A Cornucopia of Digital Wonders

Paula LabrotBy Paula Labrot

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A Cornucopia of Digital Wonders
Aska’s $789,000 flying car hopes to be flying in 2026.
The Computer Electronics Show (CES) was back, live, in full force in Las Vegas for 2023. This year, the event, which had been virtual during COVID, was its in-person-wild-and-crazy old self, with lots of mind-bending new products on display. “CES is the most influential tech event in the world—the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators,” according to the Consumer Technology Association. Here is a roundup of highlights from the show. Automotive Hands down, the flying car was the top of my list. Aska’s $789,000 flying car is pending approval from the FAA and hopes to be flying in 2026. It’s powered by electric batteries, carries four people and fits in a conventional parking space. It can fly 150 mph and has a range of 250 miles on a single electric charge. The BMW iVision Dee is a color changing car that changes the exterior design of the car at the whim of its owner using E Ink’s low-energy segmented display technology. This digital beauty is a compact sedan that recognizes and “learns” its owner. It can sense the driver’s mood, and it can chat to the driver, acting as a road buddy. Instead of a normal dashboard, the car’s entire windshield is the display panel which can give basic info like speed all the way up to virtual or augmented reality overlays to entertain its owner during automated driverless journeys. Boats Billed as the Teslas of the Seas, Candela of Sweden and Navier of California unveiled electric powered hydrofoil speedboats that can cruise for over two hours at 20 knots (23mph). Even Brunswick showed off an electric outboard motor for traditional boats. Electric powered boats would be great for the environment, but sailors have big qualms about their range limitations. Running out of juice or having mechanical difficulties 50 miles out at sea is not something a lot of mariners are keen to risk yet. TVs The TV I liked the best from this year’s models was the Displace Wireless TV. Samsung and other companies all presented wireless models which are TVs that hang on the wall and only require a power plug. They come with a connect box you can put off in corner that receives and transmits the television signals so you don’t have a tangle of wires to hide. But the Displace TV has another, amazing feature. At 55 inches and weighing 20 pounds, it sticks by suction, to any flat surface you want to place it on. You could put it on a wall or a window… anywhere you can stick it. And the Displace runs on four rechargeable batteries so you don’t even need a plug.
The BMW iVision Dee changes color on a whim.
A giant TV was the 97-inch LG Oled Wireless TV that comes with a wireless connector box you can hide and a price tag of $25,000. But that was not the biggest screen. Samsung’s “The Wall MicroLED” TV runs 8K at a mammoth 292 inches! Hey, Weird Al, we are getting closer and closer to “Fred’s 2000-inch TV.”

Medical Innovations
The digital innovations in medicine at CES are mindboggling. Ashirase’s wearable navigation system helps visually impaired people walk safely. It is an in-shoe device with a motion sensor that interfaces with a smartphone app. The app uses data from the sensor with map and satellite positioning information to generate navigational instructions which are communicated to the user through vibrations in the in-shoe device.
Valencell blood pressure monitor does away with cuffs that pump up and pinch.

The ENAD (Endoscope AI Detector) Finder is an artificial intelligence (AI)-based program designed for computer-aided polyp detection systems in the area of colonoscopy to prevent colorectal cancer. It has the ability to detect polyps that may be hard to spot, even for doctors.

The Withings’ connected “urine scan” provides an immediate snapshot of the body’s balance by monitoring and detecting a large variety of biomarkers found in urine. The device sits inside most toilet bowls. Results are delivered to a smartphone app which provides the user with analysis and recommendations on hydration and nutrition, or helps women track their ovulation.

The Valencell fingertip blood pressure monitor looks like a pulse oximeter that clamps to the end of your finger. This little device lets users do away with cuffs that pump up and pinch.
The LG Breeze sleep earbuds use brainwave-tuned sound, with the use of different frequencies on each side said to induce a sleep-specific state in the brain. 

To support workers in physically demanding jobs, German Bionics introduced the Apogee exoskeleton, an AI-supported wearable tool that provides 66 pounds of lower back support, perfect for jobs that require heavy lifting. It aids good posture and its active walking assistance feature minimizes fatigue in labor-intensive sectors like construction and logistics, according to ibtimes.com.

The wearable Evie Ring is designed for women.
As part of a move away from smartwatches, the Evie Ring by Movano Health, designed for women, has typical fitness metrics. It can also measure menstrual and ovulation cycle, sleep stages and duration, and even mood track.  

A Cornucopia of Digital Wonders
From electric roller skates to fantastic virtual reality adventures to cuddly, personality-filled AI-driven robot pets, CES abounds with the fruits of imagination and innovation. This was just a tiny glimpse at the thousands of exhibits on display this year. One thing for sure, we better learn how to recycle batteries better.

AI (artificial intelligence) continues to develop exponentially and is the main technology to watch as far as transforming the realities we live in. For me, though, no robot pet will ever take the place of a real dog snuggled up next to me on a stormy winter night.
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Paula Labrot

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January 20, 2023

Out & About