I admit, I did not expect that this year's Consumer Electronic Show will be so interesting. Unlike previous years, where televisions and motoring were the first violins, this year Las Vegas really showed a lot of gadgets on which you can hang your eye.
We have rightly predicted that 2018 is the year of the run-up to full innovation and 2019. The new year has just begun, and the CES fair in Las Vegas has already flooded the market with interesting prime ministers. Although CES usually focuses on the RTV industry (hence the numerous premieres of TV sets and related accessories), so this year TVs have not attracted the most attention. Well, maybe not counting the collapsible LG TV , which for me still looks like something straight out of the sick imagination of Hollywood.
This year, the market halls were dominated by laptops and - of course - smart devices equipped with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Alexa and Google Assistant were literally everywhere.
Looking at all these new products I have prepared a highly subjective top gadgets, which I can not wait for the premiere (and hence the tests).
Jabra Elite 85h
Headphones with active noise reduction are not lacking, including really fantastic ones like Sony WX1000M3, Sennheiser PXC 550 or Bowers & Wilkins PX, so Jabra Elite 85h will have fierce competition. I do not doubt, however, that they will leave the fight with a defensive hand, because they have a lot to offer.
The design not only looks stylish, but also has a certificate of resistance to dust and water IP52. In the end, we get headphones, which can be worn without stress during a slight rain. Jabra Elite 85h also uses an interesting approach to active noise reduction - the SmartSound function is to intelligently recognize the surroundings and adjust the ANC parameters to it.
There are also 8 microphones built in - two for the needs of ANC, two for SmartSound and four for talks and voice assistants (in Poland there will be only Google Assistant, but Alex is also available). And the icing on the cake: even with the ANC on, the Jabra headphones will work 32 hours on a single charge. I can not wait to check it out in practice.
Lenovo Yoga A940
Inspired by Surface Studio, Lenovo computer delighted me at first sight and I can not wait to come to me for tests (if it goes to Poland at all).
At the same time I realize that probably it will not be the best computer on the market, neither the strongest nor definitely the most profitable in the purchase. However, it will be ANYWHERE. Yoga A940 is interesting, it is different, it is a breath of freshness on the fossilized desktop market. And that's enough to be excited.
Nemeio E-Ink Keyboard
A keyboard where you can freely change the layout of the keys? We have already seen such experiments, but none of them has been successful yet. Nemeio approaches the subject a bit differently - instead of a completely flat construction, monochromatic LCD screens or other miracles, he uses the E-ink display under the keys.
As a result, it does not consume more energy than a typical wireless keyboard, so it can connect to a Mac or PC via Bluetooth. Within the application for a given platform, we can freely configure the layout of the keys, changing not only letters but, for example, by adding dedicated keyboard shortcuts.
Nemeio's keyboard is currently in the prototype phase, but it made quite a noise during CES 2019, to have a chance to hit production.
Digital art gallery
Colorful e-ink displays, replacing the current paper, are still a song of the distant future - mainly due to high production costs (and hence - sales) of decent quality screens. However, this does not prevent companies from using LCD screens that imitate paper more and more effectively.
One of the producers of such panels is the company Meural belonging to Netgear , which for several years has been offering digital picture frames. This year, the manufacturer showed the third generation of its electronic canvas, which will be available for the first time in two sizes: 21.5 and 27-inch, both with Full HD. The new generation of Canvas also supports Amazon's voice assistant, so we can ask Alex to change the picture.
Frames have built-in 8 GB of data memory, 2 GB of RAM, lighting sensor, gesture navigation and Wi-Fi module. The canvas can also be powered by an Ethernet socket, which is to convince business clients, eg various institutions that would like to hang e-frames in their facilities.
The frames around the canvas are modular and available in many different variants, the manufacturer also provides various accessories, such as protective plexiglass. By buying Meural frames, we also get access to a rich collection of images that we can assign to frames using a dedicated application. Meural gives 60 percent to artists. profits from the sale of each image. Users can buy images at one time, or get access to them as part of a subscription costing $ 50. annually.
One 27-inch Meurala display costs $ 600, which for an individual customer can be a barrier price for a single monitor for display only, but having a cheap subscription for unlimited stock of art, the cost of Meural Canvas is not overly overwhelming.
