I’ve already written in a Forbes column about how I was underwhelmed by some of the more traditional products showcased at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (wafer thin TVs, curved TVs, augmented reality glasses, etc.) So I thought I would share three of the things that did get me excited.
#1 — Panasonic Beauty
What it is: A “smart” mirror. The mirror has an embedded camera that scans and projects an image of your face on top of your reflection. It analyzes your skin and gives you scientifically-backed beauty tips in addition to letting you try out different looks by applying digital makeup and hairstyles, and showing what you look like in different lighting.
Why I liked it: Most female-targeted products designed by consumer electronics companies tend to simply “shrink it and pink it.” This innovation actually does something useful and important — and could create real competitive advantage for beauty salons.
What it is: a tracking hub that detects the movements of sensors. Users can attach pill-sized “Cookies” to toothbrushes to monitor if/when they’re used, to doors to be alerted when someone enters your home, to water bottles to track how much water has been drunk in a day, etc.
Why I liked it: Mother takes tracking into a whole new and fertile area. While most trackers are intended for individuals to monitor their own health and fitness, Mother is intended for different use cases — ones that are particularly useful to parents. Plus the product, visual, and verbal design is cute and enhances the user experience.
#3 — Catherine Malandrino mobile accessories
What it is: phone and tablet cases by Catherine Malandrino, a French fashion designer. Malandrino’s styles are usually found in the aisles of Neiman-Marcus and Bloomingdales.
Why I liked it: More and more fashion designers are creating mobile accessories and/or collaborating with electronics companies (see the Fitbit & Tory Burch Accessories Collection). What stood out to me about Catherine Malandrino was that such a relatively small fashion brand would be at CES, much less set-up such a sizable exhibit — much more extensive than a display case or two of products. It demonstrates how fashion and technology are increasingly intersecting to create and enhance mainstream lifestyles.
It’s may not be surprising that all three of the coolest things I saw at the International Consumer Electronics show this year are targeted to women. But, honestly, I didn’t intentionally seek out female-targeted products. Rather, I tried to keep my eyes open for the useful and unique — and what I found were innovations that could extend beyond the typical electronics world and into my life.