The DeanBeat: the best of CES 2019


I've finally finished my trip to CES 2019, the grand Las Vegas technology show. I've traveled over 32.9 miles looking for products that will captivate my imagination and have a chance to become bestsellers. It's partly a death march to try to cover 2.8 million square feet in five days, but I have done my best to see as many as 4,000 exhibitors as possible.

I was slowed down by fatigue. But fortunately, the giant central and south halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center have not experienced a power outage this year. And I have drawn up my list of the best of CES and hope you will enjoy it.

I like the way some of these ideas come from non-technological companies, like the first appearance of Procter & Gamble, 182, at the show. That reminded me of the Carnival Cruise Lines, who gave a speech at CES two years ago on his portable style for sea cruises and how you can use it to order a drink and you have it delivered anywhere on the ship.

Once again this year, we have seen technology blend into woodworking, and woodworking has come to life to solve real problems. In many cases below, I can see larger trends and problems that can be solved by more than one company or more than one technology. Sometimes we worry about seeing a bunch of copies at CES. But it's good to remember that competition refines leaders and makes them stronger.

I hope that some of my choices will surprise you and I am delighted to say that I do not feel like I have wasted my time at CES. I have the impression to have seen our future a little earlier than everyone else.

Dean Takahashi receives the Opte treatment.

Above: Dean Takahashi receives the Opté treatment.

Image credit: Dean Takahashi

Procter & Gamble has been presented at CES with five innovative products, including the Opté Precision Skincare Wand. It scans your skin with a blue LED light to find your age spots. A microprocessor analyzes age spots and instantly personalizes the serum to apply them. It uses ink jet technology to deposit the personalized serum to cover every imperfection, being careful not to apply the serum to unstained skin.

I was playing guinea pig and someone from P & G waved the wand on my face, magically hiding my age spots. It's only temporary, and lasts about a day, similar to makeup. But serum can help improve your skin over time.

It took 10 years of development and more than 40 patents to market it. P & G Ventures, a startup studio within P & G, has created Opté, featuring exclusive algorithms and a technology for printing with skincare. It does not use expensive lasers, lightening creams or makeup. I'm waiting to see how much it will cost.

Above: Cody Friesen, CEO of Zero Mass Water, has Source panels that extract water from the air.

Image credit: Dean Takahashi

Zero Mass Water is one of those companies that will change the world. As in Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel, Dune, Zero Mass Water has created the Hydropanel Source, able to extract water from the air and electricity. To do this, it uses air panels and solar panels to create the conditions to accelerate the process of water condensation, even arid air.

It's magical because it does not require any electrical input, pipes or public service infrastructure. It's a way of using the resources that already abound around us – the water that exists in our air.

Cody Friesen, an associate professor of materials science at Arizona State University, is at the origin. Friesen said his own Arizona home now works with two Hydropanels Source from Zero Mass Water, which produce more than 600 bottles of water a month, more than enough for his family of four. And he lives in the dry air of Arizona.

Just think of what Zero Mass Water can do for the poor – what Friesen calls the bottom billion – in the desert climates of the world. Zero Mass Water has arrived at CES 2019 with a new suite of sensors, called Source Informed, which allows it to measure in real time the amount of water produced by its panels in the world. Used with the Source application, the sensors allow the panels to create the "perfect cup of water," Friesen said. In the dry air of Las Vegas, Friesen handed me such a cup. And I drank everything in it.

Impossible Burger 2.0

Above: The Impossible Burger 2.0, as slider.

Image credit: Dean Takahashi

The Impossible Burger 2.0 is one of those things that seem … impossible. It is made from plants, with less saturated fat than a hamburger, without cholesterol, and now it does not contain gluten. It tastes better than most veggie burgers because it is spicy at the heme, a molecule containing iron in the blood, which carries oxygen and is found in living organisms.

It was founded eight years ago by scientist Patrick Brown, a Stanford professor, who felt that our habit of eating meat was not sustainable. Brown discovered that if he could generate a lot of heme from plants, he could recreate the taste of animal meat.

"If you do not have a heme, you can not create authentic meat smells and flavors," said David Lee, COO, in an interview with me at CES 2019.

With financing from Khosla Ventures, Brown launched Impossible Foods in 2011. After five years, the company launched its restaurant Impossible Burger in restaurants, starting with the famous chefs.

He created the Impossible Burger about three years ago. It's now available in 5,000 locations and in 49 states, Lee said. The company has about 30 patents on technology. The company has raised $ 475 million and the hamburger uses 95 percent less land and a quarter of the water of real meat.

But is it good? I ate an impossible Burger 2.0. And it was awesome. And it makes perfect sense that it comes from technology. The new hamburger will be part of a group of hamburger chains by the end of the first week of February.

"CES has never launched a food product until today," Lee said.

Gillette shaver

Gillette's heated razor

Top: Gillette's heated razor

Image credit: Dean Takahashi

We always talk about the wisdom of the commercial model razor and razor blades. But who would have thought you could innovate with a razor? P & G also participated in its first CES with the Gillette heated razor.

This razor heats up so you can shave with a warm and comfortable blade. It has four heat sensors that heat the razor continuously, but are smart enough to turn off if the heat gets too high. I felt it and it was incredibly hot, even though it looks like any other metal razor. It recharges wirelessly in its magnetic charging base and is waterproof so you can shave in the shower.

This does not give a shave closer, but it makes you feel pampered, like a visit to a hairdresser. The heat varies from 113 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees. You press a button to heat the razor in less than one second. I do not know how much I would pay for it, but it certainly makes a stupid device into a smart one.

Matrix PowerWatch 2

PowerWatch 2 from Matrix Industries

Above: PowerWatch 2 from Matrix Industries

Image Credit: Matrix Industries

Matrix Industries has developed a smart smartwatch in 2017 using body heat as a source of energy. But it lacked the great graphics that users wanted and still needed to be loaded from time to time, and so the company returned to the CES 2019 with the PowerWatch 2, which never needs to be charged.

The new PowerWatch 2 collects more energy from solar energy, virtually eliminating the fear of running out of battery power. The idea came from materials scientists who wanted to change the way we harvest and use previously wasted energy.

The solar cell adds power, allowing the PowerWatch 2 to offer an entirely new set of features as standard, including features such as intelligent heart rate monitoring, a color display, and integrated GPS. Matrix Industries CEO Akram Boukai, in an interview with VentureBeat.

PowerWatch 2 introduces the first color LCD display using thermoelectric and solar energy, as well as a permanent GPS allowing you to plan your run, your hike or your hike. It allows you to leave your smartphone at home. The body burden is the big idea. Matrix Industries has designed its advanced thermoelectric generators to work with extreme efficiency. It has created more efficient conversion circuits to power electronic components and charge the internal battery.

The new watch is expected to debut in June. It costs $ 200 for orders in advance and $ 500 retail.