Every year at CES, we see a dizzying array of new products and technology. But even with thousands of new gadgets to choose from, only a few really stand out as products we truly want to take home — ranging from all-new technologies to advances in products and services that are sure to improve our lives.
At CES 2020, our team of tech industry veterans – Elizabeth Harper, Suzanne Kantra, Josh Kirschner, Pete Pachal, Andrea Smith, Jonathan Takiff, Stewart Wolpin – selected just 15 products that earned the honor of our Techlicious Top Picks of CES 2020 Award.
U by Moen Smart Faucet
There are plenty of times when cooking where you need a precise amount of water. And if you’re in a rush to get dinner on the table or your hands are covered in grease, it’s inconvenient to measure that out manually. And if you’re a baker, you want that water to be at a precise temperature for blooming your yeast. The same goes for new parents, who know their finicky baby loves their formula bottle to be exactly 98F or they won’t drink it.
Those are the exact situations the U by Moen Smart Faucet is designed for. Using just your voice with your connected Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device, you can ask the U faucet to dispense a specific amount of water – from 1 tablespoon up to 15 gallons – and, if desired, at a specific temperature (or “hot” or “cold”). A sensor on the faucet will indicate the system is warming up or cooling down to reach the desired temperature and when the faucet is ready to dispense your water.
You can also create an unlimited number of preset commands, like “Baby bottle”, and turn the faucet on and off with just a wave of your hand.
As passionate cooks, ourselves, this is a smart kitchen product we would welcome in our kitchens. Prices will start at a little over $400 and vary by model.
Price: $400+, varies by model
Website: U by Moen Smart Faucet
mamaROO Sleep Bassinet
If your infant just wants to be rocked to sleep in the gentle lull of your arms, you know the pain of trying to put a baby down to sleep only to have her cry the minute you set her down. The mamaRoo sleep bassinet from 4moms is designed to mimic your movements and rock your baby to sleep so you can get some precious sleep too.
It looks like a traditional bassinet until you press the buttons on the base and see it gently glide up and down and side to side. You can choose from five different patterns, depending on what motion your little one prefers, and each pattern can be set to different speeds. There’s also a vibration setting that mimics the feel of patting the baby to soothe her, and four white noise options: rain, ocean, fan and shush. All of this can also be controlled from an app on your phone.
Babies fall asleep and stay asleep so parents can rest easy. And for those of us who have been parents of infants, that's a big win in our book.
Available: February 2020
Withing’s ScanWatch looks much like the company's popular Steel HR hybrid smartwatch, but adds two new — and potentially lifesaving — health tools to the analogue-style watch:
- Measure your blood oxygen levels while you sleep, alerting you to potentially dangerous health issues like sleep apnea.
- Alert you to an atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that often goes undetected.
It uses a light sensor on the back of the watch to scan changes in your blood color to determine your oxygen saturation levels. If you wear it each night, it will track your levels and alert you to potentially dangerous changes in your patterns. If the watch detects an irregular heartbeat, it will prompt you to take an ECG reading by holding your fingers on the sides of the bezels for 30 seconds. Users can see the ECG on the display as well as in the Health Mate app and can share it with their doctor.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing starts and stops during sleep and can be diagnosed through a sleep study. While the Scan Watch can’t diagnose you, simply alerting you to potential issues that lead you to get checked by a doctor make this an easy-to use health monitoring tool.
The new ScanWatch retains the same round display as other Withings smartwatches, with a 42mm band and a smaller 38mm band for women. And like the Steel HR, it also displays text messages, heart rate, fitness info (such as steps taken and calories burned) along with other notifications.
The ScanWatch is still waiting for FDA approval, so there's no release date yet, but you can sign up on the Withings website for updates.
Price: $249 for 38mm, $299 for 42mm
Bluetooth LE Audio
Imagine being able to use your Bluetooth earphones or true wireless buds to listen to the actors on stage in a play, the language soundtrack of your choice at the movies, to a program on an otherwise muted TV in an airport or bar, or to what someone else is listening to on their device. These capabilities and more are part of a major Bluetooth upgrade called LE (Low Energy) Audio. This new Bluetooth standard also improves audio quality, boosts battery life, make it easier to pair true wireless buds, and will vastly expand hearing aid performance and capabilities for music and TV listening.
With more than a billion Bluetooth devices, the impact of this new-and-improved standard could have a huge impact on how and what we hear. Expect the first Bluetooth LE Audio products to go on sale in about a year from now.
Available: First consumer products will arrive in 2021
Website: Bluetooth SIG
Caregiver Smart Solutions Aging-at-Home Kits
Do you care – and worry – for a loved one living alone, and can't figure out how to keep an eye on them without being intrusive? Caregiver Smart Solutions has created three aging-at-home kits comprised of sensors and monitoring services to help you care for an aging parent — for less than the cost of a visiting nurse or especially an assisted living facility.
