Every year, OATS and Senior Planet management attends the Consumer Electronics Show to spot trends and see what’s on the horizon in tech. Here’s the report back from Alex Glazebrook, OATS’s Director of Operations:
Another year, another CES – the gadget-laden annual trade show produced by the Consumer Technology Association. Each year, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) visits the show to search for innovation, not specifically in the aging space, but in the technology stratosphere at large – to find technologies that incite wonder while adding tangible benefit to our lives as we age.
CES 2020 was filled with refinements of existing technologies and a fair share of futuristic concepts from industry leaders in transportation and consumer electronics. Mercedes unveiled its AVTR concept car, while Uber showcased it’s upcoming air taxi service in partnership with Hyundai.
8k TVs, folding screens, upgraded health monitors, phones built for gaming, and more were scattered throughout the showroom floor.
Our Top Picks:
Our top picks from CES 2020 are items that are not necessarily designed with the aging population in mind, since we find those developments problem-focused rather than person-focused. Our picks focus on technologies that are fun, innovative, and applicable to real-life needs. Here are our top five from CES 2020:
- IQ Buds MAX Nuheara are designed with noise cancellation and sound personalization in mind, enabling users to take full control of the sound around them, which can be adjusted to suit their individual hearing needs.
Aftershokz headphones use “bone conduction technology,” sending sound directly to your inner ear so you can stay present to your environment.
- Echelon bikes and Reflect fitness mirrors – one company to rule them all? Echelon is consolidating the latest developments in fitness technology under one roof and creating a single source for all your high-tech wellness needs.
3. Health and Wellness Monitoring and Trackers
- Withings ScanWatch can identify signs of sleep apnea and monitor a full complement of other health markers including heart rate, blood oxygen level, and sleep. It even comes complete with embedded electrocardiogram and photoplethysmography for optical heart rate monitoring.
- Stand on the InBody body composition scale and place your finger on the scanner, and you’ll see a rich analysis of your abdominal fat and total body water, factors used by medical professionals to identify undiagnosed conditions and tailor treatment. This powerful device took home a CES Innovation Award.
4. VR/AR Advancements
- Healium VR uses virtual reality and other mindfulness exercises to create “escapes for areas of acute stress.” Through its app and immersive VR experience, Healium can help you manage your thoughts and stress levels by providing feedback through brainwave monitoring and visual storytelling.
- The Oculus Quest, a wireless VR headset you can use without a PC, brings a mix of quality, accessibility, and affordability that could make virtual game-play the new norm for video gamers.
5. Personal Transportation and Recreation
- Hydrofoil bikes were a standout ‘cool’ product from the show. Want to bike on water? Manta5 developed a product that allows you to cruise on top of any type of water with its new Hyrdofoiler XE-1.
- Segway also impressed with its new 100% electric dirt bike.
Innovation that Delights
The 2020 CES also featured Infinity massage chairs, new sex tech (including an AI-powered vibrator by Lioness and award-winning vibes by Lora DiCarlo) and gaming products, like Razer’s driving simulator and a portable gaming device by Alienware (concept only, for now). Other noteworthy innovations that caught the eye of both OATS staff and tech editors from around the world were foldable screens, futuristic transportation options (aerial ride-sharing or driverless cities, anyone?), new video streaming services, plant-based pork that tastes like the real deal, and the Guardian Exoskeleton, a suit with special controls that give its wearer the ability to pick up hundreds of pounds.
Photo by CES®