#CESBlackout, giant robots and the Wanderwatch (The 3:59, Ep. 338)
Hello and welcome.
To day three of CES 2018, coming to you live from the CNET stage of the Sao Paulo of the Las Vegas convention center.
This is the final day of our live coverage of this gadget bonanza.
And now that the end is near I find it comforting to be hundeld next to my colleagues Roger Shane and Ben Fox Rubin.
We're kickign things off this Thursday with another supersized edition of our news wrap up pdocast the 359.
So guys thank you for coming back and how did everyone survive the blackout?
We're still here.
Yeah it was
It was definitely one of the more surreal moments of CS, of any CSs, right?
Here's some video--
Take a look at it.
Look at the college crew is completely dark.
Realize what happened.
What time was it, Roger?
That all the lights in like the central hall, like at 11:15?
Right around 11:15 but the lights shut off, and interestingly I had just started taking a tour of folks
Through Central Hall, got kicked out.
And basically, I ended up standing outside Central Hall, and talking for an hour about what it would have been like.
If you had walked into Central Hall.
Check out cool 5G.
No, I can't show you 5G, it's all in there.
But just imagine it, just picture it.
How wild was this?
How wild was this?
I mean, okay, so it was like Central Hall, it was North Hall.
North hall got power back.
Well they got power back but still there were some issues I heard with the North hall and I mean, central hall for those who don't know, this is where the big giant companies, you've got Enzel, Sony, Samsung and as you go through the booths all you can see is the glowing of the smartphone screens and if you were in you were in, and so we had some reporters who were in and we had Clare
Ryan Tong, and we were just kind of streaming, to like discuss what was going on inside.
I was like running outside talking to folks.
People were just waiting, from my perspective they were just waiting outside.
There was this massive amount of people because they were [UNKNOWN] You can't get back in.
And they're patiently waiting outside.
For some people it was their last day.
So they wanted to see the big show.
They didn't mind waiting.
The temperature was nice.
It could have been a barbecue out there.
It was 70 degrees.
Yeah, for once.
It was the day before I wouldn't be surprised if people started to think this CES was cursed over the fact that is was like a monsoon the day before.
We were trying to get around.
You were trying to do somethings outside.
Google had a big thing outside that totally closed.
The giant slide.
Yeah, they closed down their entire outdoor booth, which, yesterday, it was absolutely mobbed.
There were tons of people there, but the day before, on Tuesday, they had to shut it down completely.
So, apparently it hadn't rained in Vegas in more than 100 days.
And we were lucky enough to fly in when it did.
The rain and a blackout, which they're saying caused the blackout.
Yeah, they're definately related, the water build up sparked,
I think a transformer or something [CROSSTALK]
Castor to blow out.
I don't know how electricity works.
But the irony is this is the biggest tech show in the world of the year,
And electricity, a basic technology, falls on us
It really shows how easily our society can crumble and is fragile
So, I feel like that's a great opportunity to talk about the giant robot overlords that are coming for us that we've seen at CES.
Unlike most years, I think there are more robots this year.
Not just smart home assistance, but like large humanoid walking robots.
And I got to play around with one.
There's one by UB Tech.
UB Tech is a company that makes a lot of robots, but this is their first walking bipedal robot that can take on stairs.
Here's some video of my time with the demo.
Now, it's still in the prototype phase.
They wanna get this out in 2019.
But this is a companion for the home.
It can avoid obstacles, go down stairs.
They see the home companion, Rosie, of the future, as needy legs because you have to get around the house.
Right, but it doesn't have arms.
Yeah, that's the first thing that, how does a grabber help any, like
They were like you know what?
They're gonna come in two years.
They felt that they could sell this next year because of how much you can do now for the scanning side.
So it's kinda like a walking security guard or a walking Alexa.
They wanna have it either have Alexa or their own version of Alexa put inside and all these sensors and of course voice commands, being able to talk to you Being able to keep watch on things, like they talk about having it be a nanny and I was like that's okay, I'll hire a nanny.
But it can also play soccer.
It can kick things.
How fast, you said it coud be a security guard but if I broke into something, I saw this robot [CROSSTALK] could completely run it.
Go back to the footage [CROSSTALK] I wanna show you the soccer part.
If we can get back to that.
Yeah, so speaking of fast, not so fast.
So it can follow an object.
But I went too fast.
This is too fast for the ball and watch.
You're trikcing him, no, no.
And he's trying to follow it, he's trying to follow it.
And thehy just jumped in so [UNKNOWN] save.
So they want to have it be a thing that can play games with kids.
But, you know, we're still kind of in that, you know, beginning stage.
And he can dance.
[CROSSTALK] He's got some wiggles, he's got some wiggles.
I would venture that this thing is, what, several thousand dollars at least?
That's the problem, that the price point is crazy for this stuff.
They're, yeah, and when you talk to all these companies, they're like, we're not gonna tell you the price.
But you can start to understand that this is gonna be like a car, this is a major investment.
