CES 2018 was ostentatiously held this January in Las Vegas, USA. Yet again, it managed to show off some amazing, some quirky and some futile-appearing gadgets to the world.
Continuing its legacy from 1967 to date, this event is indefinitely the largest consumer electronics feat on the planet. One where the tech giants a.k.a. Google, Amazon etc. swagger around with their state-of-the-art gadgets; while younger start-ups bravely provide competition to these titans, collectively to an audience of about 2 lakh tech enthusiasts.
This year, the inaugural keynote was delivered by the CEO of Intel, Brian Krzanich. Who was talked about, wanna guess? Artificial Intelligence. Of course. The new biggie in town, AI.
Brian highlighted the immense importance of data which is the backbone of all future technology. AI was also the biggest showstopper at the convention, with almost every gadget incorporating the smart in their devices.
Get ready to be amazed (or flip out?). Here go 18 unique gadgets of CES 2018.
1. Samsung’s ‘Wall’
The Hulk of TVs, Samsung unveiled its 146-inch TV, very aptly called the Wall. The modular TV has features of a chameleon. How may you ask? Well.
It can change its display dimensions from 146 inches to much lower. Thus, giving the appearance of a smaller TV. While the rest of the display blends into a color analogous to the wall that the TV is mounted on. Therefore, it appears like a smaller TV rather than a larger one. The idea behind this innovation by Samsung, “TV shouldn’t be just one size.”
Well, I couldn’t agree more!
2. Helite Hip’air
The Hip’air may look simple and silly but it serves a very important purpose. The belt-like device is equipped with sensors that detect when a person is about to fall and instantaneously opens up two side airbags that break the fall.
It will be most effective for use by older people as well as people suffering from brittle bone conditions such as osteoporosis. While the gadget appears trivial, it can be the difference between a gentle fall and a hip fracture.
3. Mitipi Kevin
This device is just painfully sad. A glaring look at how lonely we are! Cleverly named the Mitipi Kevin (Kevin from Home Alone), it emulates a house-full of people, even when a house is empty.
Basically, it is a speaker that gives out ambient sounds and lighting, which make a house appear full of people. The intended purpose of the device is security. So burglars may think that there are people in the house, even when there are not.
But still. This is just sad. (Or maybe I am too lonely!)
4. LG Rollable TV
We have had foldable TVs. We have had the thinnest, most sleek TVs. But now, we have a rollable TV, thanks to LG. The TV literally folds down into a tube when not in use. Mind-boggling!
The extremely thin and flexible screen is a result of LG’s OLED technology. The current version is simply rollable, but LG envisions a portable one in the near future. A carry-able tube that can be unrolled to reveal a 65-inch 4K display.
What I can see, Nirvana in the Himalayas!
5. Aflac Special Duck
One of the most thoughtful gadgets at CES. The stuffed, Aflac Duck is a therapy toy aimed at cancer-affected children. The robotic duckie comes with a variety of smileys. The children can hold up a smiley of their choice (and feeling), such as a happy or angry one, and the duck will react accordingly.
Developed by Sproutel, this gadget is envisioned to provide comfort and companionship to children while they struggle with the life-threatening disease. Moreover, it will be provided free of cost to the affected.
6. Spartan Underwear
Wait, what? Underwear at a technology convention? Indeed. Yet another weird (crazy?) and useful gift of CES 2018. The Spartan Underwear is like a protective cage for your valuable goods (if you know what I mean).
The underwear is lined with silver which works in bouncing off 99 percent (as claimed) of the radiations around you. Including that from the laptop sitting on your lap. To my surprise, this isn’t the first such garment in the market. But it claims to be the most effective one.
7. Numi Toilet
Kohler presents, the smart toilet! Yes. You heard that right. Hail the toilets of future. Kohler, a brand synonymous with luxurious bath fittings, has always managed to enhance the bathroom experience. While it was beaten by another company in introducing a smart shower, this time Kohler has taken the lead. “Numi”, the new smart-toilet introduced by Kohler, features a host of elements for a better pooping experience. (I suppose!)
An automated foot warmer, seat warmer as well as ambient music and lighting. All customized by the Kohler Application. Which FYI, also smartens up your Kohler shower, mirrors and what not.
Damn. Imma spend my entire day in the bathroom now!
8. HTC Vive
The best VR gadget till date! HTC has managed to give a tough competition to existing VR players, especially the Oculus Rift. Vive was the best VR gadget revealed at CES this year, all thanks to one of the most important, and in-demand, feature: wireless connection.
While VR head-gears have been in the market for quite a while now, none was wireless. HTC has bridged this gap using Intel’s WiGig Technology. Which is like the older brother to WiFi, sending off huge amounts of data at short distances.
This trait of Vive, combined with world-class graphics and audio technology, will definitely make it one of the items on our to-buy lists.
9. The Root
A fun robotic game companion for kids that comes with a hidden purpose: teaching kids to code. The gadget is embedded with three levels of coding functions and is aimed at kids four years and above. It teaches basic coding concepts to toddlers and eventually allows them to write their own code.
With the future being all about technology and coding, the toy is a major win-win for parents. And definitely a worthy buy!
10. Lishtot Testdrop
A gadget that will make a difference. “Lishtot” means drink in Hebrew. The start-up has come up with a too-good-to-be-true device that checks the purity of water without even touching it!
