Fairfax Tech Column

Fairfax Tech Column

11.1.2019 Fairfax Tech Column 129


I did say in my column last week that you would think I would have learned by now that making predictions for the next year in the world of technology is somewhat foolhardy as the technology world changes so quickly. I also said that I expect some people to look back at my predictions in a year and have a chuckle about how far wrong some of my predictions were. It didn’t take a year. In comments received already, one particular prediction is being ridiculed without even a week passing. The prediction of an electric Harley Davidson motorcycle seemed somewhat unbelievable by some readers.

Time will tell.

While on predictions, the most exciting time of the year is upon us while we speak. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been a forum for manufacturers to demonstrate their latest products for the last fifty years. CES 2019 is in full swing in Las Vegas and, with more than 4,500 exhibiting companies, the show has products that are available now or at some time in the near future. With more than 180,000 attendees at CES, it is paramount that manufacturers bring their latest products to wow the audience.

And latest products they did bring. I am not convinced we will see some of these products on retail shelves anytime soon but they all exist and were all demonstrated at CES.

The first one that caught my attention was Foldimate. This device folds your clothes perfectly in ten seconds per item. Finally technology that my wife would embrace. Staying in the house, there are lots of ways to add some technology to the lives of your pets. You can have cellular connected collars that let you track and call your dog from your phone, smart doggy doors and facial recognition feeders. One company has released a pet feeder that uses facial recognition to release the correct amount of feed to only the specific pet that requires it. Some may argue that is a waste of technology – but I love the creativity involved even if it does seem like technology for the sake of technology.

Autonomous mowers have been available for some time and, in fact, I have been using one since 2010, but they have improved dramatically. New models are now available that have improved the concept dramatically – and reduced the price.

If you ever wanted headphones that give you electric shock treatment, this is your lucky day! I don’t quite understand why but apparently they will give you benefits when learning new skills. I might stick to the old-fashioned methods but maybe they will appeal to some?

If you are a fan of Batman, you will be a fan of accessory belts. Now we have a smart belt that will track your waistline and your activity and take action if you have a fall. No comment on this one!

If you just don’t have the time to clean your teeth properly, technology is the answer. A new brush that looks like a mouth guard but it guarantees to give you the best clean your teeth will ever have outside a dental chair – and do it all in ten seconds.

Lastly, what every home needs. A mood lamp that is connected to the virtual assistant, Alexa. I have no idea how the mood lamp works or what it does, but connecting it to Alexa must be a good thing?

There were hundreds of other announcements with automated driving and VR entertainment in cars and AR cooking and…the list goes on. Keep an eye out for some of these items and devices at a retail store near you – soonish!

Mathew Dickerson