2015 CES & ICCE
Click on photos to enlarge or play video - scroll down to see it all


Also - See photos and comments from other CES & ICCE, CinemaCon(Showest ), CTIA, SCTE

Get on our distribution list - click here

Photos, Videos & Comments on the 2015 Internatinal Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
& International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE)

CES Pre-Show & Press Events
Click on Photos to See Better Picture or Video

  CES 2014

Welcome to DIGDIA's CES 2015
Photos, Videos & Comments!

While most people will visit CES on
 January 6,
the main Press Events start on Sunday,
January 4

Click for Video
The Linx IAS (Impact Assessent System) borrows technology developed for combat soldiers that are exposed to blasts, only now it is aimed at athletes that risk concussions.  The sensor $199 sensor is worn on the head and can send warnings to a phone. End of Q1 Face recognition will soon be available to watch over your home.  The Netatmo sits in your home and observes anyone that walks by it.  You can have it tell you when your kids have come home from school, or warn you if it sees a face that it does not recognize.  You get these alerts sent to your phone.  No price yet. Intro in Q2
The Ozobot is a clever $50 robot that kids can program on their tablet.  They can learn simple and complex programming concepts and see if their progam works.  It is very interactive and makes learning programming fun. You can buy it now.

Click for Video
eGeeTouch is applying Near Field Communications (NFC) to locks. Shown here is a padlock that you open by touching to it an NFC token or an NFC enabled phone.  A TSA approved version will soon be available for your suitcase, too.  The padlock is about $70.
Axxess CE (www.axxessce.com) has the AIR2 Bluetooth speakers, and they are definitely going to be a conversation piece.  If you look at the photo closely, you will see that the speaker is floating in mid-air.  $199
Click for Video
Logbar (logbar.jp) makes the "Ring". You use it to control Apps, etc. by pressing a button on the Ring while gesturing with your ring finger. The demo video is a bit short because of the many interfering Bluetooth devices in the room.  $269 for the metal version.  A lower priced plastic version is in the works.
Visijax says their jacket is the safest jacket to wear while bicycling, day or night.  It detects when you are signaling for a turn and flashes "turn signals" on your arm.  Lights on the back flash red.  $160. 

Click for Video 
The TempTraq by Blue Spark uses a sensor patch that you stick onto your baby if it is sick.  It takes the baby monitor to a new level. You read your baby's temperature on your phone.  Not yet available since it is awaiting FDA approval, which may happen any month now.   
Vigilant makes a pair of products aimed at people with diabetes. One makes it easy to monitor and record your blood sugar. It is called the Bee smart tracker ($69, foreground). The other helps with in medicines (background).

Click for Video
Cerevo explains that once you get beyond beginner level in snowboarding, you need help to get even better.  Their special snowboard will give you such help by providing feedback on your skills that you can then analyze on your tablet.  They expect to have this out by the end of the year for about $500.
Tao Wellness aims to get all you couch potatos fit and healthy with their Tao Chair.  While you watch your favorite TV show, you use the chair to exercise and get feedback on your exercise.  Look for this chair at the end of the year.

Click for Video
Some people listen to music or the radio to help them get to sleep.  Trouble is, the spouse might not want to be disturbed. So, now you can wear the Sleep Phones ($99) and listen to music or radio sent via Bluetooth. An induction charger will be coming out in April to charge the battery.
Parrot will soon make it easier to keep your potted plants happy.  The H2O has sensors that measure moisture, sunlight, etc. and waters the plant as needed. Shown here is a version you use in any flower pot, but they also have a version that integrates the sensors into the pot itself.  Coming out later this year. Tired of transfering photos, music, documents, etc. between all your devices?  Now you can simply install the Lima App in all these devices and share your content automatically.  Lima works by using the device shown here that you attach to your router.  You also attach a USB disk drive to the Lima. All your content is automatically slurped up and shared amongst your devices.  $149.
(Day 2 Press Events)

LG starts the day with an 8AM Press Conference and leads with their OLED TVs. While others have given up on OLED, LG is going all in.

LG is also beefing up WebOS, which they bought from HP, with ver. 2.0 
LG, like others, are also expecting 4K to become standard for anything above 40 inches. They expect 60% of their large screen TVs will be 4K.  They, and others, are lining up 4K content from Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, etc. 

4K UHD is more than just pixels.  Most importantly, it is about High Dynamic Range (HDR). LG calls it ColorPrime. Netflix's recent release of Marco Polo is in 4K resolution and HDR.

What do you use that drawer under the front load washer for?  We store dog food there.

