We love how technology has made our daily lives more interesting. Starting from wireless speakers to smart footwear, we are surrounded by innovative gadgets that can come handy in various practical situations. We get a glimpse of such latest gizmos every year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and this year was no different. Gadgets for daily use, fitness and healthcare, entertainment and all other areas of application were presented. We describe here briefly some of the most interesting and innovative gadgets that were exhibited at CES 2019.
A tray to charge all devices
We mostly use wireless or battery-driven devices that need to be recharged, like smartphones, tablets, earphones or smartwatches. Sure, you can just plug in a charger for each device to charge or make the device wait its turn if you have a dearth of chargers. But for Apple device owners, Gaze Tray can wirelessly charge all devices together, simply by placing them on the tray.
The tray comes with a three-coil wireless charging facility for Qi-compatible phones and devices, two one-coil wireless chargers for Apple Watch or AirPods, and two USB ports, either of which can be used to draw power from a wall socket or charge another device. LED indicators tell if the devices are placed properly on the tray for charging. It starts at US$ 49.
Glucometer that connects to the phone
Diabetes, a disease commonly found in people, needs constant monitoring to keep any major health risks at bay. Handheld diabetic testers so far have served an important purpose of staying aware at home. To take this service a notch higher, we can look at iHealth Align glucometer—a key-shaped accessory that can be fitted with the smartphone via the 3.5mm headphone port.
The user can attach an iHealth test strip (to be bought separately) on the head of the accessory and check the blood sample. iHealth Align will analyse the sample and, through iHealth mobile app, display in-depth reading analyses including general readings, before- and after-meal readings, reading comparisons and more. The user can send these reports directly to the doctor to get a quick consultation. It costs US$ 16.95 including lancing device and ten lancets.
Pregnancy band to monitor foetal health
Expecting parents are always concerned about the proper development of their child in the womb. Owlet Baby Care presented Owlet Pregnancy Band at CES, which can be worn by pregnant mothers around their belly. It is made of stretchable, soft elastic fabric that fits on the waist. Women in their 24th week of pregnancy can wear it till delivery.
Sensors distributed across the fabric use passive ECG technology to detect health parameters of the foetus, including heart rate, baby kicks, temperature and contractions. These can also record audio of the baby’s heartbeat. All data can be accessed and viewed over a mobile application. Owlet Pregnancy Band will be commercially available later this year.
Bluetooth speaker that levitates
Air2’s floating speakers are already quite popular; these bring an attractive and unique appeal to audio systems. The speaker quality is decent with clear highs and good bass. The speaker system comes in two parts—top is the main audio outlet with a microphone to make calls and a microUSB that connects to the USB slot of the circular (bottom) base for charging.
The floatation effect is created by two magnets in the two parts of the speaker, which create a magnetic repulsion and help the top part float. Users can connect their smartphone or laptop with the speaker via Bluetooth.
Auto-conditioning weight for workouts
Fitness enthusiasts like to have a variety of weights for lifting during exercise. This means they need to buy separate weight disks or dumbbells. Fitness solution provider Jaxjox has come up with KettleBell Connect, a smart weight exercise bell that can increase or decrease weight in seconds and measure users’ fitness levels. Consisting of a base and a shell, and a dock to stack weight disks in the middle, the device can be moderated using simple buttons on the base. Once a weight between 5.5kg (12 pounds) to 19kg (42 pounds) is selected, the shell engages or disengages the weight, accordingly.
Sensors in the kit read important fitness metrics like exercise time, weight lifted, heartbeat and more. KettleBell supports Bluetooth, so users can connect their smartphone, check all data and set workout goals on Jaxjox app.
Waterproof bone conduction earphones
Bone conduction earphones have been gaining a lot of popularity because of the great sound quality these provide while keeping the ears open for environmental awareness. AfterShokz has turned it up a notch by making its offering waterproof. Mainly aimed towards swimmers and pool-party enthusiasts—of course, anyone can use it—AfterShokz Xtrainerz, revealed at CES 2019, can simply be placed behind the ears and used wirelessly.
These earphones beat the odds brought by wired headphones or other wireless ones, which are either not waterproof or often slip from the ears when in water. Bone conduction technology transmits the audio across the earbones and does not depend on the ear canal, allowing the ears to stay uncovered. AfterShokz Xtrainerz come with 4GB internal memory, so a phone or any other device is not required to play the tunes.