In the Midst of Crazy

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.”

$180,000, this solar charged electric car can be yours.

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!”

No! This is not how you play a board game.

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. “

Yo, robot, where’s my beer?

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.

Sorry Doc, I’m not hooking this up.

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).

85 comments

  1. All very interesting, and I thank you for keeping us up to date. With a sigh of relief, I can honestly say I don’t need or want any of them. I definitely don’t want to be more sedentary, board games are good the way they are, and I certainly don’t want info sent to medical and insurance folks every time I hiccup. It’s an age thing – I’d rather do about anything than stare at another screen someone has decided I have to experience. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wholeheartedly agree, Judy. I can change batteries, pour myself a beer, do the dishes and take the dog out. So many of these things are solutions to problems we do not have.

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  2. Technology is amazing, and though I enjoy marveling at the brilliance and creativity, I’d rather return to “the good old days” of the natural world, which brings me to your photos. I so enjoy the wildlife and change of seasons, the doors and engineering feats, and so much more. Thank you for helping us see the beauty around us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha – I do remember radio. In fact, I still listen to broadcast radio in my car. Miss Maddie was able to coax me out of my chair. We bundled up and when again this morning.

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    1. Given that our dog goes absolutely nuts when the doorbell rings, I can guarantee that I will do nothing to make ringing it easier. We already have a squirrel who knocks on the storm door :(

      I told that bunny, “you have to stand still for a minute. River needs a bunny fix.”

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  3. $180,000 solar-self-charging electric car? Oh my, wouldn’t that just scream hijack me?

    I like the idea of Infinity Game Table except my sleeves would inevitably slide across the surface and I’d screw-up the game.

    I’m with you about the touchless doorbell. Squirrels and who knows what other rodents would set the thing off. How tricky is it to push a doorbell anyhow?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The payback on that solar car would be, well, never. I like the physicality of board games. There’s something about smacking you opponent’s piece in Sorry, and creeping up on their hotel in Monopoly and gingerly stepping onto Community Chest. Given that the doorbell triggers the dog, I have no desire to make it easier to ring. If you’re afraid of, or can’t figure out how to use the doorbell – go away.

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  4. OK, I am even more worried than I was when I woke up. Maybe it’s time for me to post my short story ‘The Wi-Fi is Free!” Dan, you are my favourite geek but your world terrifies me. Thank God we’ve got Maddie to make us all feel better. Ok, ok, The dancing robots were adorable, and I like being able to use a computer but I don’t want it thinking for me! I want it as my servant to do my bidding. I don’t worry about a zombie apocalypse, I worry about an AI apocalypse. Cuz, ya know, we are disposable.

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    1. Hahaha – and now I’m more worried than I was when I wrote this, Pam. If I had a robot to walk Maddie, I’d miss the opportunity to snap about 70% of my pictures. Of course, according to these guys, sooner or later, the robot would know what picture I wanted to take, so I could just sit here and grow to the size of Jaba the Hut.

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    1. I didn’t take my BP until Wednesday, Frank. If I had inherited my mother’s low blood pressure, I’d have a full season cure. It won’t be too long before the sun is high in the sky by the time Maddie and I are walking. I know I bring a lot of these to the gallery, but I also know that between earlier sunrise, later sunsets and leaves on the trees, I won’t see too many more of these.

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  5. The media likes to keep us familiar with the criminals – not the fun stuff. So, have the techs come up with a robot to do the windows?
    I agree with you about the flag finally flying high!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So far, it looks like windows are beyond the reach (pun intended) of the robot force, GP. However, there is a monitor that you can mount on the wall that works with an outdoor camera to look like a window. But, you’d probably still have to clean the camera lens.

      I like walking to the park and seeing that flag flying high.

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  6. While I admire the creativity of the folks who come up with these ideas, I want to keep what little intelligence I have and not be reduced to pressing a button for what I want. I think a farting human could teach children programming just as well.

    I’m gonna enjoy the tiny bit of technology I’ve learned to co-exist with and call it a day. Like your gallery featuring Maddie and her wind blown feathers and the guy on the rail post looking for a peanut and enjoying the peanut in the dogwood tree. Also, MiMi’s cute footies and our flag flying proudly, and last but not least, the cute bunny.
    Ginger

    Think positive. Test negative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you, Ginger. I’m at the point where I appreciate the fact that I can still take the dog out and toss a peanut to the squirrels. Although, there are days I might could use a peanut shooter.

      I really don’t want an array of microphones listening to me and deciding what it is I’m going to want next. I can walk to the fridge, I can open the door, and if you can’t figure out how to knock or ring my doorbell, um, go away is remains an option.

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  7. I just love new techie stuff even if I plan to never use them. I agree about board games, like books, they are a physical as well as mental experience. Now maybe a 3D virtual game might perk my ears up. 😉 i also love frozen puddles, swings, Smokey, bunnies and sunlight. Oh then there’s Maddie….

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    1. Hahaha – I’m glad I covered the bases, Cheryl. I’ll take the boxed board game, including the Monopoly set that still has an iron, thimble, wheelbarrow, and shoe.

      I don’t see much out of the new batch of technology showing up here.

