CES Insights, Day 3

Award winners

The team at Engadget has divided and conquered to create product categories and respective winners — products that stood out against their backdrop of dozens of years of tech review experience. Here are a few favorites:

Best Connected Home Product: Weber Smart Grilling Hub. Forget about buying a smart grill. Just upgrade your own. This small grill side pack feeds a few wires into the grilling chamber, some for air temperature and some attached to meat probes. Using Wi-Fi, the smart phone app enables you to keep tabs on your cooking progress from the couch. Engadget

Best Wearable: Withings ScanWatch. Withings’ watch may be considered the anti-Apple watch. While it monitors heart rate and activity and connects to an app, it runs for 30 days on a single charge and has the appearance of a classic, expensive analog watch. Engadget

Best Phone or Mobile DeviceSamsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite. The Note’s success is attributable to its stylus and handwriting recognition capabilities on top of a smartphone, and now you can buy all of this for less. This will be the year of more affordable but equally amazing smartphones. Engadget

Best Gaming Product: Razer Kishi. This attachment, or cradle, for the iPhone or Android brings precision to the smartphone gaming experience into with exacting controls. Raser has found a niche within a (large) niche. Engadget

Most Unexpected Product: Sony Vision-S concept car. Sony showed a really beautiful car at this year’s CES. Is Sony making a car? No, this is a concept designed to demonstrate that Sony has car systems covered, from cameras, to speakers, to amplifiers, controllers, entertainment content and much more. This is a reminder that the car has become more of a rolling consumer electronics experience and less of a combustion engine hot rod of yesterday, and Sony is fully committed to the future car. Engadget

Best of the Best: Hydraloop Water Purifier. The Hydraloop is a about the size of an office water cooler, but is for the opposite purpose. This device intakes wastewater and uses a number of filtration methods to reuse the water for toilets, plants, pools, and washing machines. It has been said that water will soon be worth more than oil, and Hydraloop is ready for a complete shift in our thinking towards household water use. Engadget

dis-rup-shun: Many more category winners can be found at Engadget. It is terrific to see great products not just for fun and games (best TVs ever, amazing game content and controllers), but for environmental well-being (electric cars, water purifiers), good health (monitors, exercise and activity coaching), sexual health and wellness (a new category this year), and autonomous vehicles (Aptiv’s Lyft cars running around Las Vegas), and many more.

Stargazing permanently impacted by new space objects

Shocking photography of satellite launch

An amateur astronomer captured a photo of the launch of 60 StarLink satellites — the first of 12,000 to be launched in coming years. TheVerge  Astonomers around the world, however, have expressed shock at the realization that each satellite’s solar panel will reflect light back to Earth and be very visible at dawn and dusk — forever chaning views of the night sky. Forbes

dis-rup-shun: Imagine the shock of early farmers and urban dwellers when the first interstate billboards, replete with bright lighting, were erected in their views. Today’s stargazers are the ones shocked, as Elon Musk’s band of low orbit satellites, orbiting Earth to provide a new source of broadband services, will forever change views of outer space. Never fear, the new broadband service will make it easier to surf pictures of uncluttered outer space — the way things looked before space objects changed the view.

Withings smart watch is everything Apple’s is not, and more

Withings, maker of connected health and fitness gear, has released a smart watch that is by bar the most stylish design for lovers of classic watches. The device features fitness and workout monitors, sleep analysis, a vibrating alarm, battery life of 25 days and is water resistant up to 50 meters and okay for showers. Inverse

dis-rup-shun: At a price of $199, Withings enables lovers of fashion watches to enjoy the benefits of a connected device, and with long battery life, the ease of use beats Apple iWatch 4’s expected 18 hours.

Tesla Model 3 is best seller in Norway

Tesla’s allocation of Model 3s arrived in the country in February and quickly put a dent in sales of other luxury models, incluing Mercedes Benz. Norwegians have a high interest in electric vehicles. CleanTechnica

dis-rup-shun: Depite Tesla’s bumpy year, with continuous delays in Model 3 production, softening U.S. orders, and stories of cultural disharmony, the company’s product is still favored by buyers of electric vehicles. For generally affluent and eco-conscious cultures such as Norway, the company’s market leadership will spur accelerated EV development by more established competitors such as Daimler, Toyota, and Volvo.

Alexa intercom feature now on all devices

Alexa’s ability to serve as an intercom between only its flagship devices (Echo, Dot, Show, Spot) has now been expanded to every Alexa-enabled device. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: As many different types of devices, including light fixtures, wall switches, door bells, thermostats and Bluetooth speakers now include Alexa, every home has many intercom possibilities. For busy families with young children or homes with seniors, the application for voice to voice, in-home communications adds a new layer of benefits to smart speakers and further advances Amazon’s lead over Google in this category.