CES2018

12Together

At CES this year I was specifically researching all the emerging areas of Personal Mobility. First priority - Virtual Reality and 3D360º content capture, publishing, viewing and Storytelling. A category I call “Time/Place Shifted Reality.Second area of emphasis for me this year is Digital Healthcare. Especially Devices, Apps, Data Collection and ecosystems that lay the basis for Technology Enabled, Consumer Led change in this emerging area. The possibility of Anticipatory (preventative) Medicine is in reach and people are taking on board their wellness in growing numbers, partly because of enabling technologies becoming available.

As always, I’m also looking for “Contextual Technology” innovations that “Catch My Eye” in the areas of Internet of Things, Internet of Me, Home, Car, etc, Big Data/My Data, Augmented Reality, APPcessory devices, Wearable Technology, Personal Cloud, 3D printing and the consumer mobility end of Infotainment and Transmedia propositions.

So my mission was simple...

          ...to find innovative stuff and update myself on the art of the possible in these sectors and possibly discover some new emerging market sectors of interest. My value add is to try to discover and explain the broader possibilities and benefits of the technologies. I also attended three Press only evening events, CES Unveiled, Showstoppers and Pepcom’s Digital Experiences on the 4th and 5th. There are always a lot of Innovative companies showing at these!

This is clearly the year of innovation and consumer market traction in most of the areas I am researching, and this could be the time for investors to start taking these categories serious. Especially the two I have highlighted above.