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      1. I always chose the iron for my monopoly piece. I do love different themed versions of it as well. We have had Star Wars (boring to me) although I’m a fan of the original trilogy. We bought a Simpsons version for one of my sons and the newest is my favorite-Stranger Things. As a kid I loved Hi Ho CherryO because of the buckets of cherries and Mousetrap was a much longed for game in our house. But my very favorite out of Trouble, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Snakes in the Grass, Clue, and even Mystery Date was Operation. I always got that darned Funny Bone. To me Sorry was too monotonous. We lusted after our friends’ Life game but my parents never got us that one. Guess they figured we’d experience that mess soon enough. Lol😏

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha. We had Life, Sorry, Clue and a WWI airwar battle game. I also had Battleship.

          We bought Sorry as an “advanced” game for Faith because I was tired of losing at Chutes & Ladders.

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  8. Fun post, Dan! As someone on TV once said (I forget who) when asked, what’s the difference between a nerd and a geek? “Geeks get it done. Nerds are… well, just nerds.” I cracked up at the thought of your squirrels with the high tech doorbell. There’d never be a moment of peace. LOL. Here’s to a happy and sassy week. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan. I’ve been corrected numerous times about the nerd/geek thing. I used to think I was a nerd, but now, I happily identify as a geek.

      That doorbell doormat would be destroyed so fast…

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  9. What won’t they think of next? I’m always amazed. The touchless doorbell is about the only thing I really like. UPS or FedEx might not knock to let me know they just delivered a package, but the doormat would let me know! I’d waste the battery by having way too much fun with that, though…. Maddie’s tailfeathers blowing in the wind is such a pretty photo.

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      1. Ah, poor Maddie. When our doorbell rings, Parker hightails it to the far back bedroom in the house. Piper and Pumpkin are anxious to see who’s there and try to make a daring escape.
        Oh, Dan–can you imagine a doorbell/peanut dispenser!! Your little squirrels are so darn cute how they come to the front door.

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  10. What luck! There’s nothing on that list I want or need. I’m not ready for my whole world to be connected to the internet thank you.

    Yes, I see Smokey, but he’s doing a great job of blending in! 😀 That little pink paw is awfully tempting and cute.

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  11. All those conveniences might be wonderful for someone stuck in a bed or wheelchair but I can’t imagine how cold and lonely that would be, surrounded by electronic voices. And ganes even on phones and computers will never take place of the fun of hands on.
    If I were walking and saw that frozen ice, I could not help but stomp on it with gleeful fun…what does that say about my personality?😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, you have something in common with Maddie. She loves breaking through iced over puddles. She also likes breaking the edges off snowbanks.

      I see uses for all these things, but I don’t want to have them around.

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  12. I like all those long shadows Dan. Your talk about the latest tech reminds me of the robo weeder. And that one falls under the heading of lame technology. Not smart at all. You have to block the robo weeder from weeding the good plants. So if the block fails oops robo weeds too much. Often smart tech is only advertised as smart. Just like your explanation of the high reading during the sports event. Sure we will record the results continuously. And we promise it will give you more high readings as you try to explain what (team) caused the high reading. File that under rude-imentary tech. With the emphasis on rude.

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  13. My husband has attended CES for the last few years and, although he loves it, he has said that there is just too much to see and take in, even over a couple of days. Maybe a virtual CES going forward makes more sense. That way, you could (I assume) sort for just the technology you are interested in… and no annoying marketing types.

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  14. A solar charged car might work well in Arizona. In Ohio, not so much. My husband’s blood pressure machine is a. Skied bit of technology but it doesn’t send results anywhere. He records and reports them. As he’s a tech guy and knows the possible hacking opportunities, we’re unlikely to ever have voice-controlled anything or Ring doorbells or the like, at least until they’re impossible to avoid, which is, I hope, never. As the person who does the cleaning, that robot does have a certain appeal but forget the virtual board games!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My BP monitor stores the results. I move them into a spreadsheet. I share that with my doctor. That’s about as far as I want to go. I could get it to upload to my phone, but I don’t like that idea. So far, I’ve managed to keep all health and most financial data off my phone.

      I wouldn’t mind a robot that would clean my shop and put all my tools away after I came back inside for the night, but I’m not sure I’d trust it to take proper care.

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  15. Hi Dan – I can’t think about talking to a bot … but as I’m living in the dark ages … it’ll take me a while to get in today’s age! Clever tech – when it works … love the photos though with the ‘running’ commentary … thanks – take care – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Crazy gadgets are coming your way! I like the part where the squirrels discover your touchless doorbell. Children (or any other mischievous person) too can give you hell with such doorbells.
    Technology is supposed to solve day-to-day problems but sometimes you wonder which problem is being solved.

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    1. A lot of times, people seem to be using technology to solve problems we don’t have. Some might like the idea of a touchless doorbell but I don’t think we’re getting much virus transmission from doorbells, Peter.

      I hope you’re doing well.

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  17. That’s all amazing, and I can see ways in which these technological advancements can help people in specific scenarios. For me, this is a big no-thank-you. All I had to do was recall the amount of times I’ve said aloud, “I’m so tired, I wish I could take a nap” and immediately I consider my gadgets sedating me…

    Liked by 1 person

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