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CES: Burger takes Trends award

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It’s a Hamburger.

The overall winner of the Digital Trends awards for the top tech at CES is the Impossible Burger 2.0, the latest iteration of plant based meat from Impossible Foods. 

“By shrinking the flavor gap between real meat and fake meat, Impossible is making it easier for everyone to make more environmentally conscious food choices — and that’s a big deal,” explains Drew Prindle, emerging tech editor at Digital Trends. “Animal agriculture is the number one cause of environmental destruction in the world, so reducing humanity’s consumption and cultivation of meat is arguably one of the most effective ways that we can combat climate change.”

CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, is the nation’s biggest annual tech events, kicking off each new year by showcasing the best and most exciting upcoming innovations and gadgets before they hit markets.

The selection of Impossible as the Top Tech Winner marks a growing trend in technology.  Digital Trends Editor in Chief calls it the “Tech for Good” movement.  “We’ve seen and heard a lot of tough news around tech recently.  What we want to bring more attention to are the ways that scientific thinking and advances in connectivity are going to have a true impact on the way we live.” 

In addition to the awards, Digital Trends features extensive coverage of the show through breaking news, product roundups, a daily livestream, and up to the minute updates on social media.

Digital Trends’ editorial staff selected winners for the following categories: audio, automotive, computing, emerging tech, home appliance, mobile, photography, rideables, smart home, video, wearables, health & wellness, security, sleep, tech for good, and winner overall.

Click here to see all the winners by category.

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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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