Best Accessibility Tech
The Gait Enhancing Motivational System (or GEMS, for short) is Samsung’s conceptual line of assistive wearables. The biggest of them all is the GEMS-H, a lower-body exoskeleton. Weighing in at 4.6 pounds, the GEMS-H is light enough to be comfortable to wear, with an unobtrusive and some might call attractive design. It has two primary modes: Power assist, which lets you walk with 23 percent less effort or almost 20 percent faster, and resistance, which is intended to help rehabilitate you after an injury (or provide a gentle workout).
Senior Editor, Mobile
Chinese startup Nreal has only been around for two years, but its new Light mixed-reality headset is proof that Microsoft and Magic Leap aren’t the only serious players in town. Even at this early stage, we were impressed by the crisp, vivid images the headset could produce, to say nothing of the fact that Nreal managed to squeeze some incredibly complex components into a headset that could pass for an (almost) normal, comfortable pair of sunglasses.
Best Digital Health and Fitness Product
Triple W DFree
Incontinence issues aren’t just an inconvenience for people and their caregivers, there’s also a stigma attached to the condition. Triple W’s ultrasound incontinence monitor can measure how full the wearer’s bladder is and knowing when a person is more likely to need the bathroom lets them plan their days accordingly. For aiming to improve the lives of the people with bladder problems, DFree deserves praise.
Omron HeartGuide blood pressure smartwatch
Deputy Managing Editor
Omron’s smartwatch takes its time-tested blood pressure technology and crams it into a device you can wear on your wrist. For those that need to monitor their blood pressure with any regularity, this could be a game-changer. Yes, there are plenty of portable blood pressure monitors out there, but not one that looks so much like a smartwatches. The Omron HeartGuide will fit nicely on a user’s wrist, and it can check blood pressure about 40 times before it needs a charge.
Best Transportation Technology
Daimler Freightliner new Cascadia
It’s easy to focus on passenger cars when talking about semi-autonomous systems. It’s what the average person will encounter in their daily life. Semi-trucks sort of blend into the background, so you wouldn’t be blamed for overlooking Daimler’s Freightliner new Cascadia with Level 2 driver’s assistance features (adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist), blind spot monitoring and full automatic braking for walking pedestrians and cyclists. In something that hauls 80,000 pounds, this technology will make our roads safer while simultaneously reducing driver stress.
Best Home Theater Product
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar
Senior News Editor
Sennheiser has been explaining the merits of its Ambeo 3D audio technology for a few years now, but applications have mostly focused on AR and VR. The Ambeo Soundbar, moves the company into the living room with a single speaker that can replace a 5.1 surround sound setup. The audio blew us away on the production model, and the fact that the device can convert stereo audio to 3D means however you listen, you can use the same content you’re streaming now.
Best Connected Home Product
Lenovo Smart Clock
The Lenovo Smart Clock has all the features we want in a high-end alarm clock. It comes with several customizable clock faces of course, but it also has an ambient light sensor that will dim the light when it’s time for bed. When it’s time to get up, the display will actually simulate sunrise to ease you from your slumber. Plus, it has all of the usual functions of Google Assistant, like smart home controls and showing your daily calendar.
Best Phone or Mobile Device
Mophie Juice Pack Access
Senior Editor, Mobile
CES isn’t always a big show for mobile devices, and we’ll be the first to admit that Mophie’s Juice Pack Access might not be most boundary-pushing device. The case’s wireless charging system means iPhone users can finally use a battery case and still plug in a set of wired headphones (or any other Lightning accessory, really). That was a real problem that needed to be solved, and Mophie’s take is the most elegant approach we’ve seen.
Best TV Product
LG OLED TV R
The dream of an OLED TV that can roll out of sight is here! After several years of bending and rolled OLED demos, LG’s OLED TV R is bringing rollable technology to consumers. Its 65-inch screen has all of the same great tech as LG’s other 2019 OLED TVs, including deep blacks and HDMI 2.1 with support for 120FPS 4K. Hit a button, and the screen rolls back into its built-in 100 watt soundbar. It’s the TV for anyone who wants a big screen, but doesn’t always want a giant black mirror dominating their living room.
Best Gaming Product
Alienware’s Area-51m is a remarkable gaming laptop that lets you upgrade the CPU, GPU, RAM and hard drive. (You know, just like a regular gaming desktop.) That flexibility is rare and means the laptop won’t be obsolete in a couple of years, provided you have the cash to buy replacement parts. The Area-51m’s design also stands out amongst other gaming laptops. We love the curvier chassis, honeycomb vents and oval, neon-lit rear.
Most Unexpected Product
Impossible Burger 2.0
Laptops, smartphones and TVs are pretty de rigueur for CES. So when a burger company shows up at the show with a brand new recipe, that’s definitely unexpected. What makes the Impossible Burger 2.0 even more notable is that it’s an upgraded version of its meatless plant-based burger, tasting even more like real beef than ever. A plant-based burger that could truly wean people off their meat lust? Now that’s unexpected.
Best Sports Tech
JAXJOX Smart Kettlebell
Bureau Chief, UK
There are several sports companies showing tech complemented by a subscription service. However, weighted exercises haven’t got the same amount of attention as traditional cardio. Kettlebells offer a full-body workout and are scalable by weight. Add the fact that they don’t take up much space and they sound like the ideal home workouts. We liked JAXJOX’s connected smarts and the ability to digitally and effortlessly change the weight. It’s early days but the company promises to add on-demand classes in the future.
Best PC or Tablet
Dell XPS 13
How do you make an already excellent laptop even better? Dell showed us how with this year’s XPS 13. There’s a new option for a 4K Dolby Vision HDR screen, the webcam is back up top where it belongs and Dell even managed to further slim down the- display’s bezels. At this point, the XPS 13 is pretty much the ideal Windows ultraportable — it’s fast, sharply designed and has one of the best screens around.
Best Robot or Drone
Samsung Bot Care
With Samsung’s Bot Care, the dream of personal robot aides inches a little closer. The plucky personal assistant can monitor your sleep, take your vitals and assist the elderly if they take a fall (by alerting next of kin or contacting emergency services). For down time, Bot Care can play videos to keep the kids entertained, and even be beckoned with gestures to give you a daily briefing.
Most Impactful Product
Impossible Burger 2.0
The average American consumes more than their body weight in beef every year; an eating habit that is, quite simply, unsustainable — especially in the face a rapidly warming planet. Until we can kick our cow cravings to the curb completely, the Impossible Burger 2.0 is our next best option. Despite being formulated from plant proteins, it looks, tastes, cooks and chews like real beef but at a significantly lower environmental (and caloric) cost. And it plans to come to grocery stores in 2019.