CES, the annual tech confab in the heart of Las Vegas, showcases the latest and greatest in technology and consumer gadgets. There truly is something for everyone, from new and improved products and services announced by major corporations to truly innovative ideas made real by entrepreneurial spirits.
Still, it’s difficult to figure out what’s worth one’s time and what products and services are simply a flash in the pan, never to be seen again. So we did the hard work for you to find the most intriguing and exciting gadgets of CES, from accessories you can buy right now to concept devices charting the future of the industry. Without further ado, here is TIME’s Best of CES 2020.
Samsung’s Ballie is an interesting combination between smart home device and robotic companion. The ball-shaped gadget, equipped with cameras and sensors used to follow you around, can control various smart home features, take photos, send you updates about your home when you’re away, and even function as a fitness assistant. Designed to be an “all-around life companion,” Ballie might be cute enough give your pup a run for its money.
BMW i3 Urban Suite
BMW’s trying to rethink the rideshare experience by adding a bit more class (and removing a few seats). The BMW i3 Urban Suite is a modified BMW i3 made for a more luxurious rideshare experience, one that includes perks like a hanger for coats, heated cupholders, and a literal desk lamp. There are also some pleasant privacy-centric features like simulated acoustic sealing and a display that supports smartphone mirroring when you need a second screen. Think of it as the next evolution of the limo, if a limo only fit one passenger.
Dell Alienware Concept UFO
Dell showed off an interesting concept when it comes to PC gaming on the go with the Intel-powered Alienware Concept UFO. The portable Windows PC, which mirrors the form factor of the Nintendo Switch, features an 8-inch display, kickstand, detachable controllers, and support for external devices like displays or a keyboard and mouse. Sure, it’s still a concept device, and Dell is mum on specifics, but a more portable PC gaming experience that doesn’t require a laptop might be just what many gamers need to enjoy their favorite titles on the go.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
Rumors of the DSLR’s demise have been greatly exaggerated based on Canon’s update to its beloved — and expensive — EOS-1D X lineup. The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III boasts improvements like the faster Digic X processor, burst shooting at 16 frames per second, and face and head-tracking thanks to improved computer vision tech. It also shoots 5.5K RAW video and 4K video at 60 frames per second.
Professor Xavier cosplayers, rejoice! Segway’s S-Pod is, essentially, a two-wheeled self-balancing stroller that can hit speeds of up to 24 miles per hour. Unlike other Segway products, you control the S-Pod with a joystick instead of your body, making for a more relaxing jaunt around town. The S-Pod is outfitted with smart safety features, too, like automatic braking on turns and exterior lights that double as turn signals.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
Foldable displays are the new hotness, and Lenovo’s showing off its take on the trend with the ThinkPad X1 Fold. The Windows 10 device is more laptop than tablet, despite the tablet-like design. That foldable 13.3-inch display supports stylus input and Windows Ink for more intuitive pen-based operation. Want to get some actual typing done? Just pop the magnetic keyboard on the bottom half of the X1 Fold and type away, or just leave it there, close it up like a normal laptop, and get on with your day.
Samsung Odyssey G9 Monitor
Curved monitors are great for PC gaming, and Samsung’s 49-inch Odyssey G9 monitor is a particularly impressive display to see in action. Aside from the huge screen, the QLED monitor has a 1440p resolution, a 1 millisecond response time, and supports refresh rates up to 240Hz. Since it’s for gaming, the Odyssey G9 also supports AMD’s FreeSync 2 and Nvidia’s G-Sync for smoother gameplay with less tearing or framerate loss.
Dimension Robotics Dr. CaRo
Dimension Robotics’ Dr. CaRo is designed to restore mobility to stroke victims without prohibitively expensive physical therapy sessions. The device, a motorized handle-equipped robotic arm attached to a 23-inch display, is meant to aid in rebuilding neural connections to a patient’s limbs with entertaining training exercises. For patients looking to strengthen atrophied muscles, Dr. CaRo can switch between assistive and resistive modes to accommodate patients looking to regain strength and dexterity in their limbs.
Electric vehicle maker Fisker is using its luxury SUV, the Ocean, to show the competition how to make eco-friendly vehicles. Fisker claims the Ocean is the world’s “most sustainable vehicle,” supposedly due to its all-electric drivetrain, vegan leather interior, and use of recycled materials like nylon and polyester. The Ocean also features a slick solar panel roof for passive battery charging, as well as a cool “California Mode” that rolls down every window for an open-air feeling without compromising safety.
Core Meditation Trainer
Meditating is a tough habit to build, and even more difficult practice to maintain. If you need an extra hand, or just a little tap on the shoulder to get you back into the zone, look at Core. The handheld meditation trainer uses tech like vibration and biofeedback, along with an app that offers both metrics on your health and and on-demand meditation classes, to help you focus on relaxation, breathing techniques, or mindfulness.
Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel
Acer’s ConceptD 7 Ezel is a laptop doubling as an artist’s easel, and doing it with style. Its 15.6-inch 4K display has multiple configurations, meaning you can prop the display over the keyboard to show off some work, use it like a traditional laptop, or fold the screen flat against the rest of the laptop for some serious sketching work. Built for artists and creators, the ConceptD 7 Ezel supports the full Adobe RGB color gamut and features Nvidia graphics to keep your apps running smoothly when your work gets more complex.