LG thinks it is a great place to put Mini washer that you can use for small loads.  Kind of like the double oven idea. Saves time, water and energy.
The so-called Internet of Things (IoT) is a major theme this year, and LG is now involved in two related "standards".  AllSeen (aka Alljoyn) is a protocol that lets devices understand each other (to a degree).  OneM2M is another protocol aiming to unify the communications between devices.
Sharp's claim to fame is the LCD display that they pioneered. Sticking to their strength, they introduced 3 new lines: UB30, UE30 & UH30, all with 4K. The 43" UB30 is about $750 - priced to try to compete with China. The largest screen is 80" (though  120" HD is also made by Sharp).  Of note, They are integrating Google's AndoidTV into these sets. They are also continuing the use of their 4-color approach (Quattron). Previously, Sharp introduced IGZO technology, which uses a faster transistor for better displays.  This year they teamed with Qualcomm's "Pixtronix", which is a MEMS technology that mechanically shutters RGB backlighting. The result is a more efficient display that is viewable in daylight.  It will show up in smaller displays that can take advantage of the improvements.
Proving that OLED doesn't have the corner on thin displays, Sharp showed off one of their LCD displays that will be less than 1/2 inch in depth. Who said LCD displays need to rectangular?  Sharp has a way to move some of the electronics away from the bezel and make LCD displays of any shape.  Such displays can be useful in instrument panels, slot machines, and other things where formfactor and design are important.
Panaonic used to be known for to most consumers as a TV manufacturer, plus some other CE products, such as cameras and Bluray. The last few years the company has been emphasizing many of their other businesss, many of which are market leaders.  Many of these businesses touch the consumer, but the Panasinic brand is not as visible.  Last year and this year Panasonic tried to get this message across.  View the video to get a better idea of what Panasonic is about these days.

Click for Video
Moving from HD to 4K UHD may sound simple, but is actually complex because it involves several technical parameters, protocols and standards.  It is an old joke that the CE industry is based on standards - just pick the standard you want to work with amongst several that do the same thing.  So the UHD Alliance is an attempt to address 4K UHD from content, to distribution, to display. It involves many key players from the food chain.  We hope they get it right.
Here is a slide that Panasonic showed that might help you to see the way they now organize their "Consumer Electronics" divisions. Keep in mind that there are many other parts of the company that re not in this division, such as inflight entertainment. When Panasonic dropped Plasma TVs, they had to prove that their LCD displays were "just as good" - a tall order given Plasma's advantage in better blacks.  Panasonic is now saying they can achieve 98% of DCI (a digital cinema spec for movies) and truer LUTs (a mathematical way to translate colors).
Samsung currently leads the pack in consumer electronics.  Here is an overview video of what they are about these days.  Note: Samsung is also giving the keynote tonight, and some of the big announcements are being held back for the keynote (which might explain the somewhat subdued press event).

Update: apparently, not much was said during the keynote.  Big emphasis on IoT was the theme.

Click for Video
SD, HD, UHD, and now "SUHD"?  In an attempt by Samsung to say their LCD TVs are better than OLED, they are now pushing the idea of "SUHD" (I wonder if anyone there tried to pronounce this acronym). In this case, Samsung is using their own Quantum Dot technology (other TV mfrs. get them from 3rd parties). Marketers like to point out the "Techron Inside" branding trick; but in this case it may just lead to more consumer confustion.
Samsung wanted to show off some of their product and industrial design innovations.  A couple of things to note. One is that the aspect ratio seems wider than the standard 16:9 format (though they didn't mention this fact).  Two, is the "box" that the TV sits on.  This box is integrated with the TV and hold such things as speakers.  Personally, I'd be a little nervous about what appears to be a top heavy design. Now we switch back to some smaller companies.

Phaz has a powered headset they call the P2 ($249).  It accepts analog audio input. It is amplified with bass boost. But, it also has a USB port for powering your phone or music player (1200 mAh). An issue is that a second cable is needed for powering your device. In a year they will have the P5 which accepts digital audio in, so only one cable is needed.
ODG has been selling a $5K version of these head-up glasses to the military.  It has sensors to work with virtual reality systems.  The photo shows a consumer version that they will sell for under $1K - the R-6S.It differs from some similar glasses in that you can still see what is in front of you. They also sell a control that you wear on your finger. Zano is preparing a miniature autonomous drone. A simple think that it can do is hover above you wheree\ver you go.  They have APIs for developers that want to create special Apps of their own.  This can get spooky.  Expect first models in June for about $269

Click for Video
You've probably seen this type of mechanical display in airports or train stations in the past (if not today).  The flipping characters gets your attention as you try to guess what it is going to spell out.  Now you can have your very own Flapit Display for $299, starting in April.  You program it via a web App, but it connects via your WiFi network. Here is a new angle in social networking. Place the BloomSky on your window sill and it takes a photo of the sky every 5 minutes. The photo and other weather parameters (temperature, humidity, barometric pressure) are uploaded to the cloud. Now you can get an idea what the weather is on a map you see on the web.  $149 in April.
The Budgee, by Five Elements Robotics (5erobotics.com), is a little cart that follows you around.  People have thought of applications in stores, libraries, airports and for the handicapped. Sensors help it from bumping into people or objects.  It will be out in March for about $1.4k

Click for Video
Wonder Workshop has a learning toy called DASH. You can program it using Google's Blockly or a much simpler method called "Path".  The smaller version of DASH is called DOT. You can get a set of both for $259

Click for Video

Scanadu has a pair of interesting home health products. The Scout (top) measures blood pressure without needing cuff.  Simply press it against your forehead. It also measure blood oxygen levels.  They are seeking FDA approval. It may sell for $299.

