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Smellscapes, robot dogs and “conscious” • TechCrunch

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CES is about to start in earnest, but even though the show opens tomorrow, we’ve already found plenty of interesting tech at the show, ranging from the practical to the bizarre (but compelling). Read on for our roundup of the coolest things we’ve seen so far.

Picture credits: Icoma

Last night we spotted a suitcase-sized e-bike, the Icoma Tatamel. It makes a lot of trade-offs to get to this size (range, speed, wheel size, cost), but if you want an e-bike that fits in your trunk, it’s definitely worth looking into – it’s launching later this year.

If you’re the type of person who loves smart home lighting so you never have to reach for a switch (what a pain, right?), Nanoleaf has you covered. Their new geometric smart lights supposedly learn how you use lights and automate them without you having to set a routine. So when he sees you going from the bedroom to the kitchen in the morning, he knows how to bring that soft light similar to the sun. But when you enter from the dining room at 6 o’clock, bright cooking lights come on. Theoretically, anyway.

This is the exact moment your caller blew himself up with the grapefruit scent. Image Credit: Haje Kamps / TechCrunch

How will you get off the couch, however, when immersed in the olfactory landscape produced by Aromajoin. Works with anything filmed in Smell-O-Scope, so nothing yet, but there are demo experiences that let you, for example, enjoy the crackling sound and flickering light of a fire while getting that crucial smoke smell right on your nose. Haje called the smells “remarkably recognizable.” Come out “soon”.

Fufuly, a “breathing pillow”, comes from the creator of the soft and strangely soothing robotic cat Qoobo. It sounds crazy, but it’s based on the idea that people naturally adapt their breathing rate to respirators, or even those close to them. The pillow will act as your breathing partner. Instructions: “Turn it on and hug it. That’s all you need. You said it, Shunsuke. Expect a crowdfunding campaign later this year.

I wrote the Bird Buddy Last year in 2021, and now the company is moving from live identification of backyard songbirds to hummingbirds with its new feeder. It recognizes 350 species and of course sends photos directly to your phone when you have a visitor. Interestingly, the company also has a dataset simmering – it logs species, time and location, creating a database of bird movements. Maybe there are models here that are worth wrapping around as a product…

Anyone who likes the idea of ​​a smartwatch but doesn’t really like the “watch” part should take note of the Nowatch, a device the company calls a “mindful.” It tracks health without a screen, which reminds me of Misfit devices from a long time ago. No notifications, just steps, sweat detection and other metrics with a beautiful stone or gem as your face.

The Nowatch device on display at CES in Las Vegas. Image Credit: Haje Kamps / TechCrunch

Roku has been one of the go-to brands for smart TVs for years, but now the company is shifting from powering Samsungs and TCLs to making its own. The new line of Roku-branded TVs will range from 24″ to 75″ and will include the latest voice-activated remote control. I have one and it’s super useful to just plug in headphones if you want to watch a show without fiddling with Bluetooth or apps or anything. The most expensive will always be under a grand, which is good. Expect more details when they launch in the spring.

I remember talking to Formlabs during the 3D printing gold rush, and the company has been successful over the years. Now, it aims to embrace high-volume additive manufacturing with an automation ecosystem that helps printers run 24/7 in an organized fashion. No more plastic trinkets for everyone!

Picture credits: Withing (Opens in a new window)

Urinalysis isn’t anyone’s favorite activity, but that’s largely because it’s so primitive. Why doesn’t the lab just live in the toilet where the pee already goes? Smart home company Withings is introducing a urinalysis device for home health monitoring – maybe not something for everyone, but for people with certain medical conditions or those working towards a particular objective, this could be invaluable. Europe gets this one first, naturally.

Amazon will soon release an Echo-esque smart display and speaker with mouse ears that respond to “Hey Disney!” Wow, finally.

Picture credits: WowWee

Toy company WowWee still sells the Roboraptor, but now they have a brand new robot dog called MINTiDDog-E. Hopefully Dog-E for short, though it may attract some unwanted lawsuits. If you want a robot dog but think Aibo is too basic, try this one. It communicates by wagging its tail, just like an ordinary dog, if ordinary dogs had persistence-of-vision LEDs built into their bodies.

Nuralogix claims to collect a thousand diagnoses from a 30-second selfie video, from blood pressure and stress to BMI, stroke risk and blood sugar. Sounds like a lot of overlays to me, but I guess the right thing to do is let them put their stuff in there and rate it on the bottom.

Canon is hard at work on 3D, AR and Metaverse style environments and interactions with awesome 3D video calling and virtual camera prototypes. It’s pretty cool, but it also feels like an unfiltered brainstorming session right before the holidays. M. Night Shyamalan was there, but I think the twist is that they paid him to appear.

We spoke with the creators of Kokomo, the 3D VR call thing, and they really think it’s something new in the rather stagnant virtual presence space. All but another gallery of gritty faces.

Picture credits: Ottonomy

Delivery robots are still a novelty found on only a handful of college campuses and other confined spaces, but the technology is improving: Otnomy’s Yeti robot looks like the little rolling containers you might see rolling down the street or being hit by trains, but he can safely deposit his payload in a special locker. This means you don’t have to be there to receive the package, though of course, like Daleks, things still can’t get up the steps.

Samsung has released a wireless charger that acts as a smart home hub. Wasn’t that already a thing?

Luminar founder Austin Russell spoke about the company’s ambitions (particularly after acquiring a mapping startup) to do more than just manufacture efficient lidar devices. Apparently, it’s accelerating its “up the pile” movement by buying up smaller companies at huge discounts. Clever – I do the same at the grocery store with nearly expired vegetables. The scale is different, of course, but the philosophy is the same.

Picture credits: Chipolo

Normally, when you’re in direct competition with Apple, you sit in a corner and cry. Not Chipolo – its little object tracking devices do rival AirTags in a way, but the company is okay with that. Theirs does a different, simpler job (essentially “you forgot something” and it beeps) and they’re happy that Apple supports “sophisticated global networking with UWB”. “We don’t build a business because we want to build a business, do we? We build the business because we want to help people. And that’s also what Apple does. So actually, it’s good. How refreshing.

Portable chairs are getting quite futuristic. What’s wrong with lying down?

There’s a new washer in town from Samsung, with a few innovations that could help reduce the microplastics that come off your laundry. Of course, that horse left the barn a long time ago and now fish and turtles are basically cyborgs. Let’s all agree to wear natural fibres!

Sony is shooting a Gran Turismo movie starring Orlando Bloom, directed by Neil Blomkamp. Ridge Racer has been broken into! Sony, call me.

Sony’s Project Leonardo controllers next to a DualShock controller.

Sony is also making an accessible controller to rival Microsoft’s superb Xbox Adaptive Controller. Called Project Leonardo (for now, obviously), it’s a UFO-shaped thing that lets users plug in devices like light switches and paddles so people with physical disabilities can play as well as anyone. who else. We hope to hear more about this one soon.

Learn more about CES 2023 on TechCrunch

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