Mask to make you a deeper sleeper

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It seems as though getting a good night’s sleep is somewhat of a dream these days, which is ironic. I find myself tossing and turning, trying app after product after app to “track” my sleep pattern in an effort to enhance it – but to no avail. Maybe Dreamlight’s Rechargeable Sleep Mask could be the answer to my troubles. Using light technology, Dreamlight helps you sleep and experience optimal rest.

Like all good sleep tech, this sleep mask tracks your sleep patterns each time you use it. Considering it’s a sleep mask, it really does prevent any interference both visually and auditorily. That being said, the user has the option to play their own music through the embedded speakers, or they can use the preinstalled playlists that are in the accompanying app. Like any good app, this guy can learn from your pattern to find the optimal time to wake you up and to use the same lights to put you into a deep sleep, can be used to softly wake you up at the right time. Albeit the claims being made by Dreamlight seem somewhat perfect, you are wrapping a pillow around your head before you go to sleep, so I do wonder how that feels.

Designer: Dreamlight

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Imagine having a fitbit in your ear

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CES brings out the best in us all, and when I say that, I mean it showcases products that could probably make us better individuals. Take Soul Electronics, for example, debuting two in-ear headphones (the Run Free Pro-Bio and Blade) at CES with built-in gait analysis specifically for runners. Soul Electronics boasts having built-in sensors and a kickass accompanying app that can you tell you, while you’re running if your strides/form is off and how to correct it.

Being a long distance runner myself, these nifty headphones could have prevented a long list of injuries. Tracking a mixture of data sets such as; cadence, step length, step width, vertical oscillation (the up and down bounce of your body), head tilt angle, stance/flight time, shock, maximum leg force, balance, and consistency – the Run Free Pro-Bio and Blade have the potential to be a real game changer. And of course, it goes without saying that these guys are sweatproof given their application.

Designer: Soul Electronics

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Let the supermarket come to you…

Very rarely do you see companies one-upping Amazon. There’s no messing with them, because they have the ability to cripple and then devour companies that come in their way. Having said that, Robomart becomes the David to the Amazon Goliath with their grocery/retail outlet drones.

The autonomous vehicles are pretty simple. Businesses make use of these cars to send their goods/supplies/wares to consumers who need them. A consumer simply taps a button to request a Robomart which pulls up to the location. They pick up the items they wish to purchase and the Robomart intelligently tracks the inventory that’s been picked up, making an itemized invoice and sending it to the consumer. Think of it as an Amazon Go, but you don’t go anywhere. It comes to you. So an Amazon “Come”, if you will…

The Robomarts work using NVidia’s Inception program to run their autonomous fleet. Using a combination of sensors and cameras, both inside and outside the car, the vehicle can move from place to place, allowing people to shop without the need of staff or even a cashier. The car itself can be customized to show off its partner company’s branding, while the shelves on the inside come with customizable tags, allowing you to display anything from baked goods, to fast food, to groceries, to even flowers. The car’s interiors stay refrigerated to make sure your food stays fresh. I hate to say this, but “Your move, Amazon”…

Designer: Robomarts

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When JBL met Google

The one thing that makes Apple so desirable is the one thing that will kill it. Exclusivity. While it tries hard to make everybody adopt its technology, the truth still remains that over 80% of smartphone users use Android, and that inclusive strategy is the one to beat. Google’s betting hard on that strategy by now making its AI assistant available to third parties to integrate into their hardware. Take for instance JBL’s Link View. It combines the best of both worlds… JBL’s heavy-hitting audio, along with Google’s incredibly integrated experience. The JBL Link View is basically JBL’s wireless audio with a screen that allows you to interact with Google’s Assistant, letting the speaker not just be an audio device, but something MUCH more useful.

Google isn’t a hardware company. JBL is. Google doesn’t care whether you use the Google Home speaker, it just wants you to rely on its impeccable service… and JBL helps deliver on that! The Link View comes with a screen sitting between two 10W speakers. Flip it over and you see the JBL logo resting on a subwoofer that adds that heart-warming bass to your audio that the Google Home Mini isn’t capable of providing. The 8-inch HD screen itself lets you look at everything from album art, to your photos, to recipes, to google searches, to even your appointment schedule. Ah… life!

