GeekDad Highlights From Day 1 Of CES 2018

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Got a great start to CES this year by meeting with a wide variety of people about their products. This article is just a taste of my highlights from Day 1 (January 9, 2018) at CES with more in-depth coverage of some of these products to come…

Foundmi Star Wars Trackers
You had me at Star Wars (Image by Skip Owens)

Foundmi

My meeting with foundmi was purely accidental. I was just walking by and as any good geek would do I immediately stopped when I saw Star Wars. Foundmi is a technology company but they also have licensing to some great franchises like Star Wars, DC Comics and Marvel. The image I have above shows their smart wallet and tracker devices and they were kind enough to send me home with a few Star Wars trackers to try out, so I will be writing up a review on those soon. Their smart wallets were quite impressive, too!

Coravin Wine at CES
Nothing beats a quiet fire side chat in the middle of CES (Photo by Skip Owens)

Coravin

My most unique meeting was with Greg Lambrecht, the founder of Coravin. Coravin makes a wine pouring system that allows you to pour a single glass of wine from a wine bottle without having to worry about needing to drink the rest of the bottle right away. The Coravin system uses a small needle to penetrate the cork, pump argon gas into the bottle to push the wine out and then the cork re-seals once the needle is extracted. The argon gas is inert so it won’t permeate the wine and it’s heavier than air so it keeps any air from being able to sneak into the bottle while you pour and then later extract the needle. This all sounds quite complicated, but to the user it is incredibly simple and it allows you to have a single glass of any wine you have and then store the bottle for as long as you like (days, weeks, years) before you have another glass. This is a game changer for people who like wine because it frees you up to be able to have a single glass of any wine at any time. Coravin had this great booth with a nice quiet room in the center with comfy chairs complete with fireplace. So Greg and I got to chat about the technology in Coravin and how his background of inventing chemotherapy delivery systems for the medical industry collided with his love of wine, which is why Coravin got started. He made the product for himself, like pretty much all great inventors do.

HOPii
Brew and dispense all from a single unit (Image by Skip Owens)

HOPii

Ok, so there may be an adult beverage theme going on here. I also got a chance to meet and talk with Chris Shelton, the Master Brewer for HOPii. HOPii is a single device that brews small batches of craft beer right on your kitchen counter with just the press of a button. When it’s done brewing you dispense directly from the unit into your glass and enjoy. Because it is a completely closed system it keeps the freshly brewed beer perfectly fresh for a very long time, but really why would you leave great beer sitting around that long for? HOPii comes out later this year and I’m very excited about this product. Not only can you order craft beer kits that come pre-made but you can also customize and make your own. Oh, and did I mention it is self-cleaning? Can’t wait to get my hands on this!

PAI

My last meeting was a lot of fun. I got to sit down and chat with Nikhil Jain, the CEO and Co-founder of ObEN, who is developing an artificial intelligence technology that will allow people to take a selfie, speak a few lines and create your very own personal avatar that both looks and talks just like you. Nikhil is a father of three and he wanted a way for his kids to be able to interact with him even while he was away on travel. So he developed this avatar technology and called it PAI (Personal AI or Artificial Intelligence). PAI has applications for families like Nikhil’s original use but it has a lot of other applications as well such as retail and as a way for celebrities to interact with their fans. There will be more about ObEN and PAI coming soon here on GeekDad.

I saw way too many cool things to list them all here, but this is at least a taste of what I got to see on Day 1. I still have three more days to go!

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