Flying cars…a robot that brings you toilet paper…and a wearable subwoofer were among thousands of products on display this year at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And hidden among the flashiest items were ones that are clever but practical…enriching but affordable…and futuristic but available now or in the near future. Among the most innovative, useful and reasonably priced electronics products from this year’s show…

Home Tech

Take the “yuck” out of garbage duty: Townew looks like a normal small trash can for a bathroom or kitchen, but when it’s full, you can press a button and Townew will heat-seal the bag shut and, once you remove it, install a new bag in its place—specially designed extra bags are stored inside its lid. A hands-free sensor opens the lid of the 16-inch-tall trash can when you approach, but the rest of the time it seals itself shut to contain trash odors. $119 in white or teal. Bags cost $19.95 for three sets of 25 or $31.95 for six sets.

Transform any grill into a smart grill: Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub sends updates to your smartphone so you know when food on the grill ­requires your ­attention. There are plenty of wireless thermometers on the market capable of keeping you posted about grilled meat temperatures, but this product does much more. Enter the type of food you’re grilling into the app, as well as the size and desired doneness, and it will let you know precisely when the food should be flipped and when it should be served. The Grilling Hub was on track to debut in February with a list price of $129.99. It works with both gas and charcoal grills, even those not made by Weber. 

Get warnings of burst pipes, leaks and excessive water use: Flo by Moen is a smart water shutoff valve that monitors a home’s water use when installed on the home’s main water-supply line. When it identifies a leak or burst pipe, it can shut off the water supply before major water damage occurs (or, if you prefer, it can send a warning to your smartphone and let you decide whether to shut off the ­water remotely). Each night, Flo also runs a test that can identify leaks as slow as one drop per minute, the sort of danger that often goes unnoticed until there’s a major mold problem. There are other moisture sensors on the market, but most detect problems only in a specific room. By carefully monitoring water flow, pressure and temperature, Flo can identify leaks anywhere in a house. Flo also provides updates about water use, so it can, for example, help you identify a family member who is boosting your water bill by taking overly long showers…or warn you when a tap has been left running. It’s currently available, with prices ranging from about $400 to $700 depending on pipe size. Professional installation is required and might add $100 to $200 to that bill. Some insurance companies offer discounts of as much as 10% per year for having Flo installed. 

Health and Beauty Tech

Monitor your health with a device that enables virtual house calls: ­MedWand is an easy-to-use gadget the size of a computer mouse that contains an impressively long list of ­diagnostic tools. It can listen to your heart, lungs or abdomen…measure your heart rate and blood oxygen level…take your temperature…inspect your skin…peer inside your ears, nose, throat and mouth…conduct an EKG…and more. Then it sends the results to a Windows 10 tablet or computer. Use MedWand to conduct these diagnostic tests and send the results to a doctor who offers “telemedicine” services. FDA-approval is pending, but MedWand’s maker expects it to be on the market by the end of the year for $399.

Get skin-care advice from a mirror: HiMirror Slide is an eight-inch “smart mirror” that identifies skin problems and offers advice for concealing them. When you look in this mirror, it uses a digital camera to look back at you. If it spots cosmetic concerns such as wrinkles, red spots or dark circles under the eyes, it provides detailed guidance for using cosmetics and skin-care products to minimize them—and an ­augmented reality function lets you see what a makeup strategy would look like on you before you actually try it. The device has LED lights built in plus a slide-out panel that functions as a tablet computer—you can use this to watch makeup tutorials on YouTube or anything else you like. It’s Alexa-enabled, so it responds to voice commands. The HiMirror Slide folds down to a very portable 8.4-x-9.4-x-1-inch, two-pound unit—it makes a useful travel mirror because it can adjust its cosmetics recommendations to local weather conditions. Available now for $119.

Computing Tech

Fold your computer screen: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is a Windows 10 computer with a big 13.3-inch OLED display, and yet it folds down to just 6.2 inches wide, about the size of a small notebook. The versatile screen of the 2.2-pound device folds in half. Open its screen flat, and it functions like a tablet—one with a sharp, bright picture ideal for watching movies. Bend it a bit in the middle, and half the screen can serve as a virtual keyboard, creating a mini laptop computer. Open the screen flat, stand it up, and attach a Bluetooth keyboard, and it becomes a desktop computer. Durability is a concern with folding screens—the release of a Samsung folding screen smartphone recently was delayed when its screen developed problems—but Lenovo is known for making durable laptops, and the company says its extensive testing suggests that the screen will stand up to 30,000 folds. It’s expected to be available around midyear for $2,499.

Protect your online privacy: Winston Privacy Filter encrypts the Internet activity of every device on your home network so no one can monitor what you’re doing online. Added to your network between your modem and your router, it masks your IP address and filters out tracking cookies, which means marketers and other prying online eyes won’t be able to track where you go on the Internet or see where you live. Winston serves as an ad blocker as well. It’s already available for $249.99 plus a yearly $100 fee, which is waived for the first year. 

Mobile Tech

Put a translator in your ear: Ambassador by Waverly Labs is a small device that clips over one ear and quickly translates spoken foreign language into your preferred tongue. It translates from and into 20 languages—Arabic, Cantonese, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese—and many more dialects. There are other apps and devices that do similar things, but Ambassador makes the process impressively seamless. It comes with a pair of earpieces—hand one to a conversation partner, and both you and the partner can understand one another, even when you interrupt each other. The delay between the spoken word and the translation is only a few seconds. Ambassador also has a “listen” and “lecture” mode to use when only one-way communication is required. Ambassador requires an iOS or Android smartphone with a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. It is expected to become available in March for $199.

Use artificial intelligence to track someone you are recording: PowerVision PowerEgg X, which includes a 4K camcorder and a drone, uses facial recognition to track the person you’re trying to record as you move around the room and/or as the person moves around—for instance, your grandchild as he/she runs around playing. Its excellent stability augmentation dramatically reduces image shakiness. PowerEgg can track you or your subject from the air for up to 30 minutes, even in rain or wind. A SyncVoice feature lets it coordinate the video it records with audio captured by your smartphone. It’s available for $899. PowerVision.Me 

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