Tech forum’s gadgets run the gamut
Las Vegas — Hundreds of gadgets and innovations are being shown at the CES 2016 technology show. Here’s a sample.
Appliance takes countertop brewing trend to beer
Want a craft brewery on your countertop and don’t mind waiting a week for the hoppy elixir?
PicoBrew hopes to become the Keurig of brewing. The company showed off its $699 appliance that uses pre-mixed recipes costing $20-$60, including some from brewers Rogue and Dogfish Head.
The company is shipping its first devices in April to its Kickstarter supporters who have contributed a combined $1.4 million to the project.
Digitsole fits multiple abilities into Smartshoe
Digitsole introduced the world’s first intelligent shoe, the Smartshoe 101. It is controlled by a smartphone app that lets wearers track their movements, measure calories burned and monitor the wear-and-tear.
But there’s more: They’ll let you warm up the soles with the app — and even automatically tighten the shoes if they’re slipping on your heels.
LG fridge offers hands-free access, door that lights up
Hands full of groceries? LG has a refrigerator that opens automatically when a person steps on the projection of an image on the floor.
Its LG Signature fridge also lets you peek inside without opening the door, saving electricity and maybe keeping you from making a poor decision regarding a late-night snack. One side of its double doors has an opaque glass window. Knocking on the window lights up the inside slightly, enough to glance at your leftovers.
And of course, it comes equipped with Wi-Fi enabled sensors so you can track the temperature inside and monitor energy use.
Office chair fixture tallies up time spent sitting
Office workers probably assume their boss can peek in on their corporate emails. But knowing — exactly — how long you’ve been sitting down on the job? That’s the purpose of the “connected caster,” an innocent-looking, weight-sensitive wheel that can be affixed to the bottom of an office chair. It sends data back to a system that tracks just that.
Detroit-based Tome Inc. worked on the product with sleek office furniture designer Humanscale — which, conveniently, makes a line of desks for standing up and working at.
Wireless trackers ease hunting down lost keys
It’s never been easier to find your lost keys. Several companies are showing off tags with wireless technology. You can put one on your keys and call to it with your smartphone. Think of it as dialing your partner’s mobile number just so it buzzes from under the couch.
Some companies are taking it a step further. TrackR unveiled an add-on called Atlas. It plugs into a wall socket and scans a room for any TrackR tags using Bluetooth. It then tells you what room your missing item is in. The company’s Jeremy Fish says “most people can find it if you get into the right room, unless you have a warehouse for a room.”
Fitbit mid-range model set to blaze new trails
Fitbit, a leading maker of fitness trackers, is unveiling a mid-range model with heart-rate monitoring and smartwatch-like functions, such as audio playback control and message notifications.
The new Blaze won’t have a GPS built-in, but it will be able to use the GPS from a companion smartphone to display pace and distance more accurately. It’s a similar approach to the Apple Watch. The Blaze will replace Fitbit’s Charge HR, which monitors heart rate but has no ability to latch on to the phone’s GPS.
The Blaze is the first Fitbit model to have a color display. It will sell for $200 when it comes out in March. Fitbit will also sell alternative frames and bands made of leather or stainless steel.
Under Armour takes a run at wearable devices
Sports clothing maker Under Armour is getting into the gadgets business with a set of wearable devices, headphones and a wireless scale.
Though Under Armour isn’t first with any of these, it’s trying to make it easy on consumers by designing products that connect wirelessly to each other or to its smartphone apps. A new version of its UA Record app seeks to integrate all aspects of health and fitness — including nutrition, sleep and exercise — though a few features will require a companion app, MapMyRun. Apps will also work with competing devices, such as Fitbit and Garmin watches.