Come Play Petl
Sex tech is making a big splash at this year’s CES. Sexual wellness company Come Play, for instance, is trying to help women share their toys with their partners with its couple-friendly Petl vibrator, designed for clitoral stimulation during intercourse and meant to stay secure in a variety of positions.
Hydraloop Water Recycler
With water conservation and sustainable technology set to take center stage in the coming years, Hydraloop’s water recycler is a no-brainer of an invention. The large appliance, which filters and purifies grey water from baths, showers, and washing machines, employs a series of six maintenance-free filtration techniques, and can recycle up to 85% of the water used in the home for re-use in toilets, pools, and irrigation systems (your toilet and kitchen sink are safe from filtration, so don’t fret).
Joué Music Instrument
Joué’s Music Instrument is a modular take on the MIDI controller, using a compact, backpack-friendly wooden and aluminum board that supports swappable pads to accommodate your instrument of choice. With choices ranging from beatpads to piano keys to a guitar neck, and support for mobile devices like tablets, the Joué has the potential to be the music-making device for anyone looking to experiment with different sounds without toting a giant instrument case.
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus
Lenovo’s back at it again with its innovative laptop designs, this time with the ThinkBook Plus. While the ThinkBook Plus is pretty normal, with its 13-inch display and standard array of ports, things get interesting when you close the laptop, which has a 10.8-inch e-ink display on its lid. It can control various features, display information like calendar appointments, and even supports the Kindle app for Windows, meaning you can use the laptop’s lid to enjoy your favorite books after you’re done with your workday.
LG OLED ZX Real 8K TV
LG’s new OLED ZX Real 8K TV is a shot across the bow when it comes to the competition’s 8K sets. The 77- and 88-inch displays exceed the Consumer Technology Association’s definition of what constitutes an 8K Ultra HD TV, and boasts some impressive upscaling features thanks to its α9 Gen 3 AI Processor 8K. The set’s integrated voice assistant support also makes it easy to find whatever you want to watch without channel surfing or flipping through apps. It’s just one of multiple sets LG launched that support “Real 8K” resolution.
Smartphone photos are always improving, but lighting remains an issue, especially when trying to capture a romantic moment with a loved one. Moon Ultra, a tiny, touch-sensitive, clip-on light source, fixes the issue by providing users with a powerful light source that doesn’t require a bulky case. Its multiple color temperatures and adjustable brightness also make it the perfect companion for those with darker skin tones whose photos are done a disservice by the cooler light temperatures often used on smartphone camera modules.
Pax Era Pro Vaporizer
Pax’s newest take on its pocket-friendly vaporizer puts more power in the hands of the consumer, keeping them informed and safe when it comes to cannabis consumption. Thanks to its new NFC-equipped pods, the Pax Era Pro can share data like strain information, oil content, and state-required test results to your smartphone, providing peace of mind and a more user-friendly experience.
Rocean’s One is the most stylish take on a water filter you’ve seen yet. Aimed at reducing the use of plastic bottles, it filters, carbonates, and flavors water thanks to a pair of reusable flavor pods and a built-in carbon dioxide tank. The company is partnering with various brands to recreate and offer particular flavor combinations in an effort to discourage bottle use while providing customers with the same great drinks they love to chug.
Roland’s Go:Livecast is a clever take on a mobile production studio, catering to smartphone vloggers who want to create more professional live-streaming content. The array of control options help solo producers and streamers cue up sound effects, display titles, mix audio, and more. The Go:Livecast is also pretty capable, supporting multiple input and output options, including XLR, as well as including a built-in microphone.
Lora DiCarlo Osé
Sexual wellness company Lora DiCarlo showed off its Osé, a sex toy that doubles as both a G-spot massager and a clitoral stimulator. Designed to accommodate a variety of body shapes, the Osé is meant to be both flexible and suitable for hands-free use.
Samsung Sero TV
Like it or not, vertical video is here, but Samsung’s Sero TV is here to make the experience a little more pleasant. Instead of rotating your phone to watch vertical or horizontal video, the 43-inch 4K TV does the heavy lifting for you, rotating between portrait and landscape mode depending on the content being shared to the TV. Samsung smartphone users can mirror their smartphone on the Sero by tapping it against the TV’s frame, which is mounted to a 4.1 channel sound system below.
Sony’s Vision-S takes the best elements of Sony’s expertise in imaging, displays, audio, and crams it all into a sleek electric concept car. The Vision-S is built on a flexible electric vehicle platform to accommodate different automobile form factors. With a focus on safety, adaptability, and entertainment, the Vision-S is outfitted with 33 internal and external sensors, 5G connectivity, driver and passenger monitoring, assistive driving capabilities, and a huge panoramic display.
Sony Z8H 8K LED TV
Sony’s improving on its already impressive 8K TVs with the Z8H 8K LED TV. At either 75 or 85 inches, the Z8H sports full-array LED backlighting, can upscale 4K content, and supports Sony’s “Frame Tweeter” technology, which vibrates the frame itself for improved sound quality. It also brings Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant support to your living room (or wherever you can fit this gargantuan screen).
Vizio Elevate Soundbar
Vizio’s Elevate Soundbar, a 10-channel, 5.1.4 sound system, literally approaches audio from a different angle: when playing content supporting either the DTS:X or Dolby Atmos audio standard, the Elevate’s outermost speakers rotate upward, providing room-filling sound. It also features two HDMI inputs and supports both Bluetooth 5.0 and Google Chromecast.
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