CES 2019

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.

Between these three you can figure out what to plant, when and where to plant it and how to keep it watered and healthy. Varying amounts of expertise has been applied in each case plus some sensor tech, AI, AR and companion smartphone apps. Lots of Garden Tech that caught my eye in this category, but here’s three that deal with getting the most from your garden.   Connected Garden uses a device you stick in the ground and leave for 24 hours and through the connected app, it then tells you what will grow best. Clever sensors, a bit of GPS, AI and even an AR aspect that can show you what the plants will look like in your garden space.       Orbit b-hyve then takes over and does some “smart watering” for you - Keeps the soil just right for the plants you have.       SeedSheet tailors your plantings to your palette. providing selections of plants that when ready and ripe are all you need to prepare your favourite recipes.       I expect to see more and more innovations in this area next year, so will be looking out for it.   Select "Read More" for the weblinks  
Moasure - Another mobile phone accessory that caught my eye on the UK Pavilion! Motion Measuring is the simplest and most natural way to measure.  It puts in your hands one tool that can measure any distance, height, width, level, angle or incline. All you need to do is move and tap.  You can use a smartphone or one of our more specialist Moasure tools, the principle is the same, tap to begin measuring and touch down and hold to finish and let Moasure do the rest.  It is that simple, you no longer need a box of tools, one measure, lots of easy measurements. And a small tool at that, Moasure will fit into the tightest spaces and works just as easily in the dark as in very bright light.  As you touch down from one point to another Moasureplots each position and calculates all the relevant measurements at the same time.  So, if you take a straight-line measurement from one wall to another, Moasurewill calculate the A to B measurement, but it will also be able to calculate the difference in height, level or angle between the two points.
Another Gem that caught my eye at the UK Pavilion at CES! Don’t get caught short on a long day. Carry one or use the App to find the closest place to buy one. When used, drop it in a Post box as is for recycling. London based startup Quick Energy showcased its Quick-e Charge concept at CES, a single-use battery pack that can be purchased from convenience stores or coffee shops, offering charging on-demand. Once the device has charged, the battery packs can be posted free of charge back to the company, to be recycled for use again.   The QUICK-E APP features a live map pinpointing all the locations the Quick-E is stocked. Allowing the customer to find the most coveniant vendor to purchase the product. Could have used one or two of these at CES!
The Barisieur is an automatic coffee or tea brewer that just simply caught my eye as I was browsing the UK Pavilion at CES.  The intriguing beauty however was not just skin deep. Lots of features, bells and whistles, but above all, makes great coffee!  It is quite simply a premium alarm clock that eases you into your morning with the soothing sounds of bubbling water along with the smell of the freshly brewed coffee or loose leaf tea. Design is inspired by a combination of the modern ritual of filter coffee with the iconic vinyl record player, encouraging a nostalgic experience for the user. The design was born with a digital detox in mind, where the design language balances between simplicity and mystified alchemy; watch how the water magically transports from one vessel to other due to steam pressure some what resembling a serious chemical laboratory device. The boiling vessel on the left is sealed with a bung, which is essential for transporting the water. The Water boils due to the induction hob, heating up the stainless steel base. Steam pressure is produced, forcing the water out of the vessel and into the stainless steel filter, brewing the user a perfect beverage.    There is a milk vessel which lifts out from the tray, Is…
There are lots of Dash Cams out there and they are getting more technologically advanced, but Owl Car Cam is focussed on peace of mind, safety and security. Of course it will catch the fun things too, but the focus is on protecting you and your car at all times.  It's a quiet sentinal, but when something happens you’ll have the video - crashes, traffic stops, break-ins – and for all the OMG moments you see while driving. There’s never been an easier way to edit a quick clip and post to your favorite social platform or send a video to your insurance company.  Owl Car Cam features: Dual-facing HD cameras, 14-day video loop, Instant video access from anywhere with voice capture as well. Automatic emergency crash response.  Your video is 100% private. Only you can see, share, or delete it. Constantly connected via 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.  Live view your car in real time and video alerts for dents, break-ins, & crashes. Even has anti-theft floodlights. Judges at the Last Gadget Standing Event thought it was innovative, useful and unique enough to make it a finalist.
