Although I don’t attend CES, the mega consumer tech show held each January in Las Vegas, I’m always curious to read about the products/gadgets that are on display there.
Year after year, it seems to be more of the same, with many products/gadgets that are next gen versions of what has been around for years. (Not that everything that gets shown at CES is actually around. Lots of items are previewed there, but aren’t commercially available until years later.)
So, what’s the story on the latest and greatest at CES 2023?
Bigger and better TVs. Cars that do more than they did last year. Improved laptops. Gaming enhancements – VR, AR. Foldable, rollable screens. Smarter everything, especially, for some reason, smarter (and wildly expensive) toilets.
I looked through a number of different articles on Wired, The Verge, CNET, etc. and it was all beginning to blur.
But, amid the blur, a few things piqued my interest.
The Nowatch stood out because, as its name implies, it’s a smart watch/fitness tracker that doesn’t tell time. (I guess they figure that, if you need to know the time that badly, you can look at your phone. Or just ask someone.) Anyway, the Nowatch has all the usual suspects: sensors that measure heart rate, steps, and sleep. And, while it’s at it, your sweat glands, too. Measuring sweat is a relative newcomer to the health metrics family, but it’s helpful when it comes to monitoring stress levels – and providing an early warning system with suggestions for de-stressing.
If I were working in a warehouse or factory, or on a construction site, I’d be looking for more than a smart non-watch telling me when to destress. I’d be more than interested in the German Bionic Apogee, an exosuit that “supports a worker’s lower back and provides a boost of power as they lift heavy objects, unload trucks, or perform repetitive tasks on a production line.” (Source: Wired) Sounds good to me.
The Shiftall Mutalk looks like something Hannibal Lecter might have worn. The Mutalk is a Bluetooth Microphone that’s used during a VR session, muting your voice, enabling you to participate even if you’re in close quarters with a lot of other people and want to keep the peace. Presumably you can also use it during a Zoom meeting if you’re in an open office setting and don’t want to disturb your colleagues, or working from home and don’t want to disturb your spouse and/or your pets.
I’m not quite there yet, but I’m admittedly not getting any younger, so may someday be in the market for the Eargo 7, and over-the-counter hearing-aid. The Eargo is “self-fitting” – you don’t need a doctor or audiologist to help set it up – and almost invisible, and the batteries are self-charging. I’m not going to go so far as to say something to look forward to, but if and when, the Eargo’s on my list to check out.
In December, I wrote that all I wanted for Christmas was a flying bicycle, but if someone gave me an Aska A5 flying car, I wouldn’t say no. (It would have to be a gift, as the price tag is roughly $800K.) FAA approval is pending and expected shortly, and “Aska hopes to use the A5 to start a ride-sharing service in 2026.” (Source: CNET)
Closer to reality, there’s the eKinekt BD 3 bike desk that makes the treadmill desk look so yesterday. The bike desk doesn’t just let you get some exercise in while working, the pedaling you’re doing actually uses kinetic energy to power your computer. I might want to have the computer that I was powering an Asus “glasses free” 3D laptop that pops an image right off the screen and into your face. The 3D experience is made possible through the use of eye-tracking tech.
Finally, if I can’t have a flying bicycle or a flying car, I’m intrigued by Rollkers, “a gadget you strap to your feet to double your walking speed.” (Source: Wired) Rollkers motorize your feet, and using them is very much like walking on an airport motorized walkway. You’re walking, but the Rollkers speed things up. This concept has been kicking around at CES since 2015, but the company is hoping that they’ll get to market within the next couple of years.
So that’s what caught my eye when reading about CES 2023.