10 Products That Impressed at CES 2017

With almost a week since I got back from CES 2107, I feel there's now been enough time to get a handle on what was impressive at this massive show with its 3,800 exhibitors and (at least) 175,000 attendees. Here are ten products and technologies that I think were worth noting:

1) Amazon alexa—Amazon's voice-driven intelligent assistant was the story of CES 2017, with Echo compatibles (Lenovo, Onkyo), vehicles (Ford, Hyundai, VW), appliances (LG, Whirlpool), televisions (Westinghouse), and smart home (GE) products introduced that connect to alexa.

2) Henge Dock Horizontal Dock for MacBook Pro—for owners of new MacBook Pros that miss their ports, Henge Dock offers (deep breath) these; audio jack (x2), Secure Digital card, HDMI, USB 3 (x4), Ethernet, power supply, and Mini DisplayPort (x2). You also get a choice of either two USB-C ports or two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Available in spring 2017, starting at $500.

3) LG Signature OLED TV W7P—it seems that every year LG has the most spectacular television at CES. This year, Sony gave them a run for their money with their new (and long expected) BRAVIA A1E OLED TV, but LG one-upped everybody by releasing a 65-inch version that is only 2.6 mm thick and light enough to be held up with magnets. The only problem is the list price; an astounding $8,000.

4) sevenhugs Smart Remote—the Smart Remote is a remote control that adapts automatically to the context it is being used in. It can control a list of over 25,000 devices via WiFi, Bluetooth, or infrared. Available in mid-2017 for $300.

5) Panasonic flexible battery—Panasonic has been asserting themselves as the high-end battery experts (their ongoing partnership with Tesla is one example), and their flexible battery is one more way of emphasizing this. Panasonic hopes to have versions of the flexible battery shipping in commercial applications sometime in 2017.

6) Intel Compute Card—barely larger than a credit card, the Compute Card includes a Core processor, memory, storage, Bluetooth, and WiFi. Available in mid-2017 and intended to work with many as yet unannounced products from vendors such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo.

7) Carnival Ocean Medallion—at their keynote on Thursday morning, Carnival LLC's CEO introduced the Medallion wearable, which is based on the Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) standards and is intended to substantially improve the level of customer service they can provide. The Medallion and its capabilities will deploy to the first of Carnival's 100 ships in late 2017.

8) Dell Canvas—Dell announced their “horizontal smart workspace,” which is at least somewhat of a competitor to Microsoft's Surface Studio. It includes a high-resolution 27-inch screen with touch and pen support and is intended for the same users that buy Dell's Precision workstations. Available in March 2017, starting at $1,800.

9) Tanvas—it's hard to explain, but rather incredible to experience. Tanvas' "surface haptics" allow a touch screen to add texture; demonstrations included different clothing textures and the frets and strings of a guitar. They're hoping to bring it to market within a year.

10) Tilt SpinTales—I call it Augmented Reality (AR) bedding. Tilt calls it the SpinTales Enchanted Duvet. It comes with an iOS or Android app that adds stories to the brightly decorated bedding. Tilt also sells a similar rug. Available now for $100.

John Mulhern III

Posted 1/14/2017