CES 2020: instant drink chillers to 10-second toothbrushes seven standout gadgets

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Also unveiled in Las Vegas: Hyundais flying Uber, Segways S-Pod and cooking machines

From flying taxis to robotic pets, the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show has displayed more concepts and prototypes than ever before. Of all the hundreds of thousands of products on show for tech enthusiasts in Las Vegas, here are some of the highlights from the latest CES extravaganza.

1 Ubers Hyundai flying taxi

hyundai
Latest concept shows off a plane-drone hybrid that could be ferrying people about by the late 2020s. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Ubers dream of mass-market flying taxis has taken another small step towards becoming reality. The South Korean auto-firm Hyundai unveiled its S-A1 concept, an electric-powered aircraft with four rotors to lift its vertical takeoffs and landings, four to drive it up to 180mph in the air and a parachute for emergencies.

Hyundai said it will carry four people and their luggage a distance of up to 60 miles and at altitudes up to 2,000ft. Although the initial expectation is for a pilot to fly it, Hyundai ultimately expects it to operate autonomously. Hyundai hopes to mass produce the aircraft in the late 2020s.

Not to be outdone, the Chinese firm Ehang flew its pilotless passenger drone for the first time in the US, while Sony surprised everyone by unveiling a concept electric car, filled to the brim with its entertainment and sensor technology.

2 Matrix Juno the supercooler

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The Matrix Juno will cool your beer, wine or any other liquid within minutes. Photograph: Michael Neveux 2017/Matrix

Have you ever wished there was an anti-microwave that could chill things in seconds instead of heating them up? The 300 Matrix Juno is just that. The kitchen countertop device takes Matrixs technology that turns body heat into electricity, seen last year at CES in the PowerWatch, and runs it in reverse to create what it calls a thermoelectric cooling engine, which absorbs heat using electricity (a phenomenon known as the Peltier effect). Add a liquid bath and you have got a cooling machine capable of chilling a can of beer from room temperature to 4C in two minutes or a bottle of wine to the optimum 9C in five minutes.

Currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo and expected to ship in Q3 2020, the Juno will take most cans or bottles up to the size of an average champagne bottle. Your magnum of Dom Prignon may have to be chilled the old-fashioned way, though.

3 Segway S-Pod

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The S-Pod is like a self-balancing throne on wheels. Photograph: tienne Laurent/EPA

In the land of technology, walking is clearly overrated. Like some sort of Wall-E dystopian future made real, the self-balancing transport firm Segway unveiled the S-Pod. It is effectively an egg chair from the 1960s attached to two wheels that can reach speeds of up to 24mph. The S-Pod is designed for first-class transport around malls, airports and theme parks.

It turns on a dime, is driven by a knob on the chair or remotely by tablet and Segway assures us it is not an accident waiting to happen. This is because the S-Pod is slowed down by users shifting its centre of gravity to lean backwards, instead of applying brakes directly to the wheels. Thus, Segway says, it cannot tip over in any situation. You can still crash it, though.

4 Toothbrush tech

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FasTeesH Y-Brush promises to clean your teeth in just 10-seconds. Photograph: FasTeesH

The humble toothbrush got an upgrade at CES. Colgates Plaqless Pro has a built-in sensor that scans your teeth to give you real-time information on how clean and plaque-free they are shining blue when they are dirty and white when clean. An app produces a map of your mouth, too, showing the bits you have missed.

But if brushing for two minutes sounds like too much work, the Y-Brush from the French firm FasTeesH promises to clean all your teeth in only 10 seconds. Looking like a mouthguard hooked up to a box, it is packed with bristles and vibrates to clean all your teeth at the same time. Chew on it with your top teeth for five seconds, flip it over and repeat for your bottom teeth. Yours for 109 and it will arrive before the end of March if you order now.

5 CookingPal Julia

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CookingPal Julia wants to be your one-stop-shop cooling machine. Photograph: CookingPal

CookingPal is attempting to render the I cant cook excuse moot with the Julia – a tablet and a machine that essentially does the cooking for you. It will chop, mix, blend, knead, weigh, grind, grate, whisk, boil, steam and cook. All you have to do is follow the instructions on the accompanying tablet. It can even suggest meals based on what is in your fridge. At least, thats the idea. You also have to have the $1,000 (764) to buy it when it is released later this year.

6 Lovot the robotic pet

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Lovot companion robots by Groove X wander in front their booth at CES. Photograph: Steve Marcus/Reuters

No CES would be complete without some robots. This year its all about robotic companions. Samsung was first up with its Ballie robot, which is a small rolling ball of a robot that can follow you around and has a camera for capturing special moments.

However, it was the Lovot from the Japanese-firm Groove X that stole the show. Looking like an Ewok crossed with a Furby and stuck on wheels, this little robot is designed solely to be loved. It will run about learning to get around your home and talk to you with animated eyes, chirps and two flippers. A canister on its head has cameras and sensors, while its furry skin is warm to the touch and is touch-sensitive, so it knows when you are giving it a cuddle. Yours in Japan for 299,800 yen (2,100), plus a monthly software fee of 8,900 yen.

7 Foldable computers

Lenovos
Lenovos ThinkPad X1 Fold will be one of the first folding Windows 10 tablets available to buy later this year. Photograph: Lenovo

Foldable phones are so last year. In 2020 it will be the turn of computer screens to fold in half. The chipmaker Intel went big with its Horseshoe Bend prototype: a 17-inch Windows tablet that bends in half. You can set it up like a laptop, screen on one half, keyboard on the other. Dell had something similar with its 13-inch Ori folding tablet, also a concept.

But it was Lenovos ThinkPad X1 Fold, which you will actually be able to buy around the middle of 2020, that appears to be ushering in the new era. It folds in half, has a full Intel-based computer running on the Windows 10 Pro operating system and has a detachable keyboard, too. It will cost $2,499 (1,900) on release. No one said the future would come cheap.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/10/ces-2020-from-instant-drink-chillers-to-10-second-toothbrushes-7-standout-gadgets

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