CES 2019 is officially in the books and it was definitely one to remember. As always, the global technology event is owned, produced and managed by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). This year’s showcase featured a self-automated bread bakery, electric Harleys, and cars that transform their wheels into feet for easier access to drop you on your doorstep or get you out of a ditch.
Here are a few more highlights from the “global stage for innovation”
It seems James Cameron has finally gotten around to making a sequel to his costly alien version of Dances with Wolves, but were you aware that there’s a new product on the market that feels like the transport vehicles of Avatar come to life? The Bell Nexus is an air taxi that has six fans for lift like a helicopter then rotates 90 degrees for quick air travel similar to a plane. It holds four passengers and a pilot, traveling up to 150 miles in an hour. Bell created the Nexus as part of Uber’s Elevate air taxi program.
Wearables à la smartwatches are all the rage, lately. It seems they’re available in every price range, color and style with multiple functions to fit any consumer. So, it comes as no surprise that several companies decided to launch their entry into the rapidly expanding market at CES 2019.
Kate Spade’s Scallop 2 styles up smaller wrists with fashionable choices that include GPS, heart rate monitoring and Google Pay capabilities. The Access Sofie 2.0 from Michael Kors checks all the boxes in silver, gold, rose gold, and silver-with-gold-accents with metal or silicone straps to go from dinner to gym. Next up, what about a watch that plugs into your car to adjust your route/music or offer a heated massage to alleviate stress? That’s what the Mercedes-Benz Garmin Vivoactive 3 promises as it uses the Mercedes Me mobile app to interface with your vehicle. And how great would it be to never have to worry about recharging your Smatchwatch? Not only does the Matrix PowerWatch 2 have a solar panel for powering up, it also has a way to convert your body heat into energy. The device is also compatible with Strava, Google Fit and Apple HealthKit.
Better than a smartphone? A foldable one. The Royole FlexPai has been available in China since last October. It’s an amazing technological advancement that revolutionizes the smartphone industry. Imagine a 7.8-inch AMOLED screen with a 1440p resolution that you can fold a put away as easily as closing a book that remains fully functional while folded. No headphone jack per usual with newer model phones, the FlexPai runs an OS named Water layered over Google Android 9.0. Specs: 3,800-mAh rapid charge battery, USB-C charging port, 16MP wide-angle camera with 20MP telephoto lens and fingerprint scanner.
The key to winning over audiences anywhere is and will always be to give them something delicious to eat. Lucky for us, Impossible Foods has decided to take that simple approach even further. They’ve deigned to create a vegan “burger” patty that tastes like the real thing. 2019 was dubbed the ‘Year of the Vegan’ last December by The Economist. No surprise then that this little patty that could possibly won the whole show by delivering the right mouthfeel to retrain even the most staunch meat-and-potatoes carnivore. The Impossible Burger 2.0 should be in all Impossible Foods partner restaurants by early February.
Some Really Amazing TVs
For the couch potatoes in all of us, we’d like to present the future of home entertainment. It’s bigger, it’s brighter and … thinner? LG introduces an 88-inch 8K OLED TV with Google Assistant integrated with Alexa support, which means your TV’s the hub no matter how your smart home is set up with 16 times the resolution of HD. Meanwhile, Samsung upped the ante entirely with its MicroLED technology that offers brighter images in a display that’s customizable to your home. The TV is made of many smaller panels almost like a Jumbotron so they can be put together to create the final result you had in mind.
This may not seem hi-tech, but with healthcare costs constantly rising, it feels good to know there’s something you can do to offset some of that expense. Enter TestCard, a postcard that allows the user to conduct urine tests for pregnancy, urinary tract infections and glucose levels, all for just $4 for three tests. Receive Testcard in the mail, apply urine, and use app for quick test results. Get a more accurate picture of your health BEFORE heading to the doctor’s office and save yourself a copay. Coming updates include a test to screen for prostate cancer and sexually transmitted infections.
Loneliness is the new epidemic invading the land both here and abroad. The feeling of social isolation is said to be a precursor for early death, so scientists and inventors alike have been hard at work to find a way to combat this newest stressor. Japan’s Kaname Tayashi, founder & CEO of Groove X, designed the Lovot as a possible solution. The Lovot is a companion robot that lets you know when it wants to be picked up by flapping its wings and tucking in its wheels. Otherwise, it just follows behind you waiting for another chance to interact with you. CNET describes it as a cross between a penguin and a sloth. Tayashi says he was going for something “cuter than BB-8.” Either way, it provides comfort in knowing there’s something waiting home for you.
Price: The Groove X Lovot is sold in pairs, starting around $5,000.
How do you improve on something that’s already such a staple of modern life? You automate it in a cool, new way. There really is nothing like biting into a fresh, warm loaf of baked bread. But, how often are you around to have that moment? The BreadBot makes a fresh loaf every six minutes. Designed for busy grocery stores, so you only need human help for cleaning and to add dry ingredients. Its daily output is 235 loaves of rye, sourdough, or any other type of bread you could imagine. Loaves are transferred after baking to a vending machine where customers can purchase using a touchscreen. No preservatives or additives due to the high turnover and the whole BreadBot process only takes about 90 minutes.
Education should be fun. Getting kids to engage requires tapping into their sense of wonder and adventure. Science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, also known as STEAM, may be the new focus of specialized education for guiding the minds that will take our society leaps ahead of the curve. Keep that in mind while giving the Sphero Specdrums a whirl. These wearable drums use a multicolored surface to make different sounds through embedded Bluetooth® transmitters and optical sensors. With the app, you can add preloaded sample beats or create your own.
“Kohler’s most advanced toilet” lists ambient colored lighting as one of its key points, which is helpful when entering a dark bathroom in the middle of the night. Add to that a heated seat and Bluetooth® wireless music sync to queue up your favorite playlist to create the best experience. Voice control from Amazon Alexa lets you check weather, news and traffic while you sit. Water efficiency gives you peace of mind about the utility bill. And never worry about operation, since the Numi 2.0 has hands-free control and automatic deodorization. Even the lid opens and closes without input from you. This may be the perfect toilet.
Price: Retail starts around $7,000.
These concepts are just a sample of what was released at CES this year, but we hope they served to inspire you to “think outside the box” and share your next idea!