The ScanaFlo (bottom) is a disposable urine tester.  You can test for such things as diabetes, kidney or liver disease, UTI and more.  It is also seeking FDA approval.

Apira Science has a pair of products that may make your hair stand on end.

The iGrow (top) is worn by people that have hair loss. It shines 655nm laser light on your head, resulting in a 35% increase in hair growth. $695

The iDerma (bottom) is worn over your face and it helps to reduce lines and wrinkles in your face.  $399.

Find out more at igrowlaser.com
This is an Oku (getoku.com). You hold the sensor against your skin and it shows advice on your iPhone about how to take better care of your skin.  You get a SkinScore and can track the health of your skin.  $249 The Gogoro is a battery operated scooter.  It has a range of about 50 or 60 miles and a top speed of 60 MPH.  You swap out a pair of batteries (those green modules) at kiosk stations spaced every few miles in urban areas.  No price or availability yet, but it should be out this year.

Click for Video
When our kids were babies we found that driving them around in the car put them to sleep. Now you don't have to use the car - just put the baby in the Mama Roo by 4MOMS.  $239.

Also in the video is a stroller they call Origami.  It will be quite obvious in the video why they gave it this name.  $849.
CES - Day 1
Click Photo to enlarge or see Video

Click for Video
Ever wonder how you'd look with different eyebrows or makeup? Mirror on the wall, the Panasonic Magic Mirror shows you all...Click the video to get a full appreciation of this product, which not a gimmick, but a real thing. Panasonic showed a working prototype of a 4K Bluray player. This player can use a 2 or 3 layer disc which hold 50 GB to 100 GB (a 66 GB disc also exists). Video is encoded in HEVC.  Bluray is expected to finalize the standards for 4K this summer, which will go a long way towards true 4K home viewing.
DSLRs are increasingly used for cinema production. This gives you an idea of how Panasonics GH4 DSLR camera body can start at $1.7K and get loaded up with all the rigging and lens into a $37K envy camera. Unlike its professional cousins, it uses SD cards for media. For  most consumers, however, a lower cost $1K Panasonic W970K camcorder might do the trick. This camcorder has a 2nd lense that captures a 2nd video stream simultaneously while you record through the main lens.  Good for selfies so people can see your face when you video Brad Pitt. Or, maybe the reaction from parents as your kid kicks in the winning goal.
Panasonic sells this electric assist bike in Japan.  It uses Panasonics Li-Ion batteries, much like the ones used in the Tesla car.  A charge can last 25 to 50 miles, depending upon the terrain.  This bike costs $1050, but a tricked out version with all the high-end bike gear goes for $5K. Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity is increasingly found on airplanes.  In order to get to the world wide web, you need an antenna that communicates with the satellites.  Turns out Panasonic makes these, too.
About four years ago Panasonic took the Technics brand off the shelves.  Technics is now back with the R1 Reference Audio series.  Shown here (left) is the SU-R1 Network Audio Control Player, and (right) the SE-R1 Stereo Power Amplifier. Both sport the "serious audiofile" look.   Sony's booth was reminiscent of a their booth over a decade ago, with a dramatic 360 image to suggest you are now in Sony's world.  The products they showed were mostly traditional audio-video and mobile electronics.

Click for Video
Sony is showing their Eyeglass Attach prototype.  It can attached to prescription glasses, your favorite shades, or perhaps your goggles.  It has a camera, heads-up display and electronic compass.  It is not yet available and no price was given. In the Eyeglass Attach video you may have spotted the tennis player example and wondered how it was done. Sony's Smart Tennis Sensor is the key. This 8 gram sensor clips to the butt of any tennis racket and collects enough information to know how well you are playing the game.  Ball speed and spin are just a couple of things it can figure out.  Very slick.  Expect this early 2015 for about $200.
LED-based pocket projectors are starting to get practical. This is Sony's MP-CL1 projector and it folds up nice and flat so it slips into your notebook bag. It has a 1920 x 720 image that is bright enough for a 120 inch diagonal image.  A screen 4 feet away gets a 40" diagonal image. No price or availability yet. Now that 4K is getting to be expected in many homes, Sony is finally able to show their 4K cinema projectors at CES to help position the company as a 4K leader. Sony has been showing their 4K SXRD theater projectors at Cinemacon (formerly Showest) for years.  It is shown here for folks that might be curious what one of these projectors looks like.  Note: the port at the top is for exhaust because these Xenon bulb projectors get very hot.
This LG 34UM67 monitor is aimed at gamers.  It has a 21:9 2560 x 1080 resolution display and measures 34 inches diagonal.  Now the bad guy won't disappear in the crack between two displays. This LG 34UC87M monitor is aimed at brokers.  It has a higher 3440 x 1440 resolution in the 21:9 aspect ration.  It, too, is 34 inches diagonal.  It costs $1300, but a less expensive model exists at $1199.
In the past few years 8K displays were shown just to say that it can be done, but there was never a hint that real products would come out soon.  Now that 4K displays are on relatively firm footing, almost all major companies are showing 8K product prototypes.  The one shown here is from LG and it is 98 inches. If there was a major theme amongst this year's TVs, it was Quantum Dots.  This is a technology that creates precise RGB colors for the backlights in LCD displays. Such control means better color.  Almost all major companies had a high-end product that uses this technology, even though many were prone to give them funny names in an attempt to position their display as better.
These hanging objects are speakers from Samsung.  They eminate the sound in 360 degrees.  These speakers might be useful in certain commercial applictions, or for the homeowner that just wants to make a statement. Like last year, all of the Chinese companies had what looked like clones of all of the Korean and Japanese CE companies.  So, we will just highlight a few things that might be a little bit unique.

