2015 CES: The coolest products and trends

Text. Email. LinkedIn. Facebook. Voicemail.

All of the above were flooded Friday of last week as I returned from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Every message or conversation started with the same question, “What did you see that you thought was cool?”

But what is cool?

At The Buddy Group, we think Mavericks are cool. Mavericks are old — companies and thought leaders who exist within decades old manufacturing or product companies that push themselves beyond their comfort zone. Mavericks are young — start-ups that disrupt niche verticals. We enjoy telling the stories of these Mavericks.

Here are the Mavericks at CES whose stories I’d love to tell more...

Those involved with the Internet of Things because more “things” are connecting to the Internet than people. For the first time, products displayed in the mock homes on the show floor and ballrooms across Vegas were actually available at retail. The number of companies being formed to bring connected devices to life year over year is staggering. In 2010 there were 12.5 billion connected devices. By 2015, it is predicted that number will double to 25 billion connected devices only to double again to 50 billion by 2020.

Keep your eye on:

  • WattUp: The product is a router. A router than can power your devices from 15 feet away. What is extremely excited is that the parent company, Energous is hyper focused on licensing and strategic relationships to allow everyone to take advantage of this technology. This means that WattUp can become the "Intel Inside” for wireless power re-charging for many of tomorrow’s connected devices. Think tea pots, watches, glasses, fit bands, toothbrushes and wireless speakers…all charged to the max at all times.
  • Ecovent: Every room in my house is different in size, shape and use. When the heat comes on at night, my kid’s rooms get hot in 20 minutes where our master bedroom takes about an hour. That means they will come in to complain about being too hot  about 32 minutes after the heat comes on, but before our master bedroom gets warm.
  • SlingTV: Over the top is finally finding its groove. Sling offers 10 traditional TV channels over the web for $20 a mo.
  • Lynx Smart Grill: Full disclosure, Lynx Grills is a client and proudly so as they would be on my list regardless. 
  • Sleep Number: It basically tracks your child's sleep, leverages a remote control night light, and alerts you when your kids decide to get up- which could come in handy if you catch my drift. I remember my wife reiterating the importance of routine in my kids’ early years.  There’s a safety-conscious under bed light that comes on when they get up, a reward system for sleeping through, and even a monster detector. It syncs with an iOS app, of course. 

  • Teddy the Guardian: It measures a kid’s heart rate and temperature when they squeeze the bear’s paw. It’s a lot friendlier and less threatening for kids than other ways of getting vital signs. It’s about making healthcare more humanized, according to Josipa Majic, Cofounder.
  • ChillHub EcoSystem: The fridge is a wi-fi connected appliance, outfitted with accessories that make storing and eating food more efficient, by way of The Internet of Things
  • Fuz Padlock: Remember high school and the sea of lockers. Everyday there was always that one kid who forgot his combo or lost his key. The poor janitor would have to cut his lock leaving him/her to carry his books, snacks and other personal items around the rest of the day until Mom or Dad picked up a replacement. Just think, if every highschooler has a phone they can have a smart locker too! Also, if someone breaks into your storage shed to steal Grandma Betty’s rocker,  you will know right away!

Those pushing forward the movement in 3D printers and scanners. Computer Weekly correctly stated "Last year 3D printing seemed like a gimmick that would never take off. Now it's a legitimate industry used for activities such as rapid prototyping, and many products surfaced at CES that could expand the opportunities of the 3D printing market. Intel's plans to integrate Intel's Core i7 processors within HP's upcoming HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer is a step towards fast printing for functional items such as chainlinks and other working parts for the engineering industry.”

Computer Weekly estimates 2.3 million 3D printers will be shipped in 2018. That's up from roughly 130,000 shipped in 2014. Gartner estimates that in 2018, 3D printing end-users will spend over $13 billion in 3D printers and 3D printing materials. Last year, Gartner estimated that 3D printing users spent just over $1 billion in 3D printers and materials.

Keep your eye on:
  • Kinematics Cloth: a web application where people can design custom-fit 3D garments by sketching and sculpting complete geometry in real time. 

  • Handheld 3D Scanner. Imagine your cabinet handle breaking. You have a choice - do you try to superglue it, buy a new one or..print a new one? With this hand scanner one can scan the product in 45-seconds and print a new handle on their 3D printer. Even cooler is that you can customize your own handle based on the basic specs of the original product you scanned. Talk about disruption! How do nob makers protect their IP?
  • Coco Jet: They may not be releasing a savory food printer quite yet, but the partnerships this company has with Hershey’s and the Culinary Institute of America gives them crazy credibility. I get excited about printing custom food for parties, events and client gifts. Don’t judge me!

Did you go to CES 2015? What else would you add to the list. Post your comments below!

And, until next year. Be cool.

by Pete Deutschman
Meet Pete

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