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.