CES 2020 - or the Consumer Electronics Show - is taking place in Las Vegas this week. It’s the yearly event that sets tech trends and introduces innovative new ideas for the next 12 months and beyond, giving us a glimpse at the future of technology. While much of it is niche and experimental, we’ve tracked down the tech at CES (opens in new tab) that will make your life better in 2020. Whether that’s fingerprint technology to give you the best home security (opens in new tab) possible, heat draining tech to make drinks colder, or advanced babycare apps to help new parents, there are a wealth of things that will help you live better and stay safer in 2020.
What’s more, there are fresh announcements from CES throughout the week and weekend, so expect this list to grow as the week goes on. There’s a bewildering number of advances showcased in Las Vegas (it’s not just the best cell phone providers (opens in new tab) showing off new handsets) for all aspects of life, so If you’re looking for a round-up of the stuff that’s most relevant to you, and will actually make a difference to your day-to-day life, this is it. We’ve selected the tech we feel is most interesting, and explained what it could mean for you when it becomes available in the near future. Be sure to check back for more as we get extra announcements.
Fingerprint padlocks, deadbolts, and remote locks
Stay safe at home - personalized locking systems are a big trend in 2020
There’s a big shift towards personalized security this year, with many companies pushing into fingerprint technology for items around the home. If you have a newer cell phone you’ll likely be aware of how it all works, and the potential pitfalls of the tech (it can be inconsistent, especially with wet hands), but you may not have considered the variety of potential uses. Tapplock, for example, has created a variety of fingerprint padlocks that you can use on gates, outhouses, containers and… almost anything, all of which come with a scanner that they claim is 99.9% accurate and fast enough to recognise the user in 0.8 seconds. Much safer than a key you can lose, or a combination you can forget. Arraylock, meanwhile, is a smart deadbolt for your home that does way more than just scan your fingerprint. You can voice-activate it via devices like Amazon Echo (“Alexa, please lock the front door”), control it via your phone, and even hand out digital codes that will allow guests one-time entry into your home. Smart stuff. There are all kinds of applications for fingerprint security in 2020, and they don’t end in the home - this Samsung T7 SSD (opens in new tab), for example, can be locked to a fingerprint - so expect to see more and more as the year goes on.
Impossible Pork and the future of meat
The team behind the Impossible Burger sets its sights on imitation pork
Whether it’s for ethical or environmental reasons, meat substitutes are rapidly gaining traction throughout the world as we move into the 2020s. The aptly named Impossible Foods unveiled the original Impossible Burger back at CES 2016 and they're back this year with Impossible Pork, an imitation meat designed to taste and feel like ground pork. Impossible Pork is gluten-free and designed for kosher and halal certification too.
The secret behind Impossible Pork is an enzyme called heme, which is abundant in animals but is also produced by plants. Put simply, heme is what makes meat taste like meat. Impossible use genetically modified yeast to produce heme, which is mixed with plant based proteins, fats and amino acids to form a substitute meat that tastes like the real thing. This results in a meat free product that is also healthier for you, containing around 40% fewer calories per serving, 60% less fat, and no cholesterol.
Early reviews for attendees at CES have been overwhelmingly positive too, with many stating that “it tastes just like the real thing”. We can’t wait to try it for ourselves when it hits restaurants later this year.
Smart baby-raising tech for smart parents
Monitoring systems that offer personalized advice, and pumps that link to your cell phone
There’s already a wealth of advice when it comes to parenting babies and there’s rarely one solution that suits everyone. While smart tech may seem like yet another voice in your ear, it’s worth noting that they’re far more interactive than regular books and advice websites, meaning they can adapt more easily to your (and your baby’s) needs. The most convenient piece of tech from CES in this area is the Elvie (opens in new tab) breast pump, which is the first wearable, smart pump designed to fit in with your movements and actually allow you to get things done while you express. As well as all the ergonomic features, it connects to your Smart Phone and gives real-time data on volume, historical quantities, and can even be switched on and off via the app.
Another interesting one is the Lumi Connected Care system, by Pampers, which offers a staggering amount of insight for parents of babies under 12 months. Not only does it include a monitor and app, but it also comes with a sensor that fits into your baby’s diapers that track activity, soiling, sleep patterns and loads more. The connected app will remind you about vaccinations, and start to offer personalized parenting tips based on the data collected from the sensor. Too much information? Too pushy? For some, perhaps, but it could be a boon for parents who have grown up in our data-lead world.
- Best baby video monitors (opens in new tab)
Smart mirrors that boost your beauty options
ICON.AI Smart Mirror with Alexa adds artificial intelligence to your beauty regime
Two of the most lucrative industries become one in the ICON.AI, a smart mirror with Alexa built-in, which has been rewarded for innovation at CES this year. For the majority of us, sitting down in front of the mirror is a routine part of getting ready for the day, so merging artificial intelligence with the beauty industry to make this process easier and more effective is a brilliant idea. The ICON.AI has skin diagnostic technology to help keep on top of your skincare regime, and the augmented reality (AR) makeup function paves the way for try-before-you-apply makeup looks and guidance. Move aside, beauty gurus. With Alexa built-in you can also check the weather (and pick a waterproof mascara accordingly), and use the ring-light as a makeup mirror or mood lamp. This will be a must-have for your vanity or bathroom in no time.
