The Seven Weirdest and Most Amazing Things We Saw at CES
Once again CES has proved to be an eye-opening experience. With more than 4,500 exhibiting companies and exhibit space of more than 2.9 million net square feet showcasing the newest innovations in the consumer technology world, there’s always plenty to get excited about. When we weren’t meeting with partners and exciting new leads we were roaming the hall, open-mouthed at what we were seeing. Here’s our roundup of seven of the most inventive, exciting and sometimes downright strange technologies that we spotted at CES in 2019.
The Green One
We were excited to learn about Urban Canopee at CES. Urban Canopee’s aim is to make cities more resilient to climate change and more pleasant places to live. By growing climbing plants over lightweight, flexible and modular frames Urban Canopee combats heat islands, fights air pollution, and increases urban biodiversity.
5G, AI, and connected sensors allowed Urban Canopee to develop and implement an irrigation algorithm with distance monitoring. Their kits include sensors which monitor hydration levels and an intelligent connected irrigation system that runs on solar power.
With 68% of the world’s population predicted to live in urban areas by 2050 this has the potential to improve the lives of billions of urban dwellers.
The One Everyone’s Talking About
One of the most visually impressive demonstrations came from LG when they unveiled their new television. A TV? It doesn’t sound too impressive at first. But this one emerges from a long box where, when not in use, it stays rolled up inside. It allows owners to tuck their television out of sight when not in use.
The television uses plastic and OLED technology, which is capable of bending. Flexible, bendable screens for use on smartphones and laptops have long been a dream for many people. Now, it seems that we are finally beginning to see this technology being realised. There are high hopes for foldable, rollable smartphones in the not too distant future.
LG have yet to release a price for the television. It will go on sale in around March and estimations are that it will cost upwards of $8,000.
The Communicative One
Google’s path to world domination continues with the unveiling of its interpreter. Using its ever-improving AI translation capabilities you can now say, “Hello Google, be my Spanish interpreter,” and then hold a conversation with someone with whom you have no common language.
The process isn’t entirely natural. You speak, then wait while your words are translated, they will be shown in text in the other language, next it’s the turn of your companion to speak while you wait for their contribution to be translated into your language. It may be a little slow but it’s certainly quicker than learning to speak Czech or Korean!
This feature could transform the tourism industry. The translation device currently works in 27 languages and Google will be trialling it at concierge desks in Las Vegas, New York, and San Francisco. Currently, it is only available on the Google Home Hub, Google Home speakers, and third-party Google Assistant displays. Once the feature makes the jump onto smartphones it will truly revolutionise the travel experience.
The One for Parents
South Korean company Monit have invented a small sensor which attaches to the outside of a diaper. It detects when the diaper needs changing and alerts the caregiver. They hope that this can reduce instances of diaper rash and urinary tract infections.
This smart diaper sensor could certainly make life easier for busy parents and caregivers.
The Wearable One
L’Oréal-owned skin-care brand La Roche-Posay launched a wearable sensor that tracks skin pH levels. The pH scale goes from 1 to 14 and is a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. Below 7 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and above 7 is alkaline. The ideal pH level for your skin is 5.5. If your skin’s pH level is higher or lower than 5.5 it creates an unhealthy environment that fosters harmful bacteria. This can lead to skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and acne.
Previously the only way to test your skin’s pH levels was to collect your sweat and then use a litmus strip. This sensor is an easy way for consumers to test the pH level of their skin. Simply place it on your inner arm and leave it there for 5 to 15 minutes, until the two dots in the centre change colour. Next, open the My Skin Track pH app and take a photo of the sensor. The app will assess your overall skin health and give you La Roche-Posay product recommendations to help balance your skin’s pH level.
Healthcare and beauty are already becoming more personalised and this trend is only going to accelerate. Customers now expect products and advice tailored to their particular needs. Wearable beauty products like this are sure to be popular.
The Bizarre One
Do you hate folding laundry? Foldimate, the laundry folding machine shown at CES, can help make this household chore a thing of the past. Or at least it can if you want to fold collared shirts, pants, and medium-sized towels. If you want to fold outsize items like bedsheets or small ones like baby clothes you’re on your own.
There’s no availability or price announced yet for Foldimate but the company is trying to keep the machine under $1,000. For that price you’d have to really hate folding laundry.
The Time Saving One?
Have you ever felt like the dentist-recommended two minutes brushing your teeth is too much of a commitment? With the Y-brush (so called because it is shaped like a Y, it resembles a sports mouthguard) you can clean your teeth in just 10 seconds. If you clean your teeth twice a day (as is recommended) then you could save three minutes and forty seconds every day.
It might not sound like much but this toothbrush could be a boon for parents who struggle to get their children to brush properly. It could also assist people who find fine motor tasks challenging.
As usual, CES was a beguiling mix of the forward-thinking, the life-changing, and the downright bizarre. We saw robot pets, a car that can stand up and walk on four legs, a robotic glove to help people who suffer from hand paralysis, and a machine that supplies you with freshly baked bread. All this combined with our busy booth and meetings with customers and partners made it a fascinating and varied experience and we’re already looking forward to CES 2020. See you next year!