We also saw Sophia, the walking robot.
I want to say that this is something you put in your home.
This is more like an example of how Creepy!
Here's a video.
This is the first time I've seen it, it's super creepy.
She's doing like the macarena, I don't know.
She has arms and they're horrible.
I know, that is an upgrade, the arms.
That skin has been out there.
This is like frubber they call it.
And they think it can be working, a working robot.
We're so close to the idea on canny valley, it's just-
Or for medical.
Whoa, it's frightening.
Another example of her first steps.
I guess we're getting that walking point.
But then if you want arms, if arms are more important, we saw one called the aolis.
And this one was kinda like a Rosy the Robot of sorts that can roam around, pick up objects.
Here Andrew Gebhart gotta take a look at it and.
It, this is what I like about it.
It's also a vacuum.
So, it's not just rolling around.
It's cleaning your house and picking up things and it does the same stuff as that first one, the Walker from Ubitech, in that it can be that security guard for the house, like using its facial recognition, using its sensors to see when something's amiss and report back to you or kind of be that remote camera.
And they did put Alexa in this one.
So the other one wanted to.
This one already has it.
I think Alexa's gonna have legs and arms in next year.
I have to say broadly speaking I don't like any of these.
I think they're like, you know that LG robot we had on yesterday-
That's more like a countertop robot?
That's like a little more out of the way, you can put her in the corner whatever if you need to.
[CROSSTALK] it she behaves badly just put her away.
But this are like in your face
robots, i don't know who would wanna have them.
So a [UNKNOWN] small ones are like
Companionship that you can talk to, and be your, like, you know, talking Alexa.
But now they're like, can we have helpers in the house, or someone who can roam the house for security.
So yeah, that, I don't think, it's not for everyone.
I have to say, I do like the idea of the vacuum robot.
I think that's how our world is gonna collapse.
The robots are gonna take over One clean house at a time.
There is another giant robot that I think is more practical.
Kind of is like the in between of what you're talking about, on the counter and the, maybe not so creepy walking around one.
It's called the Keecker Robot.
We have video of this one, too.
It's like a smart home sentry, but also has a projector built into it, so you could watch The Simpsons,
or watch movies.
And Tell it with voice commands.
(Keker/r) play Netflix Stranger Things on the ceiling.
Or (Keker/r) play it in my bedroom.
And it's mapping out your house with all of it's sensors and a lot of them are.
They're actually able to map out where they are based on there, you know, torso sensors or head sensors, wherever you've got them.
And it's basically like a roaming entertaining system I guess you could say.
With a little bit of [UNKNOWN]
The price on this one is about the same as the Sony aibo dog.
Is that the Sony robot dog?
Yeah, aibo is about 1700 if it came to the US, it's not the official price yet.
A new robot is almost $2000?
Yeah,these robots [CROSSTALK] are not coming cheap if they wanna wiggle and have cuteness.
Roger, I need a raise.
[LAUGH] sorry to tell you, I need that robot [CROSSTALK]
Sorry to tell you, that robot's not in your near future, man.
All right, well on that note, I'm sorry Ben.
[LAUGH] We're gonna take a short break.
When we come back, more cool tech, so stay with us folks.
Welcome back to 359, coming to you live from CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
The lights are on, this time.
We've survived what could be one of the strangest moments in history for the show.
But, it being the final count down, It looks like Ben that you have brough on the perfect gadget for this occasion.
We're joined with L.A.
[UNKNOWN] with the Wonderwatch.
So yeah, tell us a little about this.
Thank you for having me.
with Wonderwatch, we get kids of the couch and back outdoors again.
When you look at toys, you see that all [INAUDIBLE] toys nowadays are interactive with lights and sounds.
It's for kids.
It's for kids, definately.
And the age range is?
It's between six and 10, 11, before they get the mobile phone, so.
Gets younger and younger, but I got it because they need a communication function for their parents, with their parents, So we, actually, our kid's watch can do everything that a normal kid's watch nowadays does.
But the best thing, I think, is that it's really fun for kids.
Most kid's watches are just a necessity, but not really fun for kids.
We believe that players are best motivated to be active and to go outdoors, have fun running around and just enjoy your time out.
So Ellie I met you at Eureka park yesterday.
You were showing me some of the things that this watch does.
Basically just these little tools That kids can use for imaginative play however they want.
So why don't we walk through some of the, like for instance there's like a sword noise that you can do.
What we try to do in meantime I start the [CROSSTALK]
Button that has a game console.
Yeah it's like a game console, exactly.
What we thought is, we have to keep the good stuff out of play.
But we have to put in the interactive fun of games.
So we came up with some sounds app, upside down.
So imagine you're Police officer, you're catching thief and you put in the sirens [SOUND]
Also like sound effects and stuff?
But you found a steak, you pretend you are a knife and you hear the sword sound.
It's motion activated.
It's hard to hear but it's basically like a little ching, ching, ching like a sword.
It's noisy here but outdoors you still hear that.
