The 26 Best and Worst Things at CES
All the tech you will (and won’t) be using in 2020
Every year we consolidate the thousands of products and ideas at CES, the annual consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, into a compact A-Z list of highlights and lowlights.
Revisiting last year’s list, we noticed that only a few of the gadgets and new tech we profiled (some of it quite good!) actually made it into the mainstream. Still, a lot of the underlying ideas, be it 8K TVs, VR or smart-everything, continue to thrive even if not all the initial products make an impact.
So don’t take the following as the 26 must-buy items. Think of these more as concepts and first ideas that portend new, possibly life-altering technologies.
Find our A-to-Z list below.
A is for Apex, the (sexy?) electric motorbike teased by … Segway.
B is for balls, or what Samsung has in spades for putting so much effort behind a rolling “life companion robot” called Ballie.
C is for cannabis, a big trend that CES doesn’t want you to talk about.
D is for drones, which’ll be patrolling your property (via Sunflower) if you have $10,000 and an aversion to human interaction.
E is for electric vehicle, an increasingly popular category that saw an unexpected debut by Sony.
G is for grilling, the next home category that’s going smart — thanks to Weber’s new Connect Smart Grilling Hub, which’ll work on grill gear you already own.
H is for health, a point of emphasis for tech brands including Withings (smartwatches with a built-in ECG plus SpO2 and PPG sensors), Muse (meditation), CareOS Poseidon (smart mirror focusing on personal hygiene) and a whole lot of sleep-related gear.
I is for Impossible Foods, the buzzy not-meat company now branching out into faux-pork and breakfast sausage.
J is for JBL, one of several companies offering up cheaper, more colorful takes on AirPods.
K is for Kohler, a (not-so-smart?) company that put a smart speaker in a showerhead.
M is for Mophie, which launched a monstrous, portable battery pack (Powerstation Go) that’ll charge your phone and jumpstart your car
N is for Neons, aka virtual but very lifelike “people” that … or, rather, who continually respond to your actions
O is for OrCam, one of the few tech companies at CES that actually seems to be serving a higher purpose. The company debuted several promising, unobtrusive but technically innovative devices to help the visually and hearing impaired.
P is for privacy, the new buzzword for products from Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple, all companies you’d totally trust to keep their word.
Q is for Quibi, a new streaming service that’ll live on your phone and offer up A-list creative talent (Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Reese Witherspoon, etc.) in 4-10 minute nuggets, with “shows” that may change based on how you hold your phone.
R is for robot arms, primarily a very lifelike, AI-enhanced prosethetic hand from BrainCo.
T is for Trump. That’d be Ivanka, who spoke (with some pre-speech controversy) as a keynote speaker on retraining workers with new skills.
U is for UHD Alliance’s “Filmmaker Mode,” a new standard on high-end TVs that’ll present films on your screen as the director intended (no motion smoothing, for example).
V is for virtual reality (again), an awkward tech that finally may get its due thanks to Panasonic’s cool, steampunk VR eyeglasses.
W is for Woven City, Toyota’s ambitious “prototype” city full of autonomous cars and robots.
X is not for the new Xbox Series X, which was not displyed by Microsoft … in spite of fake attempts by AMD to show off aspects of the mysterious new console.
Y is for Yoga. Not the stretching exercises, but the world’s first 5G PC.
Z is for ZF Friedrichshafen AG, the only one of 4,500+ companies showcasing this year at CES that had a company name starting with “Z.” They “supply systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology,” which sounds vague, but they had sales of around $40 billion in 2018, so they can say whatever they want.