Due to ship in the spring, Caregiver offers three kits: Basic ($99 plus $29/month monitoring), Deluxe ($199 plus $39/month monitoring), and Deluxe Monitoring Kit ($299 plus $49 monthly subscription). Each kit includes small, non-intrusive sensors that detect movement, track medicine and food behaviors, and monitor temperature and humidity, all of which you can view in an app. The system learns a loved one’s behaviors, detects habit and behavioral changes that could signal trouble, and sends you alerts of potential or actual issues or emergencies. Each kit caters to different sized living areas, and the number and type of monitored sensors.
Price: $99, $199, or $299 up front; $29, $39, or $49 monthly for monitoring
Available: Spring 2020
Website: Caregiver Smart Solutions
TiVo 4K Stream
While similar in functionality to the Roku Stick and the Amazon Fire TV stick, TiVo’s HDMI streaming media dongle offers a major advantage: instead of presenting you with rows of siloed streaming services, the TiVo 4K Stream TV presents a grid of programs you may to want to watch, regardless of which provider provides them.
When you first set up the Stream – available in April for a launch price of $50, rising to $70 soon thereafter – you sign into your streaming services to and help TiVo figure out what kind of shows you like to watch. TiVo then displays rows of recommended shows. Just click on a show, choose the service you’d like to watch the show through, then you’re taken right to your show. No more hunting through streaming apps one-by-one to find what you want to watch.
Price: $50 introductory price, $70 later
Available: April 2020
Samsung Q950 QLED TV
Samsung’s 85” 8K Q950 QLED TV delivers the most immersive viewing we’ve experienced. The gorgeous 85-inch display is 99 percent screen, making it look almost bezel-less (the actual size is just 0.06 inches). And Samsung has improved peak brightness by 20 percent with a new power-delivery system for the TV’s backlighting system.
Half of your entertainment experience is sound, and the Q950 gets an upgrade there as well. The TV has two speakers built into each side of the TV (8 in total) for enveloping sound. And, with its new object tracking capabilities, you’ll be able to hear sounds as if they were coming from the specific location of objects and people on screen.
With its best-in-class display and immersive sound, the Samsung 85” 8K Q950 QLED TV sets a new bar for TV quality.
Available: Spring 2020
American Home Safety Products Early Alert Smoke Detector
Would you hear the smoke detector in your basement or garage if it went off while you were sleeping? Early Alert serves as a range extender for all of your smoke alarms. Plug the Easy Alert sound sensors into outlets throughout your home and if a smoke detector goes off, you’ll be alerted in your bedroom through the receiver speaker. If you have young children, you can record a personal warning, urging them to wake up. Studies have shown that young children are more likely to wake to a parent’s voice than a smoke alarm.
While there are other smoke detector monitors on the market, they rely on apps to alert you, or the smoke detectors need to be networked. The Early Alert is a simple, elegant solution to extending the reach of your existing smoke detectors and is the only one to add the benefit of voice alerts for young children.
Price: Starts at $59.99 for a 1 Bedroom Kit
Website: Early Alert
Lenovo ThinkBook Plus
The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus comes with an extra 10.8-inch e-ink display integrated into the top for extra on-the-go productivity. You can check your calendar, read Kindle books and PDFs, and take hand-written notes all without opening the laptop. And, because it’s an e-ink display, it is always on and uses a fraction of the power of a traditional display.
When you’re ready to work, open the ThinkBook Plus and take advantage of the 13.3-inch Full HD display, 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The laptop gets 10 hours of use between charges for all-day use.
Lenovo’s ThinkBook Plus is a powerful productivity tool with its always-on secondary screen backed by a powerful full-fledged laptop. It’s the perfect choice for anyone who works on the go and likes to always be ready at a moment’s notice.
Price: Starting at $1,199
Available: Mach 2020
Zero Mass Water Source Rexi Hydropanel
The idea of drinking water from your roof sounds gross. But the Source Rexi Hydropanel from Zero Mass Water isn’t some kind of way to store rainwater -- it makes drinking water directly from air and sunlight, almost like an alternative form of photosynthesis. The Rexi is a smaller, residential version of the company’s original Source Hydropanel, which has been installed on rooftops worldwide.
The panel is equipped with sensors that continually check water quality, and once it’s installed it becomes part of a network of Hydropanels, all supported by each other to optimize their performance. The chance of contaminants is low, however, since the water is drawn directly from the air. It doesn’t matter what glacier on Earth your bottled water is from -- Rexi’s water is purer.
Best of all, the Rexi doesn't need a plug: It's powered by the sun, too, so it won’t add to your power bill or tax the grid, which is about as green as it gets. Your wallet better have some green too, though, since the panel costs $2,500. Zero Mass Water expects the first installations by summer 2020.
Available: Summer 2020
Website: Zero Mass Water
Yummly Smart Thermometer
Cooking food is easy; cooking it to perfection is hard. With ovens, there’s always the risk of overcooking, but that fear might go away entirely if you use the Yummly Smart Thermometer.