ReSound has upped it's "Smart Hearing" capability with a further link back to your audiologist. GN Hearing’s ReSound LiNX 3D brings telehealth to audiology as the world’s first hearing aid with comprehensive remote fine-tuning capabilities. Had a great briefing on this at CES from ReSound’s Vice President Global Medical Affairs Dave Fabry.  But they are not stopping there.  ReSound LiNX 3D’s advanced Made for iPhone capability also enables users to easily and discreetly personalize settings through an app and stream audio such as phone calls, music, and turn-by-turn directions from their smartphone or Apple Watch to their hearing aids.But most interesting were the discussions about where ReSound is going in this area in terms of taking advantage of the platform to go many steps further to increase the awareness of the users to what is going on around them. And even to start using the ear as a very effective place to monitor various aspects of wellness.  The key is that a hearing aid wearer has them in 100% of the waking hours so all these potential features could make that person actually much more aware and alert than a person with a phone in their pocket or sometimes wearing music…
I have noted Bebop's sensing fabric for a few years now and knew that it would find it's way into some valuable applications spaces soon. Princpally being applied to wearables such as shoe insoles, sleeve control, etc. But it was this year's featured product that Caught My Eye - an interactive input glove for VR. The fabric specification was impressive, but it's the Touch and Haptics AI that make this a potential component for many applications.  So I was very pleased to see the BeBop Sensors Forte Wireless Data Glove system, a fully featured affordable data glove to incorporate haptics and super accurate, rapid sensing for gaming and AR/VR environments for a more realistic VR experience. The hand tracking system tracks fingers and fingertips with haptics, the Forte Glove is an ultra-comfortable one-size-fits-all glove, conducive to lengthy Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality sessions due to its light weight and open airy design. Light and simple looking, it also can be worn inside a glove, for example. Sensing speed and accurately sensing finger movements are key features along with tactile feedback to the fingertips.   The glove provides Super Accurate Rapid Sensing with data rates at 150 frames per second. With lag time eliminated,…
KITSOUND VOICE - Smart, Voice command activated, great sound - all for £129.99 Last Gadget Standing finalistBlending the style of the past with the technology of the future, the Voice One’s component-like sophistication oozes rich sound with stunning clarity – making a statement anywhere you care to appreciate good music.Developed in collaboration with Amazon, combining the intelligence of Alexa with KitSound’s audio expertise, the Voice One features a stain-resistant Nano coated grill to protect against those little stains and splashes.With built-in multi-room technology, you can connect up to 8 Voice One speakers together wirelessly. Stream your favourite playlists or connect an external music source to one of the speakers and re-distribute the sound to other speakers via Wi-Fi, allowing you to enjoy your music in every room – regardless if it’s online or a vinyl.Immerse yourself in the deep, warm, hi-fi audio that’s been carefully hand-tuned to give you the smart speaker you’ve been waiting for.
Looxid Labs explores the user's mind and their unspoken emotions! Using human physiological signal sensors, their VR Headset monitors your eyes and brainwaves to determine your emotion, attention and interest while watching VR content. Two eye tracking cameras and six brain-wave sensors are built into the specialised VR headset. Theoretically allows the tracking of what the user themselves can't describe. Potentially valuable use cases! Similar to well established MyndPlay VR in the UK who have been doing this for a few years, but the MyndPlay brain sensors can be worn and user response analysed in conjunction with most existing VR headsets and the actual VR content can be triggered to change depending on user's emotion and reactions. A very interesting area, so carry on Looxid and Myndplay!
Nice to see combinations of existing technology and innovative development and integration exploited to create a highly valuable aid for the partially sighted.  Whether reading use-by dates on products, magazines and books or anything in between. Also recognising everyday things and people. The product was a finalist in the Last Gadget Standing event at CES (I was one of the judges) and the MC handed the presenter his stage script, and OrCam MyEye read it flawlessly! Very impressive! But OrCam MyEye is not just about reading. It also assists with Identifying products, money notes, colours and recognising faces and other everyday encounters that sighted people take for granted OrCam MyEye 2.0 is an advanced artificial vision device for people who have vision and reading disabilities. The breakthrough device instantly and discreetly communicates vital visual information: printed and digital text – from any surface, faces, products, colors, and money.The headset is designed with the needs of these users in mind. Many innovative technologies have been deployed in the design, this revolutionary wearable device is small, comfortable, and easy to use.The newly-designed OrCam MyEye 2.0 exemplifies a revolution in wearable artificial vision technology for people who are blind, visually impaired or have…
I am sometimes a skeptic about VR/AR gaming. Seems to be rather too techy and even often quite low resolution for my liking. And the storytelling and educational aspects often seem a bit lacking. But I would say that, being one who is always looking for the bigger story and valuable use cases rather than just for killing time.  The Lenovo STAR WARS:Jedi Challenges technology and Smartphone games Application is of a different breed. Very clever how they use the smartphone at 45º in the headset in a way that lets you see the room you are in (visual see-through, not video) and then lets you play Star Wars Chess or challenge the various Star Wars charactors to Light Sabre duels. But first, to qualify to fight, you need to learn how to use a light sabre! Light Sabre Training also done well, and fun. The light sabre itself is stunning to look at and hold and in your virtual vision and hearing pops out just like in the movie. Lots of virtual charactors and action in your living room or kitchen. Virtual Star Wars charactors and in fact everything in your line of sight is life-sized and lifelike and…
ORBI 360 Sometimes products appear just because they can - in other words the technology is there, but so often the appliications and valuable use cases are not. A sad sight for me to see as someone doing due diligence on consumer targetted products being developed for a (IMHO) non-viable market. Two bits of good news here - the technology exists to support the application, and I believe there is a real market for this. This is another one of the two "First Person Shooter" 360º cameras I saw at CES. Both claim to be the first and only! Very interesting and encouraging to see this new category of 360º photography emerge at this time.  This whole sector will depend on content, storytelling and distribution posibilities, but devices and apps like will this really turn things on. A very wearable design, a pair of glasses with four cameras on board and Smartphone App. For taking "selfless" situational selfies (without you in them). Great idea and I am excited, but another Crowdfunded/preorder product, not yet fully baked so I will let them make the claims!         ORBI specializes in developing innovative hardware and software that unlocks extraordinary new ways…
FITT360, one of the two "First Person Shooter" 360º cameras I saw at CES. Both claim to be the first and only!  Very interesting and encouraging to see this new category of 360º photography emerge at this time. This whole sector will depend on content, storytelling and distribution posibilities, but devices and apps like this really turn things on.  A very wearable design, around the neck so handsfree water/heatproof, with three cameras on board and fixing/steadying/stitching in the Smartphone App. For taking "selfless" situational selfies (without you in them).  Great idea and I am excited, but a Crowdfunded/preorder product, not yet fully baked so I will let them make the claims! (I have added a few points in brackets)      Connected to the Cloud, the FITT360 automatically saves all of your footage with a single tap on the mobile application.With shareable VR-Ready contents, your loved ones at home can enjoy your point of view in real time.Smart Camera – Connected System – VR ReadyFull HD 360° Recording – Up to 90 Minutes3 Full HD Cameras surrounding the (neck worn) FITT360 captures surroundings of each user in the True First Person View (FPV) with up to 90 minutes of recording time.Companion…
The Lumus display continues to look better each year and wins the prize for the best (currently available) display in my opinion, but yet to find its way into a finished and commercially available products. This display may be destined for consumer Smartglasses, but seems to be relegated to one eye industrial applications so far. Manufacturing cost seems to have been the the major problem to date. They showed me lenses with 40º and 55º FoV. and both were bright and vivid displays with quite good, clear see through as well.Perhaps the Quanta Computer investment and their manufacturing expertise will yield a viable component for lower cost smartglasses? Also the potential of link up with Apple looks interesting.  I will be monitoring progress...
Context is King! Lifefuels is a smart bottle that mixes drinks on the go - with nutrients and to your taste and situation. Personalidsed drinks designed to keep you at your best. Just add water, select your "fuel pods" and go!  Smartphone App, Hydration & Nutrient Tracking Syncs with Wearables. Why shouldn't we have great-tasting, personalized, tasty, nutritianally functional beverages to compliment our busy lifestyles? According to Jonathon Perrelli, CEO, the Lifefuels waterbottle delivers personalised drinks designed to keep you at your best. Their simple mission: to help people thrive and keep them on track by letting them make beverages on the go that are tailored to fit their day. 
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