Here we show a laser projector from Changhong.  The projector sits on the table and throws a 100 inch diameter image.
Hisense actually didn't have anything original, but they were particularly unabashed at demonstrating their 'wide color gamut'.  The difference was so dramatic compared to other company demonstrations that it leads one to wonder if they tweeked the color settings a bit. Haier showed that they are interested in curved OLED, too.

Skyworth showed that they are interested in curved OLED, too.

There were so many so-called wearable electronic products at the show, we chose to ignore them.  Quite frankly, nothing really caught our eye as something worthwhile. They seem to suffer from stuffing 10 pounds of stuff into a 1 pound watch.

So, instead, we show the Casio GShock watch that does just one thing - tell time.  It uses the GPS signal to do so precisely and based on exactly where you are in the world.  $950.
This is a cute 360 degree camera.  It uses two fisheye lenses on either side.  It stitches the two images together and you can view the resulting image much like you can with other 360 degree cameras.  The nice thing about this camera is that it is flat, so you can slip it into a pocket.  $299.
You've probably seen TV commercials where everything stops frozen in midair while the camera angle moves around the scene.  If you wondered how it is done, this setup from Nikon shows you how. With the dawn of LED lighting, all kinds of "smart" light bulbs have been coming out. This one from Stack Lighting senses the room's ambient light levels and the presence of people in the room. If conditions are right, the light turns on to an appropriate level.  But, it also talks to other lights in the room via Zigbee to turn them on as needed.  The photo shows the BR30, which puts out 750 Lumens for 13W.  It comes out this Spring for $60.
Now you can hot foot it to your next appointment even if it cold outside.  Glagla makes the Digitsole that slips into your shoe. A built-in battery can heat up your feet based on the settings you picked in your iPhone App.  The battery lasts 6 to 9 hours. The Digitsole also tells you how many steps you took today.  $200 We saw this last year when this company, finSIX was barely off square one and didn't have a working prototype.  They are back this year with working models and have started UL approval.  It is an AC adapter for your notebook/tablet/USB powered device. It supplies 65W. Yet, it is very small.  The secret is an incredibly high switching power supply frequency (for those that can appreciate it, it is "many" MHz) The product is now called the DART. They are taking orders now for $89.
3Doodler showed up last year.  This year they've made some significant improvements.  See the video to learn more.

The photo on the bottom shows a dress that was made with the new pen and materials.  It is flexible, so it might actually be wearable.

Click for Video

Blisslights has an interesting niche market - creating magical lighting for parties, events and special occasions.  The video shows Pixxy (Q4, $300), which must be viewed to appreciate.

The photo (bottom) show a pair of Sprights (which came out earlier, $200) that make the sea of lit dots.

The ball is SKY which comes out in Q2 ($200). It produces a sky-like mood on the ceiling.

Click for Video

Click for Video
The past few years has seen some unique personal transportation devices.  Some looked a little more iffy than others.  This one from Hovertrax hopes to have addressed many of the usual issues.  They have a video that shows people riding it in the office and another person moving boxes in a wherehouse. 

The video (which has bad audio) first shows an experienced rider. The interesting part to watch is of someone that is trying it for the very first time.  Will it end in disaster or will this person pick it up fairly easily?

A few details. Top speed is 5 MPH. Range is 8 miles. Weight is 15 pounds.  Price is $995.
CES - Day 2
Click Photo to enlarge or see Video

Click for Video
Consumer drones are getting to be pretty common at CES, so it is hard to get our attention with drones.  Parrot succeeded with their choreographed dancing drones, starting their Bebop.  Like most such drones, it can be controlled via an App and has an HD camera.  $499

Last year a very small booth by another company had a table and laptop and their Bitcoins.  This year a company called Circle showed up with a major booth - and they were giving away Bitcoins!  All you had to do was install their Circle Bitcoin App. The bottom photo shows Circle's phone sending $5 and my phone (taken later) with the resulting funds.  I took the photo of my phone 10 minutes later and the funds had shrunk to $4.99. An hour later, as this is being posted, it is worth $5.15.
Dino-Lite (dinolite.us, formerly BigC) has a series of digital microscopes that range from $100 to $1K.  Their newest one uses Wi-Fi instead of cables. Another new one has a depth of field of about 1/2 inch.  The one shown, AM4113ZT has a 10 to 220X magnification and goes for $500. We showed a still photo of this last year. It looks better in the video.