Trash cans that tie up your garbage (finally)
Making the worst chore a little less gross
It may be the quickest chore, but there are few people who will volunteer to take out the trash. Between mystery smells, liquids, and rot, it’s easy to neglect until the very last minute. But not with the Townew trash can.
After a successful run on Indiegogo, the Townew (opens in new tab) trash can has been released through Knextek Labs. It doesn’t walk out of your home to take out the trash for you, but until that point it’s virtually touchless. A wave of the hand opens the lid, and when the trash can is filled to capacity, it will automatically raise the lid and seal the bag for you, dropping you a hint - you need to take out the trash yourself. If you want to get rid of your garbage beforehand, you can push a button to seal the bag and open the lid. While you’re gone, the trashcan will also automatically close and replace the bag with a fresh one, thanks to the Refill Ring.
So how does this all work? The trash can is riddled with infrared sensors that detect movement, which means you don’t have to come within 14-inches of your trash to wave it open. The Refill Ring is filled with the recyclable bags that are cut and sealed using thermoplastic tech. Don’t forget to charge your Townew trash can: while the battery can last about a month, you’ll need to dedicate at least ten hours to get a full charge.
Right now, the Townew trash can and the Ring Refills are available for purchase on the Townew website or through Amazon (opens in new tab), and will soon be sold at Walmart and Newegg. The trash can itself will set you back about $100, while the Ring Refills cost $19 for a recyclable 3-pack (opens in new tab).
The fastest toothbrush, ever
Aiming to give your teeth a thorough clean in around ten seconds
After smashing its crowdfunding target on Kickstarter, French start-up FasTeesH has used CES to officially unveil the Y-Brush. While it might look at little like some medieval torture instrument, the Y-Brush has been designed to clean your teeth in just 10 seconds. A fraction of the 2 minutes dentists recommend you spend cleaning your teeth properly. Promising to transform the way we clean our teeth, FasTeesH takes a totally unique approach to teeth cleaning compared to the traditional toothbrushes from rivals like Oral-B, Philips and Colgate.
Rather than requiring you to brush from tooth-to-tooth in 2 minutes (which can feel like a lifetime when you’re late for the train in the morning or just want to go to bed), the mouthguard design of the Y-Brush can clean half your mouth in just five seconds.
It works by using 96 clusters of nylon bristles that all work simultaneously, vibrating to clean your teeth. Simply apply your toothpaste to the mouthguard, bite down and let it do its thing of the top row of teeth for five seconds before flipping the brush round to do the bottom set. All this technology doesn’t cost the earth either. At $125 via FasTeesH’s online store, it’s a comparable price to other high-end electric toothbrushes.
- Best electric toothbrushes (opens in new tab)
Heat draining tech to cool your wine, fast
For when you don't have time to wait for ice...
You can have hot cocoa at the press of your microwave’s button, but we’ve yet to see the like of this technology for beverages best served chilled. That is, until Matrix rolled out its new Juno device, which is designed to “rapidly and precisely chill any beverage.” Wine-lovers can have a cold bottle at the ready in five minutes, perfect for parties and with an obvious appeal to bars and restaurants. Thermoelectric technology sucks the heat from drinks you place in your Juno device in minutes. It’s essentially a very high-tech plunge-pool. But why should you fork out $200 for this technology? Well, wine connoisseurs will appreciate that sticking an ice cube in your glass of vino is downright sinful. What’s more, this device sets the tone for keeping drinks cool whilst also tackling global warming. Matrix avoids refrigerants and nasty chemicals and also reduces the need for prolonged refrigeration and the hefty energy use associated with this traditional method. Great for space-restricted businesses. It might have a limited market right now, but we think Juno is ushering in a trend of smart thermoelectric technology which could set the tone of at-home and dining convenience for years to come.
And there's a robot that helps you poop...
Never be without toilet paper again, or enter a 'bad bathroom situation'
In one of the more bizarre CES reveals, Charmin unleashed the RollBot into an unsuspecting world. This cute, bear-themed toilet companion is designed to save you from those embarrassing moments where you run out of paper while still in the bathroom. The bot, who's delightful face belies a lifetime of horrific mental imagery burned onto its electronic brain, can be controlled via a Smart phone app while you're on the throne, and it has self-balancing technology to avoid the nightmare scenario of losing the spare roll on its way to the commode.
And there's more! Charmin has also developed SmellSense, an electronic smell monitoring system that can warn you about how pungent a bathroom is before you actually walk in. It operates on a simple 'Go / No go' messaging system, connects to your phone, and works via detecting the specific carbon dioxide levels found in bathroom smells. We are not making this up.
No news on a launch date or price for these products, so we can't say when you can expect to see a RollBot reluctantly offering you a stack of Charmin (yet refusing to look you in the eye) next time you're caught short.