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Technology Today - January 2017 - CES Quick Looks

By Robert Sanborn

What surprises me a lot about CES is how many new products that are announced are still not yet available and will be rolling out in the first half of this year. Prior to the start of CES, the show formerly known as "The Consumer Electronics Show", was two days of events for the press and media. It looked like this year, there were over 3,500 people covering the show for media outlets from traditional newspapers, television, cable, to websites like this one and the hundreds of blogs. People streaming content were everywhere and you saw everything from sophisticated video cameras to smartphones mounted on selfie sticks. So for two days, I was treated to press events, news releases, and exhibits, like CES Unveiled, that may or may not make it to the show floor when CES actually opens.

First up was Honor. They are part of the huge Chinese phone maker Huawei and want to make a splash in the US Market with some pretty neat phones. Their press event was standing room only and worldwide, Honor already has over 100 million fans and users. A first tier company in China, they are number one in their market with a ton of goodies like dual camera, high speed, powerful battery and the like. Available for the US Market at Best Buy.

Honor Press Event
Tech Trends

Tech Trends told us that over 165,000 people will attend to see over 3,800 exhibitors at CES. Trends include voice recognition that is matching human parity which is an error rate of only 5 or 6 %. This allows the next computer interface to be voice and that doesn't surprise me at all considering sometimes it is like my daughter talks to Siri more than to me. You will see it more in the Smart Home, Smart Cars, Smart Cities, and with digital personal assistants; and of course, you will be wearing them. We used to dream of robots everywhere and now they are here. the 2020s will be the age of adaptive automation. Don't forget the drones and Virtual Reality.

Unveiled is the CES event where they show products and companies making a splash or hoping to make a splash in the consumer electronics market. This image is of the Ability3d Printer that creates metal objects on your desktop. Like many of the other companies here, Ability3D won't be available soon and they will be starting a Kickstarter campaign. In fact, wandering through Unveiled, one of the most common questions you ask is when will it be available. Will be priced under $3,000.

3D Printer


Airthings, like many new devices for the home, is a Smartphone enabled device that will give you information about a new kind of Radon detector as well as temperature and humidity inside the home. Take a look at the Airthings website for an excellent look at what Radon is and why you should be concerned about especially those of us that live in the Midwestern USA.  A very cool unit that non only connects to your phone, but also instantly tells you if you have a problem. Simple to connect, and simple to use. Coming in March and it will be around $199.

Speakers, headsets, and audio gear I leave to my daughter but when I saw not only a speaker that is waterproof and floats as well as solar powered, I had to take a closer look at the Lemon Tech. At $249, this speaker covers everything and in fact, sounds pretty good. This is truly a take anywhere entertainment unit. From Lemon California.


Kado Thin Charger

When you have as many devices that need charging as this family, you look for anything that makes life easier and Kado has come out with their new generation of wall chargers that are super thin (at just 0.2 inches) which means super portable. It also comes with a 2 ft. retractable cable. Had a chance to talk to them and see how well it was put together. Available soon.

Blink was a company I saw last year at this time and it looks like they are getting some new and cooler products like the Blink XT Outdoor camera that not only incorporates an HD Video with motion sensor, but is waterproof, weather resistant, infrared night vision and runs on 2 AA batteries so no cabling required. It is also Wi-Fi capable for connection to your blink system or Smartphone to access images anywhere. Will be available in the first quarter 2017 for around $119.

Aura Home Monitor

A new technology on the horizon from Cognitive Systems called Aura.  They say it better than I can. "Discover a new way to see motion in the home. No cameras or sensors stuck to walls, windows or doors. Just a hub and one or more sensors plugged into electrical outlets that monitor motion by detecting ripples in wireless signals. A mobile app provides live-motion, household-status updates, and notifies the owner of any unusual activity."No video to worry about poor connections or speeds. You can pre order it for $399.

There is a new technology that might save a lot of us a ton of headaches and that is staying connected to our WiFi networks. From Linksys the Velop Whole Home Mesh System. What it promises is a system of three devices that interact with each other in such a way to keep your entire house connected to the web. While a bit on the expensive side at $499, it does include three stations (one plugs into your modem) that you can disperse throughout the home and office to give you a really reliable connection. Available immediately.

Linksys Velop Mesh


There were a lot more at CES Unveiled but what was above caught my eye as things I could easily make use of in my own home and office.

More from CES 2017 later.

Robert Sanborn

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