» » The 10 best new technologies coming out of CES 2020, including robots and wearable devices

The 10 best new technologies coming out of CES 2020, including robots and wearable devices

It is seen as the tech industry event of the year, and a window into the inventions that will change our lives in the years ahead.

But the start of the CES conference in Las Vegas was dominated by a robot that ferries toilet paper, a row over the appearance of Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, and a decline in reported attendee numbers.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the trade body that runs the show, said it expected more than 170,000 attendees and 4,400 exhibitors, a decline from the 180,000 and 4,500 it had quoted last year.

A spokesman for the CTA said the show’s size would "remain roughly the same as last year” and that it would provide audited numbers after the week-long event.

The decline is partly due to fewer Chinese companies attending amid trade tensions with the US.

Ms Trump will speak at the show later today. Her attendance has been controversial because the show has previously been lambasted for under-representing female tech executives with established careers. CTA chief Gary Shapiro has defended the decision, saying her talk will focus on job creation.

Here are some of the best and most bizarre inventions making headlines from this year’s show.

Virtual visor blocks out sun
German manufacturer Bosch has announced a "virtual visor” that tracks a driver’s eyes to block out the sun without obscuring their view of the rest of the road. 

A transparent video screen hovers above a driver’s head, but uses facial recognition technology to identify their eyes, casting a shadow over a small area of the driver’s face to stop sun glare from interfering with their view. 

Bosch visor
Bosch says existing sun visors are one of the most overlooked parts of a car’s interior, often obscuring a driver’s view. According to the AA, one in 50 car accidents in the UK are due to sun glare, resulting in hundreds of fatal or serious injuries a year.

The virtual visor concept would eliminate existing sun visors completely, although it is currently just a concept, and it is likely to be years before it arrives in any production vehicles.

Smart mailbox thwarts package thieves
The rise of online shopping has led to a surge in "package thieves” who steal parcels left on porches, with the problem becoming so acute that police in some US cities have taken to leaving fake Amazon boxes to catch the perpetrators.

A smart mailbox developed by Canadian company Danby plans to address the problem with the Parcel Guard, a smart mailbox which will go on sale in the UK later this year, after a US launch in November. 

Parcel Guard
Smart mailboxes will deter thieves CREDIT: DANBY
The box has an anti-theft drop-in slot for smaller packages, which is then opened with a code or smartphone app, and can place phone calls between a parcel courier and a customer if they need to open the box remotely. It also features a motion sensing camera to record when packages have been delivered.

However, it does require a constant Wi-Fi and power connection. The company did not reveal a UK price but it costs $399 (£305) in the US.

The robot that brings you toilet paper
It has been estimated that the average person spends a year and a half of their life in the bathroom, and yet the last major invention to change the smallest room in the house was indoor plumbing.

Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble says it plans to change that. The company’s toilet paper brand, Charmin, has unveiled a two-wheeled robot designed to save its owner at the most crucial moment.

The Charmin can be summoned using your phone's Bluetooth CREDIT: JAMES TITCOMB
The "RollBot” is summoned by a smartphone using Bluetooth and uses technology similar to a robot vacuum cleaner to navigate to its owner, carrying a precious spare roll.

Charmin has not said if or when it plans to release the robot to the general public, but says it came from hearing customers vent about their biggest frustrations.

Tech for the bathroom is a hot topic at this year’s CES. American manufacturer Kohler has unveiled a shower head speaker that works with Amazon’s Alexa, while French company Mateo announced a smart bathroom mat that tracks owners’ weight and posture.

The virtual fence for your wandering dog
This $1,495 (£1,142) GPS-enabled dog collar lets you "draw" a boundary anywhere, including your home, the homes of family and friends, a campsite or a park.

If the dog escapes, the GPS alerts you via a mobile phone app and helps you track and find it, even in remote areas like woodland. 
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