This year at the Consumer Electronics Show—CES—there was significant chatter about acclimating the public to the future of technologies like virtual assistants and autonomous vehicles. But, while it seems that nearly every company in the industry is working on, integrating or supporting one or the other, there was plenty of technology on display this year that is aiming to make life easier, more efficient and more joyful. If you follow tech at all, you’ve surely heard about the highlights from some of the big brands so here are our favorites from the indies, start-ups and lesser-known players.
Teaching kids smart financial habits, even from a slightly younger age, can make a sizable impact on their tendencies when they’re older and handling larger balances. Pigzbe, a Pentagram-designed toyified piggy bank, is a two-button, smartphone-sized Cryptocurrency wallet. No money is stored here, but using the device (in conjunction with its app) lets adults send their kids money in exchange for chores or good behavior. It’s thoughtful piece of tech designed to educate.
Adopting AI and AI-integrated products in later in life can mean older people live more efficiently and comfortably. Sure, autonomous vehicles are addressing mobility and social issues, but other products factor in everyday life in homes. Pillo is a voice-operated assistant that manages people’s wellness regiments. By loading its 28-day operating schedule with any combination of medications, the user can have their meds dispensed to them. Additionally it offers appointment reminders, general health updates and even a character to chat with. While currently out of stock, this little guy goes for $499.
Many health and wellness products document the efforts you’re making and use broad suggestions to enhance routines, but Lumen—a system that uses real-time metabolism reports to suggest a slew of ways to improve—works to be the precursor to any workout plan or diet. Using the device’s accompanying application, users can track how the previous day’s meals are impacting their metabolism now. Then, using that information, users are given optimal times to eat or workout and what food groups fit best with specific fitness goals.
Unlike other similar iterations, nreal‘s mixed-reality glasses really look like a normal pair of frames. There are no gaudy, wide goggles or cumbersome straps around the head and ears. And while these aren’t virtual reality glasses, their mixed-reality displays are vivid, wide and are seen through a surprisingly comfortable set of shades.
Picobrew Z Series
Picobrew’s line of at-home brewing systems now includes a still, but it’s their new Z Series—complete with a customizable range of chambers—that brew up to 10 gallons of cold brew, beer or kombucha. The other models are more fit for entry-level brewers, but this iteration is ideal for the ultra-hobbyist, the restaurateur looking to brew their own beer, or passionate individuals looking to kickstart their brewing career without having to go through the trouble of sourcing, purchasing the equipment and spending the near million dollars to fund their brewery’s launch. Using pre-existing recipes or those users invent (which can be done on their site), the resulting beers can be drinkable in two weeks.
Osé from Lora DiCarlo is a robotic self-massager that induces blended orgasms—which occur when someone is stimulated both internally and externally. The device contours and mounts its user’s body while performing without vibrations or human control. Regardless of the issue at CES garnering plenty attention, Osé is a significant addition to the world of tech and pleasure.
Puppy Cube can turn any surface into an interactive one, using its ultra short-throw projector. Users can simply sit it at a distance from an intended location and watch as the floor, table, desk (you name it) becomes a connected screen. We found it would be particularly useful as a countertop assistant—for following recipes or watching how-to videos.
For the dieting individuals in this world, measuring out portions and calculating your calories, carbs, fat and protein intake may be left up to a roster of apps. Pepper is a smart scale that can export data to an accompanying app, and simply asks what’s being weighed. Then the weight, total fat, total carbs and calories—and much more—are displayed on the screen and added to your nutrition log. There, you can follow along with your daily goals and plan meals.
Mui impressed crowds at CES with its simplicity. By replicating a silhouette we’re already familiar with and using a material we’re well-versed in, their assistant and home hub easily integrates to a smart setting without being another piece of complex tech to fumble over. By tapping the wood plank, users prompt its home screen—where one can navigate and control climate, lighting, home entertainment systems and much more.
Using Brava‘s Pure Light Cooking technology, home cooks can create an entire meal in one countertop oven. The infrared lights inside can cook at three different temperatures, allowing for modular control over zones (and multiple ingredients). Sear a steak in one section, roast potatoes in another and cook broccoli in the last—all without burning or undercooking. The technology requires no preheat and an internal camera offers a peek inside without opening.
The issue with other close-range tracking devices is that they have to be adhered rather obtrusively. But Chipolo’s Card can slip into any wallet (it’s thinner and slimmer than a credit card) and provide real-time location services within 200 feet. Users can ring the card from a phone (and vice versa) and see its location a map. Plus, the card comes with a year-long battery and a discounted renewal program.
Using the same UV LED technology as CES favorite from last year LARQ, 59S allows for broader use. Much like a metal-detector, the opened wand is waved over any area users want to sterilize for five to ten seconds. In that little time (since there are no bacteria immune to the UV LED light) it kills 99.9% of germs. Retailing for $109, and designed particularly for baby strollers, this device has almost limitless uses.
Images courtesy of respective brands