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The top ten gadgets at CES 2018

As he’s done for The Daily Record in years’ past, Frank Gorman of Gorman & Williams is guest blogging from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Eureka Park is the space designated by CES for tech entrepreneurs to exhibit their new products and services. Started in 2012 in collaboration with the National Science Foundation, there were more than 800 startups in Eureka Park this year, roughly organized by national groupings (Holland, La French Tech, China, etc.). It is fertile ground for interesting new products.

As consumer electronic technology becomes more sophisticated, there are fewer classic “gadgets” at CES.  Gadgets at CES today are likely to be highly engineered and not inexpensive. With this caution, here’s my list of this year’s Top 10 Gadgets:

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1. Sourcenext Pocketalk Translator. This little device is about the size of an oval bar of soap, but it’s a powerful tool when you are travelling. It translates 63 languages into English or any other language on the device that you choose. For example, you can translate a German sentence into Chinese and vice versa. A user holds the device and, by speaking, selects a language and then speaks a phrase or word. After a few seconds, the user hears the phrase or word in the foreign language and sees it in writing on the display.  Pocketalk is battery powered and usable online or offline. No set up, easy to use. It will be available in the U.S. in the spring for around $200.

ces-gadget-22. Anova Precision Cooker. This tubular device will put you in the world of cooking sous vide, a cooking method in which food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch and placed in a pot of water that is temperature-controlled and accurately regulated. The cooking temperature is usually lower than normal. Here’s the nifty part: once the food is cooked, you can leave it in the water until later and the food will not continue to cook. The sous vide method has been used by restaurants for years with costly equipment. The precision cooker is Wi-Fi enabled, which allows you set up in the morning, use your smartphone to remotely start and monitor the cooking and walk in the door with the cooking done perfectly. Retails for about $150 at many stores and online; accessories also available.

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3. Polaroid POP Camera. POP is a hip and cool colorful camera for youngsters because it’s a retro of the original Polaroid camera from the 1950s. Polaroid went bankrupt in 2001, as phones became equipped with cameras, but it re-emerged in 2008. For several years it has exhibited new products at CES. POP is an instant digital camera that captures a 20-megapixel color image and then prints it before your eyes in a 3.5-x-4.5-inch Polaroid border format. The image can be edited, printed and delivered to a friend in minutes. POP is available in many stores and online for about $200. The instant print paper, though, is a bit pricey ($10 for a 10-pack).

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4. FoldiMate. This machine can fold your laundry. (If you do not fold laundry, proceed to No. 5!) It is the largest “gadget” on the list, and it may be the most unusual. You feed your unfolded pants, shirts, blouses one-by-one into the machine, and the clothing appears at the bottom perfectly folded and stacked. FoldiMate makes folding a one-person job. You can watch the folding process here. FoldiMate will not be available until 2019, and the current price is almost $1,000.

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5. Modobag Carry-On Case. Modobag is a standard-sized, nylon carry-on case that is motorized and rideable. It has a removeable lithium-iron nanocrystal battery that powers rides at 5-to-8 mph, three times faster than normal walking. You sit on the luggage (up to 260 lbs.), put your feet on the foot rests and you’re on your way. It would be useful going from one terminal to another in a large airport, and airport authorities might have to provide lanes for rideable luggage. Airlines ban luggage with non-removeable lithium batteries, which is why reps at the CES pointed out the Modobag’s removeable battery. You can pre-order for $1,500 or try eBay.

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6. Somnox, the Sleeping Robot. This sleeping robot is a peanut-shaped, soft-fabric, extra-firm pillow that helps you fall asleep and return to sleep if you wake up. Developed in Holland, it has a breathing rhythm that influences your own breathing, and it makes relaxing sounds. These attributes reduce stress and facilitating sleep. There is a Somnox app for your smartphone to upload sounds of your choice. Listen to the founder describe the sleep enhancing benefits here. There’s an eight-hour, rechargeable battery inside. It’s promoted for singles and couples. It may be better than sleeping pills. The Somnox will be available in the fall for $500. Check it out at

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7. Coravin Wine Preservation Opener. Coravin Model Eleven is a patented, connected wine opener that allows you to pour wine without removing the cork. Like previous models, it consists of a hand-held unit with a hollow needle, clamps and a cylindrical portion connecting the needle to a capsule of pressurized Argon gas for displacing the wine. Place the bottle into a sleeve, insert the needle by hand into the cork, press a trigger that displaces and collects the wine from the bottle, and then pour. No throwing away wine because it is bitter — after one glass the remaining wine be preserved. Model Eleven will be released in September 2018 along with a smartphone “Moments” app that is all about wine. It will be connected via Bluetooth to the app which will allow the user to monitor Argon gas usage and battery life and organize the world of wine. Model Elevan retails at $1,000.

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8. Cinemood Projector. This compact projector weighs only 8 ounces and is designed for family use as a storyteller. It can be used online to connect via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to Disney content, e-books and other family-friendly streaming content. Or it can be used offline with pre-loaded or USB content. You can use it anywhere in the home and it is prefect to telling bedtime stories with projected visual enhancements on the wall. The specs are substantial – 35 lumens, 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, and data loss prevention software to detect and block inappropriate content. Retails for $399 at many stores and online.

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9. Remo+ DoorCam Security Camera. This is an easy, do-it-yourself smart security device that shows who is outside your door and you can view the video on your smartphone from inside your home or office or from a remote location. The device mounts over the top of the door, and the mount is adjustable to fit the door. The outside part of the mount is an HD camera, and the inside part is a Wi-Fi receiver that connects to a wireless router on a 2.4 GHz channel. Your smartphone connects to the DoorCam network. It is battery-powered and has two-way audio as well. Videos last 30 days on your phone. Retails for $199.

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10. Kohler Intelligent Toilets. Much more than gadgets, Kohler toilets attracted lots of attention at CES 2018 because they have been updated with tech to do interesting things. The photo above shows the Numi in black as well as the less expensive Karing model in white. The intelligent toilet is connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth or the Kohler Konnect app, which allows you to set your toilet preferences for music and/or lighting, heated seat and/or foot warmer. With Amazon Echo embedded, the toilet can be controlled by voice commands to Alexa. When you approach, a sensor at foot level automatically lifts the top, and when you walk away it flushes and closes the top. Numi retails at around $5,000 and Karing at $3,800. You can see Numi in action below.

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