CES 2019: ShowStoppers Demos Smart Ovens, Big Batteries, and More

    ShowStoppers takes place on the first regular day of CES, where I was most impressed by news from an outlet that isn’t at the show. That morning, the NPR hourly news team thought it worth reporting that Apple had covered a hotel with a 13-story billboard chiding Google for its security practices.

    From the Las Vegas Convention Center, you couldn’t miss the display. I’m sure it wasn’t cheap, but compare that expense with the millions of dollars for large displays at the show and other costs. Samsung alone has enough people in town to devote a private fleet of limos shuttling them around. Apple hasn’t exhibited at CES for ages—the company gave up on trade shows because it gets better press coverage with its own events—but at 9 AM Pacific, that billboard wasn’t merely top news from CES, it was noteworthy enough to be one-tenth of NPR’s top news, period.

    I suspect that has Google marketers—who brought a roller coaster this year—grinding their teeth so badly that they’re at the CES Digital Health Forum asking about dental technologies.

    Note: A few products below were held over from the Pepcom show because I was still confirming some details (see “CES 2019: Pepcom Shows Off Futuristic Displays and More,” 11 January 2019).

    Abbott Freestyle Libre Glucose Monitoring

    If you’re diabetic, tracking your blood sugar the traditional way is not fun. The standard method is to prick your finger and put a drop of blood on a measurement device. And if you want to stay healthy, you might do that a few times a day because blood glucose varies. The Freestyle Libre is a 14-day sensor that you apply to your arm with a patch. A painless subcutaneous probe measures glucose continuously and relays that data to a standalone reader or an app on your iPhone. As with most American medical devices, the price varies based on your insurance and the phase of the moon—Abbott says that most people with commercial insurance will pay $40–$75 per month.

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