Tell us a bit about this too.
This is part of connects wit that through Bluetooth right?
It connects Bluetooth toys.
And for instance we have this magic beacon.
You can pretend it's a treasure.
You know, one hides it and the other tries to find it.
Like a hide and seek game?
It's a hot or cold game, you know?
So, and children design there own games.
What is it using to find it, is it just bluetooth, or?
It is a bluetooth connection.
It's like you can play hot and cold with it.
Let's try to do, do you want to try the Spiro connection too?
I thought this was kind of fun It is, I think.
It can connect to Bluetooth toys, so it needs just a while to connect.
So, and that's just an example how it works.
So, it connects if we just
So a little bit patience.
We just launched in October in the Netherlands where we're based.
We're now in 250 shops.
There it goes.
Basically it works just by moving your arm.
That's pretty cool.
We want actitivties.
YOu move your arm up and forth and to the back and the left.
I was testing this out back stage and I was just Elliott you do it.
I'm going to have it fall completely.
Nice catch from our stage manager.
We're showing some cool games with it.
But if I'm a parent and want to give it to my kid, I want to be able to have it be useful for me too.
So does it have location and safety features like that too?
We have, for you we have a parents app.
And you can see where your child is on the map.
You can communicate with your child.
And of course we target young children.
So they can not all write and read at that age.
So we have three chat funtionalities.
So basically, you can just, very old fashioned type and text.
You can record your voice message, so that's really easy for every child and parent.
And you can make a doodle.
So for instnace, maybe I can show it.
Like, I can doodle from my phone and send a doodle to my kid?
Or is it, the kid can send a doodle to mom?
Both ways, okay.
[UNKNOWN] Even to each other.
And what we've found out it gets a creative.
So they make their secret language to each other.
So we think it's a bit of functionality and necessity but children see the fun part again.
What is it sending?
Is it like phone numbers?
Or just like user accounts, like how How would I, does it have like phone capabilities, I mean how is it sent
There is a data prepaid SIM card included.
It's prepaid because parents don't like subsriptions for the small children.
So you cover the costs of the cell connection then?
Yeah it's include.
So and it works already in more than 100 countries.
But is there, I think that's what Patricia was saying can you actually talk into it and have two way communication with your kid?
No you cannot call with the watch.
And why is that, it's because we tested it a lot children, and this generation children just chat, they don't like calling, you know that's our generation.
Yeah but we're old
I'm sorry, but we find out we were surprised from the beginning, and now it's totally there.
And another important reason is that security and safety is really important with data and from kids.
And what we're seeing Europe that in some countries, this kind of voice messaging is already forbidden.
Yeah so kids watches were cut off the shelf even.
So we don't have that program so we have a really secure connection.
You were telling me also
Sorry go ahead
Like where this concept originated from in the first place so taking a step back here you have
Three kids right?
I have three kids.
This was a big impetus for why you wanted to do this in the first place.
Exactly, yeah I see it from my own kids.
They are so glued to the screens and it was somehow frustrating me.
And, I'm not against screens, there's a lot of fun into it.
But the excessive use of it.
It really frustrated me so I thought well, I have to do something about it.
That's why we invented wonder watch.
It's a project.
It started off together with my husband.
So it's really a family project in the beginning.>>So did you beta test with your kids then?
Were they basically the guinea pigs with this project?>>Yeah definitely.
You know, Kids are really honest in giving you feedback on what they think about it, and I can tell you your own kids [LAUGH] are even more critical.
Just curious, in testing with your kids, what worked, what didn't work?
What things did you find that worked really well and really badly, like what were some of those
What we really learn is that, in the beginning we thought all we have to come with a nice game.
There is a story involved.
There is a princess or whatever.
And then what explains is, once we started to testing, they see the watch and just want to play with it immediately.
So they only need to click twice or three time and they can start playing.
And they don't want to run through a whole story, they wanna play, they wanna have fun.
So you provide us the building blocks.
We only provide the building blocks because outer play, you know, it's unstructured play.
So you have to use your own creativity and fantasy to design your game.
Together with your friends, that's important and we want to keep that part.
You learn so much about it, it's your first complication skills.
You learn to at your risk assessing skills.
All that kind of stuff, that's what you learn at [UNKNOWN], that's important.
I think you hit on something here though, a lot of people are gonna be talking about it and want to see more of.
I know we've been seeing in the news people talking about their worries about What's happening to children.
And their addiction to screens.
I know it's doing something to my brain always being tied on.
So we're all kind of talking about this more.
Even an Apple executive was talking about it the other day so thank you for bringing this by.
I'm interested to see where this goes.
So thank you, Elle, for coming by.
This is the Wonder Watch, right?
This is the Wonder Watch.
Come over and see us in the Dutch pavilion in science.
Very cool, very cool.
Well that's gonna wrap up for us.
You can find the 359 on iTunes, Sound Crowd, Google Play and, of course, CNet.com.
For the 359 podcast, I'm Bridget Kerry.