The new smart electronic gadgets on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas may help drive you into an increasingly connected future.  


In the case of Byton, a futuristic smart car that is one of the hits of the CES – a driver steps into a high-tech sensory experience.


From a tablet embedded in the steering wheel and five hand gestures, the motorist controls the vehicle.


Sensors monitor the driver’s heart rate, blood pressure and other vital statistics.


Other features include tiny cameras instead of side view mirrors, and seats that swivel to give the car a lounge-like feeling.


Aiming for the Tesla market, the first Byton electric SUV is expected to go on sale first in China in 2019, selling for $45,000, before becoming available in the United States and Europe in 2020.


US market for smart devices


For the 170,000 attendees at CES – one-third of them from outside the U.S. – there are plenty of other “smart devices.”

 This year’s CES demonstrates that entrepreneurs and companies are coming up with new ideas for adding sensors and connectivity to most everyday items.


But will there be a market?


Smart watches and smart speakers dominate the smart device category, and plenty are on display at the CES; however, just about 20 percent of the U.S. market will use some type of wearable device once a month this year, according to eMarketer, a research firm. “Wearable usage will continue to grow, but the growth rate will slow to single digits beginning in 2019,” the firm said.


Mirror that talks back


Phair Tsai is at the CES to show off her firm’s HiMirror, a “smart” beauty mirror.


By taking a photo, HiMirror keeps track of and analyzes the health of the user’s skin. It also displays news feeds and offers makeup tutorials via YouTube.


If you like what you see, HiMirror can let you share your good looks by sending video messages.


Connected shoe


If the shoe fits, wear it – with a smart device. Digitsole sells an insole with a sensor connected to a smartphone that can fit into any shoe.

That can help detect whether a worker is tired or in pain, said Karim Oumnia, president of the firm.


If a soldier falls or is injured, “the shoe will immediately send a message for his team to rescue him,” he said. And it is possible to set the shoe’s temperature via the sensors.  


“Smart footware is not just for fun,” he said. “It makes your life easier.”


Smart cars, smart mirrors, smart shoes – more indications that we are living in an ever connected world.


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