January 7, 2020
CES 2020: 4 cool gadgets that already caught our attention
Augmented-reality software that makes you actually want to work out. A device that prints real-ish temporary tattoos in seconds. A TV screen that rotates like your smartphone. And a robot that just wants to be loved.
These were among the coolest gizmos and gadgets that caught our collective eyes in the early hours of CES, though to the chagrin of at least some of the companies behind these disparate dazzlers, what we saw in Vegas may stay in Vegas. Translation: With few exceptions, you'll likely never get to buy any of these things.
One is way too expensive for the average U.S. consumer. One isn't even really ready to be used yet. And the other, well, that one you can buy on Amazon.
A trio of toddler-esque robots captured the hearts of many at CES Unveiled, a preview event for media on Sunday. The machines, dubbed "Lovots" are highly-engaging mechanical "pets" that you don't have to feed or walk.
All you have to do is show them affection, and they respond with cutesy giggles, joyful movements and affirming cooing noises. Imagine coddling an animatronic mix between a Telletubee and a penguin on wheels. That's what interacting with the charming companion is like.
The robot is supposed to "stir your instinct to love," according to the Japanese company that manufactures Lovot. And that's precisely what the robot will do as it lifts its little flappy arms, just begging to be held and rocked to sleep.
The $3,000 home robot's body is covered in a soft terrycloth fabric, while a set of three wheels and a camera on its head help it navigate around. It seemingly responds when you call its name, and it appeared to get sad when we left it behind.
While Lovot is mostly intended to be coddled, the robot also serves as a home security camera that can send you photos if a stranger enters your home. The robot's GROOVE X said they would like to bring the robot to America within the next two years. But for now, it's available only in Japan.
What if you no longer had to guess what you'd look like if you lost a few pounds or packed on tons of muscle? That's the idea behind EnvisionBody, which is AR software that basically shows you your before-and-after results as you work out.
Seeing your future self in real-time is supposed to motivate you and keep you focused on your workout, whether in front of a mirror or on a stationary bike. The software uses full-body camera tracking and AI to generate a semi-realistic version of what you look like.
You could input your goals and let the technology create an enhanced, responsive version of your self. The company has patented the software and is in search of partners in the workout equipment space.
Samsung Sero TV
You sometimes capture and consume media on your smartphone in portrait mode, and sometimes hold it sideways in landscape mode. But what if you want to consume content the same way on your television?
That's the concept behind The Sero, a new Samsung lifestyle TV targeted toward millennials and the Gen Z crowd, those who just can't get enough of YouTube, social media or the videos they and their friends shoot.
Sero, which means "vertical" in Korean, can be synced up to a mobile device to pivot between portrait and horizontal modes to mirror the orientation of the phone.
If you have one of Samsung's own Galaxy S10 or later devices, the screen on the TV will automatically pivot whenever you rotate the handset. If you have an iPhone, you can make the Sero screen rotate with the remote control.
Samsung hasn't announced pricing yet for the 43-inch 4K TV, which after being rolled out last year in South Korea, will be coming to the U.S. for the first time in the spring. The TV comes as one piece, with the screen sitting on a built-in stand.
While it remains to be seen how seamless this will all work in your house or apartment, and as always pricing is critical, judging by the crowds congregating in front of The Sero at a Samsung media event, the company may well have a hit on its hands.
Temporary tattoos have moved beyond the lick-and-stick kind in Cracker Jack boxes.
A company called Prinker showed off its Prinker S, a temporary tattoo printer that sprays ink onto your skin in any design you want. The $269 device uses cosmetic ink-filled cartridges, and the waterproof temps last until you intentionally scrub them off.
Perks include no needles, no commitment and no wait time. But if you thought ink for your printer was expensive, you won't be thrilled to find out that the color ink runs $149 per set of cartridges.
One black ink cartridge is included when you buy the Prinker S. It's available on Amazon from third-party sellers or on Prinker's official website.
Some of the temporary tats we saw looked real but weathered. They looked like tattoos that you got years ago rather than a new one you just designed and printed.
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