November 18, 2014
Normally during this time of the year, you’d find me in Las Vegas. Not for the gambling, the shows or the warm-ish weather, but for the International Consumer Electronics Show, one of the world’s largest trade shows.
I’m missing CES this year for the first time in several years, and I’m suffering from a pretty major case of the blues. Suddenly, all the unnecessary Google Glass sightings, ridiculously long cab lines and booth babes are friendly, endearing memories. To help with the FOMO, I’ve been keeping up with the latest news – from the latest announcements to the Minnesota companies that are making waves. Here’s what caught my eye.
Select Comfort Corp.
The Minnesota-based company made news last year at CES when they announced their first “smart bed.” They kept the buzz going this year by unveiling SleepIQ Kids, a smart bed for children. Intriguing features include an app that detects and banishes monsters under the bed, which is pretty darn cute. The app also alerts parents when their children get out of bed.
Another local company, Polaroid, revealed several licensing announcements at CES, including one that caught my eye: a digital-and-print camera called Socialmatic. The camera has a quirky, round shape, and uploads photos right to social networks through Wi-Fi . It also prints photos instantly, just like the old Polaroid cameras.
This was a local name that I was highly surprised to see as part of CES chatter. The Minneapolis-based hip-hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment announced a partnership with California’s Peri Inc., which includes a co-branded iPhone case that doubles as a speaker. The iPhone case, dubbed Duo, has a built-in Bluetooth speaker and charger.
A popular little drone demoed during Intel’s CES keynote, the Nixie is a small wearable bracelet. Take it off at any point, toss it in the air in front of you and it snaps a selfie automatically. It flies slightly further away from you, takes a photo mid-air, then comes right back. It’s like a selfie stick on steroids. It was technically announced back in September, but it’s still not for sale yet.
Keen Home Smart Vent
The connected home continues to be a big trend at CES 2015, but this is a new twist. The Keen Home Smart Vents are app-controlled vents that can be opened or closed to direct heat to rooms where it’s most needed. For example, it can know that no one is ever in the guest bedroom on weekdays, so it can shut off those vents temoporarily. It also has sensors that will automatically open and shut vents across the home as it senses hot and cold spots.
LG Twin Wash
I’m squealing with excitement, people! LG unveiled its Twin Wash system at CES, a new system that lets you do two loads of laundry at the same time. The Twin Wash is a separate drawer that can be added to the bottom of any of LG’s front-load washers, and is made to handle smaller, delicate loads while the main machine works through a completely different cycle. Yes, please!
A smart belt that contracts or expands to adjust to small changes in your waistline, Belty is apparently a showstealer at this year’s CES. The belt, which will be released later this year, will change sizes depending on if you’re sitting down, or just enjoyed a fabulous, large dinner. It’s not the prettiest product, but now there’s no shame in having to let your belt out a bit – it will do that all on its own.