Thursday at #CES2014 in Eureka Park

Third and last day at CES. We’re staying at the Venetian, so this morning we had the easy commute down the elevator to the Eureka Park booths in the Venetian. The products below are all from Eureka Park.

Lifelogger.  Lifelogger’s claim is that it will “completely change the way you remember your life.”  That’s a tall order and I was a bit skeptical, but after seeing the Lifelogger camera I came away impressed.  This is a product I could see myself actually using.  The Lifelogger camera is a personal wearable video recorder with streaming capability.  It can store a day’s worth of video. The camera can clip onto a headband (Donna has it on in the picture), or can attach to the side of your glasses.  It’s about the size of a small USB stick. The battery lasts a couple hours, but a supplemental battery that clips on the headband will give you a day’s power.

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Lifelogger claims that the real activity is in the Cloud service and software. You can synchronize your video playback with your location on a map, so if you were on that dream holiday in Paris you’d have an exact record of everything you saw and where you saw it.

But wait – there’s more! Text recognition and face recognition combine with your video and positioning data in a completely searchable record. And, it’s not as nerdy looking as wearing Google Glass.

Where would I use it?  CES 2015 for one! Any travel I wanted to remember, and I could focus on what I’m seeing and not on recording or photographing it.  Academic conferences.  My classes, so I could finally have a good way to measure class participation. I don’t think I’d use for 24-7 recording of my life – but for these sorts of special occasions the product makes a lot of sense to me.

Mother. Mother has appeared on quite a few “best of” lists for CES 2014 and has received a ton of press, so my priors were high and I sought this product out.  Brought to you by Sen.se, Mother is a cute little bulbous figure (i.e. a hub) who manages motion/temperature-detector “cookies” (i.e. sensors).  Place the cookies on objects, and their movement is relayed to Mother who relays the information back to you.  The actions are programmable, so you can do things like be notified if your refrigerator is open, you aren’t brushing your teeth enough, or if you haven’t taken your medication on time.

I’m not so sure about this one, though.  Mother is over $200 for the hub and 4 cookies, and cookie batteries last about a year.  This can get expensive.  It could be fun to play with for awhile, but I’m not certain about the long-term staying power. OTOH – super clever marketing and form factor.

Lumenplay.  We chatted a bit with Chris Corrado, CEO of Lumenplay.  They have a programmable string of LED lights that you can control with your smart phone.  Funded on Crowd Supply, you can pre-order now. The app lets you control the colors – 16 million of them – of individual bulbs.  Keep your lights up all year round, just program them for the holiday or party of the moment.  Nice idea.

WigWag.  WigWag’s claim is that it “makes your smart devices smarter.” Lots of companies are introducing sensors and hubs – and so has WigWag – but what caught my attention was their emphasis on helping the user actually program and creatively use these devices  With a set of IFTTT-like “When-Then” rules, you can easily control what happens with your WigWag connected devices.  WigWam’s hardware devices include a relay, sensor, tag and glow line that combine with cloud data and actions for a nearly limitless range of when-then combinations.

Displair.  This is in category by itself.  From Russia, the Displair is a multi-touch interactive display that projects images on to a sheet of water droplets suspended in the air. It looks like a hologram. Really attention getting in trade shows.  Hospitals and doctors like them too – no germs!

Kolibree. Just as CES 2013 brought us the connected Hapifork from French startup, CES 2014 introduced the Kolibree, the world’s first connected electric toothbrush, from another French startup. While the Hapifork was a bit of a head scratcher, the premise of the Kolibree is more down to earth.  It analyzes how you brush your teeth and lets you track your performance on a app.  Ideally, each family member would have their own Kolibree (does get pricy) – gamification to be included to motivate each family member. Kickstarter campaign coming in summer 2014.

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iBot. The iBot system is made of bees (sensors), bots (bridge) and the hive (cloud).  The idea is to build a smart home by strategically locating the bees to sense motion, temperature, humidity, position, etc. and to control real world devices like switches, lights, sounds, relays, displays, etc. Nice idea, but the bees are single-purpose sensors which seems limiting, and their size is relatively large (compare with Mother’s lightweight cookies).

Virtuix Omni. Here we have a virtual reality treadmill that lets you walk – yes, really walk! – like you would in the physical world in a 3D game.  Pair this with an Oculus Rift and you have a complete in-home virtual reality setup.  Check out this guy demoing the product as he walks his way through the game. Amazing!  Virtuix is taking orders now to reserve your Omni for $499.  I’d love to use this to check out Second Life, but not sure how it would handle flying. Imagine this at the gym, too.

2014-01-09 17.22.01SeeSpace.  SeeSpace’s InAIR product is a device that connects to your TV and layers Web content on top of the programming.  SeeSpace calls this Augmented TV. InAir automatically and intelligently identifies what you are watching and connects Web and social media content relevant to what you are looking at.  InAir has launched a Kickstarter campaign and is offering both 2D and 3D versions.  The 3D version requires a 3D TV/glasses, and overlays the Web content in a floating plane above the video, making it easier to keep the two apart.

Cityzen Sciences Smart Fabric.  In a small booth in Eureka Park, Cityzen Sciences had a simple display – a black shirt on a table brought to us from France. The shirt was created from smart fabric, which has micro-sensors woven into it.  Smart fabric can enable the monitoring of temperature, heart rate, movement, geolocation, and more. Washable, too.

Veristride.  Veristride has smart insoles. Yes – insoles. The insoles have sensors that provide realtime feedback about the wearer’s movements to a smartphone. Based on the feedback, you can learn to correct gait problems – “real-time rehab.” Initially developed for amputees, the smart insole is also useful for others, such as people recovering from hip replacements.

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Beddit.  There are lots of wearables, like the Basis Band, that track your sleep activity. But what if you don’t want to wear something on our wrist while you sleep?  Enter Beddit. You place Beddit in your bed under the sheets, and the thin film sensor connects to your smartpone, letting you track the quality of your sleep, heart rate, snoring, room noise, and your breathing.  The Beddit app also coaches you about how to manage your stress and improve your sleep.

Zeus by AIO Robotics.  Last but not least, Zeus by AIO Robotics offers a biggie – the first all-in-one 3D scanner/printer/copier/fax. That’s right, 3D fax. With a pair of these, I could take a physical object in my home in Washington, D.C., and with a press of a button Zeus would scan it, digitize it, and send it to my son in Mountain View, CA where it would print on his Zeus.  Offered on Kickstarter, a pair of Zeus will set you back $4k ($1999 each). Think about it – we’re talking about the price of the first HP LaserJet printer when it came out in the 1980s, and that’s for two Zeus!

Show’s over.  Back home.  See you at CES 2015!

About Tom Novak

Tom Novak is the Denit Trust Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Marketing at the George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

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