CES 2016, Wednesday, January 6: Many Miles Walked, More Stuff Seen

The CES show floor(s) opened 10AM (possibly slightly earlier in spots) Wednesday morning January 6. I decided to head for the Sands and Venetian exhibitor areas, in particular for the Eureka Park zone, which has lots of startups, crowdfund and pre-crowdfund. (Alas, I didn’t make it to the high-end audio stuff in the Venetian — not on any of my beats, but lovely stuff worth looking at.)

I saw everything on my list there plus a bunch of other stuff, zoomed over to the Las Vegas Convention Center for a quick pass through part of South Hall, and then went to the Showstoppers evening press/analyst-only event, where I saw yet more stuff. Including some I saw the previous night, or earlier on Wednesday, but that gave me the chance to fill in some details. (And at the Withings booth in the Sands, I got to briefly meet master magician Penn Jillette, get his autograph, and also a picture of both of us.) (In case you didn’t know, I’m not just a fan of magic, I’m also a [very] amateur magician.)

Here’s a quick list of some intriguing stuff I saw — with, again, the disclaimer that I may have got some facts wrong here, and I’m simply reporting what I saw or was told, I haven’t tried stuff, etc. (Yet.)

Gyenno electronically-stabilized spoon/fork (one handle, you swap the utensil end), useful for people with hand tremors. Somewhere between $200-300 for the kit — pricey, but I bet that people who benefit from this won’t quibble, assuming they can afford it.

Polymer Braille, working on an “e-reader for the blind.” Still in development.

TRX, one of two “indoor mapper” products I saw.

NUA Robotics, with “smart” wheeled luggage that can follow you (or, presumably, your signalling beacon). I think I’ve seen this in an issue of the Legion of Super-heroes comic, like 15 years ago.

Marathon Laundry’s combined washer/dryer. Internet enabled, of course. $1,199.

Neose portable smell detector.

JAQ pocket sized fuel cells, using recyclable salt/water plastic inserts. Currently 1800 MaH per cell, like $1.50 or so each, plus $70-90 for the generator unit case. Expect prices to go down and capacity to go up. I’m not clear what the use case is until then, versus a pocket of AA cells or other standard batteries.

Speedify — an iOS or Android app that lets your mobile device use both WiFi and cellular together when you need that much speed/capacity. Historical keywords: channel bonding; inverse multiplexing; reverse milking machine. Just watch out for higher carrier bills from the added usage.

Influx, a passive WiFi “focuser” that will boost service, $39.99 and $59.99, by reflecting some of the signal.

Audio Technica has updated its AT-LP60 USB turntable, it’s now also Bluetooth.

Bully Instaboot is one of many showing handheld batteries that can jumpstart a car — but this one includes wiring to prevent mishaps from letting the leads touch, or from mis-applying them to the car battery terminals.

Innergie — and, to be fair, many other companies — have got lots of USB-C cables and adapters. I hope to see enough USB-C to write an article or two on this somewhere.

Tar Disk — upgrade your Mac’s storage capacity with this SD card (no other option, in many cases, other than “buy new computer”) — that shims in to make your primary drive look bigger, rather than adding a second drive. 128GB for around $140, 256GB for about $400. If I had a Mac, I’d be looking at this, you can bet.

Link hopes to have its handheld WiFi solid-storage device by end of 2016, from about $150 for 256GB to thousands (I think they estimated $4,500 ish) for 2TB. Pricey, but for professional photos and videogs, and others, likely worth every penny.

ReSound Lynx — at $2,000ish, this hearing aid ain’t cheap, but the smartphone app lets you do a lot, and it also works for phone and other smartphone audio.

mCable really is more than a HDBMI cable, but the circuitry is so small all you see is a largish lump, and the USB cable for power to it. What it does is improve your video signal going to your TV, e.g., making HD look like 4K. If you’ve got a 4K display. At $140, a reasonably priced accessory to try. If you have a UHD display, of course.

And I saw lots, lots more today — stuff for pets; health stuff; accessories; light bulbs; Internet of Things things… my brain glazes over. Tomorrow (Thursday), yet more stuff, including audio, cars, and whatever else I come across.