a wireless blood pressure monitor and a glucose monitor for diabetics. The Withings Smart Body Analyzer tracks weight, body fat, heart rate and air quality. Netamo is launching a broach called June that measures exposure to the ultraviolet rays so you know when to get out of the sun. Meanwhile, Fortiori Design is offering the Moxy Muscle Oxygen Monitor for athletes who want to improve their training.
Sleep and Relaxation. We’re all going to be sleeping better and relaxing more due to some of the latest gadgets that measure sleep and stress. InteraXon is launching the Muse Brain Sensing Headband, a lightweight headband that measures brainwaves to helps coach users to relax (think more alpha waves). Sleep Number Beds has a system called Sleep IQ for its higher end mattresses that measures brainwaves, heart rate, respiration rate and how much you move throughout the night and adjusts the bed as you sleep to improve the sleep quality.
Eye and hand tracking. If you are sick of dirty touch screens, SoftKinetic has DepthSense, which tracks hand and finger motions, allowing you to select items on the screen without actually touching it. Even more impressive, EyeTech is launching AEye, a device that tracks eye movements so you can operate touchscreens by simply looking at what you want to select.
Drones. While Jeff Bezos’ vision of drones for Amazon deliveries may be many years off, drones are being launched now for a variety of other applications. The new Parrot SenseFly eBee is a small drone with an HD camera that is programmed to provide automated aerial mapping. It is being marketed to farmers to check on their crops and developers to assess building sites.
Curved screen TV. The new higher-end TVs this year are coming with curved screens which provide a more cinematic viewing experience by positioning the outer edges of the screen more optimally for the eye. LG Electronics is so committed to curved screens that it is even launching a curved screen smartphone, which it claims improves the viewing of movies when the smartphone is held horizontally.
Self-Driving Cars. Both Audi and BMW demonstrated models of driverless cars at the show, which use a host of cameras, sensors and GPS systems to navigate. While there are several hurdles to overcome, many of these cars’ features – such as sign recognition, lane departure warnings and pedestrian recognition – may soon be incorporated into existing vehicles…
Smart Home. Many home appliances, such as refrigerators and washing machines, can now be controlled through smartphone apps. This year’s show featured an even wider range of appliances, door locks, thermostats and even light bulbs. The Tabu Lumen Smart Bulb has a built-in computer chip and Bluetooth, so you can change the brightness or color of it through a smartphone app….