Sea of sensors – Internet connected/Bluetooth/RFID or Nearfield communicating sensors are powerful, and people are finding new and interesting ways to use them.
The Rise of USB-C, while only on the latest notebooks – Expect to see this everywhere, and slowly replace out power adapters, video connections, network connections, and anything else that plugs into a mobile or laptop device. One plug truly can do it all, as power can flow in either direction with this technology.
3d printing/scanning is slowly maturing. Nice pieces of hardware, tied with complicated software means slow innovations at the lower end levels.
Innovations are now being demonstrated in many cases have been pitched on kickstarter.com and Indiegogo.com long before they made it to CES. It’s obvious that many people will not wait for trade events to push things forward.
WonderCube for Apple/Android– Imagine a 1” square can go on your keychain that acts as a charging cable, but also has an SD Card slot (for extra memory), and has a built in flashlight. If all else fails in your life, the little cube also has a 9v battery terminal for the times you forgot to charge your phone. Plug a 9v into the cube, plug the cube into the phone and you’re back in business. Pretty cool accessory for the market, and comes in both Apple lighting and android flavors. http://www.thewondercube.com/
Sick of batteries, we’re now seeing little portable fuel cells. The JAQ claims that they can get a full charge on a cell phone using one of their cards, which largely contain salt and water. 1A of USB charging power, which is similar to a slower charge. Estimated street price about $150. The Cards will be approximately 50 cents, working on reusable ones to keep the price down. Currently sold in Europe, but just starting there. http://www.myfcpower.com Probably useful for people camping…Not sure of the practical uses, but definitely a new concept that hasn’t been fully tapped yet. Honda also demonstrated a 9KW hydrogen fuel cell generator, which they used to power their booth. (concept) – http://world.honda.com/news/2016/c160106eng.html
Sticking with Fuel Cells – PURI Engine – Revolutionary Design Products LLC – claiming to have created a small fuel cell that can produce electricity for less than 3 cents per KWH. It appears to be a fuel cell/battery combination. Demonstrated using some form of magnesium. www.rdpusallc.com Very new, but if it works could easily change how many things are powered. Looking for investors, so the chances of hitting mainstream anytime soon is remote.
Radio Field Identification (RFID) is obviously mainstream. It’s now in your passports, credit cards, hotel keys, CES Badges, and just about everything else as no physical contact is needed to read this information. The ability to read RFID has been built into several newer generation cell phones. RFID blocking wallets, purses, and cases are now really popular. What’s new at CES are active devices. www.armourcard.com will Jam all RFID signals, insuring that no one reads anything at any point, with a single button for disabling temporarily. Will be a growth industry, as smart thieves will only need to be within close proximity to read your personal info.
Some concepts are really simple, and this one was no exception – www.resetplug.com – If your WIFI drops, it will un-power for a few seconds and re-power a device. $60. Simple, cheap, and effective for bad devices/cable modems.
Wireless Charging via Bluetooth 4.1 is pushing out for your cell phones. Personally, I really don’t hate cords, and the thought of more energy in the air really doesn’t excite me. These are all 3rd party manufacturers for cell phones, usually some sort of case, so I really don’t expect any traction any time soon. An example would be http://bench-soft.com/blogs/news which also incorporates additional storage/data sync into the case.
Medical Technology is improving at a fairly rapid clip – Dexcom threw down the gauntlet this fall (www.dexcom.com) by creating a blood sugar sensor (in the G5 platform) that now directly pairs with Bluetooth devices. (Iphone/Android) By doing so, the medical hardware/software device certification has now essentially been cut in half. A wide range of medical devices from non-invasive devices (e.g. www.cercacor.com – Ember, which tracks Hemoglobin in athletes, www.temptraq.com – a single use wireless thermometer 24hour sticker that pairs with your cell phone) to a wide range of pacemakers makers that will be able to report when your pacemaker is losing control via the cloud. It’s possible a doctor will know about things before the patient will. IHealth has taken the ECG and made it a 24 hour wearable device that uses your cell phone, and the cloud. (https://www.ihealthlabs.com/buzz/ihealth-rhythm-named-ces-2016-innovation-award-honoree/), http://www.bewell-connect.com/product/myecg/ now sells pocket quick ECG’s as well…
As much as everyone wants to make fun of the Apple Watch for being too expensive, not useful, etc – All the watch and fitness equipment makers are extremely intimidated by it and will clearly be improving whatever you wear on your wrist. To use the example, the Fitbit (total new generation of fitbits) will track your steps, monitor your heart rate, create/suggest/monitor your workouts, has connected GPS, track your sleep with silent alarm, and still pair with your cell phone for texts, call, calendar, and text alerts with 5 day battery life. Has a whole developer program too. Only one of many demonstrated at the show, we’re beyond glorified pedometers now. http://www.fitbit.com/blaze also 3rd party support from apps like www.rungoapp.com
When most laymen people talk about the cloud, it’s usually about cost reduction for the same thing they were doing last year. I have to admit, I never saw the cloud that way as the most of the applications users run today were written long before the internet existed. Cloud enabling these applications in many cases is like bolting a car to an aircraft – It can be done, but is rarely pretty. As time progresses, we are seeing cloud applications/cloud enabled that were written from the ground up are now sprouting and creating new markets.
