A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar

A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar

Summary

“Smart” became “AI-powered,” but cool is still cool. Here are our favorite innovations from the show in Las Vegas.

The two most important letters at the world’s biggest technology trade show are A and I.

Among the scores of gadgets on display at CES in Las Vegas this week, hundreds if not thousands claim to be enhanced by artificial intelligence. For starters, there are:

• AI-powered grills

• AI-powered body cameras

• AI-driven cat doors

• AI-driven real-estate marketing

• AI race cars

• AI glucose prediction

• AI-based livestock solutions

Maybe AI can also help figure out who CES is for, too, since its influence in tech has been waning. The show’s organizer, the Consumer Technology Association, expects 130,000 attendees and 4,000 exhibitors this year. That’s up from about 118,000 attendees and 3,200 exhibitors last year, yet well below the show’s 2018 peak, when more than 180,000 people showed up.

There are plenty of TV sets and audio systems, the show’s traditional moneymakers, along with showings from the world’s automakers and their technology partners. Yet Microsoft, which once owned the most coveted keynote spot, hasn’t presented on stage for nearly a decade. (Apple’s never officially been there.) Samsung, still one of the largest exhibitors, is waiting until after the show to unveil its next flagship phones.

As a trade show, CES still appears to be the ideal spot for business folk to gather, shop and compare notes. And with so many exhibitors, cool things are bound to make their debut in the cavernous Vegas convention halls (not to mention our overstuffed inboxes). Some will never make it to a sales floor, but they do tell us what creative minds in tech—human, not AI—are thinking these days.

Though by no means comprehensive, here are 16 CES innovations worth knowing about:

A wearable to predict and prevent nighttime hot flashes

Women going through menopause experience myriad symptoms, and hot flashes are among the most disruptive. San Francisco startup Amira’s Terra system pairs a sensor-laden wristband with a liquid cooling pad placed under your sheets. The wearable detects micro amounts of sweat and uses—you guessed it—AI to predict hot flashes. It activates the cooling pad to lower your temperature and ward off sweats. The company claims Terra can reduce the length of hot flashes by 70% and make them less severe, giving women a better night’s sleep. The $699 system is slated to ship in March.

A gaming accessory to help deaf people ‘see’ sound

Gamers can be more effective when they can hear the bings and booms that accompany the on-screen action. Many people who are deaf or hard of hearing can’t experience those sound effects. Gaming accessory company Airdrop Gaming created Audio Radar to help people visualize the surround sound already built into hundreds of titles for Xbox, PlayStation and PC consoles. Light bars attach to a monitor or TV and light up in sync with the digital audio tracks. It lets the gamer know where sounds are coming from, be it the sound of enemy fire in “Call of Duty" or a lumbering cow in “Minecraft." It’s available for preorder for $400, and is expected to ship in April.

A self-driving off-road rescue robot

Debris and uneven terrain can make it difficult to reach victims during a disaster. Students at Clemson University designed an autonomous off-road reconnaissance vehicle that scouts out the situation to assist first responders. Deep Orange 14 uses data from cameras and the laser-enabled 3-D sensing lidar to map the environment. With its two electric-motor-powered tank tracks, the 11-foot-long prototype can move up to 50 mph and scale obstacles 18 inches high. It has an onboard diesel generator, and can act as a mobile power station when it reaches its destination.

A meat smoker you can use indoors

Smoking meats gives them a depth of flavor not possible with stovetop or oven cooking. Since it requires, well, smoke, it’s best suited for the outdoors. The GE Appliances countertop GE Profile Smart Indoor Smoker lets you hot-smoke brisket, pork ribs, salmon and other meats without having to go outside. (Sorry, it won’t do cold smoking.) Its filtration technology contains the smoke within the appliance, converting it into warm air, says its maker. Once your food is in, you can monitor progress through the SmartHQ app. The smoker is available for $999.

A fitness monitor that fits on a sports bra

Most people use smartwatches or fitness bands on the wrist to track heart rate, but studies have shown they can be inaccurate. Tracking heart rate with a chest strap is more reliable, but fit can be a problem—especially for women. Garmin’s HRM-Fit clips to medium- and high-support sports bras and monitors real-time heart rate and training data, such as steps and calories burned. The $150 device transmits data to compatible products, including Garmin smartwatches, and has up to a year of battery life. It’s available now.

A new PC keyboard built for AI

It’s not every day, or every decade, that PC makers switch up their keyboards. For the first time since the Windows button arrived nearly 30 years ago, they’re doing it for Microsoft’s new AI assistant. Many new Windows computers will come with a Copilot key that summons Microsoft’s suite of AI products when pressed. Generally, you’ll find it to the right of the space bar. You can use it to type questions, generate images, summarize webpages, draft documents and more. A bunch of computer makers introduced PCs with the button this week, including the Acer Swift Go 14. That computer will be available in North America in March starting at $750.

