Once again nerds and geeks and techno wizards recently convened in Las Vegas to ooh and ah over the latest offerings in consumer electronics. While past years’ conventions were chock full of amazing inventions, as time goes by it appears that creators are stretching the concept a bit thin. Still, one man’s “You’ve got to be kidding” is another’s “Got to have it!” But, are we getting uncomfortably close to AI infused gadgetry domination?
Take a look and see.
SLEEP NUMBER 360 SMART BED
This bed not only warms its bottom section when it recognizes your feet are cold, it also raises the head section if it senses you are snoring. Guess that is an improvement over your significant other smacking you.
MOEN U CONNECT SHOWER
Another gadget is designed to ensure that in the future we will all look like the people in “Wall-E.” This phone will turn on, preheat and control the temperature of your shower so you will never have to exert yourself to turn a spigot with your hands:
SMART AND BLUE HYDRAO SMART SHOWERHEADS
Continuing the shower theme, here’s an item that does have some worth IMHO . The LED lights change color, from green to blue to purple to red, based on how long you’ve been showering. While the aim of saving money on utility bills is noteworthy, the item lost a bit of its luster when I learned you can turn it on without getting out of bed. (See above Wall-E image).
I find this mechanical eye that uses face recognition to identify angry expressions way too Big Brother ish. If the robot is aimed towards a baby it will start to play calming music, or launch into an audiobook to sooth the infant. STOP! Babies need human interaction!!!
And, if it is an adult with anger issues – what’s next? “Soma” gas sprayed into the air?
Not quite sure how this works as the technology is still being worked on, but when implemented it will let you physically feel the texture of an item on your screen.
Kind of a “Pat the Bunny” 2.0:
A voice-activated trash can that can open and close through verbal commands, “Open can” or “Open sesame.” Additional models will include Wi-Fi. and will track your garbage bags supply. Conveniently when you run out, an app can automatically order more through Amazon’s Dash Replacement service.
AMAZON/ALEXA IS EVERYWHERE
Ironically Amazon isn’t at CES formally. It appears that all Amazon had to do was authorize usage by other companies and now all are scrambling to integrate Amazon’s services and/or Alexa’s voice recognition system into their gadgets – with some very strange applications.
The Smart Trash Cans use an app that connects you to Amazon. And that eyeball camera highlighted above that checks your emotions – guess what? Alexa is inside. And there are a lot more Alexa-inclusive items including:
Monitors for newborns
Alarm clocks aka “bedside clock speakers”
Ford and Volkswagen automobiles
Martian smartwatches – love the name but it doesn’t appear to work well according to many reports
Washers, dryers, ovens
Floor cleaning gadgets similar to Roomba
Router systems that lets Alexa read your Wi-Fi password aloud. – This one is intriguing with so many passwords to remember
There are now over 7000 Alexa integrations, up from 1,000 integrations in June across a myriad of companies – with more surely to come.
Amazon is so ubiquitous today I am getting a little uneasy – she is beginning to sound like a close relative of V.I.K.I. (Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence from 2004 “I, Robot” movie)
Will Alexa follow the Four Laws?