www.getsmartplate.com , www.smartypans.io or www.smartdietscale.com are examples of scales/pans that reach out to the cloud find out the nutritional value of the food you put on it. (through sensors, cameras and user input) The technology is reaching the mainstream, and there is now 3rd party apps for these things too.
www.rapidspar.com is an example of a hard disk data recovery tool, that will pull information from hard disks, clone the good information from bad ones, and translate data. Pulls information from the cloud to ensure that all formats are consistent, techniques are current and up to date. Not cheap, but very powerful. It
Parrot also released the successor to their flower power device. You too can purchase a parrot pot, and it will water and feed your plants for you. I’d probably still kill most plants, but there is hope. www.parrot.com/ces/ It reaches out to the cloud, and learns what is the right water/nutrient combo based on your plant type.
Nest may have created a new industry, but they’ve Expect your smoke detector to get smarter too. The Halo will detect smoke and carbon monoxide but also pulls from the ether for hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods in your area. 10 year battery life means you should be able to install and forget unless something bad happens.
USB and wireless keyboards have been around for years. There’s a whole new generation of new musical tools that really take music learning to the next level.. www.jamstik.com
4 years ago when Parrot created the AR Drone, it was impressive. Today the personal drone industry is now worth billions and has really matured in ways that I really never thought possible. Flir www.flir.com now makes drones with infrared cameras. This will allow for a wide range of applications for law enforcement, rescue, and home inspection with far more speed and accuracy than ever before. Parrot also introduced an airplane drone www.parrot.com that is an aircraft and we saw underwater cabled personal drones as well. At the low end, you will be able to purchase a 6 pack and a drone at your local bodega pretty soon as pocket drones (yes, they fly) are now below the $30 price point.
Quick Charging with many devices becomes more and more important. Performance designed products has built an add on for Xbox controllers that can re-charge within 60 seconds for up to 2 hours of use, and displays how quickly your battery will die. http://www.pdp.com/pages/pdp-at-ces-2016
Rise Robotics is basically 4 guys who graduated from MIT who became bored. Their first product is the Bacon, a new take on the air compressor. Refills in seconds, light, powerful and far quieter than the competition. http://www.riserobotics.com/blog/ Still needs funding, but has serious potential.
Glowforge has taken the laser engraver to the next level. Laser engravers have been around for quite some time, but the level of software integration with this unit exceeds anything I have ever seen before. Auto senses material, and has 12 cameras…. www.glowforge.com
The Roost Smart Battery also adds intelligence to normally dumb smoke alarms, although I’m not sure why this would not work with any device that makes noise. Powerful, cheap, and effective. http://www.getroost.com/
One of the few neat uses in business was the Joan Assistant. Works with a wide range of email/calendaring platforms to monitor room/set up conference room usage. Looked simple, powerful and uses e-ink technology similar to what is found in the Kindle Paperwhites. https://joanassistant.com/ Prototype ordered. I think I know many people who might want this….
Beyond the useful items, you have the entertaining options:
- www.brewgenie.net – Another take on the cell phone controlled coffee pot.
- Years ago we had popcorn makers, then bread makers… We’ve moved into new levels of appliances that make alcoholic beverages. https://www.picobrew.com
- In the French tech booth, they had the B-sensory, which pairs with your cell phone/ebook reader for “additional pleasure” as one turns the page of an e-book. Only the French booths.
By the end of the show our feet were completely obliterated. It always made us wonder whether these displayed at the show would have helped..
People always ask about the large companies like LG, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, etc. LG had the most impressive TV display by far, with hundreds of OLED TV’s used in unison. Samsung only demonstrated its flexible display technology at a distance, and Sony employees were demonstrating new products.
In terms of TV’s, there are 8k models now in the wild, light years ahead of broadcast technology. Innovation is slowing there, because frankly the technology is light years ahead of the content and the consumer dollar.
Sony is phasing out of the consumer markets, so even employees are confused on their long term direction of their divisions. The play station and movie business seem to be safe, everything else is an unknown.
LG, Samsung, and Panasonic are slowly gravitating into large appliances (Think washer/dryers, HVAC, systems, etc.) and will most likely be a major force there soon. Expect to see more growth in this area as it still has a higher profit margin unlike say…TV Sets.