• John Ennis

Eye on AI - January 10th, 2020


Welcome to Aigora's "Eye on AI" series, where we round up exciting news at the intersection of consumer science and artificial intelligence!

This week, we feature consumer technology news coming out of CES 2020, the world’s leading business consumer tech conference being held this week in Las Vegas, with a particular focus placed on new technology announcements with industry-upending potential.


New Kohler Tech, Including Smart Showerhead, Trending at CES



We begin with a look at an article from MediaPost, titled “Kohler Intros Shower With Smart Speaker At CES,” which outlines a suite of new products launched by Kohler.


“The Moxie showerhead and smart speaker includes sound by Harman Kardon with a built-in voice assistant and Amazon Alexa control,” writes MediaPost reporter Chuck Martin. “The other products being launched at CES include the Aquifer Refine water purification system with Kohler Konnect. It features Wi-Fi connectivity to monitor water usage and filter life.”

While it’s encouraging to see Kohler announcing new technologies to address the problem of home energy conservation and purification, I was most excited about their announcement of The Moxie showerhead, which gives users the ability to access Alexa's capabilities in their showers. Until now, it has been difficult for companies to collect real-time data for shower-based products, but this product combined with Alexa-based surveys (a current passion of mine, contact me if interested) will change that fact.


Kohler wasn’t the only company to release bathroom-enhancing devices. Charmin also announced its TP emergency delivery RollBot, which is an interesting solution for those bathroom emergencies. But in my opinion, Kohler’s innovation stole the show.


New Hyundai Flying Car Concept Unveiled in Partnership with Uber



We may finally get the flying cars that Peter Thiel has noted are missing from our technologically advanced world, as Hyundai unveiled its new flying taxi concept in partnership with Uber this week at CES. The unveiling was described in the MediaPost article “CES 2020: Hyundai Shows Flying Taxi Concept, Teams With Uber.”


“Hyundai showed a small scale it its flying vehicle, the eVTOL S-A1, at a press briefing Monday and then introduced a life-sized version at its main exhibit at CES,” writes MediaPost editor Chuck Martin. “The flying vehicle would carry up to four passengers with a pilot…. Hyundai would manufacture the Uber air taxis, which would be integrated with the Uber mobility platform, including vehicles and scooters.”

The concept would include purpose-built vehicles and Hubs, locations from which the small flying vehicles would take off and land. There’s still a gauntlet of regulations Uber and Hyundai will need to overcome before implementation. But with an expected release in 2023, there’s still plenty of time for development and modification. If Uber and Hyundai are able to pull it off, the door may soon open for other flying car concepts, fundamentally altering human transportation as we know it. Stay tuned.


Smart Oven Thermometers Feeling the Heat, Literally



Lastly, I want to touch on an interesting new smart thermometer unveiled at CES, described in the MediaPost article “Smart Oven Thermometer: Little Things That Count At CES,” which allows users to track the status of cooking food from their smartphone.


“The smart thermometer, due to ship this year, can do lots of other sophisticated things, like connecting to a smart oven, allowing the oven to arrange cooking temperatures based on thermometer readings,” writes MediaPost editor Chuck Martin. “For now, since most people don’t have a smart oven, the smart thermometer can provide one of the key pieces of information when cooking: letting someone know that what is being cooked is done.”

The thermometer, developed by Yummly, Whirlpool Corporation’s digital recipe and cooking platform, allows users to connect their ovens to the smart thermometer, then track the cook status of their food remotely using smart devices. This little gadget will be especially handy for kitchen multitaskers, and will allow them to focus on other activities while in the kitchen.


Other News

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