Weird and wonderful gadgets unveiled at this year’s CES tech show

A headset that helps track your sleep, a smart cat bowl and a motorised suitcase are among some of the innovative gadgets going on display at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week. 

The largest technology convention in the world is taking place in a conference hall in Las Vegas, showcasing a mix of aspiring tech companies’ innovations and a small handful of gems from established names. 

Members of the media were given a sneak preview of some of the stars of the show at a ‘CES Unveiled’ event, held ahead of its official opening tomorrow. 

CES is one of the biggest dates in the tech industry calendar and is expected to draw more than 180,000 visitors hoping for a chance to see the kind of tech likely to dominate the coming year’s agenda. 

A recent boom in sleep tech has seen everything from smart pillows and sleep-tracking beds emerging on the market.

Urgonight, a sleep-tracking headset by French startup Urgo Group goes one step further by training your brain to sleep better.

The headband connects to the Urgonight app and trains your brain into developing wave patterns for healthier sleep. 

The Urgonight EEG (electroencephalogram) therapy requires three 20-minute sessions per week, which then gives you feedback in the app that shows your session progress in real time.

The team say that sustainable results take three months to achieve but that it helps you learn how to produce brainwaves that enhance your natural sleep.

Another sleep tech startup Dreamlight unveiled a mask that uses light, sound and genetics so you fall asleep faster and wake up with more energy.

The Dreamlight is a heavily padded and contoured strip that wraps around your head and attaches with velcro. 

Plumbing company Kohler showed off an ‘intelligent toilet’ with built-in surround sound speakers, ambient mood lighting, and Amazon Alexa voice controls. 

The Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet, also has personalised cleansing and drier functions, built-in speakers, and comes with a promise of ‘exceptional water efficiency’.

‘Connected technology is driving innovation in the smart home category, but connectivity alone isn’t enough,’ said David Kohler, Kohler’s chief.

‘We believe in leading with design and seamlessly incorporating the right technologies so that our customers can personalise their bathroom experiences to be just right for them.’

Also on display was the Ovis Suitcase which automatically follows its owner around and even dodges passers-by.

After introducing an enormous microLED TV called The Wall at last year’s CES, Samsung has returned in 2019 with a smaller, 75-inch 4K TV, touted as more ‘practical fit for the living room’.

The incredibly thin television uses the same foundation as The Wall, combining ‘individual tiles of self-emissive MicroLEDs, featuring millions of inorganic red, green and blue microscopic LED chips that emit their own bright light to produce brilliant colors on screen.’ 

The SPECTRA X, by Walnutt Technologies is a shareable electric skateboard which focuses on P2P (person to person) sharing.

Similar to Airbnb, owners of the skateboard can rent out the right of use to people who are interested in riding.  

Walnutt Technologies claims that the device connects people who share the same interests, enabling more people to enjoy the fun of e-skateboarding while fostering an e-skater ecosystem. 

A number of smart-home security cameras were also on show, along with a slat of wood which acts as a display to cut down on screen time.

Mui Calm lets owners control devices such as home lighting and thermostats via touch and voice command.

The $600 (£470) piece of wood. It is also a touchscreen display with Google Assistant voice controls that is meant to be a more natural interface than a regular screen.

It lets users to check the news and weather and send and receive messages by showing text on the wooden slat. 

The Japanese company says the technology blends into your home, for a calmer environment.

Various fuzzy robots for children were also previewed at the tech event – including a robot that is designed to tell children bed time stories. 

The Mookkie cat bowl uses visual recognition and will only open up to a specific cat’s face, preventing other cats or animals from eating the food. 

The bowl connects to a local network over WiFi and will send pet owners a notification via the mobile app to alert them that their pet is about to eat. It can also send a short video of the pet in action.

It is also said to work with Google Assistant, meaning you can control the bowl’s opening mechanism as well as order more pet food by simply using voice commands.  

The Breadbot — a carb vending machine – proved to be another highlight of the show. 

The automated device starts with dry ingredients and bakes several different types of bread, including white, whole wheat, nine grain, sourdough and honey oat.

The bread requires fewer preservatives since it’s made on the spot, according The Wilkinson Baking Company. 

Three US grocery chains will begin testing it out in stores later this year, though Breadbot’s makers would not specify which ones. 

Among some of the more unusual gadgets on show were a water bottle with a built-in Bluetooth speaker, and a refrigerator that detects when you are out of beer and orders more. 

British company Elvie displayed a breast pump that can be worn in a bra under normal clothes and operates with minimal sound so mothers can go about their normal jobs and routines.

The Elvie is already available in the United Kingdom and will start shipping in the United States in February.

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