CES, the world’s largest tech conference, overtook Las Vegas last week. From year to year, the event is known for setting tech trends and bringing the hottest and newest innovations into one place. However, this year CES had less booming innovations, according to many journalists from reputable publications like The Verge, Mashable. While most of big companies just showed their improvements on already existing products, the actual “show” was happening in Eureka — the startup pavilion with novelties from around the world.
The expo itself is spread across three large venues: Tech East, Tech West and Tech South. One surely needs a couple of days to cover every exhibit and interact with the most interesting gadgets and home appliances. Even then, there will still be some things you miss out on, it’s just so huge! That is why CES is a six-day long event, from Monday to Saturday.
For me, going to CES was a huge adventure! Due to harsh age restrictions at many professional conferences and expos in United States, it was not clear whether I would be able to attend. According to the rules, I had to be at least 18. As a thirteen-year-old (and a founder of the WOWCube console), I was indeed curious, but still my age was causing some issues for the event coordinators. Eventually, after months of negotiations, we were able to get me a blogger pass. My previous publications in HackerNoon, the Arduino Blog, and my YouTube channel came in handy to prove how serious I am about tech and gadgets.
As I said before, I was dying to go. It is just very exciting to see so much tech in one place and this is the biggest event in the world for awesome gadgets and technology. Here are some of the coolest things I saw at CES:
Admittedly, ‘Smart everything’, ‘Internet of things’ and ‘Internet of moving things’ concepts were not new. At CES, refrigerators independently talked to online stores (one of them was at the Samsung stand) and smart mattresses sent your data to doctors (I tried the Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed which retails for $3299).
Innovative startups revolutionize the way we see familiar things and one way that is currently being done is by making everything ‘smart’. Smart luggage company, Modobag, one example of this. It is a motorized suitcase being developed in Illinois. The smart carry-on gadget can transport people at the airports like a real scooter.
Modobag can hold up to 118kg during a 10km ride and is powered by a removable lithium battery. It can be conveniently charged from a regular plug within an hour and also has two USB ports — one for your phone and another, perhaps, for an ebook. A huge advantage of Modobag is that the battery is removable which lets it comply with flight regulations.
Market price for the gadget is at around $1495.
Atari Table Pong
Atari has successfully recreated one of the most popular games since 1972. Now, it is a gaming console for two people stuffed into a sleek table. In the picture below, I am playing with Snapchat creative director Alex Leibowich.
In general, retro games and retro gaming consoles have been trending the last couple of years, with companies like Nintendo reintroducing classic gaming to new audiences with its releases of the good old NES Classic and Super Nintendo. The NES can be found on Amazon for $224 which is kind of crazy, because that is almost as much as buying a new Xbox or PlayStation. The starting price, by the way, was only $60.
Primax 8K VR Headset
I can’t help but to mention the Primax VR Headset when talking about some of my favorite technology I saw at CES. This project started on Kickstarter and managed to get $4.2 million in funding. In my opinion, it is currently the most exciting quality consumer VR tech and I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen with this in 2018.
UBtech Biped Walker
There were dozens of robots from different companies and countries at CES. All of them had different functionality, tech, and design, but all of them brought interesting ideas to the show. Here are a couple of those that impressed me the most with their quality and unique design.
UBtech Biped Walker is an awesome humanoid developed specifically for the home. Unlike Walker’s ‘colleagues’ in the industry, he is surprisingly light (82 pounds) and can balance on one leg while most other robots still use wheels for transportation.
FORPHEUS is a tutor robot who can teach anyone how to play ping-pong. Developed by Omron, Forpheus amazes you both with its alien-like design and its size. A ping-pong set with this giant reminded me of the scene in Forrest Gump where the main character beats the opponent in a blink of an eye. FORPHEUS, however, adapts to its opponent’s skills and helps its human partner to improve.
Revinax — AR for medicine and education
An incredibly well built augmented reality system for future doctors that was developed by French Revinax. The company specializes on solutions for training and workshops with the elements of virtual and augmented reality.
Furrion/ Recreational Vehicle (RV)
Fancy going on a road trip? Travelling with a camper is a common way to spend a summer vacation in the United States. Many National Parks are equipped with infrastructure that can accommodate that type of transport.
Oftentimes, the parking spot will connect your house-on-wheels to electricity and even water. But Furrion is a completely new solution for RV. Inside, you can find a fireplace, a hot tub, sauna, luxurious bathroom accessories, a leather sofa and a huge TV. Did you also want a helicopter included? Developers will make one for you, just be ready to pay at least $2.5 million for it.
PIQS Vurtual Touch Projector
PIQS Vurtual Touch Projector is one of many great Chinese innovations. This year’s Asian dominance at CES was not surprising: they had visible presence in every category and offered very interesting solutions. My favorite was a projector suitable for both play and education. The operating system on the projector is Android-based. Its main and coolest feature is a built-in system for computer vision.
Speaking about CES as a whole, it was an unforgettable experience and I can’t wait to attempt the conference again in the future. Some of the main takeaways I left with were:
- CES is much much bigger than you can imagine
- Well-known brands are lagging behind and need to catch up;
- Everyone seemed to hang out in the Venetian, near the startup alley Eureka Park. That is also where I found most breathtaking tech.
Hi, all! I am Savva Osipov, a middle school student from California. I participate in hardware and IoT hackathons; develop and assemble gadgets; and have a Facebook page and a tech channel on YouTube. I’ve also developed a gaming gadget together with my dad. Please, sign up for updates at wowcube.com!