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While this year, WiFi HiFi is once again attending CES virtually, there are plenty of interesting products to see. And while we’re not able to get up close and personal with them just yet, these are a few standouts as the show kicks off.
Samsung Matte Display
Samsung announced an entire new line of TVs for 2022, including Neo QLED, Micro LED, and lifestyle. But most enticing among the announcements is the new Matte Display, which will be available as an option for The Frame, The Sero, and The Serif lifestyle TVs. It features anti-glare, anti-reflection, and anti-fingerprint properties, with verifications from UL (Underwriter Laboratories) for being ‘Reflection Glare Free’, ‘Discomfort Glare Free’ and ‘Disability Glare Free’. The anti-glare feature allows for paintings and other pieces of art that are displayed on the TV when it isn’t on to look even more realistic. The Frame is available in a variety of sizes, from 32″ up to 85″. The Serif also comes with a matte finish body to blend seamlessly with the Matte Display, and there’s now a new 65” size option to top out the line. With the Sero, meanwhile, you can continue to watch in horizontal or vertical mode. There’s a new vertical Multi View function that allows for simultaneously viewing different content on the top and bottom of the screen or searching information online while watching something.
Noveto N1 Invisible Headphone
Touted as immersive 3D audio invisible headphones, the Noveto N1 is a smart audio device with built-in Alexa and Noveto’s proprietary smart audio beaming technology that the company says provides a immersive binaural audio sound without the need for headphones, but while also not disturbing others nearby. The technology transmits ultrasound silently through the air, converging into audible pockets just outside the listener’s ears. Others in the room only hear a whisper of sound while the user is immersed in 3D spatial audio sound. Facial recognition using motion sensors and AI-incorporated technology helps the N1 track the ears to ensure 3D immersive sound travels where the user does. Touted for those who work from home or in close quarters with others in an office, for music listening, fitness activities, meditation, and even casual gaming, it works with Alexa as soon as the owner looks at it, negating the need to say “Alexa” first before giving a command. It will also give prompts and details, like how many unread e-mails are in your inbox. With Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB-C, and a 3.5mm jack, there are a multitude of connectivity options. It works alongside the Noveto app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. The Noveto N1 is set to begin shipping by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
LG PuriCare AeroTower Air Purifying Fan
There will likely be tons of air purifiers and other related products at CES 2022 this year, especially within the health tech pavilion. Arguably the most eye-catching, however, is the stylish LG PuriCare AeroTower air purifying fan, which not only cleans the air, but can also deliver both cool and warm air. It has three airflow modes to provide a consistent breeze within a room, and runs at just 23dB, so it won’t disturb you while you work. Control it with the LG ThinQ app, which lets you see the status and adjust settings from anywhere. It will come in beige and silver.
Withings Home Health Station
It isn’t just a scale but a full home health station that can monitor weight, body composition, nerve activity, and even cardiovascular measurements like ECG and heart rate. The idea is to help users detect potential health issues before they lead to something worse. All of the data can be monitored and stored in the app and presented to a health care professional, or prompt a visit if something seems amiss.
There’s growing attention on mental health as much as physical. And while there are a multitude of apps available for everything from de-stressing to meditation, the truth is that using your phone to access these can be distracting. It’s tempting to check e-mails or surf the web, for example, while trying to do a calming exercise. This is where a device like the Morphee Zen comes in. It’s low-tech – just a pebble-sized gadget that you can plug a pair of wired headphones into. But it’s designed to eliminate distractions and help you focus and manage stress, anxiety, or even insomnia, without other distractions getting into the way. It comes with 72 themed sessions including soothing sounds, music, and voice therapies. The battery lasts for up to three hours and will automatically turn off after five minutes, which is about the length of each session.