It is the VirtuixOmni TRAVR Shadow Ops rig (virtuix.com). It helps to wear the special slippery shoes.  If you buy this by Feb 1, 2015, it is $499.  After that it is $699.

Click for Video

A couple of companies, Smartech and Lovepac, have worked together to create a unique piece of jewelry for women.  When the phone rings, instead of desparately digging through the purse, you just need to hold your hand in front of the pendant and the caller's ID is projected onto your hand. If you want to answer the call, you take out a small earbud in the back of the pendant and talk.  It comes in white or black. $399 A company called Pure Imagination is selling the Perfect Bake (perfectbakeapp.com)
 The key is in the App because it allows for the measurement (via the electronic scale) of ingredients with 1/4 gram accuracy.  You call up recipes and the App tells you what to do. Here it told the cook to use the green bowl (you can use your own bowls) and pour chocolate chips in it. The App tells you in realtime how much you are pouring and when to stop.  Later this year this will use Bluetooth, and sell for about $70
Carson makes several types of scopes.  Here they have an adjustable clip that attaches your phone to these scopes so that you can view and record the images seen in the eyepiece. It is a little delicate, but a relatively inexpensive alternative to the more integrated professional solutions.  The Universal clip sells for $65.

Eton makes a number of products that come in handy when you lose power.  Here we have the BlackoutBuddy H2O light.  It uses no classic batteries.  Instead, you just drop it into water to activate it.  The light stays on continuously for 72 hours.  It is a single-use light, and once it is activated, it can't be turned off.  A pack of 3 sells for $15.
Here is one of those products that is simple, yet perhaps perfect for a certain market.  Can you figure out the market? It is the LH104 by DSI. Here is a cute little gift idea for someone that wants to add a little sparkle to their life.  It comes from Fashion Electronics. The $10 adapter provides 3.1 Amp of charging power.  The cables are separate.
NXTID just made credit card skimming easier with their Wocket Wallet. The "Wallet" (top right) holds a programmable credit card (top left). You plug the reader (bottom) in and swipe a credit card through it. the "Wallet" can hold many different cards. To call one up, you press some buttons on the "Wallet" interface and take the programmable credit card out and make a payment.  The company says that it will only hold the cards of one person, but that just means a thief can use a stolen card until they skim another one.  This Wocket Wallet has some other challenges. 1) Merchants aren't going to accept a blank looking card, 2) it does not have a "chip", so it won't be any good next year, 3) the "Wallet" is supposed to replace your regular wallet, but it is bulkier than a regular wallet.
The iPassport from iWallet is supposed to make your passport more secure.  You lock your passport in the case and it can only be opened by your finger scan.  The case is made of tough carbon material (the one shown is a prototype of a version not yet available).  The rechargeable battery is supposed to last 40 days.
This product may have a couple of challenges.  One is that fingerprint scanning isn't reliable if your fingers are dirty.  Another is that the battery might die inbetween periods on non-use, so you would have to hope you have a way and the time to charge it back up to open up the case. 
The novelty of packing fancy electronics into a car is starting to fade.  Everyone was talking about their new and improved infotainment systems.  OK, nice, but the electronics industry's next real challenge is to make sustainable transportation affordable. 
Tesla, Panasonic and others are working on battery-centric solutions. Toyota is also working on fuel cell (hydrogen) based solutions.  The first real Fuel Cell commercial car will show up in the U.S. market this Fall for $57K.  The photo shows the Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV). It is a first step. It has a 300 mile range, so the next industry challenge is the refueling infrastructure.  
Another holy grail in automotive technology  is the self-driving (or at least assisted driving) car.  NVIDIA used this challenge to illustrate their new Tegra X1 processors, two of which can be seen on the board on the left.  Each of these processors can do a Tera FLOP, so this board can do 2 Tera FLOPs - unimaginable in just about any form factor just a decade ago. 
The photo to the right shows a simulated parking of a car in the NVIDIA parking lot. It assumes only 4 fisheye lens cameras instead of the bulky camera arrangement that Google cars currently use. The four camera views are shown on the right half.
CES - Day 3
Click Photo to enlarge or see Video
When your in the wilderness or desert your phone is often out of range of any cell towers.  So, if you have to communicate with your hiking buddies, you need to carry a separate radio.  GoTenna lets you use your regular phone instead.  Your phone talks to the GoTenna via Bluetooth and then to your buddy's GoTenna via a 150MHz radio link. 2 to 4 mile range in most outdoor settings, but up to 6 miles in a flat desert.  $150 Zymatic makes a "Set It and Forget It" beer making machine called the PicoBrew (picobrew.com).  This is a fully self-contained system, except for the external keg that you see in the lower right of the photo.  After you add the ingredients, it controls the brewing process over the next 2 weeks.  Stronger brews above 12% might need an intermediate step. A social map lets you see who is brewing what across the world and share recipes.  $1799 (without keg)
