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Consumer Electronics

CES Highlights

Some of the most interesting innovations to come out of CES 2017 embrace this year’s top each trends—including voice-activated AI assistants (Amazon’s Alexa takes the lead based on the number of products using the tech), self-driving cars, even bigger and thinner display screens (including TVs whose width is just under 4 mm and curved screens on laptops), and robots.

Mattel brings AI assistants to the kids with a baby monitor called Aristotle. The AI can play white noise, monitor a sleeping baby with a camera, read stories with sound and light effects, play games, and teach second-language lessons. According to CNET however, the toyco doesn’t plan on researching the effect of a digital assistant on children’s development in the future. The tech uses Amazon’s Alexa.

LEGO debuts a new set of motors and programmable bricks—called Lego Boost—that can work with existing construction kits and turn them into motorized, motion-sensitive, and voiced robotic toys. Three Boost bricks are available in the $160 set, including a tilt sensor, a color and distance sensor and a motor as well as 843 pieces and a special playmate that the robots can move on. Unlike its Windstorm educational robotics kits, the set is compatible with the standard Lego bricks. A companion Android and iOS app handles input of basic coding instructions.

POWERUP introduces the first paper airplane drone with a live-streaming camera, bringing nostalgia to one of the top toy trends in the 2016 holiday season. In other drone news, the PowerRay from PowerVision Group can dive underwater (at an estimated $2,000–3,000 price tag) and Zero Zero Robotic’s Hover Camera Passport can automatically track users with 4K video ($900).

Biometric-Tracking wearables for athletes made a splash—the technology is expected to grow after the MLB approved the use of two such wearables last year and rumors of the NBA planning to regulate biometric data tracking for its players. Innovations this year were targeting towards making the tech invisible—eyewear from Safilo; in-ear devices from companies like Bodytrak, KUAI, and The Dash; and footwear from Under Armor all introduced slimmer designs.

The Kerastase Hair Coach hairbrush from L’Oreal Group is an app-connected brush that tracks user habits and teaches them hot to correctly care for their hair.


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