What do sports and fitness, healthcare, digital entertainment and wearable tech all have in common? Aside from being the latest trends in connected consumer technology, they’ll also all be on display at the upcoming International CES the world’s largest gathering place for developers, manufacturers and anyone else involved in consumer technologies. Along with the latest tablets, hybrid laptops, UHD TV’s and smartphones, CES will feature more than 3,200 exhibitors unveiling the latest consumer technology products.
We got a sneak peak at what’s ahead at CES Unveiled New York -- a kick-off to the 2014 show which takes place in January. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for in the coming year.
Tobii is an eye-tracking technology company enabling digital communication for people with special needs. Using Tobii’s gaze interaction software, users are able to navigate a computer or tablet simply by looking at what they want to click on.
I sat down in front of a tablet for a demo and was able to open a document, move a cursor to click a link, close a screen and much more, simply by looking directly at the location I wanted to click. Tobii software, laid over a Windows 8 device, brings personal computing to people with disabilities but their eye-tracking capabilities also provide a powerful tool for user experience testing as well as research.
Canary Security Device
We’ve been hearing a lot about smart home devices, such as the Nest learning thermostat and app-controlled LED bulbs. Canary is a smart security device that monitors everything going on in your home. Its HD camera has night vision, motion sensors and a microphone and alerts you via a smartphone app when something is amiss, such as a major temperature change or sudden movement. This will let you know if there’s potential gas leak or perhaps a flood and you can dispatch someone to check.
There’s a lot to be said for the peace of mind you get knowing that when you’re away you can pull up a video of what’s going on in your home and take action right from your mobile device.
You’ve probably heard the news reports about the possible link between concussions on the field and brain damage suffered by NFL players from too many hits. Now, wearable technology is helping sports enthusiasts (and potentially pro athletes) take advantage of the sensors and data available to help assess a player’s condition.
The Reebok Checklight is a skullcap embedded with motion sensors that can analyze and register the impact from a hit. A yellow light will indicate a moderate hit, a red light says severe impact. This way a high school football coach can immediately know whether it’s time for someone to be taken out of the game. It’s designed for athletes of all skill levels, and can be worn under a sports helmet, or alone. The Checklight from Reebok and MC10 was named a CES Innovations 2014 Design and Engineering Award honoree.
94Fifty Sensor Basketball
Imagine having a personal coach by your side as you dribble a basketball down the court and shoot. That’s what Infomotion Sports is trying to be with the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball. There’s a sensor embedded inside the ball that talks to an app on your smartphone. As you play, it learns your strengths and weaknesses and provides feedback and training to help make you a better player. There’s similar technology already being used in golf swing analysis.
The app provides training sessions so it may start out by telling you to dribble fast for 20 seconds. It can give instant feedback on your form, and also knows when you’re improving and moves onto the next level. Plus you’ve always got someone to play with!
There’s a lot going on in the world of health care and medical apps to enable people to “age in place.” There are products that can read your blood pressure or heart rate and send the info via an app to your doctor. Humetrix is a company working to give patients access to managing and storing their own health data. One outcome of this is an emergency app for seniors or people living alone.
The ICEBlueButton is an “In case of emergency” app that makes it easy for a first responder to identify key medical issues, as well as notify emergency contacts. Seniors will likely need help creating an ICE record on their phone, but once all the allergies, medications and contact info are stored, it generates a QR code that can be scanned by EMT’s doctors or anyone else offering assistance. The QR code can also be printed and put on the back of a feature phone or hung on the fridge door. Whether it’s a senior or a child with severe allergies, the idea is to get medical info to emergency personnel as quickly as possible.