The thermometer is designed to not just take the heat, but to master it: just pop it in your chicken or turkey and it’ll keep an eye on the temperature of both the food and the oven. And if you have a smart Whirlpool oven, the Yummly Smart Thermometer can shut it down when the time is right. It can even switch from bake to broil if that’s what’s needed.
Non-smart oven owners will still get a lot of value with notifications about when the food’s done, and the gadget has access to a library of over two million recipes. Once you start using the thermometer, you might be tempted to check out other features of the Yummly platform, including Ingredient Recognition from scanning food and the step-by-step videos from celebrity chefs.
Fair warning: All those services cost $4.99 a month, but the thermometer alone is $129, available early 2020.
Price: $129 for the thermometer, $4.99 monthly for extra features
Available: Early 2020
Delta Air Lines Parallel Reality
Who thought one of the most interesting technology applications we saw at CES would come from an airline? Delta Air Lines gave us a big surprise with their Parallel Reality travel experience, which uses clever screen technology (developed by Misapplied Sciences) to provide you personalized information on displays as you move through the airport.
It does this by capturing your biometric information at check-in (don’t worry, it’s opt-in only). Then, when you stand in front of a display, your biometrics will be identified by a camera and you will be show information about your itinerary – flight information, baggage claim, etc. – in your preferred language. No more scanning long lists of flights trying to figure out which one applies to you (which is even more daunting if you’re in a country where you can’t speak the language).
But here’s where it gets really cool: the displays use special pixels that transmit light at various angles, so you can see your personal itinerary at the same time the person standing right next to you is viewing theirs. A dozen people or more can use the display at once.
Delta will be launching a beta version of Parallel Reality in Detroit in mid-2020.
LG GX Gallery Design 4K OLED TV
LG wowed us with its ultra-thin, under 3mm W-Series Wallpaper TV back in 2017. The only problem was that the TV still required being tethered to a big box below to house much of its electronics and speakers. LG’s new GX “Gallery Design” series is somewhat thicker at 20mm, but that’s still incredibly thin, and all the electronics of this absolutely beautiful 4K set are housed in the panel – no extra box necessary.
To provide a seamless mounting experience to your wall, the LG GX has an integrated, recessed VESA mounting system, with a custom wall bracket for perfectly flush mounting. Cables also are routed in a recessed channel. The LG GX offers the same incredible picture quality as LG’s other top-of-the-line 4K OLED TVs, as well as LG’s latest α9 Gen 3 AI Processor. In short, it’s everything you would want in a 4K OLED TV, in an even thinner package.
The LG GX Gallery Series will be available in 55, 65 and 77-inch sizes when it comes to market later this year.
C by GE Hubless Three-Wire Smart Switches and Dimmer
If you live in an older home, upgrading to smart switches can be an issue because most homes built before 1980 don’t have the required neutral wire to avoid flickering and “ghosting” with LED bulbs. GE Lighting is coming to the rescue with a new group of smart switches and a dimmer for its C by GE line that only require three wires (two live, plus ground). The new switches’ smaller size makes them easier to install and they will automatically detect which is your live wire, reducing anxiety for homeowners. Better yet, the Hubless Three-Wire Smart Switches and Dimmer new switches connect directly to your Wi-Fi network for control via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant – no central hub required.
The smart switches will be available the first half of 2020 in five models - On/Off Toggle, On/Off Paddle, On/Off Button, Dimmer, and Dimmer plus Motion.
Price: Starts at $39.99
Available: First half of 2020
Website: C by GE
Sepura Smart Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals are an environmental disaster – often clogging up pipes in the home and sewer lines with “fatbergs” as well as loading up landfills. Already illegal in much of Europe, these troublesome household waste polluters are soon to be banned in parts of North America, starting in Canada.
Now to the rescue comes the Vancouver-designed Sepura, a reinvention of the humble “garburator.” Fitted to the same 3-inch kitchen sink opening and cabinet space below, a Sepura still lets you scrape plates and wash food goop down the drain, but into a selective separating and holding system. Liquids are passed through a filter and into the sewer lines, while the gunky solids are pushed sideways by a filter-scraping, motorized auger into a tightly sealed, carbon-filtered collection bin that lives under the sink. The process is quiet, low in energy consumption. “No fruit flies and no odor” are promised.
And this processing machinery won’t harm silverware accidentally dropped into the drain. LED lights on the pail and a Wi-Fi connected (and upgradeable) app alert when the collection bin is full. Take it outside and either add the contents to a composting pile or put it out at the curb for collection in an organic trash receptacle.
Available: Late 2020
Website: Sepura Home
[Image credits: CTA,Techlicious, Sepura, Whirlpool, Zero Mass, American Home Safety Products, Bluetooth SIG, Withings, 4moms]