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Drone soccer at the Venetian? Here are some cool things we saw at CES

Updated January 9, 2024 - 3:54 pm

The CES trade show floor opened Tuesday morning with more than 4,000 exhibitors showing off their latest products and innovations in home, auto, beauty, video gaming, computers, cellphones and everything else tech.

The four-day technology event is estimated to draw more than 130,000 people to the city, one-third of them from foreign countries. Exhibits are spread across the Strip between the Venetian Expo and Las Vegas Convention Center halls.

Here are some of the most eye-catching things the Review-Journal saw on the trade show floors.

Not Quidditch, but drone soccer

In an innovative display of drone usage, the Federation of International Dronesoccer Association introduced its blend of technology and sport in the AI/Robotics area of the Venetian Expo. Five players on each team pilot drones encased in wiring resembling a ball as they protect or score into the hoop-like goal hanging on either end of the arena.

Improving the robotic massage

Conventioneers in the Venetian Expo’s Eureka Park were lining up to relax in one of iYU Spa’s full-body, hands-free massagers.

The machine uses artificial intelligence and a medical-quality robotic arm to serve a client lying on a typical massage table.

Developed in 2015 by French startup Capsix Robotics, iYU is launching in the U.S. as a business-to-business product that can be set up in spas, chiropractic offices and franchised clinics.

The first of the AI-assisted machines is already in Boulder, Colorado’s Bodywork for Liberation massage clinic. Owner Jonathan Grassi said the standard session is 35 minutes and is sold in a membership model.

Flying car

Cars aren’t just for roads any more as the Chinese company Xpeng Aeroht showcased its eVTOL flying supercar, which looks like a sleek sports car with arms attached with fans to the top of the car. The vehicle can switch between driving and flying by folding its arms out.

The company didn’t say when its flying super car could be available to the public but did say another flying vehicle called its “Land Aircraft Carrier, a van that comes with a modular flying device. It should be available for pre-order at the end of 2024 and deliveries of these flying cars could happen by the end of 2025.

Portable record player

Many devices at CES try to push technology forward but one product can help expand the usage of the vinyl record. This product is the Sound Burger, a portable record player from the Japanese company Audio-Technica.

This record player is much more mobile than a typical record player since it’s the shape of a brick. A vinyl record is held in the middle so it can easily be put into a backpack or suitcase. Sound Burger has a rechargeable battery that can last for 12 hours and is compatible with bluetooth devices and can project its sound to speakers or compatible headphones, said John Tarulli a Hi-Fi sales manager for Audio-Technica.

Walking assistance device

One exhibitor at CES is trying to make it easier to walk with a smaller battery-powered exoskeleton device. The device is called WIM and it attaches around the waist and to a person’s legs and provides extra support to make it easier to walk or exercise.

WIM is made by South Korean company Wirobotics and the company plans to launch the product to the Korean market in February of this year and expand into international markets afterwards.

This device also comes with an app that can monitor and track a person’s walking and exercise pattern, said Bokman Lim, a Wirobotics engineer. Lim said in the company’s testing phase it found the WIM improved walking speed by up to 20 percent.

Zero-emissions semitruck

Hydrogen powered semitrucks could be on Nevada roads next year as Kentworth was displaying a semitruck powered by hydrogen fuel that produces zero fossil fuel emissions

The truck’s official name is TC680 FCEV and it has a range of 450 miles, can reach 70 miles an hour and has a 20 - 30 minute refuel time, said Sarah Abernethy, a powertrain marketing manager for Kentworth.

These trucks should start to get on to roads by 2025 and expand substantially in 2026, Abernethy said.

Pillows that disrupt snoring and sleep apnea

South Korean company 10minds Co. encouraged conventioneers to throw away their standard pillows with the motion pillow and motion sleep products. The memory foam pillows address snoring and sleep apnea by rotating the head into a new position and helping improve airway obstruction. A system detects snoring sounds – and oxygen saturation levels in the motion sleep product for apnea patients – then pushes air through connected tubes and into seven airbags in the pillows. The consumer preventative motion pillow, without oxygen saturation detection, starts at $699.

Review-Journal reporter Sean Hemmersmeier contributed to this report.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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