Designer: JBL (with Google)

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The most special children’s toy ever made

CES is full to the brim of awe-inspiring and excitable tech; it’s easy to lose sight of the lesser brands and the underdog products that get less attention. However, the feeling is most certainly mutual across all design articles and reporters of CES when I say my favorite product of the whole convention is My Special Aflac Duck – a robotic toy duck designed to help children diagnosed with cancer cope through their treatments.

This duck is no ordinary duck, accompanied by an array of RFID tags; this guy can relay the emotions of the child by having them place an emoji disc to the chest of the duck. Depending on the disc chosen, the duck will communicate the feeling with a positive or negative chirp/groan.

What’s truly remarkable is that My Special Aflac Duck comes with its own IV kit, allowing the child to administer meds to the duck, similar to that of chemotherapy, lessening the fear and anxiety around it.

When the duck is in IV mode, it’s head will vibrate and pulse in a heartbeat-like pattern – alleviating stress and focusing the child on a steady breathing pattern. On top of this, the duck’s fur can be removed and washed to ensure optimal cleanliness throughout hospital trips.

What’s really special about all of My Special Aflac Duck’s accessories, is the rocket ship. Using the accompanying app, the child can pick their happy place (whether it be the jungle, the sea, a rollercoaster) and once the rocket ship is placed against the duck’s chest, like the RFID disks, it will play a sound from this scene – transforming the hospital room into that special place within seconds.

As if it couldn’t get any better, it does. My Special Aflac Duck isn’t available in the shops, not now, not ever. Aflac plans to give My Special Aflac Duck for free to kids diagnosed with cancer across the US, with the hopes of getting this special guy to thousands of kids by the end of this year.

Designer: Aflac & Sproutel

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LG’s TV lets the good times “roll”

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“Bigger is better” seems to be the common consensus with televisions, with Samsung literally making a television the size of a wall… but the ‘bigger’ question remains, when does size start becoming a hindrance? The large phone market stopped at around 6 inches because any bigger and the phone is literally too large to use, so the question remains, how big must a TV be to be the biggest it should be?

LG doesn’t really have an answer to that question, but it has a solution. Flexible displays. LG’s Rollable TV concept features a 65-inch mammoth of a screen that’s actually as flexible as fabric (and as a result, super thin), as it rolls into a housing that’s a fraction of its size. What’s more interesting is that this ability doesn’t necessarily mean a compromise on quality because the Rollable TV features a 4K UHD display. Did I also mention, it rolls up into a cylinder?!

Designer: LG Electronics

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An Insight into the Transport of 2030

So Mercedes-Benz brings their Smart Vision EQ Concept to CES, and they shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip for it…if you haven’t seen it already, then you’ll understand why this was completely acceptable. An all-electric, completely autonomous car, built for personalization without actual ownership – the Smart Vision EQ Concept lacks both a steering wheel and pedals.

Albeit this little guy is aimed at the year 2030 when ride-sharing is expected to be the main form of transport, when it’s not being used to shuttle around those of you lucky enough, the Smart Vision EQ can be used as a rolling informational display.

The entire dashboard is an attention-stealing screen that relays information regarding social media goings on, news updates, sports scores and whatever you wish considering it’s hooked up to the rider’s smartphone. However, if you can look away from this for one minute, you’ll find yourself staring out the windscreen which stretches all the way from front to back above the riders’ heads. Filled with small details that can be seen upon closer inspection, the Smart Vision EQ may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it, without doubt, can create excitement around the future of autonomous transport.

Designer: Mercedes-Benz

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Facebook’s Hugo Barra says standalone headsets are key to social VR

Even though Oculus didn't have an official presence at CES this year, its leader, Hugo Barra, made a surprise appearance at Qualcomm's press conference to make an important announcement: Xiaomi would be its global hardware partner for Oculus Go, its...