At CES 2018, cute robots, smart hearing aids and KodakCoin (The 3:59, Ep. 337)
Hello, and welcome to Today to of the glorious technomania fest we like to call CES 2018.
We're coming [LAUGH] to you live from our CNet stage in the south hall of the Las Vegas convention center.
I'm Bridget Carey, and naturally, I'm joined by Roger Chang, and Ben Fox Ruben, for another super sized edition of our news wrap up podcast at 3:59.
But We can't do a show that's 3 minutes and 59 seconds when we're at CES.
This is the biggest tech show in the world.
We're in Vegas.
You've gotta go big in Vegas.
So this is like five podcasts into one, right?
And there's lots of news and trends we've been covering, but first we've gotta talk about the buddy Roger you brought on stage with us.
We've got a little guest.
This is, by the way, shout out to Sherin Joy for actually bringing up this idea on Twitter.
But, he suggested that I go and get LG CLOi, and we have CLOi, the home robot.
Had a bit of a case of stage freight at the LG press conference.
Didn't really respond, so This is a moment of redemption for Chloe.
Okay, so if anyone doesn't know, Chloe, okay, every big tech company seems to have their own little name for their assistant.
And it looks like LGs name is Chloe.
And this is just one of the many forms Chloe can take.
Yeah, well, I mean, this in particular is supposed to be more of a friendly, almost companion type
Almost an upgraded version of an Echo Show, right?
It talks it has these friendly eyes and it looks adorable and it's supposed to be more, kinda like a companion.
A friendly version [INAUDIBLE] robot.
You would have it plugged in on a counter top right?
Yeah and it swivals around.
We're actually going to try to give it some commands.
It's got cute little blinking eyes.
So just a couple of caveats, there are some folks with LG here, gonna help you with it.
This is a demo model and may not respond to all the commands, but really hoping it does.
So, I'm gonna--
Yeah, because it's an early prototype.
It's an early prototype so we're gonna give it a shot.
I'm gonna hold the mic up to it.
Let's do it.
So we can hear him or her.
Is it he or she?
I like the she for Chloe.
It can be he or she, it's whatever you want.
Hi Chloe, I'm Roger.
Hello, my name is Chloe.
I'm a home assistant robot.
Chloe, what's for dinner?
Chloe, what's for dinner?
[LAUGH] Clearly nothing because I need to lose weight and I shouldn't probably be eating dinner anyway.
All right, Chloe, what's my schedule for today?
If they can fix her that's okay.
She did say hi, she did respond.
But there you guy, this is, again, and sort of an example of-
I mean, the eyes aren't on so maybe there's a power issue.
Well, it did work for a little bit.
Like, again, sort of an example of a different kind of design for.
I guess, this essentially what a smart speaker does.
You ask a question.
But I think that this is more of-
Here's some more video of Kloe in action too
At the press conference they had.
So again this is meant as almost a central hub for your smarthome.
LG envisions that you buy LG smart refrigerators and televisions and ovens.
And the idea is you can interact with all those other devices through Chloe.
So it's like instead of having Alexa, you're just asking Chloe things?
Or instead of having a Bixby, you're asking Chloe.
So like I said, I asked what's for dinner,
Chloe could look in the refrigerator and know and theoretically,
Through the cameras in the fridge, I mean have one of those super smart fridges.
You could ask for recipes based off of food that you have in the refrigerator, it'll be able to spit out that information.
I don't got time for that.
It definitely takes the concept of a smart assistant's personality a little bit further, like I talk to a lot of people that talk about how
They like Alexa's personality.
They like talking to Alexa, even though Alexa doesn't have a form.
But Alexa doesn't have blinking eyes, right.
That's true, Alexa is not-
You don't see Alexa.
The Echo speakers are not as adorable as [UNKNOWN]
Right, so but this I would probably describe more as a robot, as opposed to a smart speaker.
So it will be interesting to see what people want.
And she kind of moves, Chloe kind of moves
And swivels a little bit at the base right?
Yeah so Chloe can't actually move around, but she can swivel and so animations and gestures.
It's like a little hip shake.
Yeah it makes it seem a little bit more approachable.
When I talked to other chief technology officers, they talked about customizing versions of Chloe
For kids or for senior citizens, really as almost a companion piece.
I've seen this trend starting to pick up.
I mean, a coupld other start up companies are having that companion for your countertop that you can talk to with some cute eyes, but it's just the early stages.
