Products rolling through CES 2015 ShowStoppers range from useful, creepy, scary and even why.
The first four ShowStoppers deal with security.
Trying to kill off the password, Yubico’s YubiKey Neo and FIDO U2F Security Key devices offer two-factor authentication to login to online services. Although YubiKey has been around for a few years, it has the “first keys to support the public deployment of U2F-enabled Chrome browsers and Google Accounts.”
Hoyos Labs is also out to “kill the password with a selfie” as its 1U app leverages a smartphone to acquire biometrics such as facial, periocular (around the eye), fingerprint and iris; that biometric print is meant to replace passwords and PINs. 1U’s “liveness detection system” can tell the difference between a real person and an image or video of that person.
AGNITiO, part of the FIDO Alliance, was at ShowStoppers to present how “a single Voice iD Engine is able to perform fixed phrase, free phrase, and now natural speech authentication to accurately identify and authenticate users in KIVOX Mobile embedded devices and the Internet of Things (IoT).” 'Start the car' was given an example of this voice biometrics authentication.
The vendor Globo is aiming to be a one-stop shop to manage and secure mobile devices, apps and data. The announcement on ShowStoppers referenced a survey which found “half of mobile-enabled workers are using apps without their employer’s knowledge." Since an app might be malicious and let “rogue” data loose in the enterprise, Globo has a service to lock down employees’ phones and provide “secure mobile enablement of enterprises.”
Here are a few more ShowStoppers that caught my attention.
Smart light bulbs with cam, mic, speaker, Wi-Fi boost & mesh-network capabilities
It seemed like a dubious statement when yet another smart light bulb claimed it could “change the way you see lighting.” Yet Sengled may have pulled it off with its Snap LED light bulb as it comes with an integrated IP camera, speaker and microphone.
Sengled Snap was also selected as Best of Innovation for the 2015 CES Innovation Awards in the Smart Home product category. It was described as “Indoor/Outdoor LED PAR lamp with integrated 720p HD IP Camera, microphone, and speaker. Supports cloud recording/playback, voice and motion activation, facial/activity recognition for home security, automation, and commercial applications.”
Stack Lighting, dubbed “the brainchild of Tesla Motors, NASA and Oracle alumni,” had another ShowStopper. Alba, “the world’s first responsive light bulbs,” work together to create a mesh network; they act as “the backbone of any fully-connected building.” Each bulb has embedded sensors and microcontrollers so it can “respond” to its environment, such as by dimming during daylight or turning lights off based upon room occupancy detection. Alba also works with Nest if you want to invite Google inside your home.
Arcsoft’s Simplicam powered by Closeli uses face recognition technology to determine if it is dad, your child or a stranger in your home. After analyzing facial features, alerts are sent to your PC or smartphone. Basically it is home monitoring with face detection and recognition capabilities. The camera sells for $149, with an additional $4.99 per month for monitoring.
Bluetooth connectivity for insoles: somewhere between useful and why?
In the smart clothing line, come interactive insoles with Bluetooth in order to keep your feet warm.
Glagla Connect launched Digitsole, “the first connected heating and interactive insole in the world. With a simple click on your smartphone, this new generation of insoles offers the ability to warm your feet, track the number of steps taken during a session, check calories burned and determine your altitude.” Digitsole’s batteries are charged via USB and last up to seven hours. These insoles started on Kickstarter, where there are several angry comments about not being delivered in time for Christmas. (Dumping nearly 200 bucks with no gift to show and no compensation? Sounds familiar…looking at you Jawbone UP3.)
Then there’s TrackingPoint’s precision-guided firearm that enables newbie shooters to make mile-long shots…as well as shoot around corners. The 338TP, also called the “Mile Maker,” allows “even novice shooters to make mile-long shots with greater precision than the most skilled marksmen in the world—even on targets moving 30 mph.” The 338TP is Linux-based, equipped with “tag and shoot” technology that is “historically reserved for advanced weapon systems like the F35 jet and the M1 tank.” The CES 2015 ShowStoppers press release added, “Once a target is acquired, it is virtually impossible for it to escape.”