Explainers, What to buy

More “Best of Show” Gadgets from CES 2023

CES 2023 marked the annual tech expo’s triumphant return after it went virtual in 2021 and faced lackluster attention in 2022.

The show opened amid the backdrop of widespread tech company layoffs, decades-high inflation, and probably more tech regulation that will impact how companies and start-ups design their future products. Big conglomerates, start-ups, and everyone in between came to Vegas to explain why their products were better than anyone else’s.

Because of that, it’s been tough to tell which announcements — if any — are worth your attention. That’s where we come in.

We scoured the show floor for the best, most intriguing, and downright weirdest products of CES 2023. Hopefully, it’ll give you a better sense of how your relationship with the tech in your life stands to change — or, at least a good laugh. Here’s what we found.

This Gadget Wants You to Pee on it

The latest toilet tech — this year, a palm-sized connected urine tracker called U-Scan, was the butt of many-a-bad pun. (You must admit, it’s a golden opportunity to crack a few jokes.) The hands-free at-home urine lab fits under your loo’s lid to track metabolic and reproductive health. And why not? After an Alexa-connected commode made headlines in 2018 and a toilet-paper-delivering robot stole the spotlight in 2020 — this latest round of bathroom tech seems flush with innovation. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Customized 3-D Printed Gummies Straight from the Jetsons

Nourished x Neutrogena Skin360 SkinStacks showcase the latest digital health and beauty tech getting early buzz week. These are the first on-demand, 3D-printed, personalized skin health supplements. The way it all works is really cool. First, use Neutrogena’s tech tool to assess your skin via selfie, and answer a few questions about skin routine, goals, lifestyle, and environment. Then, let the AI work its magic to cook up a specialized formulation with seven different ingredients from various vitamins and other nutrients to deliver customized gummies that help your skin from the inside out. Available as of January 3, $50 for a one-month supply.

Smart Bed Helps You Get More Sleep

Do you know what else will help us get healthier over all? A really, really good night’s sleep. The Sleep Number Climate360 smart bed is another “first and only” here — helping address that too-hot, too-cold temperature troubles throughout the night, along with its smart adjustable base, adjustable firmness, and a host of other next-gen, metric-measuring insights. Connect it with an app on your smartphone or tablet to track heart rate, breathing rate, and body motion too. This is out now and starts at just under $10,000.

Buttons That Help Your Dog Talk with You

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your dog could use human words to communicate with you better? A company called FluentPet just launched its upgraded FluentPet Connect WiFi-connected communication system for pets and the people who love them.

Owners record simple words like ‘play,’ ‘walk,’ or ‘outside,’ onto paw-sized pushbuttons. The buttons rest in spongy hexagonal tiles that FluentPet tutorials and its community forum help you learn to use with your furry friend.

The new version is WiFi connected and can capture data. Sync it up with the companion app, and you can get a text whenever your dog pushes one of your pre-programmed commands.

“When people are in another room, they can get a text message from their dog [saying], ‘I really need to go outside right now’ you probably want to come to get me,” said Leo Trottier, CEO of FluentPet.

The new system will also let you track Fluffy’s progress and, if you opt-in, help scientists evolve basic communication skills over time.

“This allows them to learn what each word means to us,” explains Ashley Evenson, a pet trainer in charge of FluentPet learner success. “It helps improve relationships all the way around. Communication [with your dog] should be a two-way street, and now it is.”

You can pre-order the system now for $160, and ships in February.

Next-Gen Robot Dog That Bonds With Its Human(s)

From teaching real dogs new tricks to a robot dog filled with fun features, toy-maker WowWee showed off a prototype called Dog-E that I predict will be a top-ten Toy of the Year in 2023. (We’ll revisit this prognostication in the fall for sure!)

The cat-sized durable plastic Dog-E is a smart, app-connected robot with life-like movements, audio sensors to hear sounds, touch sensors on its head, nose, and sides, and a POV (persistence of vision) tail that displays icons and messages to communicate.

