With nearly 4,000 exhibitors and more than 2.75-million square feet of show floor, the International Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is a mecca for geeks and technology companies alike who gather in Las Vegas every January to see and showcase the latest innovations.
The common theme this year was the imminent introduction of artificial intelligence in everyday life.
This year, consumers were given the ability to verbally command their toilets to flush — if they splurged for Kohler’s $6,000 Numi model, that is. The toilet also offers a heated seat, mood lighting and a foot warmer.
Lawn sprinklers soon will respond to “Hey Google.”
Much of this technology will take a few years to reach everyday consumers, and some may never quite take off.
But several Orange County companies, from the newest start-up to the established industry leader, highlighted products that can instantly make lives easier and more connected.
Anyractive, a Tustin company founded in 2012 as a two-person team, showcased GoTouch, which can make a surface such as a standard television or even a wall into a touchscreen.
The patented device offers 4K Ultra HD accuracy with no lag, and its free apps let anyone in the world interact with or write on a projected “whiteboard” using the GoTouch pen or their own phone or tablet.
Users can annotate or view pictures, websites, PDFs, videos and more on any flat surface or screen ranging from 4 inches to more than 100 inches — even on someone’s hand.
The company won a grand prize in Samsung’s WEnnovation Project as well as multiple awards at CES.
“It’s been a super good week,” said company spokesman David Lawrence.. “People are immediately realizing how much money they can save. It’s an ‘aha moment.’ Everybody who sees it immediately gets the potential.”
Lawrence cited schools, hospitals, corporations and churches as potential customers who already have invested in pricey monitors or screens and don’t want to purchase touchscreen versions of them.
Inventor Edward Lim said his ultimate dream is to supply affordable GoTouch units to people in third-world countries and allow them to participate in the technological revolution.
For now, customers can purchase the device at bestbuy.com.
XUMO,headquartered in Irvine, offers 130 free live and on-demand streaming television channels such as CBSN, FOX Sports, Funny or Die, Tastemade, Refinery29 and Condé Nast Traveler.
“We’re not trying to compete with cable,” said CEO Colin Petrie-Norris. “We believe that we have the content that cord cutters want to see.”
XUMO is available on about half of all of the smart TVs in the United States and has partnerships with manufacturers like Orange County-based VIZIO, LG, Panasonic and Hisense/Sharp, Petrie-Norris said.
“It’s been wonderful to see how our idea has grown from just an idea and some PowerPoints,” Petrie-Norris said.
Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology Company, the world’s largest independent memory product manufacturer, and its gaming division, HyperX, launched several new products at CES.
Kingston released Nucleum, a 7-in-1 media hub for MacBooks boasting extra USB-C and USB-A ports, HDMI and SD/microSD card slots. It also highlighted its collection of encrypted USB drives.
“The one thing we don’t put passwords on is flash drives,” said Kingston Global Strategic Product Marketing Manager Ruben Lugo, citing high-profile cases of stolen or infected flash drives. “It’s an everyday aspect of our lives that we don’t really think about.”
HyperX launched professional-grade gaming peripherals like the Alloy Elite RBG mechanical keyboard and the Pulsefire Surge RBG gaming mouse, as well as its first wireless gaming headset, the Cloud Flight.
San Clemente-based RapidX launched the X5+, a car charger that offers rapid charging for up to five devices simultaneously, with two ports in the front section of the car. A detachable cable connects three additional ports for the back seats.
The product won the IHS Markit CES Innovation Award for Mobile Accessories.
RapidX also debuted a low-voltage X4Home multi-device charging station that includes two USB-A ports, a quick-charge port and a USB-C port.
“We know the market; we know what customers are looking for,” said RapidX company founder and president Ammar Adra. “We build products to enhance people’s lives. As a new company, it normally takes a long time to reach people. We can reach so many people at once at CES and tell our story.”
Candice Yacono is a contributor to Times Community News.