AS VEGAS — At CES Unveiled, a pre-show gadget bazaar staged to tease the news media about this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), two trends have emerged: more wearables pitched for better accuracy (some even carrying “medical-grade” claims) and more gateway products designed to allow Bluetooth Low Energy-equipped gadgets to talk to a WiFi router at home or directly with the outside world.
The International CES ceased to be a show about TV sets and HiFi equipment a decade ago. Mobility — smartphones and automotive — has invaded more and more show-floor space since then. Aside from the 4K TV trend, this year's CES appears to be all about embedded systems and personal gadgets — but not necessarily smartphones — that take advantage of MEMS sensors and connectivity.
These connected devices are built to talk to smartphones and WiFi routers at home. More importantly, they come with apps and (often) specific services in the cloud enabling data transmission for analytics. In essence, yes, these are Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
If some of the products demonstrated at the pandemonium of CES Unveiled are any indication, this is a generation of gadgets designed to compete on simplicity, ease of use, accuracy, and security. At least, these elements represent a prevalent buzz among vendors.
Of course, CES Unveiled also featured the usual litany of gadgets that make your eyes roll (“Do we really need this?”), making CES veterans wonder how many of these starry-eyed entrepreneurs will last out the new year.
But there are always gems — fresh ideas that suggest how much a combination of MEMS and connectivity can accomplish.
In the following pages , we offer a slideshow of new products we spotted at this year's CES Unveiled.