Waverly Labs Ambassador Interpreter 2.0
An updated version of the Ambassador Interpreter, the Waverly Labs over-the-ear device is designed to help translate a conversation, keeping up with the flow of the conversation with simultaneous audio and text translations. With a sleeker look than the previous generation model, it also promises to be able to capture speech faster and more accurately. There are personal, small group, and one-on-one modes. In Listen Mode, you can wear it and listen for someone speaking up to eight feet away to hear the translation of what they are saying in your selected language. Use Lecture mode if you’re the speaker, and your words will be broadcast in a translated language to the audience, through connected speakers or an audio system. With Converse mode, up to four people can wear Ambassador devices (they sell in pairs), select the desired language they want to detect and receive, then engage in a conversation. It’s tough to tell how well the device works without being able to demo it, but for those attending the show, the company is running demos live. The device sells for US$179.
For the retail crowd, there’s Subtitles, another innovation from Waverly Labs, which consists of a double-sided display touchscreen that can help with language translations. The user simply detects the desired language, then begins talking and the spoken words will be translated and displayed as text on the other side of the screen in their chosen language. It uses a connected processing unit and mic array to accurately pick up speech, send them to the cloud for translation, and quickly deliver the results. The company likens the experience to communicating while watching a subtitled movie, hence the name. The solution is also useful for the hearing impaired.
Samsung Bespoke Family Hub Refrigerator
Samsung is expanding its Bespoke line to include not only a French door refrigerator but also additional refrigerators in the line, a cordless stick vacuum, and a washer and dryer. But in the high-tech realm, the particularly notable upgrade is with the Family Hub connected fridge. Not only will it now be part of the Bespoke line with a flat front that can be customized, choosing from a variety of colours and configurations, it will also include new technology. The fridge will support Samsung TV Plus free TV content, and now has upgraded internal camera technology so you can see information on food labels to determine if something is expired or about to be.
LG TV’s New Apps
Of course the innovations in the TVs themselves are fabulous, as always, this year. But LG is upping its game this year with a variety of new apps that will be accessible from its smart TVs to appeal to a wide range of users. From the LIVENow app for access to live concerts, shows, sports, and other premium events, to the 1M HomeDance app, developed in collaboration with 1MILLION Dance Studio, for learning K-Pop choreography, there’s something for everyone. The one I’m particularly excited about is LG Fitness, the company’s first foray into health via its TVs. Workout plans are available based on recommendations, or you can create your own, with options ranging from HIIT to full-body stretching, guided meditation, and more. For those caring for elderly or disabled family members, there’s also Independa, a tele-healthcare service supported on LG TVs. Owners can easily initiate a video chat with a caregiver or access a menu of relevant professional services. Pop-up notifications inform when someone is calling and personal alerts can be set up for more reminders. All notifications and alerts are integrated into webOS. Professional services available on Independa include Dentulu (online dental consultation), Capital Rx (discount pharmacy platform), Coverdell (dental insurance benefits), WebMD (medical grade educational videos) and Sprio100 (fitness programs for seniors), among others. It will be available on 2021 and 2022 TV models sold in both Canada and the U.S.
As a long-time user and fan of the Handl New York phone case, fans of the newest iPhones will appreciate the fact that the latest accessory is compatible with magSafe. Rather than a full case, it’s just the grip that can be attached to the back of the phone or case. How does it work? The piece pulls out using an elastic, with the top clicking into a built-in groove so it works as a kickstand. Pull it out, slip your fingers on either side of the rectangle around the elastic, and you can more comfortably carry the phone or more securely hold it while doing things like taking selfies. The patented elastic brace system, developed by artist Allen Hirsch, is designed to feel natural and comfortable. Indeed, it’s a game-changer for selfies and the kickstand feature without adding extra bulk to the phone is an appreciated feature. It will come in 17 different designs with pricing ranging from US$40 to US$50. Handl products are distributed in Canada by Erikson Consumer.
Samsung Freestyle Portable Projector
This portable projector has some unique features, including functioning as a built-in ambient light, the ability to plug into a light socket to play music, and working as a smart speaker as well. With the rotatable cable, you can project an up to 100-inch image onto a surface anywhere around you, from the wall to the ceiling to the floor. And it’s easy to cast contact from a compatible mobile device, and you can easily just tap a compatible Galaxy phone to the device to transmit content.