CES Wrapped Up: The Double Tap Perspective
CES 2024 has wrapped up for another year and as usual was an interesting mix of the weird and wonderful technology on display that we have come to expect at the annual event held in Las Vegas.
Although while most of the mainstream tech media focused on smart bidets and transparent TV’s, we here at Double Tap were more interested in the tech that could potentially make a real different to our lives. In this article there are a number of stories that we have hand-picked from a disability perspective, as well as some we could couldn’t fail to mention.
Note: Screen-reader users can navigate via headings to each article, which may contain audio or video content. The last item before the next heading is a link to an external news site (if applicable).
Lumen’s Glasses To Help You Avoid Obstacles
One of the companies that attracted a lot of media attention at CES 2024 was a Romanian start-up called Lumen which showed off its smart obstacle detection technology.
Using sensors, the headset guides you via trackers that sense if something is blocking your path.
A vibration in the headset on the right or left side will then guide you to change direction.
The headset uses the same self-driving technology found in cars but is even more technical as it has six cameras and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine if a surface is safe to walk or not.
The company believes that in time it could potentially replace long canes and even guide dogs.
The headset will be available later in the year.
More information: https://3seaseurope.com/lumen-dotlumen-romanin-startup-blind/
Lighthouse Tech’s Smart Glasses
Lighthouse Tech showed off the latest iteration of its smart navigation glasses called the LTH-01 which were designed for blind and visually impaired users.
These stylish glasses, created by Italian designers, are equipped with hidden sensors that alert the wearer to obstacles that traditional aids like canes or guide dogs might miss, such as low-hanging branches or open windows.
Lighthouse Tech is developing three different styles of these glasses, aiming to combine functionality with fashion.
Nathan Deutsche from the organisation told us more about the new features they are building in to this model.
More information: https://twomaverix.com/?p=30239
Utah Non-Profit Offers Alternative Mobility Aid For Blind People
Hearsee Mobility is a nonprofit organisation based in Utah that debuted its technology at CES 2024.
This innovative system includes a smart cane and an indoor navigation system that provides audio directions and descriptions of surroundings to visually impaired individuals.
It’s designed to help blind people navigate new indoor environments independently, addressing the challenges and safety concerns we often face in unfamiliar places.
More information: https://hearseemobility.org
Glide Offers A Simple Walking Aid
Another device to help blind people move around more safely was Glide, a robotic walking aid developed by Glidance Inc.
Amos Miller, the founder and CEO of Glidance, who himself lost sight due to retinitis pigmentosa, designed Glide to offer independence and confidence to visually impaired individuals.
Glide, equipped with AI and sensors, assists users in navigation, obstacle avoidance, and environmental awareness. It represents an innovative approach to assistive technology, enhancing mobility and independence for those with sight loss.
More information: https://www.therobotreport.com/glide-works-with-people-with-blindness-navigate-world-says-glidance-ceo/
A Tiny QWERTY Keyboard For Blind Smartphone Users
The Fintin V1 is a novel device designed to aid blind smartphone users who aren’t braille readers.
Developed by Onecom, a Korean electronics company, it offers an alternative to traditional braille keyboards for smartphones.
The compact handheld device connects to smartphones as well as computers over bluetooth.
The Fintin V1 compresses a full QWERTY keyboard into just six keys, each capable of being pressed in six directions to represent different letters. It also features tactile and haptic feedback.
Onecom also plans to adapt this technology for sighted users in gaming controllers for messaging and chat features.
More information: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/onecoms-fintin-v1-mini-qwerty-communicator-for-the-visually-impaired-to-debut-at-ces-2024-after-winning-best-of-innovation-award-302024367.html
Making Sports Accessible Through Touch
OneCourt announced an innovative solution for blind and low-vision sports fans: a haptic mini-field.
It provides a tactile experience allowing users to feel the positions of players and the ball in near real-time on a laptop-sized field. The technology uses real-time player and ball location data, converting it into vibrations on the touchable surface, enabling a more immersive and spatially detailed understanding of the game.
OneCourt aims to offer these devices at sports venues, similar to subtitle displays or audio descriptions in theatres.
OrCam Hear Can Help You If You Have Hearing Loss
OrCam is best known around the world for its devices that allow low vision people to read more easily, with products on the market such as the MyEye and Read 3.
However at CES 2024 they announced Hear – an assistive technology for people with hearing loss.
This platform includes earbuds and a dongle that connects to a phone, with an app to control voice isolation. Using AI, it creates speaker profiles, allowing users to focus on specific voices in noisy environments.
The technology is still in the preview phase and expected to be released later this year.
More information: https://www.engadget.com/orcam-hear-hands-on-a-surprisingly-effective-voice-isolation-platform-for-those-with-hearing-loss-230243953.html?guccounter=1
New Glasses To Help You Hear Better
EssilorLuxottica is a world leader in eyewear and lenses and home to a multitude of eyewear brands such as Ray-Ban.