This one is serious in two ways – fun, fun, fun plus learning how to code without getting caught!  The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit teaches the fundamentals of coding and introduces the basic concepts of real-world programming, guided by simple steps.Then use Kano app to run your code to start unlocking challenges across six iconic Wizarding World settings including Hogwarts and DiagonAlley.    It’s a Harry Potter STEM product! The build-it-yourself wireless wand shows magicians of all ages how to code and create, as they flick and swish through 70+ challenges inspired by the Wizarding World. Following the step-by-step coding manual, you build a wand and learn about sensors, data and code along the way. It combines a gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer to detect its own location and speed in tridimensional space, making it capable of tracking hand movements. Must be seen to be believed!
MIXXTAPE - Looks like a cassette, except…  Plays and displays stand alone with smartphone or stick it in your cassette loading blaster. The new MIXXTAPE is an awesomely nostalgic HiFi digital music player with the form factor of an old-school cassette tape packed with technology of today. Use the USB-C cable to load audio files from your music library (iTunes, FLAC, MP3, M4A, WMA, OGG, APE, WAV, AAC-LC, & ACELP). Navigate thru your music using the OLED display and touch control panel. Listen using the headphone jack, Bluetooth, or even in a tape deck. Yes way! The rechargeable battery provides over 5 hours of continuous playback. Caught my eye because of what it was, inpressed me because of what it is!
Why prick when you can click? The FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring system is designed to liberate patients from the hassles of glucose monitoring. A small sensor automatically measures and continuously stores glucose readings day and night. Glucose readings with a painless 1 second scan even through clothing. With every scan you get your current glucose reading, the last 8 hours of glucose data and an arrow showing the direction your glucose is heading. Swim, shower or exercise — the Free Style Libre system is designed to be water-resistant and worn while bathing, showering, swimming and exercising. Not clear if this is yet available from the UK National Health Service, but Teresa May, UK Prime Minister is a user! Article here.Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
This non-invasive technology has been scientifically shown to reduce stress and help with sleep, performance, and focus. I didn’t try it, but if it works, this could give a new business and lifestyle to some.  Their words: If you want to be less stressed after giving a presentation than before you started? Or sleep in minutes without anxious thoughts keeping you awake? What about staying calm and focused at school and home - all without changing your daily routines or adding to your schedule. TouchPoints are neuroscience based stress-tech that can actually lower stress by 70% in less than a minute while you go about your day. Developed by a doctor, TouchPoints are the latest in wearable tech that don’t just give information or remind you to breathe. Looking for feedback from any users out there for this.
Whether you are a fisherman, Surfer or doing just about anything else in or on the water, PowerDolphin by PowerVision is the latest in Intelligent and connected water Drones. Also good for sea exploration and rescue. Uses are too numerous to mention, but this water drone has the following technology and features on board for lots of uses on or in the water.  220° Dual Rotating 4K Camera, 1080p Video Streaming 800m Range, 2 Hours Cruising Time, 4.5m/s Max. Speed  AI based Multiple Tasking, Waypoint Mapping & Return Home Attach and release rescue buoy or trolling fishing line GPS & Sonar Small and powerful <24” long My friend and fishing legend in the UK, Spencer Ramsey (better known as "KatchBullet") is being lined up for a trial, so I may be able to run a review on this in the near future. Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
Technology should be used to facilitate people’s life in every aspect, help people embrace their belief and dream more closely and track their daily physical activity as well! This is the main use case and objectives of Rosary Beads.    According to them: able to simultaneously record bead action & step detection, 2 days prayer and health history storage, Dustproof and waterproof for daily usage, Light weight, easy to wear all around, Low power consumption, Wireless Charging.                   AI and relevant design being applied to wearable technology. Nice to see today’s portfolio of core technologies being used to enhance the everyday routines of all sorts of new lifestyle segments!
