CES 2020: From a cute, pet robot to health monitoring earbuds, a look at small startups and their big ideas

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Published: January 16, 2020 1:10 AM

Groove X is a Japanese startup that explores new ties between humans and robots. It showcased the cute LOVOT, which recognises your face, and follows you (if you are nice to it).

Groove X is a Japanese startup that explores new ties between humans and robots.Groove X is a Japanese startup that explores new ties between humans and robots.

While some of the world’s biggest companies grabbed the biggest headlines at CES 2020, it was the smaller startups that appeared to have some of the most innovative ideas. Vikram Chaudhary takes a look at a few products launched by these startups, that look simple but pack a punch.

Padlocks are getting smart
Tapplock, a Canadian IoT startup, showcased the one+ smart lock. It replaces keys with your fingerprint, and can store up to 500 fingerprints.

It can be unlocked using fingerprint, or Bluetooth unlocked via Tapplock app, and a backup Morse code. Its battery life per charge is one year (or 3,500 unlocks). This is a waterproof lock, so no rusting!

A pet robot, and it looks cute
Groove X is a Japanese startup that explores new ties between humans and robots. It showcased the cute LOVOT, which recognises your face, and follows you (if you are nice to it).

Groove X claims interaction with the LOVOT reduces stress, just like it happens with real pets. It is not only for retail consumers, but also for nursing homes, hospitals and schools.

Toothbrush that removes tartar
Most electric toothbrushes work on the principle of friction, but not Silk’n ToothWave. When you brush, it sends radio waves, consisting of charged molecules, to the surface of each tooth.

 

These molecules destabilise the strong bonds that connect impurity molecules to the tooth’s surface, and that impurity then gets washed away.

Power your house using your car
Bidirectional charging means charging an EV battery from a grid, or vice versa. But until now it was available only in large formats in pilot projects.

Wallbox, a startup, showcased the Quasar, the world’s first bidirectional EV charger for homes. It not only charges EVs, but can also send electricity back to the grid or power a home.

A scooter that lets you swim
Swimn S1, by Hong Kong-based company ePropulsion, is a pool scooter for kids that helps them learn swimming, by providing both extra speed and buoyancy.

One has to lean on the board, and press both start buttons to move forward. It has a 50-minute battery life, and can be used in both fresh water and sea water.

Touch to share contacts
First we exchanged business cards, then we started taking photos of business cards, and now the free StayTouch app lets you exchange contacts (you have to store your info in the app) and take notes how you met, just by touching one smartphone to another (both should have the StayTouch app open).

Earbuds that monitor your health
Drawing on Huami’s extensive fitness wearable expertise, the Amazfit EarBuds line of products integrate health benefits into high-fidelity, wireless in-ear water-resistant headphones. These monitor heart rate and offer real-time motion tracking data.

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