The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is the biggest electronics trade show in the world - showing off the latest technology and gadgets and boasting an attendance of 170,000 tech lovers plus over 4,400 exhibitors. Held earlier this month at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, the usual host of upcoming and whacky electronic contraptions were exhibited, and we've summarised them here:
City of the future
Toyota's Woven City is the city of the future and will be based near the foot of Japan's Mount Fuji. Reclaiming a 175-acre parcel of industrial land, this will be a prototype city incorporating exclusively the latest technologies and gadgets. Transport will be only self-driving cars and personal mobility machines, and these will live harmoniously with robots and AI devices alongside humans residing in smart homes. Two thousand people will boastfully call this home and their lives will hopefully be simplified with in-home robots, sensor-based AI, and daily chores made a thing of the past (remember taking out the rubbish and restocking the fridge?). Building should begin next year, and it is expected to be ready for residents in 5 years' time. This is one to watch!
Health monitoring devices
Most of us now own a fit bit or some kind of smartwatch to tell us how many steps we've taken (or haven't!), report our heart rate or tell us how many hours of sleep we've achieved. Now there are so many more sophisticated devices on the market that we may never need guess the status of our health again.
Sleep apnea health watch - Withings will later this year release the ScanWatch which promises to run many health scans, but most outstanding is the claim to analyse deep sleep and recognise sleep apnea - the latest wearable in sleep technology.
HealBe are launching the GoBe3 smart band to track your diet, fitness and wellbeing. This upgraded version will report on how many calories your body has absorbed (not just taken in!), hydration levels (reminding you when to drink) and your stress levels based on skin readings (similar to a lie detector test).
Blood pressure-sensing earbuds are set to replace the pressure cuff, and are being prototyped by health tech company, Valencell. Although this is not touted as being medical grade, it will be a useful consumable for those who need to regularly monitor their blood pressure and may be available later this year.
Foldable phones were released at CES 2019, and this technology is now being launched in the form of a laptop thanks primarily to Intel. The "Horseshoe Bend" prototype technology is a 17 inch tablet which can fold in half to become a 12.5 inch laptop with a touch screen and key board. For those of us who prefer an actual keyboard, there is a hardware version which can slide into the bottom of the touchscreen.
At CES 2020 Dell, Microsoft and Lenovo all showcased their versions of folding technology - watch this space too!
A multitude of devices to make everyday life more simple
These are the products where technology promises to enhance our everyday living, saving time and also adding a little extra fun to the mundane.
L'Oreal Perso - first for the ladies! This AI device promises to customise lipstick and foundation based on data gathered by a customer's skin and make-up preferences.
Y-Brush - shaped more like a mouthguard, this re-engineered toothbrush promises to clean your teeth in 10 seconds.
Lumi Pampers - the latest in baby monitors - a camera with a sensor that attaches to your baby's nappy. This monitor and sleep tracker also compares current sleep levels against the amount a baby should be achieving at each stage of development.
AI washing machine - LG may be the first to release a washing machine which will automatically detect the fabric of your clothing and recommend the most appropriate wash cycle. It will also send washing notifications to your phone.
Kitchen Hub - GE have upgraded their original kitchen hub which is now a touchscreen microwave. But much more than this, it streams your favourite show or music, video chats while you're cooking and has a camera to record and share your evening meal.
Regardless of your need or desire for these space-aged gadgets, it's certainly entertaining to see where technology is taking us!