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CES 2017: Day Three

By: Mithrandiel

Just like that, the final full day of CES is upon us. Today I decided to wander the Sands Convention hall near the Venetian/Wynn/Palazzo, otherwise known as “Tech West”. Home to a vast number of IoT (Internet of Things) products, VR and smart home solutions, I had a chance to swing by some major players’ booths as well as scope out a couple smaller companies.

Withings

Doing their best to secure their corner of the activity tracker market, Withings showed off activity trackers and watches of various designs, shapes and colors. Centering around the theme of overall wellness, Withings also demonstrated its smart scale, blood pressure monitor and air quality monitor – all smart tools you could use to improve, or at least be more aware, of your daily health.

Then I came across this thing.

A smart…hairbrush. That’s right – using the companion app for this brush will keep track of your hair’s health over time. You know…because you need that.

Seriously, there’s no better argument of just how serious the Internet of Things is turning out to be than a smart hairbrush.

FitBit

The fitness kick continued into FitBit’s booth, where their own lineup of activity trackers continues to evolve in order to appeal to a wide variety of aesthetic styles and provide varying levels of functionality.

The larger, square faces are reminiscent of the Apple Watch, as the activity tracker does its best to appeal to consumers wanting more functionality. While the options were good to see, there wasn’t anything particularly groundbreaking from FitBit from what I saw. The next booth I visited, however, had some pretty cool stuff.

Whirlpool

While a smart hairbrush might seem silly, appliances are among the items most people are expecting to get “smarter” over the next few years. We already have refrigerators that let you look inside them remotely with an app, as well as smarter dishwashers, stoves and ovens. Appliance manufacturer Whirlpool moved a bit further with these smart appliances in their booth, showcasing a “scan to cook” oven that automatically set the oven temperature and timer just by scanning a frozen food item.

Whirlpool also had a number of Amazon Alexa’s set up throughout the booth to give their demo of the ideal smart kitchen. A series of commercials ran on the large display nearby showing a mother calming her baby while having Alexa preheat an oven. Whirlpool’s commitment to the vision of a smart kitchen was easy to see in their booth, and well executed with their lineup of smart appliances.

Autonomous sitting/standing desks

As more and more people found themselves sitting behind desks for 40+ hours a week for years at a time, it slowly became apparent that all that sitting isn’t good for you. Serious computer gamers also faced a similar issue with remaining sedentary and sitting for hours on end. The solution previously would be to install a standing desk, but these were permanent fixtures and didn’t provide the flexibility in case that gamer was ready to take a seat. This is where the sitting/standing desks come in. Able to adjust its height so the user can choose to stand or sit at any given moment, these sitting/standing desks have been extremely popular over the last few years.

Starting at just $299 for a single motor option, Autonomous is certainly making a splash with its price-point. For gamers, streamers, or other professionals looking for some great flexibility in a solid product, the Autonomous standing desk could be a great fit. You can order the desk here.

I did stop by for a VR demo before I ended my day, but that will be in a separate piece.

Final Thoughts

Overall, my final full day at CES reinforced the themes I picked up on my earlier visits: the Internet of Things is alive and well, and we have some exciting years ahead as the mainstream consumer base in adopting it fully. Tools to maintain health and fitness will always remain popular, especially around the beginning of the year. We also saw some impressive PC hardware announcements (including a $9,000 laptop from Acer) aimed at keeping the PC gaming market going strong. While PC sales overall may be on the decline, gamers are still driving the market forward.

I’m disappointed I won’t have time to peek in on Day 4, but I’m excited to visit again next year and see how the industry has shifted over the next 12 months. The next year will bring a flurry of questions: How will QLED TV’s impact the market? What sort of saturation will smart home accessories enjoy? Will the gaming market continue to sustain PC sales in an otherwise declining market? Only time will tell. In the meantime, I’ll be keeping a closer eye on my hair-health with a new smart hairbrush…

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