At CES 2024 they revealed glasses that can help those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
The technology itself is hidden in the frames, meaning that it is more comfortable than wearing a hearing aid, and can help with those who feel there is a stigma to wearing hearing aids.
It allows a wearer to adjust the volume around them via the glasses, app, or a small remote control, which is ideal within busy environments or in large crowds.
The product is likely to become available later this year in the US and in 2025 in Europe. It comes after EssilorLuxottica acquired the Israeli start-up Nuance Hearing.
Whispp App Gets New Calling Features
You might remember that we spoke to the creators of the Whispp app back at CES Unveiled in Amsterdam in 2023.
It’s an innovative app designed for people who stutter or have voice disabilities, and utilizes AI technology to transform whispered or impaired speech into clear, natural-sounding audio in real-time.
It’s especially beneficial for people who stutter severely, as whispering can significantly reduce their stuttering frequency.
The app’s latest features allow users to make phone and video calls confidently, offering a more inclusive communication solution.
The developers of the app told us more about it.
More information: https://www.whispp.com/
A Mouse For Your Mouth?
Augmental has developed a smart dental retainer that enables users to control devices through head movements and tongue gestures.
Additionally, they are working on silent speech technology that interprets tongue movements to form words, aiding those who cannot speak vocally. The retainer also features bone conduction for immediate feedback.
This technology is not only beneficial for people with disabilities but could also have broader applications in AR/VR and hands-free interactions.
Augmental aims to release the product in the U.S. this year.
Corten Singer is one of the founders and told us more about it.
More information: https://techcrunch.com/2024/01/10/augmental-head-tracking/?guccounter=1
A Glove To Help Reduce Tremors In Parkinsons Patients
GyroGear has built the world’s most advanced hand stabilizer, with strategic partners that include Chinese technology group Foxconn
The key to GyroGlove is an attached gyroscope about the size of a hockey puck but with a disk inside that spins faster than a jet engine turbine.
At the moment, the glove is quite large in size, but the plan is to miniaturize the gyroscope with future iterations of the glove.
The device made a huge difference to Roberta Wilson-Garret from Canada, who lives with Parkinsons.
She spoke alongside the founder of the company, Dr Fail Ong.
A Smart Cushion For Comfortable Seating
Kalogon is a company that specialises in smart seating solutions and showcased its innovative product, Orbiter, at CES 2024.
Orbiter, featuring machine learning and air cell technology, helps redistribute weight and maintain blood flow, which can enhance seated comfort to people in wheelchairs, as well as those who sit for long periods in offices.
This smart cushion, connected to an app, allows personalization for users, caregivers, and clinicians.
Tim Balz is the CEO and co-founder of the company.
Even Make Up Needs An AI
French personal care company L’Oreal unveiled new physical and digital products at CES 2024, including an AI chatbot that gives beauty tips based on an uploaded photograph and a device that allows users to color their hair at home.
The world’s first in-ear computer from Breggs
Dutch start-up Breggz displayed its luxury hearable which is a wireless in-ear computer that has four speakers per ear, creating a concert-like audio experience.
But it also has a voice-activated personal assistant that allows you to have your emails read out or even call an Uber or use ChatGPT.
You can also choose to answer the phone by shaking your head and you can skip songs or increase or decrease the volume of what you are listening to.
The in-ear computer is custom-sized for a better fit. The product is definitely a luxury one and will cost around $1750.
The founders told us how different it will be to other devices on the market:
Other Interesting Stories From CES 2024
Clicks ‘Blackberry’ Style Keyboard For iPhone
Developed by a company called Clicks, co-founded by Michael Fisher (aka MrMobile), this accessory is a tactile keyboard that attaches to the iPhone like a case.
It features backlit keys, keyboard shortcuts, and connects through the phone’s port, supporting both Lightning and USB-C connections depending on the iPhone model.
It’s important to note however that it lacks MagSafe compatibility and is not water-resistant, and also doesn’t support wired EarPods.
It is initially available in yellow and grayish-blue, priced at $139 for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro, and $159 for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, coming later this year.
Wi-Fi 7 Officially Launches
The new Wi-Fi standard offers significant improvements over the previous Wi-Fi 6E, with speeds up to 46 Gbps and lower latency, making it ideal for high-resolution streaming and AR/VR applications.
Wi-Fi 7 operates on wider 320 MHz channels, reducing interference and congestion. It is anticipated that the first Apple devices to incorporate Wi-Fi 7 will be the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max, with the technology expected to extend to iPads and Macs later.
More information: https://9to5mac.com/2024/01/09/wi-fi-7-launches-apple-devices/
Alexa Gets New AI-powered Features
Amazon have announced a range of new features that utilise generative AI within it’s popular Echo devices.
These features include a chatbot experience by Character.AI, allowing real-time conversations with various personas; an Alexa Skill by Splash for creating music using voice commands; and a modern version of the “20 Questions” game by Volley that uses generative AI.
