CES 2020 Highlights

I don’t know if I will ever attend CES. I don’t know if I could handle the sensory overload of millions of square feet of electronic gadgets, gizmos and thingamajigs. Regardless, I wouldn’t want to miss out on January in Chicago!.

Thanks to extensive media coverage, I virtually visited CES 2020. Most of the articles I read and videos I viewed were published by Engadget and The Wall Street Journal.

There were plenty of products that I found interesting, but I was deflinitely not interested in 8K TVs. I am a slow adopter when it comes to TVs. My family room TV was a 480i CRT until it died. Now I have a 1080p set. I will have it until it dies and will I buy whatever set has a decent price / performance point at that time.

What I was interested in was an odd array of potentially very useful and at the very least distracting products.

Segway S-Pod

I have followed Segway for years and so I had to take a look at the Segway S-Pod. Engadget called it a “ridiculous lounge chair on wheels, but I wouldn’t go that far. I really enjoy riding the original Segways, and now I can do it sitting down! If there were a plastic bubble around the front, I could see myself riding one of these to work.

The Segway S-Pod. Photo credit: Segway

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus

When it comes to reading on an electronic device, I greatly prefer using an E Ink device over an LCD screen. I have both a Kindle and iPad, and the E Ink on the Kindle is so much easier on the eyes. E Ink also uses far less power than a backlit LCD screen, which makes it ideal when you want to constantly display something. That is why the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus is so intriguing to me. It combines a regular laptop with an E Ink screen on the lid. The screen can be used to read books, display your calendar, or display anything else that you want frequent access to. The Engadget article points out that the display is not a Kindle, but instead can be used to display output from a Kindle application. I could see this being a great device for commuters to carry.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus. Photo credit: Lenovo

Bosch Virtual Visor

The Bosch Virtual Visor has the most potential to improve my life. There have been so many times when I was driving and had my vision obscured by a standard sun visor. The Virtual Visor only blocks the area of the visor needed to keep the sun out of your eyes. The rest of the visor remains clear. As the car or sun move, the spot moves to compensate. Nice!

The Engadget article has more. So far, the Virtual Visor is only in the prototype stage. Hopefully it will be available on my next car!

Bosch Virtual Visor. Photo credit: Bosch

The Box

The Box by LivingPackets intrigues me because it takes the idea of a reusable shipping container that rides on the back of a semi trailer and shrinks it down to a size that can sit on your front porch. It adds some electronics and an E Ink display to make tracking a breeze. I don’t see it working well for one-time shipments, but if you frequently buy from an online store, these could really reduce the cardboard that goes into the recycling bin. A picture does not do The Box justice, so check out the video.

The Box. Photo credit: LivingPackets

Samsung Ballie

What is the Samsung Ballie? Is it a robot? A pet? A personal assistant? A spy camera? It seems to be all of those things rolled up into a ball. I think that I would treat it as a pet virtual assistant that follows me around the house. It would be fun and creepy at the same time. I am scratching my head about one thing: I could see it being built strong enough to make it down the stairs, but how is it going to roll back up?

Samsung Ballie. Photo credit: Samsung

The Future

Where will all of these ideas and products go? Often, things that are showcased at CES either never make it to market, or they are short lived. I am going to keep an eye on them to find out!

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