CES 2024: CES Unveiled Product Highlights
Article by Angie Kibiloski
Showcase Before the Show
CES is a 4-day technology convention, held in Las Vegas every year during the beginning of January. It’s the largest tech conference in the world, and packed start to finish with exciting new tech to discover, on the floors of the exhibit halls, in hotel suites, and private party spaces all around town. Festivities even kick off a full 2 nights before the exhibit halls open to general attendees, with CES Unveiled, the inaugural soiree of the show held at Mandalay Bay. This is the only officially CES-curated product showcase outside of the show floors, and brings together almost 200 hand-picked companies to preview their new products exclusively to members of the Press. I’ve been coming to CES for close to 20 years, and there’s nothing like the excitement of that 1st taste of things to come.
At CES 2024 this year, there was a nice mixture of recognizable companies and small startups, providing a fairly even representation of the industry. Among the better-known names were Abbott, Kohler, Targus, and Withings, while some of the less familiar were Baracoda, EcoFlow, Shiftall, and Socialdream. I found quite a few products across all levels of companies that were interesting to me, and I’ll be bringing you more in-depth coverage of several in the coming weeks and months. For now, I’ll be highlighting just 5 that stuck in my mind, to give you a small sampling of the larger event.
AI Is Everywhere, Train It Well
One of the hot topics at this year’s CES, and in the world of tech, art, and entertainment in general, was AI in all its various forms. Whether you’re of the mind to fully embrace its presence in your life, or run screaming “Skynet is coming!” to all of your neighbors, I think you’ll agree that where AI does exist, it needs to be trained properly. This means giving it access to appropriate, accurate, and ethically sourced training data. This is where Ta-da comes in.
Ta-da is a data collection and content management service, using paid crowdsourcing to supply data to companies to use in training their native AI. The client company will outline the kind of data it needs to source, and Ta-da will break up their data needs into small pieces of information, doling those out as micro-tasks to all of its users, assigned depending on a user’s demographics, like country of origin, age, native language, knowledge-base, etc. Each piece of data is validated by many users, who will be paid a small fee, and will not be submitted to the client until its been proven accurate by majority consensus. This is all done via blockchain technology to make everything traceable and transparent as well.
I’m not over the moon about the prevalence of AI in every aspect of life nowadays, but I accept that at the moment its inescapable. One of the major sticking points for me is the suspicious sourcing of training data, so I’ll be taking a closer look at Ta-da. I’m interested to try out the crowdsourcing process myself, though it is still in the Beta phase, and get a feel for how they’re making the data used by AI more open, honest, and accurate.
Track Your Stress in a Lick
We all suffer from stress, and sometimes we don’t even know why. I’ve often felt anxious for no apparent reason, and wondered what factors during my day might be triggering it. Unlike temperature or blood sugar, there isn’t always a clear way to measure our stress levels outside of simply trying to explain how we feel. Nutrix has a way to help us measure, track, and find ways to improve those levels with their CortiSense cortisol monitor.
CortiSense is a handheld device that takes a small sample of your saliva and detects how much cortisol is in your body at that moment, sending that measurement to the connected tracking app. Cortisol is a naturally occurring hormone, often called the stress hormone, that fluctuates throughout the day. It should be higher in the morning and gradually decrease as our bodies prepare to relax for sleep, but in times of unhealthy stress, it can spike at various times in the day, and disrupt not only our sleep, but other aspects of our physical health.
Not only will the app track your levels throughout the day, week, month, etc., it will help you recognize variables that may be triggering your stress levels to spike, and provide useful advice on how to better manage your stress. As someone who struggles with this, I’m looking forward to diving deeper into this product when it’s ready for consumer use. CortiSense is still patent pending, and doesn’t have a set release date yet, but you can sign up for more information as it becomes available on their website.
Photogenic Feathered Friends
There was no lack of smart bird feeders at the show this year, whereas last year I saw but one. Among the crowd, my favorite was the Birdfy line of feeders and birdhouses by Netvue. This friendly company has a range of stylish models, all outfitted with at least one motion-triggered HD camera, to watch and digitally capture all of your winged backyard visitors. Along with capturing photos, videos, and livestreaming, the connected app allows you to monitor how much your feathered friends are eating, identify what species are dining at your fine patio establishment, and share data with other users.
The classic Birdfy feeder model is a cute little plastic hut with a wide reservoir for seeds, and a camera mounted at the back. Taking a step up in design, the bamboo model blends into its surroundings with a natural structure and more discreet seed trough. There’s a standalone hummingbird feeder with 2 cameras, to make sure it captures those speedy little birdies from multiple angles. You can also buy a hummingbird adapter for the classic feeder model, to feed all of your airborne companions from a single location. The Birdfy Nest is a fun new addition, with a camera pointing at the door to the birdhouse and also one inside, so you can watch your feathered families snuggling safely in their nests.
I love watching birds in the wild, and I’m often curious which species I’m observing. One of these Birdfy feeders, and perhaps a birdhouse too, will be a perfect addition to my patio, so I can not only become more familiar with my local feathered population, and enjoy capturing cute photos of them feasting on some yummy seeds, but also contribute to their health and well-being through full stomachs and a safe place to lay their little heads. Check out everything Birdfy has to offer in their shop, with prices ranging from $219.99 to $299.99, and come back for my upcoming full review.
Everyone Deserves a Voice
We may take for granted our ability to communicate through speech, as it’s just something we naturally do all day every day, like breathing or moving around. For those people who’ve lost their voices through illness or injury, however, having a way to get it back could be lifechanging. Whispp is an AI-powered app that does just that, recreates someone’s natural voice to give them back the ability to fully, vocally express themselves.
Whispp is targeted to people with affected speech from a wide range of vocal disabilities, and can recognize any level of vocal input, from whispers to rough esophageal speech. Either through the generalized presets, or a more personalized configuration trained on a user’s past voice recordings, the app can convert affected speech to clear, understandable, expressive speech in real time. It even works in loud environments to detect quiet whispers and filter out the background noise. An app user can create voice messages for free, or pay a small monthly fee to access real-time voice or video calling. Find more information about Whispp on their site, or dive right into their app on iOS or Android.
At the Heart (and Lungs) of Things
Withings is a company that I always seem to feature in my CES articles, and that’s because they keep launching innovative healthcare products year after year. This time, their BeamO 4-in-1 health monitor is the standout offering, providing clear, at-home vitals monitoring and tracking for heart, lungs, temperature, and blood oxygen. With this single handheld device, you can get a more thorough look inside your own body than ever before.
With the contactless temporal artery thermometer, get an accurate read of your body temperature non-invasively. Listen to your heart and lungs with the digital stethoscope, and monitor your heart more closely for AFib and other issues with the on-board ECG. Finally, the fingertip oximeter will calculate your blood oxygen levels to monitor for oxygen desaturation. All of this data will be filtered through the Withings app to help you, and your physician if you choose to share your data, be alerted to any signs of changes or health concerns. The app can collect data for up to 8 users as well, so your entire household can track their wellbeing.
Currently in the final stages of FDA clearance, the BeamO is set to hit retail in summer 2024, with a predicted price point of $249.95.
Come Back for More
This was only a brief look at a handful of the products on display at CES Unveiled 2024. I hope to take a closer look at these, and others too numerous to mention, in the coming weeks and months as they hit the retail market, so check back for features and product reviews in the near future. Until then, stay tuned for more CES 2024 coverage, including Pepcom’s Digital Experience and Showstoppers, both huge Press-exclusive product showcases like Unveiled. If you’d like to see how this year’s Unveiled stacked up to past years, have a look back at CES Unveiled 2023.