The Soundbrenner Core, the 4-in-1 Smart Music Tool, brings you all your essential music tools in a premium wearable. The Soundbrenner Core features a watch and your most frequently used music tools; a Vibrating Metronome, a Magnetic Twist Tuner, and a Sound Meter making it the most versatile music tool out there.
See what it looks like in your room and then bring your “virtual plan” to reality. Design in AR and end up with real world dimensions, levelling and even exactly where to put the nails!  Basically, with PLOTT you can capture the real world and bring it into the app so visualization and design can be done.  After you’re done with how you want it to look, select the specific points to make the changes (make a cut, drill a hole, hang a nail, etc.) and then send those points to the Cubit device which then uses multidimensional lasers to bring you to the exact spots in the real world, without you having to do any calculations.  Carta is a new addition to the PLOTT family of tools and Apps which brings the same kind of visualising and planning into the outdoors around your home. Carta enables you to create a canvas where visual design yields dimensional data. By bringing together pictures, notes, maps, links etc, and putting it all in dimensional context; it enables you to see how your plan will look, as well as how it will fit. Once you’re done with design, Carta will help you bring that design to reality.  Well done again PLOTT for innovation. I’ve got a…
At CES I met up with Andrei Kashuba, the implant ideologist and CTO of NewYork based startup GotYu Tech. She presented to me what they claimed to be the world's first health monitoring implant for pets. It’s a microchip measuring just 5.8mm x 19mm that is implanted by a veterinarian under the skin and will monitor body temperature, the pulse and ECG. The team has also apparently developed a break-through solution for remote charging of the implant from a smartphone. Harvesting the inductive power source that a Near-field communication (NFC) source generates from a phone, the device can be charged sufficiently in a few minutes. This in itself may be the most unique thing about the implant and solves the power problem in a simple and readily available way. Previously there were pet health monitoring placing sensors in smart collars, however, animals have dense hair, which distorts and sometimes makes it impossible to read health indicators. With this implanted micro-gadget, we can achieve stable health monitoring and GotYu claims help prevent the development of up to 65% of diseases encountered in dogs!  The sensor transmits scanned information to a smartphone App, where it is analyzed and pet parents are given basic recommendations or alerts in case a Health risk is detected.  Veterinarians would also have access to the log, or the accumulated history of the health indicators. Future plans are to add glucose sensors and provide veterinarians with a…
KEPLER VISION TECHNOLOGIES, a spin-off company from the University of Amsterdam, develops body language recognition software that “looks” into videos using computer vision and machine learning technology. This software understands and interprets the body language of people. For example, one application is to recognize the body language and human activities in elderly care centers. Obviously many applications for this type of video intelligence (good and bad...) and it will be interested to see this capability popping up in many sectors. Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
Fly like a bird! Birdly is a full-body VR flight experience using your arms, legs and hands as wings and rudder! You are flying through the air and the Virtual environment you are in takes you where you want to go and shows you what's there. That is if you get the knack of flying like a bird. Flapping of your wings takes you up. Lean forward and you glide down. Manipulation of primary feathers for speed, altitude and navigation.Being visually immersed through a head-mounted VR display, fliers are enveloped in an interactive high-resolution virtual landscape charged with navigation challenges  and entertaining surprises! Unfettered flight is normally not possible for humans, but virtual reality (VR), coupled with robotics and simulation technology, can deliver our ultimate dream of flying like a bird. Also key to this experience is the Birdley VR 360º content. From a bird’s-eye view over the world’s great cities and monuments, to a bee’s-eye view of the inner workings of a combustion engine, to a pterosaur’s-eye view of a Jurassic landscape. Lots of interactive storytelling possibilities, both entertaining and educational It appears that he sky’s the limit!  Oh, by the way, our muscles are not developed in the…