Nothing to me Beats the cuteness of having a little robot friend, and I know Sony's got a little robot friend dog but that's not on the level of being a smart assistant yet, but are we entering the world of having all these little Tiny buddies.
I mean, here's a video of Ibo.
I mean, right now he's just barking.
But I mean.
Is there gonna be a day where now it's gonna compete with all the other smart assistants and they're gonna-
This was such a smart move by Sony, by the way.
There's been this huge nostalgia trend going on.
In technology right now to bring back this smart robot or whatever.
The little dog I thought was a really smart move so.
Although all these little assistant buddies do cost a pretty penny.
I was like $1,700.
If it, whenever it comes to the US, cuz right now it's like only China.
I don't know.
I could definitely picture my kid playing [CROSSTALK]
And I would hope that the other smart assistants
Aren't that expensive, but I don't know.
I don't know.
I mean, to afford these things I think we need some Kodak Coin.
Have you heard about this?
What is this Kodak Coin?
So this week, this thing called Kodak Coin absolutely exploded Kodak stock.
Kodak, which emerged from bankruptcy, I think in 2013, decided yesterday That they were gonna start getting into a cryptocurrency, kind of like Bitcoin.
If it's good enough for rappers, it's good enough for Kodak.
Yeah, so what they did was they created a cryptocurrency that's supposed to operate an image rights management system called Kodak One.
And it was operated by something called Kodak Coin.
And there's so much BitCoin mania going on these days.>> So wait, so I'm sorry, the point is you would use Kodak Coins to buy the rights to use images.
And it's supposed to make it a lot easier for photographers Where others folks that actually have images.
As opposed to using actual money?
If your asking me to explain why people are so crazy about crypto currency,
that's not going to happen.
That a whole other conversation.
That stuff went crazy yesterday too.
There's a Bitcoin mining rig that they're renting out.
So it's separate from the Kodakcoin.
It's like, if you want to actually earn Bitcoin, you can get the Kodak mining rig and rent that out.
They're saying if you can calculate it, you'll make money off of it.
People are now discussing that whole Yeah
And the thing is that I don't even think Kodak one is up and running.
But just the concept that they were getting into this block chain thing, they were doing a krypto currency sent their stock rising 120% in one day.
So I guess it's the type of situation where it's buyer beware because this has been happening with
Ethereum, BitCoin, ripple, all of these different companies
And kodak, can we just get to the point that, okay, if your company is old school and you want to be relevant again just invent-
Yeah invent a cryptocurrency.
Should we do it?
We should do it on the show, we should We should do it.
We should just-
We should just start one right now.
If you like our show, send us some 359 coins.
And we'll create a virtual token for you.
There's always something weird about CES and that's, it's only.
Day two and we're also at cryptocurrency.
But you saw some weird stuff yesterday, Jabar.
I think after the big press release day-
That's when the weird starts coming out.
And you were saying that you saw some really weird stuff at a booth.
Yes, so I was out in Tech West yesterday, coming back from another meeting when-
And whoever doesn't know what Tech West is.
Tech West is basically the
Hey, Chloes back!
Thanks for joining us.
Bring the mic over to Chloe.
What do you have to say Chloe?
You want to try again?
Let's give it another shot, okay, Chloe what's my schedule?
Hello, my name is Chloe I'm a warm-resistant robot.
I'll be your pup.
No, Chloe fell asleep again.
Chloe needs her morning coffee.
Chloe is just teasing us now at this point.
Chloe needs her morning coffee.
Well you know, we saw a little bit of Chloe last year and a little bit of Chloe this year.
Maybe we'll see a little bit more next time.
Hopefully we'll see a little bit more.
Let's get back to the weird.
Back to the weird.
Yeah, so I was coming back from a The Venetian, Sands Convention Center were a lot of start ups are.
You get a lot of the kind of weirder companies.
I stumbled upon what looked like a military installation in the middle of the show floor.
Alright, you were sending us a video as well.
Yes and so I've got a video here
This is weird.
Just listen to this.
Human progress may either be automatic nor inevatable.
I am here of my own free will.
[SOUND] That sound so creeps me out.
Basically, this was-
I am here of my own free will as well.
[CROSSTALK] We're all here at CES of our own free will.
I think she actually captured-
What it felt like.
How I feel every [CROSSTALK].
So yeah, look, I have to admire the stage production.
At one point, one of the audience members Took a flash photo.
Soldiers grabbed him, and pulled outside.
He came back a few minutes later with the same kind of disoriented look.
