Richard Windsor picked up on some interesting offerings that slipped through the cracks at CES 2019.
Real wireless power
- Thanks to Apple, wireless charging using the Qi standard is now everywhere, but far more interesting is the possibility to charge devices from a distance.
- There are a series of companies working on this all of whom have a slightly different way to address the issue including Energous, Powercast, Ossia and Wi-Charge to name but four.
- As more and more devices become smart, the requirement for battery charging or wiring in difficult-to-reach places starts to become a problem.
- Wearables are a great example of this and if they could be charged while on the wrist or attached to clothing, there would be a meaningful improvement in the user experience.
- However, there is the obvious fear of blasting consumers with damaging energy which is why gaining FCC certification is of such importance in this space.
- When I first came across this, the technology was barely working but 2018 has seen good improvement.
- Top of my list is Ossia which demonstrated iPhone charging while moving around a room at a distance of up to 3 metres but Powercast and Energous have achieved FCC certification meaning that they are deemed to be safe.
- However, both suffer from a weak user experience that I think will prevent them from becoming a mainstream offering.
- If Ossia can achieve FCC certification without compromising its superior performance, it will be in a strong position.
Diabetes and hypertension
- Two of the most wide-spread and costly diseases are high blood pressure and diabetes.
- In most cases, these are conditions that can be prevented with monitoring, good diet, and an active lifestyle.
- Both of these conditions are inconvenient and invasive to monitor meaning that many people don’t know that they are afflicted until much damage has been done.
- This is why I have long believed that there is a huge market for a technology that can continuously and non-invasively monitor blood pressure and / or blood glucose.
- Progress has been made on blood pressure with Valencell demonstrating continuous monitoring of blood pressure using a headphone earbud with an infrared transmitter.
- Given, the quality of the demonstration, I think that this technology should be ready for commercialisation this year.
- Far more ambitious is tiny start-up LifePlus which claims to have also cracked blood glucose (something which Valencell seems to consider impossible).
- Unfortunately, its demonstration was not working (more due to smartwatch firmware than its technology) and so there is no way to tell how good it is.
- 2018 has clearly seen good advances being made moving the technology industry one step closer to putting the medical device industry out of business.
Yandex autonomous driving – Best of both worlds
- While Aptiv stopped and started its way around the Las Vegas Strip, Yandex had an autonomous vehicle it had thrown together in a couple of weeks zooming about the streets around the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
- The vehicle uses three Lidars, four cameras and a series of parking sensors powered with a standard Nvidia box and a series of FPGAs to “see” and drive.
- And drive Yandex does with a very human-like experience that at no time felt mechanical or unsafe.
- There is no driver in the hot seat (unlike Aptiv or Waymo) but instead a safety engineer in the passenger seat with his hand near a big red button that will shut the system down if needed.
- Other self-driving offerings are also very safe but feel like being driven around by an ageing grandparent.
- Yandex has trained its algorithm using Moscow taxi drivers which explains the vehicle accelerating hard when there is open road ahead and its ability to effectively change lanes in good time.
- In effect, it drives like a human and if I had been blindfolded, I would not have known the difference.
- Yandex looks to be ahead of Aptiv and with this demo has established itself as a very credible offering for autonomous driving.
- This further underpins RFM’s ranking of Yandex as the global No. 3 in artificial intelligence.
This article was originally published at RadioFreeMobile