An electric RV that grows extra rooms when parked

RVs were all the rage during the pandemic—but many families realized how cramped even big ones can be. Startup AC Future teamed with Italian design firm Pininfarina to solve that problem: The Electric Transformer House (eTH) more than doubles its interior size to 400 square feet with the tap of an app, sprawling into two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a separate space for showering, say its creators. It has a retractable solar-panel roof and a system to capture water from the atmosphere. The ETA for the eTH isn’t set, but the company says it will start accepting preorders in 2025 and start production by the end of that year.

A home-patrolling robot

LG’s AI agent doesn’t just beep and bop around. The companion robot patrols your home when you’re away and personably greets you when you return. It zips around, balancing on two wheeled legs using a camera and AI to recognize people and objects. The bot has sensors to monitor temperature, humidity and air quality. It’s billed as an autonomous mini butler, controlling your gadgets, keeping an eye on your pets. Lights left on? It’ll text you. Come home feeling glum? It’ll spin your favorite track as you enter. LG hasn’t shared a release date or pricing.

Pepper spray meets panic button

We hope you never need to protect yourself with pepper spray but we believe in the Scout motto: Be prepared. Sabre’s Bluetooth-connected Smart Pepper Spray offers something beyond a potent irritant. If you deploy the spray, Sabre’s safety app will text your designated trusted contacts. The app—which also has a panic button that sends the same alert—then provides real-time GPS tracking to continuously update your location, even if you’re moving. You can pay extra to connect to a 24/7 call center, which will contact the police if the spray is deployed. The refillable, rechargeable device is now available for $30.

A bright OLED TV, minus the glare

OLED TVs are the gold standard for picture quality. But like other TVs, their glossy finish can still bring unwanted glare. Samsung brought back the matte finish that used to be an option on some screens—but Samsung says it now can remove reflections without hurting the contrast, the viewing angle or the full range of color. Imagine: watching TV in the daytime with the blinds open. Flying cars it’s not, but this meat-and-potatoes solution might be the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for. Samsung hasn’t announced the price or sales date.

A sensor to detect the baby in the back seat

Every summer brings tragic stories of children dying after being forgotten in hot cars. Automakers have developed sensors and techniques to combat the problem, and one of the latest comes from Novelda, an Oslo-based maker of sensors for human presence detection. Its low-power “child presence detection" sensor uses ultra-wideband radio frequency to detect even the slightest breath or movement coming from the way back. The company said the device can “see" through clothes, blankets, even car seats. Novelda says it’s testing the device with some major automakers.

A pillow for snoozing, not snoring

Tired of your partner’s nighttime elbow jabs? The Derucci Anti-Snore Pillow uses sensors to detect your snoring and automatically adjust your head. Plug it into the wall, and when you start to snort, it inflates internal air bags to nudge your noggin into a less noisy position. Pair it with the mobile app for sleep-improvement recommendations. The pillow will be available for $972 in the U.S. this year, the company says.

A keyboard case to make a BlackBerry of your iPhone

It has been a while since we’ve seen a keyboard case for iPhones. The Clicks Creator Keyboard, takes us back to the BlackBerry days. Available in a bumblebee yellow and a muted London sky blue, this case provides a full keyboard and that satisfying feedback that comes from real physical keys. One big (literal) downside: It makes giant phones even more giant—and even less likely to fit in your pocket. It’s on sale now, starting at $139.

Health clinic in a handbag

“Star Trek" doctors don’t go anywhere without their medical tricorders. The 2024 equivalent is the four-in-one Withings BeamO. Smaller than a smartphone, it can measure your body temperature and keep tabs on your blood-oxygen levels. It has an ECG heart-rate monitor and quadruples as a stethoscope. Place it against your chest, and it’ll capture the sounds of your heartbeat and breathing to share with your doctor. Withings hopes to launch Beamo for $250 this summer, pending safety certification and clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.

A peek-a-boo TV

LG’s Signature OLED T television features a see-through panel that lets you turn it into a fish tank or a showcase for abstract floating art. When it’s off, it’s practically invisible, blending with your décor. You can press a button to slide up an opaque screen for more traditional viewing. It uses LG’s wireless video and audio transmission technology, so it only needs a power cable and can be kept separate from all the other unseemly cables. LG plans to sell it this year. The price isn’t announced, but brace for a dent in your wallet.

Eyeglasses with built-in hearing aids

Some people think they’re too cool for hearing aids. So how about hearing…shades? Yes, the company behind Ray-Ban Wayfarers—and the nerdy Meta camera-equipped variant—is making something even more functional: eyeglasses that boost audio for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Eyewear megacorp EssilorLuxottica developed the frames following its acquisition of Israeli startup Nuance Hearing. An array of microphones capture sounds in front of you as you move your head. The frames then process and transmit the audio via internal speakers, effectively projecting sound directly into your ears. The company plans to launch the Nuance Audio frames in late 2024.

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Write to Shara Tibken at shara.tibken@wsj.com, Dalvin Brown at dalvin.brown@wsj.com, Cordilia James at cordilia.james@wsj.com and Wilson Rothman at wilson.rothman@wsj.com

A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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A CES Cheat Sheet: 16 Gadgets to Put on Your Radar
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