Have you gone online to check your cat’s activities lately, or made your own fresh batch of ice cream in two minutes or less? The Consumer Electronics Show [CES] is back with all its New World innovation and crazy gadgetry …
After a year of pandemic-forced banishment to the world of virtual, CES was back in Las Vegas last week, albeit at slightly lower levels of in-person attendance than years past. The world’s largest electronic peek into the future, hosted by the Consumer Technology Association, featured some 2,200 on-floor exhibitors and 3,300 media members who cover the world of technology.
Let’s take a look at some of the gee-whiz items being rolled out at CES 2022; some making your work life easier and others making your home life more comfortable than ever.
For the home …
If your eco-minded self is interested in conserving water and exploring enhanced filtration systems, RainStick Shower is what you’ve been waiting for. Featuring WiFi-enabled technology, shower water is collected after it circles down the drain and goes through a 3-step process in which it is filtered, bacteria is eliminated using UV-LED technology, and it’s returned to the showerhead to wash over you once again.
Bona BV351AA Robot Vacuum Cleaner
While robots are “yesterday’s news” when it comes to CES, there are new and improved versions each year worth noting. One from Bona is a robotic vacuum cleaner that not only quietly cleans your floors and carpets, it uses an ultraviolet light to simultaneously sanitize surfaces against viruses, germs and microbes. Improved Artificial Intelligence [AI] capabilities also enhance the device’s ability to steer clear of objects, furniture and curious cats while doing its thing.
PurrSong LavvieTAG and PurrSong LavvieWater
Speaking of cats, a start-up named PurrSong, backed by tech giant Samsung, offers two devices that will help you keep closer tabs on your felines [even though your cats prefer you simply leave them alone]. LavvieTAG is a health-tracker that straps around the neck and monitors movements, tracks calories burned, and analyzes how active cats are when not lounging on your desk or on a windowsill upstairs. [LavvieTAG, meet KittyFitBit.] Meanwhile, LavvieWater tracks your cat’s water consumption from the device’s accompanying LavvieWater bowl though it’s unclear whether it also tracks water evaporation or your cat stealing a sip or two from the toilet bowl when you’re not looking.
Toto Toilet Wellness
Speaking of the throne, Japanese toilet-maker Toto, the world’s largest such manufacturer, is featuring a prototype toilet that analyzes, ahem, your solid contributions and makes dietary recommendations based on the stool. [I know, it’s gross but it was only a matter of time.]
LG tiiun Indoor Gardening System
For you urbanites without a backyard, LG introduces a freestanding indoor gardening system that allows you to grow plants, flowers and herbs year-round without ever having to leave the comfort of your couch. About the size of a mini-fridge, it uses a wide array of intelligent features that will make you the green-thumb envy of your condo or apartment complex.
This one is timely with much of America in the midst of travel-bashing winter weather. ColdSnap is a countertop device that allows you to make ice cream in 120 seconds or less. Similar to a Keurig coffee-maker, simply place a ColdSnap pod in the rapid freezing device and cool your heels while you wait for your cold treat. ColdSnap is also capable of producing frozen yogurt, smoothies, coffee and cocktails. “ColdSnaptender, I’ll have another!”
CES: More than gadgetry …
While prototypes and rollouts are always the stars of the show, a lot takes place away from the display floor. At CES 2022, there were panel discussions related to Big Tech and whether or not it needs to be regulated; online privacy laws and protections; and how best to address myriad issues brought on by the emerging world of cryptocurrencies.
There were also discussions centered around the role of AI in the future, including how much AI is too much if personal privacy is being compromised; how to co-exist with autonomous vehicles; and, yikes, the possibility of a 3D internet in which digital avatars walk around and interact with each other in real time. Somewhere, George Jetson smiles [as he does every year at CES time].
For your work life, here are a few more items that that will make you more productive and better able to handle work stress.
Audeze Filter AI-Powered Speaker
After 22 months of Zoom and Teams meetings, we’ve all experienced the frustration of inadequate audio as we try to conduct virtual meetings and business discussions. Audeze Filter is a portable speaker that connects to your conferencing system and utilizes planar magnetic drivers [whatever they are] and AI to ensure clearer audio input and output regardless of the room or the environment. Your ears will be smiling, too!
PORTL Epic 2 Conferencing Booth
Also for those online meetings, PORTL Epic 2 is a large display system that puts what appears to be a life-sized representation of the person you’re conferencing with into the booth. Though hard to explain, the company says you will feel as if the person is physically present like the good ol’ days of face-to-face sessions in a conference room or across a desk.
Cove’s Stress-Reducing Headband
With all those online sessions, you need a break. Put on Cove’s Stress-Reducing Headband and let its gentle vibrations target those portions of the brain that manage stress and emotions. Cove insists you’ll see improvements in stress levels within 30 days simply by donning the headband for 20 minutes a day.
General Motors’ Flying Taxi
Again from the Jetson file, GM showcased an eVTOL [electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing] vehicle that may become your Uber of the future. The flying taxi is designed to whisk a single passenger [no pilot needed, GM says] from Point A to Point B at speeds up to 55MPH. What isn’t yet known is the distance range, release date or price point but the Flying Taxi could “take off” in more ways than one in heavily urban areas. Sounds cool but, “No, no, no, please, I insist. You go first.”
CES never fails to disappoint and always serves as a reminder that innovation is an endless, limitless journey and we should embrace the new. Here’s to a happy, healthy and tech-friendly 2022!