Prescient Audio makes a unique subwoofer driver (speaker) called the ThinDriver.  Its optimal input is 250 to 450 Watts. It is aimed at 20 to 200Hz. It weighs only 8.2 pounds and is thin enough to hide between the studs in the wall. Its thin light design affords some unique design freedom for speaker manufacturers. BonaVerde translates to Green Bean. The idea is to buy green beans directly from the farmer - a sort of Fair Trade act. You go to their website and order raw coffee beans from the farmer of your choice and they arrive a few days later. Put a small cup of these beans in the BonaVerda roaster/brewer and 15 minutes later you are sipping somr fresh roasted and brewed coffee. Special filters prevent roasting smoke and oils from spoiling the experience.  Available this Summer for $500.
If your baby is sick and you need to monitor the baby's temperature, don't resort to the usual thermometers - use Blue Maestro's Pacif-i. The pacifier looks like most any other, but it is constantly measures the baby's temperature and sends results to your phone via Bluetooth. The battery lasts 18 months, about as long as a pacifier does.  Available in February, $35. Most breathalizers just tell you if you are intoxicated and you shouldn't drive.  The Floome from 2045Tech estimates when you will be able to drive based on your body mass index.  It plugs into the audio jack of your smartphone and does not need any batteries.  It goes on sale in Italy in February for 59 Euro, and in the U.S. in a few more months for about $75.
iPhones have a built-in flash, but it is limited. NovaPhotos makes a remote flash for your iPhone.  The flash can be up to 20 feet away. You can adjust the flash's temperature and brightness by setting two sets of LEDs - one for cool and one for warm whites  (see App). A charge lasts about 150 flashes. You must use either the NovaPhoto camera app, or one from 645 or Pureshot.  $59 Haptics is about providing tactile feedback.  UltraHaptics is a company with a unique way to provide such tactile feedback.  As you wave your hand above the array of emitters on the table, your hand will feel the feedback. Feedback can be directed to different parts of the hand in different patterns. The demo in the photo lets you turn up or down the dial by rotating your hand CW or CCW. They have evaluation kits for developers now and hope to have products in a year or two.
If you travel outside the U.S. you know that voice and data roaming charges are expensive.  So, maybe you buy a local phone, but it won't have any of your handy Apps on it.  KnowRoaming might be your answer if you have an unlocked phone. Simply put their SIM sticker over your SIM card (the black/blud device is a rig to help you do so) and put funds into your prepaid Know Roaming account.  For $7.99/day you get unlimited data in 55 countries, or you can pay 15 cents/MB in 200+ countries. Voice is 10 cents/minute to land lines and 13 cents to mobile phones. Works for iPhones, Android, Windows (and soon Blackberry). Another personal transportation gadget here.  Rollkers would like you to slip these one so you can make it to your destination faster.  They can go up to 7 MPH.  While the batteries last perhaps an hour, a regeneration system recharges the batteries when you take normal steps.  They are supposed to be stable enough to wear as you go up or down steps. I hope someone has good liability insurance. $500, sometime in 2016. 
GreenCreative would like to solve that problem of people tossing the wrong type of recyclables into the wrong bins.  Simply put your empty container or recyclable trash into the blue-lit hole and it compresses it and puts it into the appropriate bin. If your bottle still has too much in it, or you poke your hand in there, the light goes red.  The R3D3 uses GPRS to communicate to the manager the status of the bins.  Starting in June these will be available for $5K, or $3.6K in large quantities.

What shape is your tummy in?

Emiota wants you to not worry.  Just wear their "Belty" and it will automatically adjust to your tummy as you stand or sit.  Eat too much at that party? No worries - Belty automatically expands.  They hope to have this on sale at the end of the year.
Is that Maxwell Smart in the photo?   Remember the "Cone of Silence"? 

Silentium hopes to deliver just that later in the year.  On the practical side, they want to make your wait less stressful in busy airports and train stations, etc.  They call this the Comfort-Shell.
While growing up my mother was always telling me to not slouch.  UPright plans to sell you their UPright sensor that you wear on the small of your back.  If your posture needs addressing, it will tell you.  Available in June for $129.
CES - Day 4 
Click Photo to enlarge or see Video

Click for Video
Yesterday we showed a set of powered boots that seemed a little bit too high.  This set here from Rocket Skates is lower to the ground and perhaps more stable.  They come in three range models, R6, R8 and R10, priced at $500, $600, and $700 respectively (the number is the range in miles). Top speed is 12 MPH.  As with all of these alternative transportation gadgets, viewing the video might help one to get an idea how it works with real people (and people with practice).

