Jan. 15, 2014 at 11:39 AM ET
At the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, thousands of tech companies rolled the dice on products that they hope will be standouts.
Urb-e personal scooter from Egological Mobility Solutions, $1,500
Touted as the “world’s most compact personal e-vehicle for personal transportation,” Urb-e hits Kickstarter in February. Designed by a former lead engineer for Porsche, this zippy little vehicle hits speeds up to 15 mph and can go 20 miles on a single charge. It’s a fun (and eye-catching) way to get around a city, car-free. It only weighs only 27 pounds.
Withings Aura sleep system, $299
Withings Aura is a smart system that aims to monitor and improve your sleep. It consists of a lamp (with built-in speaker) and sensor pad, which tracks your movements, heart rate and breathing cycles under your mattress. Together, the system can tell when you’re awake, in light sleep or in deep sleep, and it alters its output accordingly. For example, the lamp changes color to match your sleep zone, while the sound system provides either soothing or energizing noise patterns, depending on whether you’re falling asleep or waking up. It all connects to an app to provide you with a complete understanding of your sleep patterns. Available in the spring.
Bluetooth smart connected electric toothbrush, Kolibree, $99-$199
The world’s first smart toothbrush is here! Connecting via Bluetooth and an accompanying app, the electric toothbrush tells you how long you brushed (you should aim for around two to three minutes), which direction you brushed and if you hit all quadrants of your mouth. It shares all of that info with your smartphone. The toothbrush even makes brushing a game for kids and rewards them when a consistent job is well done. Available in the spring.
Smart light bulbs/Bluetooth speakers, AwoX StriimLight, $99; Lumen TL800, $70
Smart light bulbs are kind of trendy, but let’s be honest, it’s still hard to spend so much on a light bulb. Until you update your track lighting to a full-on musical light show (with the energy savings), as I did, and I can now say I officially get it.
AwoX StriimLight is an LED light bulb that features an integrated Bluetooth speaker. It’s a simple “smart home” upgrade that makes it easy to play digital music throughout your house.
The Lumen TL800 acts as an LED light show that relies on Bluetooth and is controlled by an app. The smart bulb lasts 30 times longer than a typical incandescent bulb, but uses five times less power. With 16 million color options, the user controls the dimmable LED RGBW (red, blue, green and white) bulb to choose lighting that fits the mood, whether that’s romance mode or relaxation mode. I also like the disco bulb function, which creates an instant dance party, and the music option, which synchronizes the light to the beat.
Cell defense with DriveID Cellcontrol, $89
Stop the texting, talking and web surfing while driving. Approximately 1.5 million drivers are playing around with electronic devices while driving at any given time, and that puts the rest of us at risk. Available in February, Cellcontrol uses special technology to identify who is driving and it makes phone service inaccessible for that person, as long as he or she is behind the wheel. Place this little solar-powered gadget right on your vehicle’s windshield.
Netatmo’s June bracelet for sun detection, $99
How about this for wearable tech: June is a fashionable bracelet that measures your sun exposure (via high quality UV sensors) and alerts you when you have had too much. The goal is to help you avoid sun damage and premature aging, and it pairs with an app that learns your skin type and reminds you to protect yourself. Available around May.