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Essay

New gadgets at CES

By David Yenches

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CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, ran from Jan. 7-12 in Las Vegas this year. This marked the 50th anniversary of the show, the largest event of its kind. Over the years, CES has showcased technological innovations like VHS, PCs, CDs, DVDs ... the list goes on.

In 2018, voice integration is the key feature and the winner of 2018 CES was Google Assistant, integrated into many gadgets. Amazon’s Echo with its Alexa voice assistant was the standout product last year.

Both feature artificial intelligence and point to a world where devices know you so well they can act autonomously, controlling smart devices in your home. One research group estimates that the number of smart devices sold in the U.S. will go from 83 million in 2015 to 193 million in 2020. Are these devices expensive? Yes, to start with, but they promise to save you money and energy in the long run.

Here are a few products I found to be the most interesting and useful at CES. The first is the Aladin Smart Lamp, a wall-mounted light with a motion detector. It was designed with the elderly in mind. If your aging parent gets up late at night to use the bathroom and falls down, the lamp sends an automatic notification to emergency services and family members.

Next is MyLiFi. It’s a desk lamp that also provides internet access, not through Wi-Fi but an infrared beam pointed at your laptop via a USB dongle. Production of MyLiFi was financed through Kickstarter. It wasn’t the only product at CES to get started through the crowd-funding website.

Moving on, I liked Nightingale, touted as “the first smart home sleep solution.” It is a white noise generator that integrates with a bunch of other internet of things (IoT) devices, and can be controlled by the Google Home or Amazon Echo smart speakers. Nightingale provides not just white noise but soothing sounds ― birdsong, rainstorms, whale songs ― and can adjust for the size of your bedroom and the type of flooring. (I’ll take the rainstorm, thanks!) If your partner’s snoring gets louder, Nightingale gets louder too.

Or maybe you would prefer a smart pillow like Somnox that you can cuddle. It simulates breathing sounds and you can use it yourself or put it in a baby’s crib.

There were many other IoT devices on show, like smart fridges and ovens, home security systems, ceiling fans and even cycling helmets.

I once heard a woman say that her favorite Christmas gift was the Echo. Why? Because once it told her a bad joke:

Q: What word starts with an “e” but only has one letter in it?

A: Envelope.

Get it?

CESで見つけた最新ガジェット

世界最大の家電見本市、コンシューマー・エレクトロニクス・ショー(CES)。50周年を迎えた今年も、革新的な技術が組み込まれたさまざまな製品が展示された。

The Japan Times ST: March 2, 2018

The Japan Times ST 読者アンケート

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2018年5月25日号    試読・購読   デジタル版
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