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CES Unveiled: A better home, a better you, and something called Blockchain

CES Unveiled is the first official event of CES and welcomed more than 1,200 press and industry analysts on Sunday night. The event’s exhibit space is composed of 150 tech companies giving you a sneak peek of what can be seen on the mammoth show floor before it opens on Tuesday. Here are the tech categories and companies that caught our attention, reports Heather L Sidorowicz

Next-generation wearables

FitNLife (main image) is the first wearable I have seen that I would wear myself. I have pretty small wrists, and therefore an Apple Watch or any of the other current wearables don’t work for me. My other wearable complaint has been that the smaller units don’t intake the types of exercise that I do, which is yoga and skiing. I like where this technology is going, and I’m looking forward to finding others when CES officially opens.

Then there are companies (e-skin and Harman) that are making clothing you wear with electronic pods that snap in while you are wearing them and can be removed during washing. From gaming to athletes, to healthcare, this technology was my favorite so far. The fabric felt great and looked good and hip as well.

ZhorTech takes wearables to your feet via a smart insole that can tell a worker that he or she is in a position that could injure them. The device will also send an SOS if the person falls. They would have a specific time to say they were all right.

A better you
Beauty was on hand from a virtual reality headset that allowed you to see what you would you would look like before that new haircut/colour to an Alexa-enabled mirror that you can speak to. I wondered if I could now ask, “Alexa, Alexa on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”

Another mirror on hand by HiMirror tests your skin tone from day to day and offers advice. Personally, I’m not confident enough for such an up-close perspective of my skin.

How about a water bottle that is connected to your smartphone? LifeFules’ bottle has pods inside that would dispense nutritional supplements based on your energy levels.

Full disclosure: I had never heard the term Blockchain until last week when chatting with some computer programming friends. Then, here I am at CES and find Acute Angle Cloud, a computer by day and mining system by night. It mines for its own cryptocurrency. I’ve heard murmurs that Blockchain is the next big thing.

A better home
Moodo is the smart home fragrance machine sold with pods to mix the right smell for your life. Controlled by your smartphone, you can program different scents for different times of the day.

Moen was showing a shower that is both Alexa controlled and controlled by your phone. Personally, I have never given that much thought to my shower, but you can now.

Smart home rethought
Eve has come up with a series of units that can turn your home into a smart home using devices like wireless contact sensors, radiator valves, and switch and power meters.

Netatmo, a French company, has created some stunning, smart home products. Similar to Eve (above), they are plug-and-play products that turn your home into an ecosystem. What caught my eye was the Netatmo healthy home coach. Smaller than an Echo device, this unit helps you create a healthier home environment measuring humidity, air quality, noise, and temperature. As a mom with kiddos, I know how important having the right environment is to raising your family. (I’ve asked for a demo, so hopefully more to come!)

And beyond
Others that deserve mentions are BrainCo which is not is not new, but taking its brain-controlled technology from controlling a robotic arm (think of what this could do for amputees!) to the education market. The idea is to give teachers readings of students’ brainwaves, to teach them how to relax.

Then there were devices created to monitor and feed your pets, and a smart wine aerator product from Avein that I must to find on the show floor to test!

And I can’t close out this article without mentioning my new virtual best friend. There were two home robots, Blue Frog and Kuri by Mayfield. They can protect your home, entertain your kids, and Kuri was too cute not to fall in love with.

All right, back to work!