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CES 2019: Eureka Park gathers startups from more than 30 countries

Updated January 11, 2019 - 10:14 pm

If the technology at CES doesn’t seem daunting enough, the sheer scope of the exhibit space — nearly 3 million net square feet — could be enough to stop you in your tracks.

Granted, given the masses of humanity surging in every direction, you wouldn’t stay put long.

Eureka Park scales down some of those geographical challenges by collecting startups from more than 30 countries on the ground floor of the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Many of those companies are gathered inside national pavilions — Israel is just a short walk from the United Kingdom — like a version of Epcot that you’d actually want to visit.

One of the biggest hits there is the love robot from Japan. Settle down. It’s not that kind of love robot.

Unlike some of the more threatening artificial intelligence on display, the Lovot only wants to be hugged. It comes with more than 50 sensors over its fuzzy little body to detect how and where it’s being cared for. Over time, it can learn to differentiate between the family members that give it the most love and seek them out. It’s among the most joyful technological wonders you could ever hope to encounter.

Less adorable but perhaps more purposeful is Holland’s Somnox. The sleep robot also is designed to be snuggled, but it will soothe you with a combination of white noise, meditation and lullabies. It can mimic heartbeats and, most impressively, it “breathes” by expanding and contracting like a small person to help lull you to sleep.

Ukranian 17-year-olds Katya Michalko and Nikita Vladykin and 20-year-old Eugene Shylo have developed Nuka, an “eternal” notebook and pencil. The virtually indestructible pages are waterproof, but ink from any pen can be wiped away with antiseptic so the notebook can be used over and over. The pencil, meanwhile, uses a metal tip to oxidize the paper. It’s inkless, never needs sharpening and, like “Seinfeld’s” astronaut pen, it even writes in space.

Not surprisingly, many of the gadgets developed by those beautiful geniuses in France revolve around wine. One of the most promising ones that doesn’t, though, is the BrightLock from HAVR. The locks work with smartphones to create “light keys” that owners can share with anyone they want, for as long as they want. In addition to convenience and security, you’d never again have to experience the pain of having your house key returned after a breakup.

From Korea, the PePe Pet Dryer DR-100 has 25 air outlets that move in seven directions to quickly dry your dog or cat while deploying white noise to replicate their time in the womb. Need more? The included biolite therapy promises to increase the elasticity of your pet’s skin.

The only obvious downside is that, once your little fur ball is inside, the device looks uncomfortably similar to a microwave.

Luxembourg even got in on the act with a village of 16 companies showcasing paintings created with Blockchain technology and a robotic owl that will monitor your home.

Those almost compensated for the staggering disappointment of learning that one of their startups, called MySardines.com, is only a proposed cryptocurrency.

Almost.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

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