Why medical hypnosis?HYPNOVR claims it has s a software and reduced or drug free solution to anesthesiology. It uses virtual reality (VR) technology to perform anesthesia under hypnosis in order to decrease patients’ stress and anxiety during painful medical procedures. Over the last two years, HYPNOVR has established the technical feasabilty of medical hypnosis through virtual reality and it's benefits to patients, health professionals and institutions. They claim that up to a half of anesthesia procedures could benefit from hypnosedation via VR and they claim there are numerous fields of applications for HYPNOVR’s solutions. Patients who have been anaesthesized during a medical procedure suffered side effects (nausea, sore throat, vomiting) or sometimes serious medical complications (allergies, cardio-respiratory risks). Medical hypnosis offers an efficient and reliable drug-free alternative, as proven by over 300 scientific studies.  Interesting and potentially very beneficial, but appears to me to still in the formative stages. Worth watching. Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
One of the best places to see leading edge technologies (gadgets ;-) is at the Last Gadget Standing Event. I had the pleasure of being one of the ten judges who after much examination, collaboration and debate managed to select 10 finalists (from 70 entries) who get introduced by us judges and present on stage with heckling from the MC, Jennifer Jolly  (Click HERE to see what else Jenn gets up to at CES2019) Then the audience in the hall votes with their applause (and screams, yells and foot stomping) to pick their choice of the Final winner. This year it was Shure with their MV88+ Video Kit (smartphone powered)   Next time you are at CES, make sure you take in this event! It's a blast.   Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
The Shure MV88+ Video Kit caught my eye because it provides content creators with an all-in-one solution to transform their smartphone devices into a personal audio and video rig – designed for capturing professional-quality recordings whenever, wherever. The digital stereo condenser microphone is the latest addition to the Shure MOTIV™ line and includes a headphone jack for real-time monitoring as well as lightning. Along with the MV88+ microphone, the kit includes a tripod phone stand and smartphone clamp, ensuring a stable picture when recording video on-the-go. The additional accessories give users the utmost flexibility to capture mounted, handheld or field recording. Compatible with iOS and other selected devices, the MV88+ allows users to capture high-quality audio, and livestream anywhere they desire. The ShureMOTIV Video & Audio and Recording applications work directly with the MV88+ to deliver superior audio quality. Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
Spotted this on the UK Pavilion. WIREWAX’s  interactive video technology has tools to help you design, build and deliver interactive video and take it to a new level of engagement by including clickable hotspots that perform an action when your audience clicks on them. Take them to the "buy" page or gather up their "wishlist".  Storytelling tools allow you to immerse viewers and inspire them to take action across mobile, tablet and desktop devices. And then monitor and measure level of interaction.Turns static video into interactive video for online experiences – quickly produces video hotspots, program branching, 360º interactive videos, in-video navigation. It’s a tool or a service, depending on your needs and expertise. Many possibilities, but caught my eye because of the ability to take existing video advertisements one step further and turn them into interactive shopping experiences. Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
The Cinema Snowglobe – a nostalgic (but static) artform has been upgraded. Pick it up and shake the Cinema Snowglobe to be immersed in and explore miniature worlds, fireworks displays, 360º panoramas, talking heads, scenes from yesteryear...viewed through a tiny crystal ball. What would you put in your crystal ball? All downloadable from your smartphone. Put some meaningful interactive content on your coffee table. Who could resist picking it up and giving it a shake? Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
The Syndiant 4K UHD 0.55” LCOS Light Modulation Panel caught my eye! In more ways than one. The SYL2341 manages to provide excellent image quality with vivid colors while meeting the cost and power requirements of portable applicationsThis Ultra small yet High Definition technology enables a bright and rich large screen experience in both near-eye and high brightness projection projects. The eyewear and projector demos on their booth at CES were very impressive indeed! Using small display panels plus optics to create video eyewear has been around for a while. But given their display architecture which integrates all-digital smart electronics onto the display panel, and the brightness and resolution they have achieved, it is worth watching this space for all sorts of potential portable immersive experiences. I will be on the lookout!  Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
