A Walk Through CES 2019 — Part 5: Gadgets and Everything Else

[Back to Part 4: Food Tech]

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Moasure is a free app but also a device that provides much a more accurate measurement of volume, area, circumference, height, angle, and level by moving to different measuring locations. Right now it is pretty expensive but it will become the tape measure of the future, claim the inventors.

Nemeio is a customizable keyboard. It uses an eInk display but unlike other such devices, has transparent physical buttons on top of the display so that it feels more like a real keyboard.

LetinAR looks almost like an ordinary pair of glasses but integrates a microdisplay into eyeglass lenses. I tried them in their fixed display, and did indeed see a fairly high-resolution full-color image overlaid into my normal vision. If AR is to take off, then something like this is essential, although you still have to get both compute and electrical power to it somehow.

Nura introduced their Nuraphones “customized headphones” at CES last year, and a friend swears by them. I got to try them myself this year, and I have to say that I was impressed. The headphones and accompanying app profile your hearing (including deficiencies) and create a custom response curve for you. The downsides are the price and the size — they are a bulky over-the-ear affair. But they’re coming out with the Nuraloop earbuds this year.

Robbox are smart power tools. Why would your drill need to be smart? Well, first of all, it looks cool, and secondly, it can do more stuff like let you select what kind of material you’re drilling into together with the drill size and it will figure out the right speed. It also integrated a stud finder, laser measure, depth measure, and level. They have the idea of making a modular range of tools. Unfortunately, it all seems rather expensive at around $500.

Tooyn is a potential life-saver for MacBook and MacBook Pro users living “the dongle life.” It combines a USB-C charger with HDMI, two USB ports and an SD card reader, and if that were not enough, you can put your phone on top of it and charge it wirelessly! My understanding is that it is only meant to charge a MacBook due to power requirements.

Linedock is a similar idea but with a very different implementation. Imagine a slab the same size and feel as your MacBook Pro, but it contains all the ports you could want, an SSD and a battery. It looks like Apple made it and the attention to detail is fantastic.

Yolobox is a camera-top live streaming unit that integrates everything you need with no additional software required. If it is priced right, works well and is reliable, it could be a winner, though it enters a crowded market of software and hardware solutions from well-established vendors.

The O’2nails Mobile Printer caught my attention. It looks like an over-sized label printer into which you stick a finger. You upload an image, which the machine prints onto your nail! The output was surprisingly high-resolution, and printing took 25 seconds, with some additional time required for curing. They were getting lots of interest from people with the idea of doing pop-ups in malls. There was both a consumer $500 unit and a professional unit on display.

At the Panasonic booth, there was a full-scale model of their LUMIX S full frame mirrorless camera. It was so realistic that I spent a few seconds trying to switch it on before realizing it was just a hunk of (heavy) plastic. They also had the Harley Davidson LiveWire electric motorbike, presumably because they make its battery.

It wouldn’t be CES without the largest, slimmest, highest resolution, and this year, rolliest TVs. Samsung had an enormous 98" 8K TV. If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. And even if you could, there’s no content for it. Not to be outdone, LG showed up with their crazy curved OLED experience and rolling 65" TV, which goes on sale this year.

The LG wall with curved OLED screens all matrixed into a single giant one. The starfield made me feel sick.
The LG rolling TV.

CES is as much of a car show as a tech show, perhaps because cars are becoming giant iPads on wheels. Mercedes always shows up with concept cars, and this year their Vision EQ Silver Arrow single-seater as well as their EQC mid-size electric SUV, which will go on sale next year.

Finally, Bell Helicopters showed off an enormous drone that you could sit in. Called the Bell Nexus, it is how they imagine an autonomous flying taxi will look in the near future. Featuring tilting propulsion fans (a bit like a V-22 Osprey) it will also have simple flight controls for non-autonomous operation. They had a three station VR rig set up where visitors could try their hand at flying down the Las Vegas strip using conventional helicopter controls, a two-stick setup, and a single stick setup. One of their real-life test pilots was on hand to help out with this “future flight control” experience and told me that they take this rig to local Dallas schools to include in STEM programs, and to get feedback. The data gathered from students (and CES visitors) can be used to inform the design of the flight control system.

And that’s it. Hope you enjoyed the read!

Builder of media technology services and a videography, cinematography, photography, gadget, IoT, AI, auto and aviation geek.

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