Continuing on with our coverage of CES 2020 we’re now diving into the weird, the random, the insane shit that crops up at CES. Now while there was a lot of garbage on the show flow these were the few things that were most certainly not garbage but were still otherwise… just random.
FiFish V6 Submarine Drone
Starting out we have the FiFish V6 Submarine Drone. This little puppy was something that I was about to walk by but instead decided to give a quick go. To my surprise it was a lot of fun! Like a lot!
This is obviously “version 6” given the name and this showed too as it’s a super nice unit with things like 4K video streaming, a 100m cable, upwards of 4+ hours battery life and did I mention really fun to drive/play with?
Like, you can do barrel rolls with it for Christ sake! It also has a 4000 Lumen LED, 8x slow mo, 6 Degrees of Freedom and can shoot RAW. You can even pipe the video footage into a VR headset and lock the controls to your head. It is $1,600 USD but then again DJI drones are in that price range now too so it’s not too outrageous I suppose.
Nreal AR Glasses
Moving on we have the brand new Nreal glasses. These were shockingly small and good augmented reality glasses. Throughout CES I tried on a large number of AR headsets and none of them seemed to come close to the projected brightness and field of view coverage these gave.
Many others would project the screen over the real world but it would be very faint or just not very big at all. These glasses screens were easily brighter than the CES show floor (no small feat) and were as wide as you could want them to be.
The screen overlay was also super clear too indicating their optics were very on point. While most other glasses just felt like crappy show demos this one packed a real deal feel to it. I could easily see myself watching content through the glasses screen.
After lining up to do their demo it quickly became apparent that they were hiding a bit of critical info though. While all their promo stuff had the glasses “standalone” this wasn’t the case when actually using them in real life.
There is no battery at all in the glasses, a core reason they’re so small/light. This means that there is a hard wired USB cord that comes out of them and that must be plugged into your phone for it to be used.
While this was kind of a disappointment they did still perform far better than any other tech I saw on show. Nreal also has done a ton of good work developing various nose pads and even a full line up of insertable lens’ for people with glasses.
They even had a huge array of colours for everyone including dead people, statues and dogs.
Kohler Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet
So I said there was some weird shit. That being said as stupid as an RGB toilet sounds I had to admit it looked pretty pimp ass. Hilarious and awesome at the same time. Reading the spec sheet on this thing though just made it even funnier given it has Alexa built in.
It also allows you to connect to it via Bluetooth, sync music to it, control it without hands, personalise your “cleansing functionality”, heat the seat and of course change the RGB colours.
They actually go so far as to say in their brochure for it that you can “check the weather, traffic and access news” with it. Yeah… we may have reached peak IoT I think!
Doosan Autonomous Excavators
Next up we have something that definitely caught my eye given how much we talk about self driving cars and the huge impending shit storm of a shock wave they’re going to have over the next 10 years.
Doosan, a large Chinese excavator vehicle company was showing off some concept scale models of completely L5 excavators. These were units that weren’t just autonomous, but completely void of any human controllable areas like you’d traditionally see.
After talking to the rep he admitted that these were proper concepts in that they don’t expect to be producing them for a good 5-10 years or so. That being said they were already fully automating current generation units that did have human seats etc in them.
That being said I think it’s pretty easy to see this as an eventual “end game” scenario that’s not too far away. Mining is pretty huge here in Australia with it employing a large percentage of people especially in the rural areas.
If you’re one of those people reading this I wouldn’t be too optimistic about being 100% employed in 5+ years time. Mines are already automating the simpler tasks and they’re not going to stop there anytime soon given how much money it saves them. I’d recommend to take our course on How To Stay Employed In The Robotic Future and start your transition to a more long term industry / job.
Hachi Puppy Cube
The Hachi Puppy Cube was one of those pieces of tech that as it got demoed to me more and more, I got more and more impressed. Besides the super cute puppy dog logo and its name, the device is a Android 9 powered smartphone installed in a touchscreen projector.
They were demoing it in a fake kitchen area but I could think of many other use cases. Basically you just put it in any orientation and it auto detects the screen area, adjusts so the projected screen is in focus and “rectangular” and then off you go, all in about 2-3 seconds.
The finger tracking and speed at which it responded was frankly astonashing too. It was identical to how fast my phones screen works and I own a 90 Hz OnePlus 7 Pro!