Many, many examples at CES this year of life enhancing automation, but these three caught my eye. Hops and Wheat to Beer and Bread plus some welcome relief coming for menial household tasks!PicoBrew - Fresh Pico-brewed beer has all the nuanced flavors and aromas of the beers produced by the pro brewmaster. Pico Model C brings the taproom to your home by letting you brew celebrated, award-winning beers with recipies and ingredients from over 170 brewery partners around the world. You can also craft your own custom creations.  Wilkinson Baking Company’s Breadbot- The BreadBot, the first of its kind, is pioneering a fully automated way to bake bread. It mixes, forms, proofs, bakes and cools bread all on its own. Aimed at supermarkets, convenience stores, schools, and the military, and can crank out 10 freshly baked loaves per hour as it handles all the steps from flour to finished loaf without any human intervention.  Foldimate– Robotic laundry folder folds your clothes and puts into neat piles ready to put away. Automatically adapts to the clothing item type and size. Now, folding a full load of laundry, of around 25 items, takes less than 5 minutes!  Users simply feed each item into the FoldiMate machine and FoldiMate neatly folds towels, shirts, tops,…
As usual, Apple was both absent from the CES Exhibition floor, but at the same time had one of the largest footprints of any via third party companies making iPhone accessories, applications and content. But Apple did appear this year on the side of a building in Las Vegas with a 13 story advert take off of the Las Vegas slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. A very timely message as we move into the era of Internet of Me, contextual technologies, personal wellness/healthcare, wearable sensors gathering data and the Artificial Intelligence that learns enough to have impact on anindividual's wellness and quality of life. Problem is, there are entities out there that want this information to be able to advertise and sell products. It's their revenue model! An individual's contextual information and data must be kept close to that person and not be gatherable. To progress in some of these areas will require a trusted brand and a mechanism for keeping info private. Looks like Apple is marking out this space... 
Pivo360º turntable for spinning the camera on the phone or turntable accessory to get a 360º image of an object. Clever Accessory for 360º shooting of scenes and objects using either front or back cameras on Smartphones. Or use the smart rotating phone holder to follow you or a specific item around the scene as you move. Select the object or face you want to track and it will automatically move around with the subject.  Also responds to commands so you don’t have to touch the camera - Just snap your fingers or say “cheese” for Pivo to take a picture or start recording. A few of the other clever features in this camera mount and App combination - ManyMe Capture – 360º picture with many appearances of the same person or object. Tiny Planet - Take spherical images that capture the whole scene and then look like tiny globes. Fun, interesting and inexpensive way to do some clever photography.  Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
One thing for sure, there were plenty of AR headsets and glasses on show this year at CES! I saw 25 or 30, and probably didn’t see all of them. Lots of new ones. This is a good indication to me that AR has now graduated into the “…it’s going to happen and it’s going to be big…” category. This may also be driven by the emphasis that Apple and to some degree Google (and others) are placing on AR. But most that I saw were just the headgear, not the complete operating systems, apps platforms, ecosystem in place that the likes of Vuzix, Hololens and others have labored over for the past 10+ years and have in place.  For the most part the ones I saw were just headgear without the total solution, sectors and applications in the package or even fully understood. This is really where AR was 5 years ago, so I wish these Google Glass copycats the best of luck, but not where I would invest. There were a few that did catch my eye as being behind the leaders, but moving in that direction, and I have highlighted here six that I will be watching for progress over…