So the Testdrop is a tiny, sort-of-triangular device (kind of like a guitar pick) which measures the electric field around the water and lights up to convey its results. Blue for clean and Red for contaminated water.
A truly innovative device, it can greatly help in reducing water-borne diseases. And according to third-party tests, the device works correctly 100% of the time!
11. The Wallet Card
The amazing answer to our card woes! The Dynamic Wallet Card is a piece of technology capable of replacing all your plastic cards with just one. Thereby, removing the need to carry around a wallet.
The card comes with a built-in GSM antenna, a re-writable magnetic strip as well as a 65,000-pixel ink screen. How it works, God knows! But it claims to replace your wallet, so one for me, please!
The foldable e-bike. Foldable, as in you can fold it enough to put in your backpack. No kidding! Built by a start-up in China, the bike weighs a mere 6.8 kg and can be locked using your phone.
The e-bike is already available for ordering and is priced at about 650 USD.
13. Razer’s Project Linda
An amazing concept! Razer’s Project Linda is a computer without a processor. Their laptop comes with an empty slot where the touch pad should be. And in this empty slot goes Razer’s own Android Smartphone. Which acts as the processor for the laptop.
Man, this is cool!
The Android is powerful enough to fire up the laptop, works as a touch pad and also acts as a secondary screen (sometimes simultaneously!). However, the laptop is still a concept piece and release date is yet to be finalized.
14. The e-Palette
This one is my favorite! It kind of looks like a shipping container that will, in future, ship anything and everything. Just the concept and design of this futuristic transportation device gives you a 2030 vibe.
Like you will soon be in a world that only sci-fi could imagine a decade ago.
The e-palette is a concept boxy-vehicle debuted at the CES 2018 by Toyota. While the proprietary is held by Toyota, the other major collaborators in the concept realization are Pizza Hut, Uber, DiDi (Chinese Uber, Kind of), Mazda and Amazon.
The box sits on Toyota’s electric platform and can range in size from 13 to 23 feet. Which means, it can accommodate a wide range of facilities. It could be a moving restaurant, an autonomous pizza delivery systems, a mobile hotel room, a portable pop-up shop or anything!
The vehicle is also expected to be modular i.e. it will ferry passengers during the day and ship packages during the night. Plus, plus, plus! The exteriors are also modifiable.
The vehicle is all set to be tested in 2020 and may be used for transportation during the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. Ahoy, future!
If everything is becoming tech-sound, why not your home scents as well? Moodo achieves just that. A pretty-looking, smart scent dispenser that claims to perfume your household with a variety of fragrances.
Integrated with Alexa, the device is hella-smart. The scent comes from four pods built into the cubical device, each pod filled with scent capsules. The intensity of each pod can be customized using the companion Alexa app or simply your home Alexa.
Whether you feel in the mood for an autumn aroma or a beachy feel, Moodo can take you there. (If only through your smelling sense!)
16. Hyundai Nexo
Hyundai’s energy-efficient and environment friendly is SUV, Nexo. Nexo comes powered by 700-bar hydrogen tanks, a 1.56 kWh lithium ion battery and a 120 kW e-motor.
The only emission it has? Water vapor. That’s right.
The revolutionary vehicle is slated to launch in late 2018. Bombarded with a host of smart features: Remote Smart Parking, Blind spot View Monitor, Lane Follow Assist, Highway Driving Assistant and much more. But the most attractive feature, (to me, at least) is the water vapor emission.
Hyundai has perfected its fuel cell stack technology, the underlying chemistry that allows safe and efficient conversion of hydrogen to water vapor and electricity. Electricity that powers up the battery to run the vehicle using the e-motor.
What’s more? Refilling the tanks takes just 5-minutes and offered mileage is 350-miles. Quite different from existing electric cars and quite a strong competitor.
17. L’oreal UV Sense
This tiny wearable looks more like a nail-art than a tech gadget. The pretty little circle comes equipped with UV sensors and NFC capabilities to transfer received data over to the accompanied Android/iOS application.
Clearly revealed by the name, it measures the user’s UV exposure. The gadget can be attached to anything, even your running shoes. It captures data and the application provides insights using the same.
For now, the UV sense is being released via dermatologists only. With a commercial release slated for 2019.
Probably the most emotion-inducing gadget at CES. Emotions that range from amusement to sadness. Somnox, the robotic pillow, simulates the feeling of hugging an actual human while you sleep. How sad is that!
While the gadget may be essential in tackling some of the loneliness of our millennial generation, somehow, the long-term effects might just be detrimental. Equipped with a host of sensors, it is intended for therapeutic purposes.
Woah. That’s a lot of gadgets.
I might have gone a little over-board. And we haven’t even covered all of them. There is so much more! Truly, a technological feast this year is going to be.
Fun Fact: The CES doesn’t stand for anything.
The event is actually named CES. Was previously known as the Consumer Electronics Show and thus CES, the acronym. But this formally changed to just CES. Funny, eh?
Oh, another fun fact: CES lost its power supply for almost two hours during the second day of convention.
With everything blacked out and none of the “awe-some” gadgets functioning. How the world’s best and smartest gadgets can blow out in an instant.