Bottom Line Inc

9 Great New Consumer Devices for 2019

0

There’s a place where you’ll find flying cars, televisions as big as walls and toilets that respond to voice commands. It’s the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las ­Vegas, where 4,400 companies recently put their latest, greatest tech gadgets on display. Some gadgets are still years away from the marketplace. Others aren’t anything the average person would want to spend money on—do you really want to talk to your toilet? But we chose some clever new consumer technologies at the show that are available now or likely to be available by the end of the year, including…

Home Tech

Pet food bowl that uses advanced ­facial recognition: Mookkie is designed for households that have more than one pet. If one of your pets tends to steal food from the other or one of your pets requires a special diet, Mookkie’s cameras and software can confirm that the correct animal is standing in front of the bowl before providing access to the food. When that pet steps away, any remaining food is covered up. Mookkie also can send alerts to the pet owner’s phone when the bowl is empty in case you wish to keep track of when your pet eats. It’s expected to be available in September for $189. Mookkie.com

Laundry-folding machine: Foldimate can fold your clothes for you. A laundry load of 25 items takes Foldimate about five minutes. It can handle most shirts, blouses, pants and standard-sized towels and ­pillowcases…but not sheets, thick hoodies, socks or baby clothes. The catch—it’s pricey, and you have to feed it articles of clothing one at a time. Still, Foldimate could be useful for people who have issues that make folding clothes a challenge…and for people who ­really hate folding laundry. It’s expected to be available by the end of 2019 with an estimated price of $980. Foldimate.com

Disappearing TV: LG OLED TV R (65R9) is a 65-inch TV that vanishes when not in use—it rolls itself up into a piece of furniture that looks like a modern, low-­profile console table. When you want to watch TV, you push a button on its remote—or use voice commands—and the big, 4K-resolution flat screen rises into place in seconds. Speakers are built in, though you can use external speakers if you wish. It’s a way to have a big TV yet not have that big screen dominate your room when you’re not watching it. It’s expected to become available in the second half of 2019, but pricing has not yet been announced. LG.com

Foolproof beer brewing: LG HomeBrew is a tabletop beer-­brewing machine that’s as simple to use—though not as quick—as a Keurig coffeemaker. The ingredients you need will be sold in pods, dramatically reducing the odds of making mistakes. Just insert a pod, add water and hit the start button. Approximately two weeks later, you’ll have about 1.3 gallons of home-brewed beer ready to drink right from the unit’s built-in tap. Five beer styles will be available initially—American IPA, pale ale, stout, witbier and pilsner. When you’ve finished drinking a batch of beer, the device can clean itself. LG has not yet announced pricing or a release date. LG.com

Health and Beauty Tech

Ultra-quick toothbrushing: FasTeesH Y-Brush claims to be able to brush your teeth effectively in just 10 seconds. It doesn’t look like a toothbrush—more like a mouthguard with nylon bristles inside. You put toothpaste inside it, position it over your upper teeth, press a button to make it vibrate for five seconds, then turn it over and press the button again to brush your lower teeth. It’s available in four sizes to fit different mouths. Mouthpieces should be replaced ­every six months and cost between $20 and $25. The company claims that by brushing all of the upper or lower teeth on all sides all at once, the Y-Brush can clean teeth better in 10 seconds than traditional brushing can in two minutes. It’s expected to be available in April for about $125. Y-Brush.com

Eraser for blemishes and age spots: Procter & Gamble Opté Precision ­Skincare System is a handheld wand that you move slowly along the surface of your skin to temporarily conceal age spots, sunspots, acne scars and other blemishes. When the device’s sensor identifies a blemish, it analyzes the color of the surrounding skin, then uses tiny inkjet nozzles to lay down small droplets of a serum intended to conceal the spot inconspicuously. The cover lasts for around a day or until the skin is washed. Using cosmetics to conceal discolorations or blemishes isn’t new, but this device matches skin tone precisely and applies a layer of coverage so thin that the effect looks very natural, not like wearing makeup, according to people who tried it at the show. It’s expected to be available by the end of 2019, but pricing has not yet been announced. OpteSkin.com

Phones, Tablets and Computers

Smartphone that’s also a tablet: Royole FlexPai (pictured above) is a pocket-size ­Android-based smartphone that unfolds to become a 7.8-inch tablet. This isn’t a flip phone—the screen itself folds. You could use it like a conventional smartphone to make a call or send a text…and unfold it into a tablet to read an e-book or watch a ­movie. Its maker says the screen is designed to survive 200,000 folds and unfolds, which is more than 50 a day for more than 10 years. A “developer” version already is available for $1,318, but price and availability for the consumer version have not yet been announced. (The developer version of a phone is meant mainly for programmers who might want to develop software for the phone, though anyone can buy it.) Also: Several major phone makers including Samsung, LG and Huawei are known to be working on their own folding phones, so if you’d rather not drop four figures on a new technology from an obscure maker, there might soon be additional options. Royole.com

Alexa with a screen: Lenovo Smart Tab M10 and P10 are 10.1-inch Android tablets that have the Amazon Alexa ­personal digital assistant built in. Stand them in the included “smart dock,” and these tablets transform into Amazon Echo-like smart speakers—only with video to complement the audio. Example: Ask Alexa about the weather, and she’ll tell you the current weather…while the screen displays the extended forecast. The $300 P10 has more memory and storage plus a better battery and camera than the $200 M10. The dock that comes with both models features an auxiliary speaker. The Smart Tab is available now. ­Lenovo.com


Truly wireless phone charging: ­Wi-Charge
uses beams of invisible infrared light to charge phones, tablets and other mobile tech—you no longer have to remember to plug these things in or even to place them on charging stations as with previous wireless charging technology. The device is FDA-approved, and according to the maker, the infrared light is safe. Any device to be charged will require a special receiver attachment designed to work with ­Wi-Charge, such as a special case for a cell phone, although future generations of phones and tablets might have the necessary technology built in if infrared charging ­catches on. Mobile devices must be within around 30 feet of the transmitter, and line of sight is required—Wi-Charge can’t charge a phone that’s tucked away in a pocket or purse. It can charge multiple devices at the same time. It’s expected to reach the market by mid-to-late 2019. Pricing has not yet been announced. Wi-Charge.com

print
Source: Marc Saltzman, technology columnist with USA Today. He is the host of a syndicated radio show and podcast “Tech It Out” and author of more than a dozen books about technology including Apple Watch for Dummies. MarcSaltzman.com Date: March 1, 2019 Publication: Bottom Line Personal
Keep Scrolling for related content View Comments