HumanEyes Technologies introduced their VUZE XR camera to capture two immersive content types with one camera. Push a button and presto, 360º capture becomes 3D180º.  In my 3+ years of taking 360º snapshots, I have come to realise that not all scenes have something interesting to look at everywhere. And besides, sometimes you want the scene, but without yourself in the picture. So what really caught my eye here was the ability to catch everything – up, down and around in a half sphere, but with the added immersiveness of 3D or 2D for normal phone screen viewing. An impressive spec (here) and set of features and Apps and an underwater enclosure accessory to boot. Another place where 3D180º captures the scene very well! Photos and videos can be captured and posted, published and viewed  “native” to social networks, YouTube, etc. and camera works stand alone or under control of available Android and iOS mobile apps, plus the VUZE Studio desktop software suite for more advanced editing at full resolution. Oh yes, and four microphones and 360º sound as well. Impressive little pocket sized camera!  Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
With the Vuzix Blade Android platform software and applications and all the enabling hardware on board as well, this enterprise application sure thing is now being deployed extensively. Vuzix and Third party developers in the areas shown (right) plus many others are actively building solutions, now that the hardware is a standard platform, a user friendly form factor and fit for purpose.  Could this package priced right, become a prosumer and even consumer lifestyle must have? It’s not just eye wear headset technology anymore! Now that complete AR platforms like this are available and the ecosystem already in place for consumer utility (think Apple watch but with a much bigger screen) could consumer be far behind? Keep going Vuzix (and others) you are getting there!  Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
360º Cinematic Editing  Shoot first, point and create the perfect scene later! Because you can…Insta360 action camera with built-in HDR video capture. HDR mode shoots video that looks natural and vibrant and makes all the scenes in the 360º capture for the post-production work to be done. No need to reshoot a scene, you caught it all!   The HDR video mode shoots 5.7K at 25 FPS. But that is not the full story as a consumer sized and priced 360º camera has a bit of a yawn factor associated with it these days. What caught my eye were the accessories and editing apps associated with Insta360. The real innovation comes in being able to capture in 360º video and then “reshoot” within the 360 sphere captured to catch the action and tell the real story you want to tell by picking and editing the final cut.  And it gets better! There is a throwable Torpedo accessory that the camera can be mounted in and thrown to get genuinely impossible shots! Or when equipped with the “invisible” selfie stick one can swing the camera around while shooting and edit later to keep the camera on the subject in the middle of the scene. Underwater housing and drone mount accessories take the capture possibilities to new heights and…
The FlexPai Foldable Smartphone is interesting, but it’s the flexible screen technology from Royole that really Caught My Eye! Screens as “Thin as a Butterfly’s Wing” they claim. Their overview of Flexible Display Technology:   “Flexible displays offer many advantages over conventional display technology. They are ultra-thin, light weight, bendable, portable, shatter-proof, unbreakable and low energy”.  Flexibledisplays such as these could profoundly affect the next generation of personal, even wearable products. Potentially enabling technology for brand new form factors and applications. I will be watching this space.  Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
Two that have Caught My Eye (so far) in terms of portability coupled with innovations that produce quality sound and party level volume when you want it. Libratone “TOO” and POW Audio “MO” Don’t let their size fool you, both can fill a room with big, reasonably rich, authentic sound. Both not exactly cheap, but affordable. My experience with both of these confirmed their claims.   In their words:  Libratone “TOO” is a wireless speaker made for adventure. You can take it with you wherever you go, indoors or out, and never compromise on sound quality with its 360 FullRoom® technology. The TOO comes ready for action, with 12+ hours of battery time, splash proof design and slim, yet sturdy, frame, meaning it can keep going long after the party stops.  POW Audio “MO” is reimagining speaker construction with the ultra compact Mo, the first expression in a family of expandable, portable Bluetooth speakers. Using POW Audio’s patented WaveBloom™ technology, which expands to create a voluminous wave chamber, Mo brings listeners enhanced bass, loudness, and improved overall sound quality within a super portable, affordable package. When not in use, Mo folds down flat and listeners can pop up Mo and expand…

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