If you are into gadgets, you probably agree that CES, the Las Vegas-based event previously known as the Consumer Electronics Show, is one of the highlights of the year. It showcases the weird and the wonderful, and is always an eye-opener, even if some of the products demoed never actually hit the shelves.
The developers and manufacturers that attended CES 2019 had some great things to show, and I was sorry I wasn’t there to see it all in person. There’s hope, though, because what I thought were the best products are not just pipe-dreams. Provided I have the money, I’ll be able to see at least some of them up close in the near future.
My Special Aflac Duck
At the top of my list of the best CES gadgets is My Special Aflac Duck. It might not be the most impressive of the year’s gadgets, but it is arguably one of the most important.
It’s a robotic smart toy, but it is not designed for mere entertainment. Its role is to offer comfort and a means of expression to children who have been diagnosed with, and are undergoing treatment for, cancer. Using various tokens, children can communicate their emotions to the duck, which will respond accordingly. Children can also mimic their care routines on the toy. Honestly, could any gadget top one that helps kids that are dealing with something as scary as cancer and chemotherapy?
The Movi Phone
If you can’t find me researching, playing with, or writing about tech, you will probably find me sprawled on the couch, watching movies. You’ll understand then why one of the CES 2019 gadgets I can’t wait to get my hands on is the Movi Phone.
It’s more than an Android smartphone. It’s also a movie projector. Yes, you read that correctly. It can do what pretty much every other Android phone can do, and it can project 720p videos onto screens, walls, and other surfaces. With one of those, I won’t be limited to my TV room, and I won’t need to worry about missing out on anything because of a small screen. I also probably won’t get as much work done.
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L’Oréal’s UV Sense
My work and my hobbies mean I don’t spend a lot of time in the sun, so L’Oréal’s UV Sense won’t be of much use to me. My girlfriend, though, is outdoorsy, and usually goes jogging in the park during her lunchbreak. She got super-excited when I told her about this little ultraviolet exposure sensor.
She explained that managing your sun intake is part and parcel of healthy skin maintenance, and that it is also essential in preventing skin cancer. When she told me this, I began to see the UV Sense as one of the coolest CES gadgets. It does not use batteries, and it boasts not only a UV sensor, but a temperature sensor and a NFC antenna. It works in conjunction with a mobile app that monitors your sun intake, stores 3 months’ worth of data, and uses it all to suggest hints and tips to help you do what’s best for your skin.
Vuzix Blade Glasses
Most of us got an inkling of how exciting Augmented Reality (AR) can be when we ran around our neighbourhoods, trying to catch Pokémon. There hasn’t been anything AR-related that has captured the popular imagination since the game’s heyday, but Vuzix Blade AR glasses might change that.
Apart from looking more stylish than Google Glass, the visuals it offers are also better quality. It gets better, though. Vuzix Blade supports digital assistant Alexa, which means the glasses are fantastically functional, too.
Another piece of tech I can’t wait to try out is the Philips SmartSleep headband. It’s not about sleeping for longer. Instead, it’s about sleeping better.
The most refreshing, restorative sleeping happens when our brain waves and breathing are at their lowest levels, and enjoying that kind of sleep means we are more focused and alert when awake. The headband can help boost that slow brain-wave activity. It features a sensor that detects when we fall asleep, and a sensor that detects the beginning of deep sleep. The headband then emits a tone that boosts that sleep-stage. Sounds good to me!