Tag Archives: Innovation

What Are The Oddest Gadgets Unveiled At CES 2019?

Source: wccftech.com

Staged in January, CES 2019 – the world’s leading new consumer technology exhibition – threw up a number of innovations. Not all of them made headlines because they were so forward thinking, however. Some got a good deal of attention because they were, well, a little weird, such as the Korean firm, Pepe, which showcased its pet drying device. What were the other peculiar ones that attracted the most attention?

Kohler’s Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet

Kohler's Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet
Source: CNBC.com

Available in two colours, this smart toilet will be commercially available later in 2019. It features ambient lighting, Bluetooth connectivity and a sound system. What’s more, users can experience a heated seat and use voice commands to control its various functions. In fact, the intelligent toilet’s Amazon Alexa voice controls even mean you can order more loo roll while you are engaged in other activities, such as watching the latest Netflix release or playing your favourite online casino game. Will this super toilet make a big splash? Only time will tell.

Omron’s Forpheus Ping-Pong Robot

Omron's Forpheus Ping-Pong Robot
Source: Engadget

If you love table tennis but find it hard to get someone to play with you, then this is the gadget announced at CES 2019 for you. The robotic player holds a conventional bat and gets your rally going. Even better, you can use the ping-pong playing robot as a training tool and adjust it to meet your standards. It will even work out weaknesses in your game and come up with ways to help you improve – just like a real life coach.

PurrSong’s LavvieBot Smart Litter Box

PurrSong's LavvieBot Smart Litter Box
Source: TechTheLead

The purr-fect solution for who keeps cats at home but does not like the smell from the litter tray. The box gets rid of the nastier side of keeping pets. The self-cleaning system removes the cats’ waste matter and seals it off so that you don’t have to see it or smell it. A hopper is adding new litter automatically. After a couple of weeks, you only need to empty the LavvieBot.

Foldimate’s Laundry Folding System

Foldimate's Laundry Folding System
Source: Mashable

Another example of machines that are now able to perform tasks which require a great deal of flexibility and dexterity, Foldimate can cope with folding a wide range of clothes. Dresses, skirts, shirts and sweaters are all neatly folded by the system. All you need to do is to put them away in your wardrobe. If only there was a bot for that chore, too!

LG’s Signature Series OLED TV R

LG's Signature Series OLED TV R
Source: LG

The 65R9, to give the correct name of LG’s latest television technology, was also unveiled at CES 2019. What is so unusual about a TV set being launched at a tech show you may ask? Well, in the case of this particular one, it is what it looks like when it is not in use that makes it so novel. The TV screen rolls up on itself, a bit like an old-fashioned projector screen, so it tucks away neatly. When you turn the set one, the TV unfurls, supporting itself, while providing a superb quality of image. It is aimed at places where you don’t want a screen all the time, such as in bedrooms and in front of windows, for example.

Groove X’s Lovot Robot

Groove X's Lovot Robot
Source: Shack News

Robots designed for the home are nothing new, but Groove X’s new design is there for one thing and one thing only – to make its human master happy. Somewhere between a pet and a robot, the cartoon-like design of the Lovot certainly caught the eye of many people who attended CES 2019. The idea is that you can interact with it like a pet, for example, by stroking and cuddling it. The robot is packed with high-quality tech to ensure that its cute behaviour remains up-to-scratch whenever you play with it.

Mui’s Smart Display

Mui's Smart Display
Source: Tech Radar

This smart device looks like it is a short plank of wood when you first see it. This simple design belies the amount of high-tech features it offers, however. The smart display system is touch sensitive and can be used to show information on all sorts of subjects. You can tap on it to get the latest weather forecasts, for instance. Alternatively, it can be used as a thermostat for an office’s heating system. There again, the display might be utilised to dim the lights. Highly configurable with a distinctive look, it also responds to voice commands.

Food for the Future

Greener growing methods needed
Source: Pixabay

Despite our technological advances and access to information, humanity is still heading for a world food crisis. The agricultural sector is approximately 30 years behind in development when compared to other sectors. Around the world people are starving, and roughly 11%, or 815 million of the population go to bed hungry. Scarily, this is despite the fact that the industry produces more than enough to feed us all.

The global population is only increasing and is expected to reach well over 9.8 billion people by 2050. Demand for food is expected to increase by 60%, and as industries grow and the population increases, so it becomes more difficult to produce.

Starvation is only one cost of the uneven distribution of food. Wastage makes a huge contribution to climate change, and the same population groups that struggle to feed themselves are the ones that will struggle to implement household food security plans. Climate change and soil degradation, urbanization, pollution, and natural resource scarcity are all putting even more pressure on production.

The impending crisis needs to be addressed, food needs to be evenly distributed, waste management needs to be dealt with, and consumers need to be held responsible and sustainable production methods implemented.

Changing The Way Food Is Produced

Whether it is on a local scale or a global one, how food is produced is one of the biggest contributors to climate change that needs to be addressed. Encouraging people to grow food at home using methods that are low maintenance and effective, even in small spaces, enables consumers to save money. In addition, it has been shown to improve health through better access to nutrition and exercise. Home gardeners tend to steer away from harmful chemicals, which in turn is better for the environment, and are more likely to share surplus produce than chuck it away like its store-bought counterpart.

Home grown food gardens can be scaled to include urban farms and community gardens where vegetables are used in greening projects, rather than ornamentals. All of these contribute to less waste, greater health, and a much-improved carbon footprint. Certain communities have even started to supply local restaurants too, and food is traveling shorter distances and being produced in environmentally and health conscious ways. Reducing the carbon footprint is a crucial step in going green, and even if you can’t grow food at home you can do things like playing online slots rather than at a land based casino to help make a difference.

Hunger a global issue
Source: Pixabay

Opting for Greener Alternatives

On a global scale many large producers are focusing on environmentally conscious farming practices. Much more involved than just crop rotation, which is still a key component, machinery has been developed that eliminates the need to work a piece of land multiple times before planting. The machinery tills, furrows, plants and covers seed all in a single go.

Educating farmers on alternative uses for waste such as cornhusks has already started to reduce the amount of burning taking place. Many farmers practice burning as a method to get rid of waste at no expense. However, the cost to the environment is alarming, and by suggesting alternative methods this practice can be eliminated. Advanced irrigation practices and chemical application processes are all reducing the amount of water being used or getting contaminated.

These improved methods, together with research into alternative protein such as insect protein, which could reduce meat consumption and farming, are positive steps toward a sustainable future for consumers and the environment. Beef and dairy farming contribute significant amounts of methane to the environment, and use large tracts of land for grazing. By using alternatives, land can be more productively utilised and greenhouse gases reduced.

Alternatives such as 3D printing food have also been explored, and this allows for dietary requirement customisation too. Based on age, health, and sex, food can be printed to meet the needs of each individual’s nutritional requirement, supplying sufficient nutrition to each person at a price they can afford without the environmental destruction.

Whichever way the future of food unfolds, on thing is for sure, change is needed, and it is needed now.