There's a lot that, like always, I won't be writing about. There's just too much, and so much is in areas that are either so high-tech they're beyond my ken or beyond my interest. Lots of accessories for all manner of products. Lots of high-tech home beauty aids. Lots of health products -- some seriously impressive and important, many meaningless. (There are always a lot of products for improving your brain. One test for that is whether you are interested in buying one of these things...) And a huge amount of home security systems -- just a small list of some I jotted down when passing by were from ADT, interlogix, LifeShield, Ooma, First Alert OneLink, Alarm.com, Brilliant, Safe...and so many more that I haven't written down.
And yes, as I noted, a LOT of robots and artificial intelligence products this year. Most of the robotic products so far seem to be either on the toy-ish ends, or an attempt to jump in as an early adopter without filling an actual need. But a few things are interesting, and and in reality the world of robotics far transcends that, and I' eventually got around to some of those.
Just a few examples: robotic arms used in manufacturing. The Hobot, a Roomba-like product that can clear windows. The Breadbot, an impressive device for baking bread in stores where fresh bread would be a bonus (like restaurants or grocery stores, not for the deli section but in the bread aisle). And Horizon Robotics which uses artificial intelligence for face and body recognition in crowd situations. (While most people viewing this were identified in limited age groups of 10 years or so, I was identified as "Male, 55-100.") And lots more.
Also, I generally don't write about mobile phones because that field is SO massive, and they're phones, the worst does what you want and does it well. But this year, there is a change. The new 5G technologically is industry-changing and just starting to make its presence felt. The speed is monumentally higher, like 100 times, which not only let you stream and connect world's faster, but it allows other technologies to actually exist, like usage in medical procedures. So far, Verizon and AT&T have made tiny inroads, but much more is to come.
Also, there are now some foldable mobile phones ( from Samsung) which open their screens to provide larger, more-usable browsers and screens for viewing movies and playing games. And even a flexible screen from Royale, the Flexi Pai. This is already in sale in China. The standable screen is so thin you can literally roll it up. (Though when part of a phone, there are more limitations.) While this allows for expanding the screen, it also eliminates concerns of breaking your screen.
For a long time, I've been trying to find a good, easy device that lets you write on paper, which then converts it digitally into a text file. Some of have been good, and easier to use than others, but still more of a bother than ideal. The ReMarkable is not this, but in the ballpark. It's a table that lets you write on and easily manipulate it all into text files and more. And can be used as an e-reader. The quality of the device and its e-ink is seriously impressive, and it seemed to work extremely well and fairly simply. (Although there are so many options -- a good thing -- it can get a little overwhelming, if you let it.) Without testing it, it seems very good for meetings and students and such. The one big problem right now is the cost which is $600. Whether that will come down, since it's a very new product, remains to be seen.
(In fact, later that night, at the ShowStoppers event, I spoke with someone from the fine Wacom company that has a similar product, the Cintiq, which is mainly for artists. The person had seen the ReMarkable and said, "It looks really cool, I'd love to get one.")
Speaking of ShowStoppers, they had a good collection of products this year, and a few stood out to me as very clever and well done. Just a few --
The myCharge Lumen 20K comes from one of my favorite portable charger companies. It's a small charger holding 20,000 mAh (which is a LOT, enough to charge your phone about seven times) -- but also provides four levels of light, from normal to overwhelmingly bright. But what's so special is how long it will hold that light -- important for camping or during a blackout. At the incredibly bright level, it will last for 16 hours! At the normal light level, it will glow for a stunning 68 hours. It should be available mid-year.
The Faytch lapscreen is a good-sized, very thin, light portable screen about 12 inches diagonally that connects to your mobile phone. So, you can use a bigger screen for watching videos, gaming or presentations. It looks very good, though doesn't come cheap -- $200, or $300 for a touch screen.
I also liked the Jammy Guitar, which is a respectable digital, electric guitar with three modes (rock, acoustic and classical) that comes apart for easy traveling. When taken apart, no section of the neck is longer than 17 inches. You can put your guitar in your carry-on bag.
Lots more. And more of CES to come...