During the CES Unveiled, a press bonanza, all the best in consumer electronics, gizmos, gadgets and wearables came to show what they had to offer. While shoving past CNET, Mashable and The Verge, I was able to feast my eyes upon and even try some of today’s sweetest innovations. Here are a few things that I found cool during the event.
This year’s CES has wearables in center field, and more specifically, on those focused on health and fitness. The first gadget which I came across is Tinke: a gadget which connects to your Android or iOS device and reads your blood pulsing through your thumb to then give you an idea of how you are doing. It will give you your respiratory rate, blood oxygen level, heart rate and heart rate variability: all 4 parameters in seconds. At my enquiry about possible medical usage in hospitals or clinics, the rep expressed that this is for personal use only. Every day, you do the test at the same time (place thumb on sensors without moving) and see how you progress. You will be given tips on how you can feel better as well. Tinke for Android isn’t out yet, but will be in the near future and works with Bluetooth. The price might deter many from taking the plunge: at $129 USD, it might be cheaper to go to the Dr. for a checkup. Nonetheless, a cool idea.
Another big theme at this year’s CES is smart home and home automation. Ok-i-dokey is a new way of unlocking your own front door by installing the smart lock on the interior of your home. By using either an app, a special smart key, a bracelet or a card reader, it opens the door without physically needing to stick a key in the hole. You can also play a sound to unlock the door (and share this sound as well as access via the app with those you allow entry to your home). It will notify you when your kids or guests get home on the app as well. I posed the question of hacking and security, as this would be an obvious issue for any sceptic. The rep assured me however that the technology which was used for Ok-i-dokey is from a company with a long history of making electronic locks for hotel rooms. Ok-i-dokey can also be used for your garage door or gate. The new gadget hasn’t been released yet, but is scheduled for availability to the American public in the near future.
Sleep is an important part of life that most of us don’t get enough of, and when we do, it can be quite tumultuous. Withings, a Paris-based company, has created a new gadget for you to put on your bed-side table: it looks like some sort of mini air vent found on an old boat and emits either red or blue light. Controlled by touch on either the top or sides of Withings’ button-less surface, you use red to fall asleep and when it is time to wake up, the bed-side companion will emit blue. Apparently, according to their studies, these two colors work for those exact two purposes. There is also a sensor which you place under your mattress that will measure your sleep patterns and connect back with Withings to let it know when it’s time to wake up. Over the course of using this new sleep-helper, you can monitor your zzz’s and follow some advice to see if your sleep patterns improve thanks to the soothing, unconscious effects of Withings’ color emissions. The device triples up as a clock and alarm. Now all that needs to be done is get some shut-eye to see if it actually works!
Parrot Mini Drone
The Mini Drone is the next super cool thing I saw for which I really couldn’t figure out a use, other than being so much fun! In any case, it does demonstrate how far we are in droid technology and it was great to experience. Parrot isn’t a noob when it comes to Drone development; they already have a wheel based one under their belt as well as AR Drone 2.0 which is controllable by smartphone and has live streaming. The Mini Drone is, according to Parrot, the most stable micro drone there is, with piloting mode designed for beginners, high speed flying, indoor wheels which allow it to roll on the floor and the ceiling all in a tight robust and stable design.
I honestly thought this was a pretty cool, yet super simple, gadget that I definitely could use: TrackR by phone halo is a key chain that can be attached to anything, like your keys or slid into your wallet. You are basically connected to keys, wallet and phone most of the time, so why not tag them to avoid misplacing them. How it works is through Bluetooth, traceable up to 100 feet away from your smartphone. The crazy part of this it though, once it leaves that 100 feet (or rather you walk 100 feet away from it), the location of the little beamer will be picked up by other smartphones, without them even knowing it! You are basically using someone else’s smartphone without them being aware. You can then just check on the server and the information on its location will be there. Upon approaching the TrackR, it will emit a sound for you to find it by pressing on the related app. The app will also show you on the map where it is located. I have asked to get one, so I should be testing this out in the near future.
These are just a few of the things that I saw during my visit at the CES 2014 Unveiled event yesterday. Stay tuned for more CES news from us as we explore the convention.