CES: Trends, Fails, and the Unexpected (Part 3)

Part 3: The Unexpected

Now, for some of my favorite finds- the Unexpected Innovations. Don't get me wrong, there is some amazing technology here. But it's also a little... well... unexpected.

1. For the hypochondriac in your life:

Anti-Microbial Corning Gorilla Glass- “contains an ionic silver component which serves as an antimicrobial agent to keep the glass clean”
I wonder if you hold it against your cheek if it will also kill that pesky acne-causing bacteria? Clear skin and a clean phone? Count me in.

2. For the control-freak cook:
Belkin Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker- “adjust the cooker’s settings from anywhere giving you greater flexibility and control over life’s unexpected moments”
The crock-pot is basically the simplest item in the kitchen. It's also the slowest, by nature giving you ample time to deal with "life's unexpected moments". But if you can’t handle that type of ease or trust in your life, this is for you. 

3. For the extreme selfie hobbyist:

Panono the Panoramic Ball Camera- “With a traditional camera, you’d have to gather everyone together away from their fun, line everybody up, and take a picture that doesn’t even include you”
But now you can always be the center of attention when you literally throw your camera in the air and get a bird's-eye view of the top of everyone's head. Don't worry though, you'll stand out in the photo. You'll be the one with outstretched arms to try and catch the camera before it cracks someone's head open on its fall.

4. For those who think technology can replace talent:
Zepp Multi-Sport Sensor- “we use technology and insights to help the user discover perspectives of his or her game that cannot be revealed through conventional tools or coaching”
Screw conventional tools and coaching! This sensor will give you all the secrets to becoming the next sports superstar. Mark my words, this will be the athletic version of all the people who think owning a DSLR camera makes them a professional photographer.

5. For the "World's Most Dedicated Toothbrusher":

Kolibree Smart Toothbrush- "Kolibree helps you outsmart your dentist!"
You don't have to dread going to the dentist anymore, because apparently now the dentist should be afraid of you!

6. For the laziest party-host:
Goji Smart Lock- "you can securely send access to houseguests so they can access your home using their mobile phones."
Next time you have your friends over, you don't even have to go to all the trouble to answer the door! Make Goji do all that hard work. You've got more important things to do, like... not answering the door.

7. For the mischievous toy-lover:
Jumping Sumo- "the jumping capabilities only add depth to the trouble we can get into"
Do yourself a favor and watch the promotional video for the Jumping Sumo. By the time it is splashing around in popcorn, you'll know there are no words I could possibly offer to describe its joy.

Bonus Round!

Cnet has created a fun (and super weird) video as part of their CES 2014 revelry called the "CES Live Torture Test".

Watch the video and check out what happens when they boil a Samsung Active, drive over an Acer Chromebook with a bus, and much more! 

Didn't catch the first two parts?
Part 1
Part 2

CES: Trends, Fails, and the Unexpected (Part 2)

Part 2: Fails

The biggest tech fails at CES are apparent by their notable absences, and their even more notable replacements. Just a few years ago, 3D TV was one of the hottest trends, and for two consecutive years at CES it dominated. Last year strongly suggested it was dying, and this year's show has confirmed it. Next to go? External devices such as Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV and the like. Even though we see companies like Vizio experimenting with the concept of a 3D TV that doesn’t require the use of glasses, the technology has been largely left behind due to the rise of the 4K UHDTV, which has greater clarity than ever before and the ability to stream programming directly from the TV itself versus an external device. 

By now you’ve probably heard about director Michael Bay’s surprising exit from the Samsung stage. Apparently when the teleprompter failed and Bay was left to fend for himself, his (unbeknownst to many of us) intense stage fright set in, and he bolted. To put a laughable spin on an otherwise unfortunate event, Funny or Die offered this tweet:

Sure, it's a jab at Bay's movies, but considering the movies that have raked in over two billion dollars at the box office, I'd sure say the dude's still got it.

While not as high profile as the Michael Bay incident, Samsung had another "whoopsie" at CES. The rain machine designed to promote the curved UHDTV displayed a big typo, literally- EXPERIECE was projected across the mist. 2014 may not be Samsung's year for smooth marketing, but hey, at least they are getting some great press!