Kettle boiling water while pouring it
Ok, I admit this gadget solves a problem that does not exist - in the end, what's the problem to wait for a while until the water boils? The carafe-kettle from Heatworks is, however, an interesting concept that it is impossible to pass by it indifferently.
The assumption is very simple: we have a small carafe with an integrated water filter and depending on which side of the carafe we pour water, cold water can flow out of it or boil to the temperature we choose.
Heatworks Duo Carafe is battery-powered and can simultaneously heat about a liter of water with Fahrenheit precision up to one degree. For heating, it uses the patented Ohmic Array technology: graphite electrodes that increase the energy level of water molecules. As molecules move faster, they acquire more kinetic energy, which then turns into heat as the molecules collide with each other.
So many theories, because during CES 2019 the manufacturer did not present a working prototype, did not present a planned start date of production or the expected price, although the developers say that the final product should not cost more than 200 dollars.
If Heatworks Duo Carafe comes out of the prototype phase, it can be a very interesting gadget for travelers, even those on Sunday - the size of the device is so small that we can easily fit them in a tourist backpack with an aeropress. The perfect combination to brew yourself on the trail.
Active noise reduction in a car that works
Attempts to use ANC technology in cars are not new. Their patents in this topic include Honda and Ford, although they are quite ... primitive, I would say solutions based solely on the measurement of noise by dedicated microphones.
Bose approaches the subject differently, presenting the Quiet Comfort technology for cars.
Instead of using only measuring microphones, Bose uses a combination of vibration accelerators scattered around the car structure, dedicated DSP processing, microphones and a car-audio system to control unwanted noises.
As we read in the official press release, accelerometers are to measure the vibrations that are responsible for noise frequencies. Then, this information is used to generate an acoustic signal in the speakers, leveling these frequencies. Microphones in the cabin additionally analyze the sounds of the surroundings to adapt the system's operation to, for example, a specific surface.
The system is created mainly for electric cars, in which due to the lack of an internal combustion engine the noise is emitted primarily by the roar of the tires or the wind noise, though the system also has to hit the "traditionally" driven cars.
The first vehicles equipped with the Bose Quiet Comfort system are to leave for the road only in 2021, but it does not bother me today to enjoy the prospect of a good calm in cars, not only those luxurious, but also more affordable.
Meat that is not meat. Impossible Burger 2.0 has swept the CES 2019 stage
The gadget of this year's CES is the most-often-discussed gadget in the media, and the real technology of the future - Impossible Burger 2.0, the new generation of meatless burger.
For years, Impossible Foods has been trying to create vegetable recipes that imitate the taste of meat, and according to the reports of journalists who had the opportunity to try Impossible Burger 2.0, they finally succeeded.
According to the relationship, the taste of the new "artificial meat" is essentially indistinguishable from its true counterpart. And it's the highest quality. The producer also ensures that vegetable "meat" has the same nutritional value as real meat, including similar amounts of iron and protein (in the new generation, whey protein was replaced with soy protein). 100 grams of such "meat" contains 240 calories and 14 grams of fat.
For several months, I have been radically limiting the consumption of meat and animal products, aiming at a complete switch to the plant diet. In most cases, I said goodbye to meat without a shadow of regret, but one meat pleasure that I can not refuse at the moment is the burgers. The more so because I have in my city one of the best burger in Poland, which serves unimaginably delicious food.
If I could replace this one pleasure with a vegetable, healthier and more ecological equivalent, I would not have the slightest problem with switching to a 100 percent diet. meatless.
In the United States, Impossible Burger 2.0 will be available by the end of this year, both in stores and restaurants.
I am counting on the fact that due to the global growth of consumer awareness and the growing civilization need to limit meat consumption, products such as Impossible Burger 2.0 and Beyond Eggs (vegetable egg substitute) will eventually end up in Poland.
I am not surprised at all that it is the eco-burger that wins the Best of CES 2019 prizes - a rolled-up TV or a new laptop can be nice gadgets, but let's be honest, their civilization influence is relatively small.
For this product that can replace meat and convince the most fastidious gourmets to a plant diet? This is an innovation that in the years to come it has the potential to change the world for the better.
A teapot that boils water during pouring and meat, which is not meat at all. Subjective TOP of CES 2019