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The Fun, the Fit, and the Weird: Our Review of CES 2018

The Fun, the Fit, and the Weird: Our Review of CES 2018

From the fun, to the fit, to the just plain weird, CES 2018 had quite a bit to show off. The Consumer Electronics Show is a chance for the technology industry to show off what they have to offer, for better or for worse. Today, we’ll go over some of the highlights that graced Las Vegas this year.

The Fun
One of the (quite literally) biggest products showcased was Samsung’s ‘The Wall,’ a new television set that measures 146-inches diagonally and leverages a similar technology as scoreboards in sporting events, albeit at a scaled-down size. While the Wall has some hurdles to overcome, time will tell if Samsung is able to iron them out.

Another technology that has exploded in popularity is that of voice-responsive gadgets and connected homes. In the past, Amazon’s Alexa device has made quite a splash at CES as the services that can be controlled with voice commands piled up. This year saw a few more of these services added to Alexa’s recognized commands, expanding the utility the assistant has to everyday life.

Finally, there was also technology there meant to benefit older generations. Most notably, the digital companion ElliQ. ElliQ can assist a user in many ways customized to meet the needs of its older target, reminding them of upcoming appointments and even carrying on conversations with a user.

The Fit
Fitness makes up a considerable portion of the consumer technology market, so it only stands to reason that CES would be the place to showcase the latest and greatest in fitness technology.

Perhaps most notably, Peloton broke from their usual offer of connected indoor cycles that stream fitness classes directly to the bike, to a connected treadmill that also allows a runner to access a library of pre-recorded classes or tune in to a live class. The Peloton Tread, as it is called, will feature pure running/walking fitness classes as well as some strength and circuit classes in its library.

The Spire Swim Tracker also made waves as the first smart swimsuit, automatically tracking your performance metrics from the time you don the suit (with tracking tag embedded). From there, it automatically syncs with the Swim.com app. You don’t even have to charge the tracking tag, as it is meant to last longer than the suit.

It also seemed that virtual reality is finally hitting the gym, as Black Box gyms will soon feature their own VR capabilities. Taking the monotony of a resistance workout and incorporating it into a video game, Black Box VR offers a full-body workout in 30 minutes while satisfying the competitive streak in all of us.

The Just Plain Weird
Then there were the devices that made sense to a point, but were ultimately best suited for a niche audience. For instance, to help people with bad habits overcome them, there’s Keen. Keen uses an inertial measurement unit sensor to identify a learned gesture, and vibrates. This assists the user in catching themselves indulging in a bad habit, making them more likely to break said habit.

There was also the Moodo, a diffuser that you control with either Alexa or a smartphone app to release scents into the air. In addition to these gizmos, CES also saw a self-driving store and a ping-pong-playing robot. Speaking of robots, there was the Somnox Sleep Robot, a bean-shaped lump that breathes and snuggles up to you to assist you in falling asleep.

Which of these products are you most interested in seeing, and using? Let us know in the comments!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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