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CES: Caregivers of the future

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She has a face, body and endearing personality. Meet Addison, a conversational speech interface including visual, Artificial Intelligence and ambient augmented reality, created by Electronic Caregiver, a division of SameDay Security. Designed to transform the home into a full-time health and wellness environment, Addison appears on 15-inch media screens throughout a residence and provides support to consumers with features including medication management, care plan adherence, social experiences and emergency response.

It is also one of the highlights of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) running in Las Vegas this week.

Addison joins a range of elder care tech at CES, such as ElliQ, a robot built by Intuition Robotics that is similar to Addison, and Philips Care’s always-on, on-body remote sensors. ElliQ uses a cognitive AI platform called Q, which makes effective human-robot interaction possible. It has the ability to make cognitive decisions with a user’s body language, lights, sounds, images, and speech. Philips Care on-body sensors allow for the elderly to live independently, while helping ensure their safety by dispatching the right kind of help.

What began as a futuristic concept for Anthony Dohrmann, CEO of SameDay Security, quickly became reality with the design, innovation and creation of Addison Care. 

“We wanted to give new life to voice-based virtual assistants in a way that dramatically expands the utility of voice platforms, while significantly enhancing the user experience. Addison will transform the way people interact with technology. She uniquely inspires a feeling of affection, helping people connect and better embrace their new tech,” says Dohrmann.

Running on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the service was built using Amazon Sumerian, which helps organizations create and run virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 3D applications quickly. With this tool, the team at electronic caregiver was able to bring Addison to life. They say that Sumerian has changed the way and speed at which they were able to develop Addison. 

“Having a web-based platform like Sumerian that will host the complexity of artwork, skill and technology behind Addison has already set us apart,” says Joseph Baffoe, company President of SameDay Security. “What used to take us months or even years to create, now takes a matter of days. Amazon Sumerian has saved time and millions of dollars and can be credited with enabling us to create Addison.”

With the significant growth of the ageing population, Addison has set her sights on creating an enjoyable user experience in the home, while also helping to shoulder some of the burden home healthcare is experiencing. According to SameDay, high costs and low employee retention are two of the consistent pains in home healthcare. “10,000 people turn 65 every day and of the people needing home healthcare, only about 3% can afford it,” said Dohrmann. “We are encouraged that we will be the option these companies are able to provide to a prospective client who otherwise would have been turned away.”

Click here to see how Addison adapts to the users to whom she is exposed.

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CES: Most useless gadgets

The worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Language tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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