CES is the tech world’s big coming-out a supersize circus of gadgetry that both follows major trends in technology and creates them. It’s never the same year to year, but it’s always a showcase of what’s to come in consumer technology.
The CES is that it shows you everything not just innovative products and ideas, but also the irrelevant, the mundane, the been-done-already. You need to sort through enormous ballrooms of dross to get to the true shiny objects.
#1 Under Armour Gemini 2 sneakers
Under Armour’s Gemini 2 sneakers ($180) are fitness trackers for your feet. The sensor-filled sneakers track your workouts without needing to tether to a smartphone. Slip on the pair, and the tiny sensors embedded within the soles track where you’re going, the distance you’ve traveled and calories burned — all details which are transmitted later to a corresponding app.
#2 Withings Thermo
Withings’ WiFi-connected thermometer Thermo ($99.95) is used by hovering over the skin. While it’s designed for babies allowing parents to take readings in the middle of the night without disturbing the little one it works just as well on adults. Plus, it’s less invasive and more hygienic. The Thermo is placed just above the temporal artery, found at both temples on the forehead.
#3 Hydrao Smart Shower
Hydrao Smart Shower is a genius answer to solve the water problem. The Bluetooth LE shower head connects to an iPhone or iPad app where you can set alert intervals, like five gallons, seven gallons and 10 gallons. At each interval, LED lights will light up in three different colors to remind you how much water you’re using. Even more sustainable, a tiny turbine uses the water running through the shower head to generate enough energy to power the lights and Bluetooth connectivity.
#4 Samsung Family Hub Smart Refrigerator
Samsung’s Family Hub Refrigerator combines a massive 21.5-inch, full HD touchscreen with surprising intelligence. The first refrigerator to integrate Amazon Alexa, the appliance features a pair of cameras on the inside that can monitor the fridge’s contents, which you access through a mobile app. The large, gorilla-glass-covered screen is also designed to act as a sort of replacement for all the important notes you can no longer attach via magnets to modern stainless steel refrigerators.
#5 Fitbit Blaze
The Fitbit Blaze ($199) was met with mixed reaction when it was unveiled at CES, but the company’s second attempt at a fitness watch is a big improvement in style over its predecessor and it’s a whole lot smarter too. The Blaze features a colorful touchscreen, a collection of stylish leather and stainless steel bands and an assortment of personalization features. While it puts fitness first — you won’t be getting Twitter notifications on this thing — you’ll be able to answer or reject phone calls, check out text messages and receive calendar alerts.
#6 SCiO food scanner
Curious just how many carbs and calories are sitting on your dinner plate? A new pocket-sized Bluetooth-enabled gadget called the SCiO promises to reveal the nutritional value of your meal by scanning its chemical makeup. From French startup DietSensor, and developed with the help of Consumer Physics, the device uses near-infrared spectroscopy (the analysis of how molecules interact with light) to determine fat content, carbs and more of food.
The adorable Fisher-Price’s Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar ($49.99) is more than what it seems. it teaches preschoolers the basics of learning to code. It comes with eight segments that feature a movement command icon on its surface left, right, spin, make a noise, etc. Once the segments are connected and the start button is pressed, the Code-a-Pillar will take the programmed route. While there isn’t any actual computer programming taking place, it reinforces skills associated with writing code.