CES is more than just a collection of new devices and flashy concepts for consumers. It is more and more a place where companies showcase innovations that could really make the world a better place. At CES 2021, this type of technology – what we call Tech for Change – was in full force. We’ve seen everything from solar-powered remote controls that don’t require disposable batteries to machines that pull drinking water out of the air. Of all the world changing technologies on show this year, these four innovations impressed us the most:
Blood pressure is an extremely useful health metric. With this single measurement, doctors can assess your risk of heart disease: the world’s leading cause of death. The only problem, of course, is that most of us only have our blood pressure checked when we see a doctor, so high blood pressure can go undetected for years before it is treated.
But what if that wasn’t the case? What if everyone could continuously monitor blood pressure throughout the day and identify related health issues before they become problematic?
That’s the promise of the newest Valencell sensor. By shedding a light on your wrist, measuring how much bounce back, and using machine learning algorithms to draw conclusions on that data, the company’s sensors can estimate the pressure in your veins almost as accurately as a cuff.
Better still, the sensors will be introduced in wearable devices later this year. If everything goes according to plan, we could soon have a powerful weapon in the fight against heart disease.
Do you know how automakers are making their cars safer by adding features like lane assist, blind spot sensors and automatic braking? Luci is practically the same idea but designed specifically for power wheelchairs. It is an aftermarket accessory that, once installed, provides the user with advanced safety features such as curb / fall detection, automatic braking and obstacle avoidance. In other words, it makes it easier for wheelchair-bound people to move through a world that, for the most part, was not designed for them.
The best? Luci is not a large, expensive, full-featured wheelchair that few can afford. It is a kit that attaches to a wide variety of different wheelchair models, so users can attach it to an existing one rather than buying a completely new machine. Pretty awesome, isn’t it?
Telehealth is a great idea in theory, but in practice, it basically means talking to a doctor on a tablet. We don’t really have the technology right now to remotely conduct comprehensive health checks. But EyeQue’s mission is to change that.
The company’s newest product, VisionCheck 2, is an exceptionally clever smartphone accessory that allows you to check your vision whenever you want using MIT-patented technology and an associated application – no optician required. By simply looking into the device and playing a quick game, you can test for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. You can even update your prescription and order new lenses with just a few taps.
It is such things that inspire us for the future. What other tests and health checks will we be doing remotely in a few years?
Back in the day, hearing aids were basically just volume controls that let you turn up the gain and make everything louder – including things you didn’t necessarily want to hear, like background noise and strangers’ voices all over the room. But recently, hearing technology has revolutionized. Many hearing aids these days come with advanced signal processing software that gives more precise control over what you hear.
Widex Moment takes this idea a few steps further. The device uses the built-in AI to adapt to the respective listening environment in real time with almost zero latency. It doesn’t matter whether you are in a crowded pub, a quiet coffee shop or a cinema with large volume fluctuations. The AI detects what’s going on and only amplifies the important noises. Better still, you can also customize the output to suit your preferences and, over time, learn how you want to hear the world no matter where you are.