By Zeinab Bagheri
By now you’ve probably read all the hot-takes from CES (the Consumer Electronics Show), which kicked off January 8th and ran to January 11th in Las Vegas. I was lucky enough to attend CES with the TribalScale team to debut Dashero, our Venture Studios-backed company that’s changing the future of in-car purchasing. When I wasn’t at our booth I had a chance to walk the floor, and with over 4,500 exhibits, it’s hard to not create (at least mentally) a list of your favourites. So, we’ll cut to the chase: here are my top picks from CES 2019.
*Note: listed in no particular order.
1. JIMU Robot Kits. By UBTECH, JIMU Robot Kits give children the opportunity to code and build, and then play with their very own customizable robot. A JIMU Kit includes all parts and components for the build, the JIMU app (available on Google Play and the App Store) offers step-by-step 3D-build instructions, and through either Blockly or Swift, any level of user can code their robot’s actions. Through play, kids will have the opportunity to get into STEM, giving them an edge in today’s increasingly tech-driven world.
2. Facebook Portal. Facebook introduced their voice-activated smart camera that allows for interactive (but also) hands-free video calling. The smart camera adjusts and widens itself to the number of people in the room, will refocus if you’re moving around, and the microphone will hone in on whoever is talking. Facebook also released Story Time on Portal, which is AR-enabled, and allows (for example) a parent to read their child’s favourite story while Portal projects a mask or environment onto the parent’s face for a more immersive and engaging experience. Facebook is working to build out their application roster and partnerships; currently, iHeartRadio is one of the few supported.
3. Robomart. Robomart is the world’s first autonomous grocery store that will deliver produce, baked goods, and other goodies to a customer’s door on-demand. With Robomart, customers won’t have to pre-order their groceries, they will be able to summon the vehicle and then shop for any products they want. Still curious? Here is the link to their intro video.
4. Audi Immersive In-Car Entertainment. While CES featured a ton of auto-tech, Audi stole the show. Audi showcased a brand new entertainment experience, including both an on-the-road entertainment feature and an immersive movie theatre-like experience. The experience is 4D; a passenger will feel as if they’re immersed in the movie they’re watching. For example, if there’s a car chase happening, they will feel the car’s acceleration and movement.
5. Seabow. Also, a winner of a CES 2019 Innovation Award! The Seabow, by Sublue, is an underwater scooter that pulls a swimmer, diver, snorkeler, etc., through the water. There are two motors attached to the scooter that can pull a rider up to 6 feet per second for 45 minutes on one battery charge. There are a handful of features that enhance the Seabow — lights, hand-control system, GoPro-compatibility elements, and a display screen. Take a closer look here.
6. Puppycube. Puppycube is the latest in projector-tech, it is a small (3.5lbs), portable projector that can make any surface into a touchscreen. There is also a built-in sensor for real engagement. Whether you’re looking to display a recipe on your kitchen counter for easy cooking, or to show-off your latest business plan, Puppycube is a fresh way to experience and interact with content.
7. Bundil. Of all fintech products exhibited at CES, the Bundil app made the greatest impression on me. Essentially, Bundil gathers your spare change from credit and debit interactions and invests it into cryptocurrencies. For example, you buy a coffee for $1.96, you’re charged for $2.00 and the remaining $0.04 is invested. It’s a smart and easy way to invest in cryptocurrency.
8. DTS Connected Radio. Xperi Corp. showcased a number of new technologies at CES. The most exciting was their expanded DTS Connected Radio platform that operates in-vehicle. DTS leverages both over-the-air analog and digital FM radio content and channels it all into a singular radio experience. Based on location, a user will have access to any and all available content from Spotify, Radio.com, iHeartRadio, you name it!
9. Google’s “The Ride.” The Ride was a 3-minute roller-coaster experience that tells the story of a father using Google Assistant to find a last-minute birthday cake. The ride takes you through the protagonist’s day and highlights the ways in which Google can be used throughout — checking traffic, the weather, finding a bakery, searching for a recipe, etc. The experience was very thoughtful and detailed. Even while waiting in line the Google team was entertaining people, and handing out snacks and promo codes, making the whole experience far more enjoyable. My one critique is that riders weren’t able to interact with the Assistant; the experience would have been heightened if riders could engage and experience Google Assistant for themselves.
10. Polaroid Exhibit. For the first time, Polaroid put on an immersive experience at CES. They exhibited new products, celebrated originals, gave out swag, and displayed their devices in creative ways. Their booth was very interactive and colourful, which made it incredibly engaging and fun to explore their technologies. By showcasing modern with original, Polaroid perfectly nailed their brand’s identity at CES.
Zeinab Bagheri is a Product Manager at TribalScale. She is committed to helping clients explore their digital potentials and spearheads projects from start to successful release. Her team is what helps her succeed and she does whatever it takes to enable them. Also, a hello kitty lover.