Happy new year! For most of us, the turn of the calendar means it’s time for resolutions, a renewed outlook on life, and maybe a little celebrating. But for anyone who works in the tech sector or who loves new techy gadgets, January means one thing: CES.
An acronym for Consumer Electronics Show, CES is a trade show for industry insiders and tech- centered media that has been held every year, at least once a year, since 1967 as a way for the technology industry to show off its latest innovations and up and coming products. Held in Nevada at the Las Vegas Convention Center every January since 1998, CES has become the place to go to see the latest and greatest in wired gear for the consumer market.
This year, CES 2017 was held from January 5 through 8, and as expected, there were hundreds of amazing gadgets and gizmos on display — everything from smart home appliances to wearables to VR components and beyond. It’s a glimpse of the future, for better or for worse, and the goal of displaying companies is typically to up the wow factor and outdo their fellow exhibitors. For the most part, they’re all excellent, but of course, some are better than others. Here are the top ten gadgets featured at CES 2017.
1. Lenovo Smart Assistant
Smart home assistants are currently all the rage, with both Amazon and Google having major players in the game. Now, at CES, Lenovo has introduced its Smart Assistant. It looks a lot like the Amazon Echo, and it even has Alexa inside, but it looks a little better and costs about $50 less. Or, if you’d prefer to pay the $179 price tag of the Echo but want better audio, Lenovo has a version of its Smart Assistant with Harman Kardon speakers. The device should be available this May, and it will be interesting to see how the smart home assistant market shifts.
2. Hydrao Smart Showerhead
If you’re concerned about your water usage, the Hydrao Smart Showerhead may be right up your alley…or stream, as it were. It’s got built in LEDs that glow a certain color when you’ve used a specific amount of water. For example, it glows green when you’ve used less than ten liters, blue at less than 20, purple at less than 30, and red at less than 40. It’s not going to shut off the water on you, but it does give you a visual cue when you’re getting a little excessive with your shower. It’s perfect for those of us who tend to lose track of time when we’re cleaning up, and it should be available for purchase later this month.
3. In&Motion Smart Motor Bike Vest
Technology has vastly improved our safety gear, and the In&Motion Smart Motorbike Vest is a perfect example of a tech device that could save your life. It’s a wearable airbag for motorcycle riders, and even though it looks like an ordinary vest, it has sensors that can tell if you’re riding as you should be or if you’re falling toward the ground. In the latter case, the vest will inflate quickly and automatically, protecting your torso and, quite possibly, your life.
4. Remi Smart Alarm Clock
Funded on Indiegogo over a year ago, the Remi Smart Alarm Clock is finally ready for market — almost. It’s a baby monitor that transitions to a child friendly alarm clock, sleep trainer, and even sleep tracker. Meant for kids up to ten years old, you can start using the Remi right when your child is born. It has a cute, easy to read interface with a built in nightlight, it can play audio and send audio to your smartphone, and it can track your child’s sleep so you can see patterns if they keep waking up. Oh, and it works as a wireless BlueTooth speaker. Best of all, it has a sleep trainer to prevent kids from getting out of bed too early in the morning and disturbing your slumber.
5. BACtrack Skyn
Another safety device unveiled at CES that has the potential to save many lives is the BACtrack Skyn, a wearable blood alcohol monitor to let you know when you’ve had too much and should stay off the road. It could also be used by breastfeeding mothers who may want to indulge in a drink or two, but don’t want to overdo it and harm their child. The device looks like a chunky bracelet, and it connects via BlueTooth to your smartphone or smartwatch, and possible future connectivity could even prevent your car from starting up if your blood alcohol content is too high. If you’re interested, you can leave the company your email address, and they’ll contact you when the BACtrack Skyn is available for pre-order.
6. Mayfield Robotics Kuri
Kuri is a home robot that’s actually cute. It’s a roving robot that learns your preferences and acts as a smart home assistant and connectivity hub, plus it can play music and handle small tasks. It’s got a personality that you can interact with, though it only speaks in bleeps and bloops (it is a robot, after all), and it can listen and see, thanks to cameras in its “eyes.” It may not be as sassy as Rosie the Robot or as unusual as Robby the Robot, but it may be the first robot you actually want in your house. It’s available for pre-order for $699.
7. Flow Smart Air Quality Sensor
How’s the air in your home? In your city? If you don’t have a Flow Smart Air Quality Sensor, you may not know. This small but powerful device tracks the presence of VOCs, fumes, pollutants, and irritants in the air in your home and in your environment, plus it also measures temperature and humidity. You can take it with you, and it’ll send you alerts when the air isn’t as fresh as it should be. Perfect for city dwellers, Flow is still in the development stages, but if you’re interested in buying one, you can add your name to the company’s mailing list.
8. Lego Boost
Lego bricks have been delighting children for decades, and while the concept seems hard to improve upon, Lego just made their product better, smarter, and more in line with 21st Century toys. Lego Boost allows STEM-loving kids to make robots out of their Lego bricks, then program them through the corresponding app. A starter kit runs $160 and should be available in August 2017.
9. Immotor Go Scooter
What if you could take a Razor scooter and upgrade it for the 21st Century professional? That’s sort of what you get with the Immotor Go Scooter — a smart, powered, and totally portable ride-on that can help people maneuver around cities and not have to worry about parking, since it folds up and goes with you. Plus, it can charge devices, play music, and travel at up to 20 miles per hour. And if you’re worried about balance, don’t be — it’s got three wheels. The Immotor Go raised more than 300% of its goal on Indiegogo last month, and it should be available in May 2017 for a little over $1000.
10. Withings Steel HR
Withings has been making fitness trackers designed as ordinary watches for a few years now, but they didn’t do much beyond count steps and track goals. The Steel HR is the latest from Withings, and it’s more robust than its predecessors, with heart rate monitoring, a small digital display, and a battery that lasts for a really long time (at least three weeks!). It looks amazing to boot, and it’s available now for $180.