There was also a slight "clash of the (mobile) titans" at a CES party on Monday night, when T-Mobile CEO John Legere (he likes to publicly taunt AT&T) showed up in his company t-shirt to an AT&T event. When the event staff realized he was crashing the party, he was escorted out and threatened with trespassing charges if he returned. Allegedly he only wanted to see Macklemore perform at the event, and guess what wild and crazy behavior it was that got the staffers' attention? Attendees of the party were taking pictures with Legere and (gasp!) tweeting them.

Look out for Part 3: The Unexpected tomorrow!

Didn't catch Part 1: Trends? Read it here.



CES: Trends, Fails, and the Unexpected (Part 1 )

Part 1: Trends

We here at Curious Provisions always look forward to the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year we weren’t able to make it out to the considerably warmer West, but we’ve been following it closely from the comfort of our Atlanta homes. In a three-part blog post, we're going to take a look at some of the trends, fails, and my personal favorite- the unexpected finds and oddities at CES 2014. 

Two of the biggest trends this year appear to center around wearables and the connected home. In fact, you could say that this year’s unveilings are in line with your New Year’s resolutions- get healthy and get organized!

In the wearables category, we are seeing tons of devices that monitor health and fitness. While this trend has been around for a while, what makes these products so innovative is not only the design (these devices look like accessories you’d actually want to wear), but the sheer variety of capabilities and the ease with which it takes to use them. For example…

1. Netatmo’s June- This bracelet will give you detailed advice on UV protection based on your skin. June will notify you when it’s time to put on a hat, or wear sunscreen, or put on your sunglasses. It’s like having your mom on your wrist!

2. Wellograph- It's a smart watch with a heart monitor on the back. Wellograph tracks your steps, calories, heart rate, and connects via Bluetooth to the iPhone (Android version coming later) to give you feedback on not only what you do, but with how much intensity you do it.

3. Tao Wellshell- So the Wellshell isn’t exactly a wearable, but it’s a small, highly portable gym/personal trainer that connects wirelessly to your phone and monitors your progress through isometric exercises and rewards achievements as you improve.

The connected home trend is full of innovations that help make your life more organized, from devices that can remind you when to take your medicine to beds that you can talk to. Notable examples:

1. Allure Energy EverSense- This smart thermostat works based on your personal behavior- it connects to your phone and adjusts temperatures according to when the first person comes home and the last person leaves the house. You can create a personal profile of how you'd like the temperature to be when you come home, and once you set up a proximity zone (say, when you are 10 miles away from home) the EverSense starts working so you can come home to an environment that suits you.

2. Mother by Sen.se- Monitoring system that connects to trackers via WiFi to monitor any activities that have a tracker attached. See how often you open your fridge, whether or not you have taken your medicine, or any number of patterns or activities that you want to keep track of. Did you brush your teeth today? Have you watered the plants? Are you sneaking cookies out of the cookie jar? Mother knows.

3. Sleep Number x12 Smart Bed- Not only does this bed track your sleep patterns, caffeine intake, and adjust its mattress according to the data it's collected, but you can even ask it to make your partner stop snoring. No joke. It will gently lift the head of the other side of the bed 5 degrees upon your request. Whoa.

And of course, with us being the audio junkies that we are, we can’t leave out some of the trends we’ve noticed in the audio sector of CES. We’ve seen the continued improvements on creating a wireless Hi-Fi sound system for the home and beyond, and we've noticed the continued stylistic trend of small and sleek speakers that blend into the decor. 

1. Cobra AirWave Bluetooth Speakers- Great for the outdoorsman, these guys can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. That way on your next canoe trip, you can tip the boat over to show your friend how much you hate that song they’re playing. "Row Row Row Your Boat" is not appropriate adventure music!

2. Philips M1X DJ Station- The M1X is a portable sound system to suit all DJ needs, designed in collaboration with DJ Armin van Buuren. At $400, it's a pretty solid deal for any aspiring or established DJ.

3. ClearView Clio- This sleek speaker that creates vibrations through its clear acrylic panel, blending seamlessly into the environment.

This year’s CES audio motto may seem to be “speakers should be heard, not seen”, but while we appreciate the incredible new audio technology and styles, we respectfully disagree. We will still continue to perfect the Hi-Fi vintage suitcase boombox, because here at Curious Provisions, we believe sound should be seen.