While CES is essentially one big window shopping extravaganza, a lot of the splashiest launches can seem a little out of reach for your typical tech conumer. sumer. It’s fun to ogle wall-sized screens (price tag TBD), self-driving car concepts that might not happen, and $5,000 fuzzy robots, but these types of launches are arguably as much about attracting investor capital and press attention as they are creating devices that will actually have a place in people’s homes.
But amongst the sea of bread-baking robots, eye-watering prices, and devices that aren’t available, lurks some wildly inventive tech that won’t hemorrhage your wallet. We noticed a lot of the 2019 launches fell in the “smart wearable” category of gadgets, but there are also a few products for audiophiles and iPhone users too.
So if you’ve been tuning into CES 2019 with little hope of trying any of the devices occupying the convention’s flashiest booths, we got you.
6. Low-Cost Apple Watch-like Wearable – $129
Apple made a big deal of its $399 Series 4 wrist watch that comes with an electrocardiogram (ECG) heart monitor. Now, French electronics company Withings announced it would release an analog watch with ECG capabilities for $129 in the spring.
The back of the timepiece will house three electrodes, similar to the Apple Watch, and customers can use an iOS or Android app to accurately measure their pulse. This is ideal for anyone that wants a portable ECG, but doesn’t want to deal with a touchscreen watch face. But perhaps most importantly, it looks awesome.
5. Sony’s Wireless Turntable – $200-$250
Before any vinyl purists lose their mind, yes you can still plug Sony’s PS-LX310BT turntable into an analog stereo system. But the real selling point of Sony’s new turntable is that the device lets users easily select audio level settings for any finicky records.
It also comes with an automatic tone arm that adjusts itself and starts playing tunes as soon as you put the record down. There’s not a price yet for this elegant mix of new and old, but Gear Patrol estimates it’ll cost somewhere between $200 to $250, and Sony said it’ll come to market in the spring.
4. iPhone Security Key – Price TBD
2018 created an appetite for privacy-minded hardware, and now there’s even a Face ID and Touch ID alternative for unlocking your iPhone. Yubico has announced the world’s first physical authentication device for Apple handsets. It’ll basically work like your house keys: Instead of tapping in a passcode or scanning your face, you’d simply plug it into your phone’s Lightning port to unlock it.
The California based company has produced similar products for laptops and other hardware for over 10 years. But after 2018’s flurry of data breaches, they keenly sensed that the climate is ripe to break into mobile market. Yubico has yet to announce a price, but all of its other “YubiKeys” cost $69 tops. The company says its goal is to make the flash drive-like device available in 2019.
3. Self-Cooling Smart Pillow – $299
There’s nothing worse than sleeping on a hot pillow, but thanks to the French startup Moona this common sleeping gripe might be a thing of the past. It’s selling a high-tech pillow that uses a water pump to stay at a stable temperature.
The whole device is a bundle that includes the pillow and a pump users place their nightstand. The downside here is that you have to have the pillow tethered to the pump, which could be a problem for sleepers that move around.
For all set-up, you do get some pretty cool features. The pillow can sustain a temperature of 71 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit all night long, tracks ambient light, room temperature, and humidity. All of this information is accessible on the Moona app, which the pillow can connect to via Bluetooth.
2. Make Your Fishing Rod Smart
Right when we thought we’ve seen every “smart” product, Cyberfishing drops a fishing rod attachment that’ll connect it to the internet. Why on Earth would anyone need this? Well, stats.
The Smart Rod Sensor is only 9 grams (0.3 ounces) and tracks casts, catches, location, and rod condition. It’s basically a smart watch for your fishing rod. You can turn casual fishing trips into friendly competitions and keep track of when and where fish are biting the most.
The device can be pre-ordered for $89 and is expected to ship by the end of January.
1. A Sleep Mask That Will Stop Snoring – $179
This one speaks to me on a personal level: My dad has to carry around a bulky sleep apnea machine, or EPAP device, everywhere he goes to make sure he isn’t awake all night long. So, naturally, Hupnos’ all-in-one snore-stopping sleep mask quickly caught my eye.
It tallies your sleep patterns like any other sleep tracker, but it doubles as an EPAP machine for a fraction of the price. The mask adjusts the air pressure it blows into users’ noses to stop sleep apnea throughout the night, which the company says results in a better night’s sleep.
The wearable can be ordered now on its Indigogo page for $179.
Share this post if you enjoyed! 🙂