Here's what interested me.
ON DEMAND EYES FOR THE BLIND
Subscription service, $99 per month, enables users to stream video of their surroundings to on-demand agent, using smartphone or Alexa’s proprietary glasses. The agents, available 24/7, will answer questions, describe objects, guide users through a location.
JACKET THAT GLOWS IN THE DARK
Solar Charged Jacket ($350) from Vollebak, U.K. sports-gear startup. The jacket’s phosphorescent membrane absorbs light during the day and releases what Vollebak founder calls “kryptonite green energy” after sunset.
SUITCASE YOU DON'T NEED TO UNPACK
Carry-on Closet from Solgaard Design, ($199). Outside looks normal. Inside is flexible set of shelves to keep clothes organized and compressed during travel, at destination, can be taken out to hang. (The system can also be removed entirely.)
WI FI ROUTER
Netgear’s Orbi beams an Internet signal to one or several devices which users place around their home; gadgets latch onto the strongest signal. Orbi’s Voice ($430, with router) also doubles as an Alexa-enabled smart-speaker, enables users to control other smart-home devices by voice command.
UNBREAKABLE PANTY HOSE
Sheerly Genius offers soft, comfortable pantyhose made of fiber typically used in bulletproof vests, at $99 per pair. (That high price makes the hose interesting, but not something I'd buy.)
SPEAKER REPLACES YOUR REMOTE
Sonos Beam soundbar ($399) will change the channel, volume, and turn off TV--users simply tell their Beam to make it happen. Works with many platforms like Alexa and Siri, and delivers superior sound quality.
A superior wheelchair, Model Ci ($3,999 electric) has front “omni-wheels,” enabling it to ride as much as 10 miles, climb obstacles two inches in height and navigate in cramped quarters.
HELMET WITH HEADLIGHTS
Lumos Kickstart Helmet ($180)--LED lights increase cyclist’s visibility, blink to indicate turn left or turn right. Riders can trigger signal by clicking a wireless remote mounted to their handlebars.
TV SET THAT BLENDS INTO THE WALL
Samsung’s 4K QLED model ($1,099) features “Ambient Mode” which displays works of art, weather reports, personal photos, or can mimic the wall and blend in to your room when not in use.
LynQ COMPASS ($209 for two), uses GPS technology to find other LynQ as much as three miles away. Onscreen pointer sends user in the right direction. Pet owners, parents can set up “safe zones” for wandering child or pet.
iRobot’s Roomba i7, ($950) powers up a separate vacuum, inside its base charger, that sucks up dirt and dust from the Roomba’s innards into disposable bag, each bag holds month’s worth of gunk.
Hasbro Cheaters Edition ($20), has “cheat cards” to encourage players to steal from the bank, dupe others for cash or property. If you're caught it's as if you're handcuffed to the board.
Gotta say this year's inventions don't thrill me, but I'd love to play this version of monopoly and try to win.