This one is for the fisherman in the family that always checks the fishfinder to see if it is a good spot to stop. Trouble is, these fishfinders work on a boat, not from shore.  Well, Deeper has solved this problem with a fishfinder that you can cast out to a spot you think has fish.  Or, if you ice fish, you can pop one in the hole and check out what is below.  The fishfinder sends back its sonar readings via bluetooth to your phone or tablet (within 130 feet). If you are night fishing, the Deeper fishfinder lights up an LED lamp.  $229 today.
You wake up in the middle of the night and just as you start to fall back asleep ...BEEP...you hear a smoke detector announce a low battery.  But, which one?  Or, maybe you actually have a fire in your home but you are not there. No one is there to hear the smoke detector alarm.
SmartRoost.net has an answer. These five year batteries replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. Each one can communicate over
Wi-Fi so your phone can tell you what each smoke detector is seeing.  Comes out in June, and $120 buys four Roost batteries.
3D Systems is one of the leaders in 3D printers.  Here they are showing the ChefJet Pro, which will be available at the end of 2015 for about $20K.  The cakes in the top photo all have a confection sugar design that decorates the top or sides.  The decorations are delecate, but can be eaten.  To do all the parts of the pink cake took about 10 hours to print. Different colors can be added to the sugar as it is being printed, as was done for the wedding couple top.

PLH Products, under the Healthmate brand is showing their Half Sauna.  IR beams are blasted on the lower body to increase circulation and health.  This product is apparently popular in Korea and other parts of Asia.  It is now coming to the U.S. where it will sell for about $2200. A company called Jins makes these special eye glass frames called the Meme.  Look closely near the nose bridge and you will see some sensors that Jins say measure the corona of your eyes.  Measurements like blink rate, fatigue, number of steps taken, rapid eye movement and others are made and displayed on your phone.  Perhaps you are driving and you are getting sleepy? The Meme can warn you.  No price yet, but expect it in the Fall.
This person is wearing a Swarovski Vio pendant. Hidden behind the Swarovski crystal is an accelerometer that can track the usual parameters.  So, now you can look stylish and still keep fit.  They have a number of different jewelry options, so you can pop out the sensor and insert it into the fashion style you choose. $249, available in March  swarovski.com/smartjewelry This person is wearing a TickrX from Wahoo Fitness. It is positioned at the center of the body to more accurately measure heartrate, repetitive counting, ground contact of feet, speed and distance.  It is for the serious fitness person.  $100.

Here we have what may be the most stylish electric scooter around, and yet it has some interesting features to make it practical, too.  Greenride calls this the INU. It has a 25 mile range and a top speed of 18 MPH (to keep it within certain regulations). But, it can be folded up to the size of a bag of golf clubs and legally checked in as baggage on airline flights. It weighs 45 pounds. Arrive at your destination and you can ride off to the hotel without needing a taxi.  It also has a WiFi hotspot and the ability to track where it is remotely. $6K ($4K for lower range model)

SmartMat makes a yoga mat called the SmartMat. There are over 21,000 sensors built into this mat. The mat tells you if your yoga movements are being done properly.  You get feedback on your tablet.  The tablet app can also give you animated instructions on how to do various yoga movements.  The SmartMat will be available in July for $297.
Some people are obsessed with whitening their teeth. BleachBright has a $1900 system that will whiten your teeth in just 20 minutes. The disposable mouth inserts cost $100.