He downed that pink liquid and he kinda dead stare.
What's the point though?
Is there a point?
I though the point was like, maybe this was some broader statement about where technology's going.
And the evils of tech.
But then when I walked to the exit, like, actually, we're just a beauty care company.
They were selling facial cream or something.
They were selling a facial mask.
Lovely, lovely [CROSSTALK]
Maybe they can partner with one of those smart mirrors.
Look, I would like to shape-
No, the facial mask has its own app.
Of course it does.
Because at CES, everything has to have its own app.
Yes, it does.
Whoever's in marketing that thought of that is brilliant.
Otherwise, we'd never be talking about this [INAUDIBLE]
I basically said that at the end of my story, like you know what?
I have to give it to them, I'm writing about beauty care products, they totally won.
And but I think one of the most amazing and weird and probably epic things I've seen at CES, though, happened at our CNet party last night.
For our 359 fans who know our usual guest Alfred, man.
Who wants to explain what happened?
Wait so Cena has a party
There is no explaination.
Was performing, and he has a dance off and asks for two people in the audience to come up on stage and have a dance off
So, we have video, why don't we let the video explain itself.
So, that's Alfred right there.
What is going, my gosh.
Alfred gets on stage.
And at this point, I'm screaming like crazy.
And the crowd goes wild.
There will never be anything better.
The crowd went crazy.
[CROSSTALK] I was right in front, I lost my mind, I lost my mind.
And so did Macklemore.
That deserves a standing ovation.
He was just like.
I mean Macklemore declared him the new president of CNET so you know.
>I, I guess he's my boss now.
That was, that, that, that.
I, I, I, I know that you were with me there on the front.
We were just
It was a
we were just losing our mind and it was like dreams come true, you know?
It was pretty cool.
It was the first time I had ever seen him breakdance.
He, like, talked about it
It's the first time that any of us have seen him breakdance.
all the time.
By the way he, for context, he's actually a competitive breakdancer.
I heard about it, we even talked about it during his interview, but this was the first time any of us got to see him do it.
It was amazing.
This was the best way to see it too.
And he was saying that he'll hire him away.
So maybe someday Alfred will go out from CNET to Malcom Moore's dancers, we'll see [LAUGH].
All right, well we've gotta go take a short break.
When we come back, I promise we're still here of our own free will.
[LAUGH] And we will not be so weird with some of the useful health tech that we have to talk about, so stay tuned.
Were back on the scene at live stage with the 359 podcast and a special guest.
Joining us now is Sheena Oliver from Oticon, to talk about smart hearing aids, so thank you for joining us.
Absolutely my pleasure.
Not often a topic we talk about at CES [UNKNOWN].
[LAUGH] So yeah, tell us about this.
Well, this is the [UNKNOWN] Open hearing aid, which happened to be a two-time CES winner last year.
And it is the world's first internet connected hearing aid.
So what that means is it has unlimited abilities to connect to different types of smart devices.
So everything from smoke alarms, baby monitors, doorbells.
Last summer, we actually streamed a live rock concert directly to Opn wearers all across the country through their hearing aids, which is pretty insane.
Wow, all right.
Well, so, I mean, tell me about, this year, you've got a new fitness app that pairs with it, allowing folks with hearing issues.
To I guess like get better advice so what was the point to finish that?
Yeah well you know one of the things that we know is that healthy hearing is really intrical part to who we are as individuals and our overall health and what we've seen is that hearing loss is actually a predictor of future ailments.
So there was a study this past July that indicated that once we get to midlife And beyond hearing loses, the number one indicator of dementia.
So for us, this app was a great opportunity for consumers who wear hearing aids, to have more autonomy, be able to better manage [UNKNOWN] hearing, and help them get to towards that path of better hearing.
To really mitigate future risk of dementia in the future.
So could you show us the app and how it works?
Sure, well the app again connects to the hearing aid.
And what it is doing-
This thing by the way is tiny.
I mean, I don't know how-
You've got blutooth, the whole battery.
There we go, there we go.
Yeah, how long does that last before it needs a recharge?
It lasts approximately five to seven days depending on how much you're using, and the type of signal processing that is happening.
And I talked with you about this yesterday, this is
You guys actually create your own processor for this, purely for sound processing, right?
And one of the things that happens is the hearing aid is tracking things such as overall listening environment.
Tracking where the user is using the information.
It's looking at the different types of environment that you're in.
And then that information is then combined with information that's available from other [INAUDIBLE] devices.
