CES 2023: Canine communication and a soothing pillow

Tech companies are showing off their latest products this week at CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show.

Here are some highlights:

‘TALKING’ PETS

Have you ever wondered what your dog would say if it could talk to you?

FluentPet promises the next best thing: buttons that the company says you can train your pet to press if it’s hungry, needs to go outside, or wants to play.

The buttons come in a hexagon-shaped plastic mat called a hextile. Hextiles can be connected to each other to form a larger collection of buttons.

“Actually, when dogs know they’re being understood because they have the accuracy and specificity of the buttons, then they complain less because they no longer wonder if they really communicated what they wanted,” Leo said. Trottier, CEO of FluentPet.

At CES, the company announced FluentPet Connect, a new app that notifies owners when their dog presses a button and collects data on how the buttons are used.

The Fluent Pet Starter Kit comes with hextiles, a speaker and six buttons for $159.95. The app does not require subscription.

A HIGH TECHNOLOGY CAR

The smart stroller from Canadian startup Gluxkind is designed to make life easier for parents on the go.

The AI-powered pushchair has a sensor that can tell when you’ve picked up a fussy baby, at which point it will roll in front of you as you walk without having to touch it.

When the baby is in the stroller, you need to keep your hands on it, but the battery will help propel the baby, making it easier to push up. It automatically stops if it gets too far from the pusher. It can also rock a baby back and forth.

The battery lasts about eight hours and takes two to four hours to charge.

“I looked at the stroller market and was really surprised that we couldn’t find anything that had some kind of automation or motorization present,” said Anne Hunger, who co-founded the company with her husband Kevin Huang after the birth of his daughter in 2020.

The company is currently taking pre-orders for the stroller and expects to deliver them from July. Prices start at $3,300.

A CALM PILLOW

Do you need a break? Japan’s Yukai Engineering says its robotic fufuly pillow can help users relax by mimicking the rhythm of breathing.

The soft, fluffy pillow gently expands and contracts, vibrating as you hold it against your stomach. The idea is that you breathe more slowly and deeply as your breathing begins to synchronize with the movement of the pillow.

It was developed from research done at the University of Tokyo.

Yukai CEO Shunsuke Aoki said the pillow can help remote workers struggling to leave their jobs.

The version shown at CES is a prototype. The company is looking for partners and hopes to start producing it this year.

ROBOT DOG

Meet Dog-E, the excitable robodog.

Brought to you by toy maker WowWee, Dog-E has over a million possible combinations of lights, sounds and personality traits.

Dog-E starts as a blank canvas and develops his personality as you set him up.

The app-connected toy has audio sensors to hear sounds, touch sensors on the sides and body, and a tail that you can program to display illuminated icons and messages when it moves.

WowWee’s Jessica Kalichman says it’s a good option for those who can’t commit to a real puppy, or perhaps for those with allergies.

“I think for anyone who isn’t ready to have a dog yet, this is a great test to take care of it, learn how to feed it, nurture it and really have that test for a family,” she said.

WowWee hopes to have Dog-E in stores by September. It will retail for $79. The application to control the movements of the toy does not require subscription.

A FOLDABLE TAPE

If you want a treadmill but don’t have a lot of space, WalkingPad has a solution: a lightweight treadmill that can be folded in half when not in use and stored against a wall or under a bed.

WalkingPad reaches a speed of 7.5 mph (12 km/h). It also includes a detachable phone or tablet holder and tracks your workouts in a free app. Its creators think it will help remote workers stay fit at home.

An early version of WalkingPad went viral on TikTok as influencers added it to videos about their daily work-at-home routines.

Walking Pad creator King Smith Fitness opened its first location in Dallas in December.

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