With that, we say goodbye to CES 2015.  Next up is ICCE.
ICCE (International Conference on Consumer Electronics)
If you are not familiar with ICCE, think of it as the R&D counterpart to the Marketing done at CES.
Why would you care? Because the R&D folks are inventing the stuff that you will see in future CES events, only they are talking about it now.
ICCE is run by the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society
The following is a small sample of some papers.
Click Photo to enlarge
Back in the day, there used to be online services like Compuserve and others that allowed messaging and sharing of files.  But, these various services were closed systems that did not to each other.
Today we have the Internet, so most with the exception of closed corporate and government/country systems (and the dard net) everyone can send messages and share files with just about everyone. 
But, we also have the emerging "Cloud Computing" systems.  These cloud networks, it turns out, tend to be closed and so they do not talk to each other.  Stephen Diamond, chair of the IEEE Cloud Computing Initiative, would like to help these cloud systems communicate with each other using a concept of an InterCloud API (Application Programming Interface, basically a way to translate to a common set of commands and messages).  
Jihoon Park (CISS, Korea) is thinking outside the box on an experimental way to automate the recharging of electric cars in your home. He proposes putting the recharging plug on the underside of the car. This makes it possible for a robot, somewhat like those vacuum cleaners you've seen, to position itself under the recharging connector automatically after you drive your car into the garage or carport.  He uses an array of RFID sensors to zero in on the car's recharging port.  This approach is not yet talked about in the industry, according to Park, but it does not need to be a standard to work. An individual car mfr. could decide to do this one their own.The photo shows his test system.
The problem with high-end audio in the home is that one usually has all kinds of furnature, curtains, and other objects and surfaces that distort the sound. Also, speaker placement is often not optimal.  Markus Christoph (Harman, Germany) talked about a way to first calibrate and then compensate for such issues.  The approach involves mixing the sound intented for each speaker using a complex algorithm such that, for example, sound intended for the left front speaker is partially sent through the other speakers in the room, too (but just at the right amplitude and phase).  Various tradeoffs can ve made between accuracy, complexity and sweet spot size.
Prof. Byun-Gook Park, the President of IEIE (a Korean equivalent of IEEE) talked about memory.  In particular, he talked about Flash memory that is so common in everything today. In 1995 a 20 MB flash card from Sandisk cost $1000.  In a few years, flash memory will start to catch up to hard disk drives in cost effectiveness.  But, that assumes that flash memory can continue to shrink in memory cell size.  This assumption, it turns out, has some challenges as the number of electrons that are stored in a flash memory cell is getting fewer and fewer, and thus less reliable. So, what might be the answer? Changing the structure of flash memory cells into a three dimensional one that increases electron storage capacity without increasing physical size.  This is a continuing area of research as there are new sets of challenges that need to be addressed.
Prof. Sean Olive, President of  AES USA, has been conducting tests of younger people to see what kind of preferences they have in audio. It had been asserted by some that younger people might actually perfer the lower quality of MP3 and cheap headphones and speakers over higher quality audio sources because that is what they have grown up on. Sean's tests have consistently proven that theory wrong.  Young listeners prefer CD over MP3 (he noted that some LP records have less dynamic range compression and can be better than CD). Young listeners also prefer higher accurate speakers (he noted that price does not always match audio quality).  In headphones he noted simiar conclusions, though he noticed that listeners like a litte bass boost and that good physical fit can made a difference.  
Lucia Pepa, Italy, presented a project aimed at helping people with advanced Parkinsons, when there is a problem called Freezing of Gait (FOG, a difficulting in walking).  Special equipment that detects FOG has existed, but problems of usability and acceptability exist.  Pepa and her team decided to see if an ordinary smartphone could be used instead. The phone is worn on their belt, much like some do for regular use.  The accelerometers in the smartphone are used to detect a FOG event and an audio stimulus is given to help the person coordinate their walking cadence.
Unless one has a fancy wind noise filter for the microphone, anytime there is a little wind while videoing a scene can be a frustrating experience when the results are viewed and listened to. Akihiko Sugiyama, et al, from NEC are working on a wind noise suppression algorithm that can run on an Android system (i.e for phones and tablets).  Traditional wind noise suppression techniques are not practial here because they require too much memory or computational power. NEC's approach uses a static model for wind noise, which is not ideal, but still effective.  
4K TVs were almost defacto at CES, and many 8K TVs were previewed. All these pixels take up a lot of bandwidth, making it a challenge to broadcast good video over the airwaves.  Yet, NHK intends to do just that for 8K video in 2016.  To squeeze an 8K or 4K video signal into more practical bandwidths, a compression of up to 1000 to 1 is needed. Such compression usually results in lots of "artfacts" that show as disturbing blocky and fuzzy images.  NHK is working on a pre-processor that uses Spatio-Temporal modeled reduction techniques that are applied before the compression (HEVC) step.  This process is then reversed at the receiving end.  The immediate benefit will be for 4K broadcasting, where NHK has demonstrated 4K 120p transmissions needing only 16 Mbps, well within current ordinary HDTV bandwidth limits.
While 47% of this year's ICCE papers are from Korea, there is growing number of papers from P.R.China. This paper from Tao Tan, et al, Tsinghua Univ. Beijing is on driver lane detection using a single camera.  They are using a system based on iterative searching and Random Sample Consensus (RANSAC) curve fitting.  They have gotten some good results and continuing to improve their system.
You couldn't wave a 10 foot stick at CES without hitting a booth showing some kind of wearable device designed to gather your health measurements of some sort.  Combine this observation with the high profile hacking into various companies, including loss of millions of files of personal data, and you have the potential for some for some dark scenarios.  Samsung would like to address some of the security weak links by securing the wearable device and the communications between it and the cloud.  They start with using ARM's (the processor) Trustzone based Secure OS. Health data gathered by the wearable device is stored in encrypted form on the device and communications to the cloud server is sent using SSL/TLS (a common secure communications link).  Sounds simple, but one wonders how many of the devices shown at CES took similar precautions?
Kamyar Keikhosravy, et al, from the University of British Columbia are working on a better way to regulate voltage. If you use battery operated devices, you care about this subject becuase a poor voltage regulater can mean compute & storage errors, and lower battery life. Their approach is to add a digital assist to the process.  Doing so means that the device can better match the power supply to the situation. 

See you in 2016