With everything going on in the world, and the focus the world has on the stuff going on in Washington, I am guessing a few of you missed the fact that the Consumer Electronics Show was held (virtually) last week. You know you can depend on me to ignore the pandemic, the vaccine and the crazy-crap on this blog, but get your geek out, I can’t resist some of these things.
Note: I wasn’t at the CES, so to avoid getting entangled with copyrights and stuff like that, I’m offering a review of the coverage provided by Tech Republic (TR) and CNet – two great places to get your geek news! All the tech-photos are theirs – unless they used someone else’s without permission, then bad on them.
A group of high-tech companies from the Netherlands are bringing an extensive array of technology to the show floor, including research and products in the areas of, according to TR,
“… advanced materials; artificial intelligence, big data and quantum computing; energy power and climate change; enterprise solutions; robotics and future work; digital health and wellness; cybersecurity and resilience; smart cities and mobility; sustainability and circularity; and 5G, IoT sensors, photonics and nanotech.”
I suppose the $180,000 solar-self-charging electric car can be filed under “smart cities and mobility,” or perhaps “energy power and climate change.” Oh well, it doesn’t matter. The point they, The Dutch, are trying to make is that this stuff is all linked together.
In the category of items whose time still has not come, Arcade1Up debuted their Infinity Game Table, designed to take the place of all those clunky tactile experiences associated with board games. No pieces to lose, no money to mishandle and possibly misappropriate (I hear you Faith) and perhaps funny electronic sound effects as dad swooshes down the big slide in Chutes and Ladders. Sorry, the adjective, not the game, but I prefer moving my old boot around the Monopoly board, collecting money from the center when landing on Free Parking and being thumped by my opponent and hearing a delightful giggle undertone to “sorry!”
Samsung is hitting the floor, literally, with new robots – some available now, some planned for later in the year – that can vacuum (meh), do the dishes (meh), and pour you a drink (well, there you go). As if what we all need is to be even more sedentary. Worse than that, is Samsung’s (and perhaps many others) view of the future in our homes that I find uncomfortable,
“Instead of swiping on our phone screens, we’ll talk to our devices or to ever-listening microphones around our homes and offices. The ultimate promise for the AI is to predict what you want before you even ask, though most smart assistants aren’t that smart yet. “
On the medical front, Omron introduced a new blood pressure monitoring kit that ‘automatically’ uploads the results to your doctor. I wouldn’t buy that unless it includes an “I was watching the Steelers” button. On the scary side of this equation is when the device starts sending those results to your healthcare insurance provider.
Sammy and Smokey would love the touchless doorbell from Alarm.com. No need to push the doorbell, just step on the mat and the doorbell will ring itself. Our squirrels would love that thing!
Left off the geeky wish list is a host of products from smart eyeglasses to cute refrigerators, a solar powered TV remote that works with interior light (because changing those batteries twice a year is soooo hard, a $3,000 smart dog-door that opens and closes based on a signal from a device on your dog’s collar (because “honey can you let the dog in?” no longer works); a friendly, farting robot (designed to teach children programming); and a couple of toilets – one of which accepts waste, cleans you and itself in a touchless fashion, and one that analyzes the “results” and sends health guidance to your smart phone (and probably your doctor).