We’re still reeling from the sensory overload of CES 2020, attendants were swarmed by headline exhibits and launches. This year, we saw Sony’s self-driving prototype that catapulted them into the automotive space, Nikon’s new D780 DSLR, Withing’s new wearable that would undercut and outdo Apple, and Shure’s Aonic line that marked its entry into wireless audio.
But some of the most enticing developments at CES concerned the underdogs of the tech world – the back-of-the-class kids that have taken the school by storm.
1. L’Oréal Perso
Say L’Oréal and one of the last words anyone would associate with them is technology. This year, the French multinational makeup behemoth doubles down on both beauty and Bluetooth with its Perso suite of connected custom foundation, lipstick and skincare dispensers.
Perso goes deep tech. The app interfaces with your selfie camera to show you how you would look like with particular shades of lipstick or foundation, suggests different shades to pair with your different outfits or even base it on current trends on social media.
While two dispensers blend a custom shade of foundation and lipstick, the third whips up a skincare solution. A bracelet worn during the day would give the app an idea of your UV exposure, which will be taken in consideration along with temperature, air quality, user-entered skin conditions and other metrics to mix up a skincare routine perfect for your environment.
Cocktails are an indispensable part of any great party, but dispensing cocktails can take a toll on hosts. If you find the idea of limiting booze at your soiree to punch and cans of beer horrifying, or perhaps own bottles of booze that cost way too much to be mixed in amateur, guesstimate ratios, Bartesian has got you covered.
To get started, load the Bartesian with tequila, vodka, whisky, rum/gin in addition to water. Insert your favourite cocktail capsule just like à la Keurig, and voilà! A perfectly-mixed cocktail.
Bartesian’s cocktail capsules mix with the water and base spirits, eliminating the need to separately source, purchase and store bitters, extracts and juices otherwise required for an expensive cocktail repertoire.
In this case, ironically, if alcohol is the problem, Bartesian is the solution.
3. Insta360 One R 360°/4K Modular Action Camera
GoPro once ruled the roost, and then DJI cornered in on the action camera market with the DJI Osmo Action. Enter Insta360.
Want to shoot 4K footage? Insta360 One R. 360-degree video? It’s got you covered. The One R’s main selling point is its modular system that allows users to utilise one or two lenses depending on shooting requirements.
The “core” houses the display, along with buttons for power and record. On it you will also find the I/O – a USB-C port and a microSD card slot. For full functionality, just snap on the battery and lens(es).
On the core is also a 1.3-inch touchscreen, although shooting and other advanced features can also be controlled and accessed via mobile app.
With a 1-inch sensor, the 1-inch Wide Angle Mod is co-developed with Leica, and can capture 5.3K video. Its large size means better low-light performance, augmented with Night Shot functionality. A more affordable 4K Wide Angle Mod offers 4K video recording at 60fps for slow-motion usage.
Most notable is the Dual Lens 360 Mod that offers a total 5.7K resolution.
Like GoPro, Insta360 is seeking to make 360 video more accessible with Auto Framing and Deep Track functionality, making the output of the 360 recordings much easier to process without extensive, frame-by-frame user input.
The Insta360 One R Twin Edition comes with the core, battery, along with Dual-Lens 360 Mod and 4K Wide Angle Mode at USD 479.99. The 1-Inch Edition comes with the core, battery and Leica-branded 1-inch Shooter at USD 549.99. Most affordable is the 4K Edition, which comes with the 4K Wide Angle Mod and the battery and core at USD 299.99.
Plans have already been announced for other modular accessories, including a boosted battery mod that doubles battery life.
4. BrainCo prosthetic hand
Responsible for a plethora of brain-powered, brain-reading and brain-augmenting gadgets, US-based neuro-centric startup BrainCo showcased a prototype prosthetic hand at CES 2020.
Designed for amputees, the prosthetic hand leverages on AI learning to produce fine movements based on brainwaves and muscle impulses detected. Users are able to train the AI to learn a virtually unlimited range of gestures and movements using a software platform.
The fine motor control offered by BrainCo’s prototype technology means that amputees would be able to perform delicate tasks like performing caligraphy – which they showcased at their exhibit.
Pending FDA approval, the BrainCo prosthetic arm will likely be available for consumers by the end of the year at a significantly lower cost than its competitors.
Also showcased at the BrainCo exhibit is a stylish, minimal headband that uses neurofeedback technology to improve focus particularly during workouts and physical activities.
FocusFit tracks brainwaves and trains users to recover faster via meditation, which the company claims reduce cortisol and inflammation levels. The FocusFit has been allegedly been utilised by Olympians and other high-profile athletes.