It was also completely wireless too with a huge 5,000 mAh battery so you can move it around super easily. The short throw projector unit can give you screen sizes of 23-100 inches and project onto basically any surface.
There wasn’t much word on when we might see one in Australia I can see them being quite popular if done right. Their soon to be released Infinite M1 Pro model ups things even further with 120″ screen sizes, a Snapdragon SDA670 and even more.
I see this as kind of replacing a tablet given you can do everything a tablet does but more and on a much bigger screen. Want to watch Neflix at 100″ while cooking? Sure! Want to easily read an article while eating dinner? No problems!
Samsung’s Robot Kitchen Arms
Samsung’s booth was absolutely huge and one of the most interesting things they had on display was their Bot Chef. Essentially two fully articulating robot arms that assist you in the kitchen.
From watching the very heavily scripted, yet still impressive, demo I’m not sure why these arms couldn’t be fully autonomous but perhaps Samsung is trying to break us meaty humans in easily for now at least.
Their demo went through the full making of a salad with cooked tofu mostly prepared and aided by the Bot Chef. It even downloaded a new skill to operate a “dumb” coffee maker on the fly which was cool too.
As the demo went on the arms continued to perform flawlessly when picking up everything from a cutting utensil to bottle of oil to even spatulas that it used to fry the tofu. It even turned the cook top on/off!
I was thoroughly impressed though when it upped the game by opening up the overhead cupboard and pulling out a sauce bottle, putting it in the salad and then placing the sauce bottle back again.
The entire thing reminded me of Moley, a fully robotic kitchen that’s been in development for a long time now. Seeing Samsung bring such a finely developed and capable system to CES though is a super good sign that this sort of thing isn’t just a once off odd ball.
I don’t think I’m the only one that would happily pay $2,000+ for these robot arms. If they could fully make me 95%+ of my meals and clean up everything afterwards I’d be throwing my money at Samsung or Moley in a heart beat.
Samsung made a special note also saying they’re targeting these things to have a price tag more in line with a home appliance rather than a car which is excellent to hear. If any gigantic hardware/software company can do this, Samsung is it.
INSANE Sarcos Guardian XO Exoskeleton
Now exoskeletons aren’t exactly something I know a lot about but the demo Sarcos did in partnership with Delta was a big wake up call. They showed off the Guardian XO, a fully untethered, full-body powered exoskeleton.
This thing was absolutely insane and right out of the movies. Packing two hot swappable batteries that could each power the exoskeleton for around 8 hours it enabled the user to essentially lift 20-40 kg things like they were full of air.
The use cases behind this was for Delta techs that need to service parts and thus move them around all day, every day. This takes it toll on your body and so these suits can help protect their employees health.
On top of that it means you can have much smaller / weaker employees do the same heavy lifting tasks the bigger / stronger ones can do. Obviously these things could be used in a huge array of industries like the military for loading missiles on planes to baggage handlers what they demoed on stage.
I’d also expect to see them use the suits to help gather data for robots to then do those tasks autonomously. Have your employees wear these suits while doing their job for a few months and then take the human part out! Either way seeing just how seamlessly it performed was highly impressive.
Hyundai UberAIR Ship
Finally we have what was I think the biggest items on display at CES 2020, the Hyundai UberAIR Ship. This absolutely awesome piece of high tech was suspended above everyone and was unfortunately a complete plastic mock up.
Talking to a Hyundai rep she made it clear that they didn’t even have the available material science to build it yet so the time frame was understandably “up to 10 years away”.
This unit was speced to have a 240 km/h cruise speed, 100 km range, carry 4 passengers plus 1 pilot and a distributed electric propulsion system. This allowed it to perform VTOL and all electric flight.
Oddly though despite this extremely long time estimate Uber still currently states that multiple cities will “offer Uber Air flights, with the goal of beginning demonstrator flights in 2020 and commercial operations in 2023.”
My guess would be that Uber has partnered with multiple companies to build these UberAIR ships and Hyundai is just a bit behind where everyone else is. Or perhaps those other companies are using more conventional combustion powered aircraft? Given we’re already now in 2020 hopefully we see some more info get dropped soon!
Stay Tuned For More CES Coverage!
That’s it for the random tech at CES but we’re far from done yet! Next week we’ll be going into all the various cars and car related tech that was on show so if you haven’t already sign up so you don’t miss that piece!
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