These enhancements are part of Amazon’s ongoing efforts to improve Alexa with AI technology, including giving the virtual assistant a more nuanced personality and emotional expression capabilities.
Amazon Unveils Their AirPlay Equivalent
Amazon’s also announced a new feature called Matter Casting at CES 2024.
This is an alternative to Apple’s AirPlay, initially supporting streaming from Amazon’s Prime Video app to Echo Show devices and later expanding to Fire TV.
Matter Casting aims to be interoperable across platforms and will eventually support other video services like Plex, Starz, and Sling TV. The technology is part of the broader Matter home standard, which Amazon co-founded, and is designed to enhance video streaming and TV accessory interoperability, regardless of the platform.
More information: https://www.macrumors.com/2024/01/09/amazon-unveils-matter-casting/
Satechi Launches New Hub And Keyboard
There were a number of new products by Satechi on show at CES this year.
The first is an upgraded Stand & Hub for Mac mini and Mac Studio, featuring a NVMe SSD enclosure for faster speeds and added storage. The second product is the Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub Pro, ideal for creative professionals, offering up to 40Gbps data transfer speeds, 8K/60Hz video output, 96W charging, and the ability to daisy-chain up to six devices.
The Stand & Hub is priced at $99.99 and the Thunderbolt 4 Slim Hub Pro at $199.99.
For keyboard lovers, Satechi were there to please all of us with their new SM1 Slim Mechanical Backlit bluetooth keyboard.
It’s what’s called a 75% keyboard, basically meaning it doesn’t have a numpad, and the cursor keys are built into the laptop style key arrangement.
It has all the usual features you’d come to expect, but the standout one is that it can connect up to four devices at once. Two via bluetooth, one via the bundled USB dongle, and another directly via a connected cable.
It’s available now directly from Satechi and it’s priced at $99.99.
Anker’s New MagGo Charging Accessories Announced
Anker have shown off their new MagGo charging accessories.
These accessories support Qi2, which enables 15W charging rates for iPhones with MagSafe. The lineup includes the MagGo 3-in-1 Charging Station, two MagGo Power Banks with different capacities, the MagGo Magnetic Charging Station, and a simple MagGo Wireless Charger.
These products offer various features like fast charging for Apple Watches, USB-C ports, and elevated sections for iPhones, with prices ranging from $21.99 to $109.99.
And Finally… Tech For Your Pets
Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag2: Your Pet’s New Best Friend
Remember when we were told not to use Apple AirTags to help locate our pets? Well, Samsung seems to have come to the rescue.
They’ve introduced the Galaxy SmartTag2, a device designed to keep tabs on your pets. Attach it to their collar, and voilà! You can monitor your pet’s whereabouts and activities using Samsung’s SmartThings app, which is powered by AI.
This pet-friendly tech is available for just $30.
Invoxia’s Smart Dog Collar
Gone are the days of simple pet collars! Enter Invoxia’s Smart Dog Collar, the latest in wearable tech for pets.
It’s a comprehensive health monitor for your dog, tracking everything from their movement to their heart rate, sleep, appetite, and even their barks.
The collar isn’t just a tracker though; it’s a full-fledged health tool, helping you and your vet stay ahead of potential health issues.
Priced at $149, it’s a small investment for your pet’s well-being.
Oro’s AI-Powered Pet Robot
Feel guilty leaving your dog alone at home? Oro offers a solution with its AI-powered autonomous robot.
This high-tech companion allows you to interact with your dog remotely, offering comfort and treats. It’s not just a robot; it’s a learning companion that adapts to your dog’s behavior, aiming to soothe them when they’re anxious.
Available for $799, it’s a cutting-edge way to stay connected with your pet.
Birdfy’s AI-Powered Bird Feeder
Not all tech is for indoor pets. Birdfy’s AI-powered bird feeder brings nature closer to you.
Equipped with a camera and AI, it notifies you whenever a bird stops by, even identifying the species for you.
Priced at $170, it’s a delightful way to engage with the natural world.
Pawport’s High-Tech Dog Door
Pawport reimagines the traditional dog door. It’s a sturdy, weather-proof solution that integrates with your pet’s collar, ensuring only your pet has access.
The door even collects data on your pet’s comings and goings. Plus, with its remote lock and unlock feature, you maintain control over your home’s security.
You can preorder it now and your pet can have freedom without compromising your home’s safety.
Whisker’s Litter-Robot 4
Cat owners, rejoice! Whisker’s Litter-Robot 4 is here to transform litter box maintenance.
This upgraded version boasts enhanced odor control and safety features, keeping track of litter levels in real time. It’s designed to accommodate up to four cats, making it a one-stop solution for multi-cat households.
At $699, it promises a cleaner, more pleasant home environment for you and your feline friends.
Keep up to date with all of our CES coverage from our sister TV show Access Tech Live available now on YouTube and AMI+.