For kids ages 6+, Dog-E can play with a chew toy, “lick” your face, growl, howl, bark, and use its high-tech tail to tell you it’s hungry, tired, or wants to play. The toy comes with more than 200 interactions out of the box, and there are potentially a million more when paired with a smartphone app.

TARGUS Ergonomic EcoSmart Ambidextrous Mouse:

This one’s for you, lefties! Targus reinvented the modern mouse so that you can use it right-handed or lift the magnetic top, flip it around 180 degrees, and behold — now it’s a left-handed mouse — made from up to 85% recycled materials and uses ultra-low power Bluetooth tech. Comes out in February for $60. Targus also released an Energy Harvesting Keyboard: solar powered, super energy efficient, and a CES Innovation Award Honoree Also out next month — and will sell for $120. 

What Happens In Vegas Doesn’t Have to Stay in Vegas

Do you know what the most popular casino game in Las Vegas is? Wheel of Fortune. Guess what one of my favorite retro gadgets here just happens to be? Arcade1Up’s Wheel of Fortune Casinocade for your house — with WiFi and leaderboards so that you can play remotely with friends/family. Features four slot versions of the popular game, along with more than 20 other fan-favorites Solitaire and Blackjack. We expect this one to come out in the summer for $499. 

Don’t Get Caught in the Dark!

 The Geneverse HomePower Two Pro Solar Generator is the one main gadget everyone going through epic winter storms wants and needs right about now. What’s remarkable here — no fumes — no noise — you can use it indoors, and it can power just about everything from lights and WIFI to medical devices and most appliances— it even runs your refrigerator for 35 hours on a single charge. With the ability to recharge with solar panels — it’s a cool next-gen, self-sustainable energy source.  (Out now, $3,600 for the generator and two panels). 

The Key To Smart(er) Home Integration 

Some of the biggest obstacles to smart home adoption are cost, installation, and having to buy a bunch of new gadgets to make it all work. A company called SKY-X Platforms wants to change all that with this new Skyplug Smart lighting base that can transform any light fixture or ceiling fan into a smart fixture. It’s compatible with Siri, Alexa, Google Home, Samsung, SmartThings, and Cortana. You control it all with the SkyHome App on your smartphone. It includes voice control, scheduling, eco/energy saving mode, color-changing night lights, and more. (Expected in March for around $119.)

More Screen, More Value, More Fun!

Many new laptops here showcase next-gen features with a nod to affordability and sustainability — like  this Acer Swift Go 16. Check out this larger 16-inch OLED display  — still packaged in a thin-and-light design – at a palatable, mid-range price. The screen sports 3.2k resolution for more vibrant images, while the 13th Gen Intel Core H-series processors deliver top-notch performance on the go with an all-day battery and all the latest ports —  USB Type C w/ Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, and even a MicroSD card reader, which is great for creators. For those of us who still live a lot of life on Zoom —  the 1440-pixel webcam with AI-based video conferencing features hits a sweet spot too — allowing for high-quality video even in low light conditions — and AI noise reduction for clearer audio. (Launched yesterday 1-3 for $899 – will hit stores in the spring.) 

IN CASE YOU’RE HAVING TROUBLE FINDING THE LINK TO ACER – HERE IT IS AGAIN. CLICK HERE: https://www.acer.com/us-en/laptops/swift/swift-go  

What’s Old Is Future Again

Here’s what happens when you take a century-old analog game and connect it to the future. This is Stern’s James Bond 007 Pinball Machine. It has everything you loved from the past — the flippers and buttons and bells and action-packed fun — PLUS — Stern’s Insider-Connected platform that lets you compete on global leaderboards and play alongside people all around the world. My favorite parts? Pinballs get ejected through the roof of a custom-sculpted Aston Martin DB5 and the gravity-defying, magnetic jetpack that transports pinballs across the playfield.  Pinball’s having a huge global resurgence — and this one is really incredible. (Out now, starts at $7K)

We’ll be covering a lot more of more of what we saw from CES 2023 over the next few weeks and months as they become available. Be sure to check out our social channels and follow us for the very latest!

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