27 January, 2016
Thousands of people were in the American state of Nevada earlier this month for the Consumer Electronics Show.
The CES is the world's biggest show for electronic devices. It is held every January in the city of Las Vegas. The CES is said to be a guide to the path technology companies will follow in the coming year. The show offers visitors a chance to see high-tech products that may change our lives -- or may never be seen again.
Some of the products are fun, while others are useful. From high-tech cameras to instruments for measuring physical fitness, these new gadgets and services are meant to make our day-to-day activities easier.
These products are either being sold now or should be available later this year.
1. Polar Balance Smart Scale
Activity trackers can help you keep records of your activity levels and physical exercise. But how many trackers will connect with a scale to measure your weight? The Polar Balance Smart Scale connects to an activity tracker and a software program to show whether the exercise affects your weight. The software application can be downloaded on your phone.
Set a weight goal using the Flow app. Then get weighed on the Smart Scale. The Flow app also connects to a calorie counting app if you want to follow what you eat.
Polar Coach, a free service, uses information from the Smart Scale, activity tracker and the Flow app to help you reach your goals.
Find out more at the Polar website.
2. Withings Go
A common problem with activity trackers is their seemingly endless need for electricity. Users report they often need to recharge their trackers. It can be aggravating to exercise only to discover that the device needs more power.
Withings Go is a simple activity tracker. It uses a black and white screen, similar to an e-reader, to show your activity levels. The battery on the Go lasts up to eight months so you do not have to worry about adding power every day or week.
The Go follows you both when you are awake and when you are asleep, and knows the difference between the two. You can see your information on an app on your phone to learn about your sleep patterns and physical activity levels.
More information is available at the Withings website.
Presence is a security camera that helps you see what is on the other side of your door. The camera sends a live video stream to the app on your phone and informs you when a car, person or animal comes close to the door. Video is also recorded by the camera.
Presence should be available later this year.
More information is available at the Presence website.
Millions of people have stomach problems after eating food containing gluten. Gluten is a name for the proteins found in wheat and other grains. People who cannot eat these proteins often have trouble knowing when a food has gluten or not.
Now, a device called Nima can identify gluten in food. Add a piece of food into Nima to see whether it has gluten levels of more than 20 parts per million.
The device works with solids and liquids to identify gluten.
More information about Nima can be found at the Nima website.
5. Misfit Ray
Not all activity trackers look like activity trackers. One example is the Misfit Ray. It looks like a metal container and can be worn around one's neck or as a bracelet on the arm or the leg.
Slide the Ray over a cord to wear it on your wrist or add it to a chain and wear it as a necklace. The Ray will record your activity and sleep, showing you information on a phone app.
The Ray shakes when you get a text or phone call. You can also use the Ray to take selfies and control the lights in your home.
Find out more at the Misfit website.
6. Ween Thermostat
The Ween thermostat is designed to help heat and cool homes when people are around and save energy when they are away. The thermostat connects to your phone to know when you are at home.
Users can set their ideal temperatures for when they are at home and when they are away to save on energy costs.
You can learn more about the Ween at the Ween website.
Coding is a necessary skill for computer programmers. When are children old enough to learn to code? At the Consumer Electronics Show, Fisher-Price showed a product that gives children the building blocks of coding. It is called "Code-a-pillar," and is a toy designed for children from 3 to 8 years old.
The Code-a-pillar looks like a caterpillar. This one has colorful lights and moves according to the order in which the pieces are placed.
The Code-a-pillar is set for sale in June.
You can find out more at the Fisher-Price website.
Pic is a video camera that looks like it belongs in a cartoon. In fact, its manufacturer makes versions so this camera can become a cartoon character, such as Frank, Bob or Jack.
The camera is made from plastic so you can bend it around a dog's collar, your wrist, a bicycle or other places from which you may want to take pictures.
The Pic can store thousands of photos and can record up to one hour of video.
Prizm is a new music player. It offers songs from two music services: Deezer and Soundcloud. Instead of using a smartphone to stream music, users can connect Prizm to a sound system and log into their music service accounts.
Songs will be played according to the time of day and who is in the room. Prizm has a button shaped like a heart. When you hear something you like, make sure to touch the button so the player knows the song is a favorite.
Learn more about Prizm at the Prizm website.
Sensorwake is an alarm clock that wakes you up with smells, not sounds. At a set time, Sensorwake will release a fragrance to wake you from your sleep.
Choose to wake up to the smell of food or to the smell of nature. Six different fragrances will be available.
No worries about sleeping through an alarm if you have a cold. The clock will make noises if you don't turn it off within three minutes.
Find out more at the Sensorwake website.
I'm Kathleen Struck.
Which of these gadgets are most interesting to you? Leave your thoughts in the Comments Section and on 51VOA.COM.
Carolyn Nicander Mohr wrote this story for VOA News . George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
consumer – n. a person who buys goods or services
gadget – n. a small, useful device
tracker – n. a device that follows and records the movements of someone or something
calorie – n. a measure of heat used to show the amount of energy that foods will produce in the human body
aggravate – v. to make (someone) angry
ereader – n. a handheld device on which electronic versions of books, newspapers and magazines can be read
battery – n. a device that is placed inside a machine (such as a clock, toy, or car) to supply it with electricity
stream – v. send or receive electronic data over the Internet
gluten – n. a substance in wheat and flour that holds dough together
selfie – n. a photograph that one has taken of oneself, usually one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared on social media
thermostat – n. a device that sets the temperature in a room to a desired level
code – v. to change information into letters, numbers, or images that can be read by a computer
caterpillar – n. an insect with many legs that becomes a butterfly or moth
cartoon – n. artwork or pictures as a humorous comment on something
alarm – n. a device that makes a loud noise
fragrance – n. a pleasant and usually sweet smell