Every January, OATS visits CES, the Consumer Association's annual consumer gadget drawer . W is looking for innovation, not specifically in the aging space, but in technology at large – to find techniques that encourage wonder, while adding tangible benefits to our lives as we age. (OATS CEO Tom Kamber was also there to offer his view on how technology can benefit us as we age.)
Contrary to last year, where the robotics were dominated, CES revealed 2019 consolidation and progress for new technology over the past three to five years. Smart household products, Internet stuff (IoT), health tech and advanced screens / TVs (with conviction resolutions) stole the show.
A fair share of drones, self-driving cars and voice-activated technology was also bubbled up as OATS / Senior Planet representatives toured on the show floor. Earlier visits to the CES left the team enamored on the promise of a futuristic utopia mediated by technology, complete with the necessary "oohs and aahs." But this year, it was about refinement of existing technology rather than the development of new groundbreaking tech trends.
Our top picks from CES 2019 are things that are not necessarily designed with the aging population in mind, because we find these developments problem-focused rather than person-focused. Our picks focus on technologies that are fun, innovative, and applicable to real needs. Here are our top picks from CES 2019:
JAXJOX – Anyone who wants to train at home but cards in space will appreciate this solution. JackJox created kettlebells that adapt to weight by jettisoning or adding weight plates from the bottom of the unit, all driven via a digital display. Some assembly is required. The weights come in 12 lbs, 18lbs, 24lbs, 30lbs, 36lbs and 42lbs increments. There is an app to help you track your progress
Lenovo Smart Clock – A collaboration between Lenovo and Google created an advanced smart watch that is voice controlled. It works with Google Assistant and does so much more than tell time – like playing music or reminding you of meetings. It has a 4 inch touch screen and is sold to about $ 80.
LG Signature OLED TV R – "R" stands for … rolling. This TV is a small 3 mm thick and rolls up to disappear in a comfortable compartment. No need for wall mounting to save space, just press a button and it disappears completely. It is shown here as it rolls in place; to see it move, visit here.
Omron HeartGuide – The company that took the ping-pong game robot from last year's CES is back. This year, it offers an elegant multifunctional device for tracking blood pressure, heart rate, step / calories and more with the convenience and ease of a wristwatch.
E-vone – Balance is becoming increasingly important as we age and are particularly concerned about those who live alone. This company produces 26 different types of fashionable shoes that feel fall and send messages via a dedicated app to a user's emergency contact list. To avoid false alarms, if the shoe thinks it has fallen, it initially sends a vibration to the wearer and if there is no response within a certain time, the "designated caregiver" will be notified.
Although this did not make our top list, there is another gadget we liked at CES. T he Aladin is a smart lamp that detects when someone walks close to it and illuminates the path they go during the night. It also learns to monitor 24/7 activity, which can provide information on disease, ie excessive bathing visits throughout the night. It also warns caregivers when there is unusual activity, such as a case, through active fall detection.