So things like heart rate, sleep patterns.
And based on that, that information is then given to provide insight for the user.
So how they can improve their hearing, how to protect their hearing, and then just overall establishing healthier habits.
Can you show us how the app works?
Sure, for example
Let me just pull up this screen here.
Do I need to turn.
Yeah well let's put it up to this camera here.
Yeah so great example so when people are first new to hearing aids the goal is to get them to use their hearing aid throughout the course of the day for as many hours as possible.
You know I have normal hearing, I don't get to choose when I want to hear and when I want to turn off my hearing.
So the user.
We may set up a goal of eight hours per day, for example.
[CROSSTALK] Right now it says zero, but like.
So this is a new user.
So for example, they've set their listening goal at eight hours a day.
And so what will happen is each day it's gonna track the environments that they're in.
How often they're using their hearing aids.
And if for example, they achieve their hearing goals for a period of a week it may say, great job.
Have you thought about increasing your usage now to ten hours?
Because we want them to get exposed.
To greater listening and more complex listening environments.
And beyond usage, you talked about how it would be able to work with your Apple Watch or other fitness trackers, ultimately, what is some of the advice that you'd be able to give once you crunch all that data?
Really, and we're using Microsoft Analytics to crunch that data.
So a really perfect example of that is, say someone has been wearing their hearing aids ten hours for the day.
They've been in very difficult listening situations like where we are today.
The app may make a recommendation to them.
You know what, you may want to consider going to bed by 9 o'clock tonight if you want to get up at 6AM.
So that your brain has enough time to recover from the amount of energy that you exerted throughout the course of the day.
So that's how it's pulling in data from other sources in addition to what the hearing aids are actually tracking.
Are you finding anything different this year, being a product that is focused on health?
You're finding more attention or a different attitude to people coming up to you because I am observing a lot more of health focused tech.
For specific needs focus things, not just like, I have a smartwatch that tracks my running.
But like people who have the specific need, are you seeing any difference this year?
Totally, I think that's such a great point because I think what we're seeing with consumers in general.
Is, they want to be able to be in the driver's seat.
They want to be able to control their health, and really be a partner with their healthcare professionals.
And so, the app is a really good example of providing users with data that they can make better decisions about how they're gonna manage their overall health.
And hopefully, make some improvements for when we look down the road later.
And so as far as price is concerned by the way, is there a significant price premium for having all these additional features, as opposed to maybe a simpler hearing aid?
Well there's actually, there is a difference when we look at performance levels of what the device is able to do.
We are a hearing aid manufacturer so we actually don't set pricing for hearing aids, we work with licensed, qualified hearing care professionals accross the United States And then they work directly with the patient to determine what's the best solution for them based on the listening needs and challenges that they are having.
And I think it's also important to note that when hearing aids are typically purchased, it's done as a package.
Meaning you're paying for the device but you're also paying for all of the diagnostic testing that's involved as well as all the service that's required afterwards.
All the fitting appointments, adjustments
For a period of time after the aides have been purchased.
I mean, this thing's great.
We also brought this connect click, right?
What does this do?
So this is an intermediary device.
It pairs with the open hearing aid and it really serves three different functions, cuz we're always looking to improve overall Performance or convenience for the user.
This really attacks both of those.
The first is it can be used as a remote microphone.
If we're in the exhibit hall, it's very noisy, I could click that on to one of you and then I'm able to hear a much better signal.
Because of the poor acoustics.
What's the range on this?
It's about 100 feet.
Another great example would be for hands free phones, for conversations.
So whether it's an Android or an iPhone, you can have your phone in your purse or in your bag in the back seat of a car and be able to carry on a conversation.
And then lastly, from a convenience perspective, can also be a remote control, meaning, the user can increase the volume or decrease the volume, change listening programs, etc.
So it's just another way to add to the overall convenience of the instrument.
Well thank you so much for coming by and showing us some good, useful tech that'll make a difference in a lot of people's lives.
So thank you.
Absolutely, my pleasure.
That's all for the 359 podcast tod.ay.
But don't go anywhere because our day has just begun.
CES 2018 is the place to be all week long.
And we have you covered with all the must-see, go-to gadgets for what your heart desires [LAUGH].
Up next, we got Elena Cotton from Samsung.
And later we're gonna put case makers to the test.
Because we're gonna be dropping iPhone X's.
From a scissor lift here on the stage.
It's going to be crazy.
Stay with us.