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Op-Ed: Top 10 interesting finds from CES 2014

1. PulseWallet

For years credit- and debit-card companies have been looking for ways to make paying at the checkout as simple as possible. The PayPass allows a simple tap to equal a payment, but PulseWallet is taking it one step further. Using a Fujitsu palm sensor, on your first visit to a store with the technology, you can register your credit card and put in your palm print. The next time you visit, all you need to do is swipe your palm and you’ll have made a payment. It’s a lot less messy than using fingerprints, which can also be easily lifted.

2. iOptik lenses

After developing a prototype last year, Innovega revealed its iOptik eyewear system, which includes both contact lenses and glasses. Don’t look now, but they might just make you feel like a superhero. The lenses allow your eyes to see farther and focus more clearly than a human eye is capable of. The glasses, meanwhile, are fairly similar to the much-hyped Google Glass. The company told Mashable that the iOptik is six times sharper and features a wider field of vision.

3. Intel smart mug concept

Yes, you read that correctly. While just a prototype at this point, Intel has developed a coffee mug with a light-up display that can be programmed (via a companion app) to include letters, numbers and smiley faces that can also change colour. It could even work in conjunction with an Internet-connected onesie to change light patterns based on a baby’s breathing patterns. No word yet on when this could be available, nor its cost.

4. Affordable 4K TV from Vizio

4K TV is quickly becoming the next big thing in television, but there are currently two barriers to it breaking into mainstream use: first, more consumable media needs to be available in 4K; second, 4K TVs are not cheap. Vizio is offering somewhat of a solution to the second problem with its $999 50-inch model. While the size doesn’t perfectly show the clarity of 4K, it’s a start. On the higher end, Vizio is offering a 120-inch television, which is about as 4K as you can get.

5. blueMotion massager

While certainly a much more niche product, this sex toy developed by OhMiBod shows that even the most intimate moments of life might be, ahem, enhanced by new technologies. This pair of underwear is embedded with Bluetooth technology and can be made to vibrate via use of an Android or iOS app, either by the wearer or by a partner. Wearers can also record up to 60 seconds of noise, allowing for programmed vibrations to correspond with the captured sound.

6. Panasonic Nanoe blow dryer

While it sounds counterintuitive, a new blow dryer from Panasonic will moisturize your hair while it dries. It will dry hair, but without drying it out completely.

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“I think we’re the first to offer a salon service on the CES floor,” joked consumer electronics president Julie Bauer during the company’s Monday conference.

7. iGrow Helmet

This helmet developed by Apira Science is looking to prevent a problem that many worry about as they get older — balding. The iGrow reportedly uses 566 nanometer lasers to try and revive thinning hair. However, the lasers can only work their magic on active hair follicles, so if you’re already bald, there’s no solution for you yet.

8. Thalmic Labs MYO armband

Gesture control is about to become a lot more precise if Thalmic Labs has its way. They’ve developed a Bluetooth 4.0-embedded armband that detects tiny electrical impulses in muscles to allow for precise gesture control. Anything from a wave to a flick of the wrist can help control anything from a video game to an iPad, something Engadget witnessed first-hand.

9. Goji smart door lock

As the idea of the “connected home” begins to catch on, the Goji is hoping to become an integral part of the architecture. This $299 lock works with your smartphone, and also features cameras and motion detectors. When someone approaches the door, the lock takes a picture and sends it to the owner, who can then decide whether or not to let the person in. The lock connects via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, according to CBC.

10. Withings Aura

This could be a dream to those looking to get a better night’s sleep, according to Wired. This bio-sensor rests under your mattress and monitors breathing, heart rate and body movements, while a companion piece, a smart lamp, rests on your night table to detect noise and light levels. It functions first as a bio-alarm clock, which uses the collected data to decide when best to wake you using light from the lamp’s bulb and sound from the lamp’s speaker. Better yet, it will also compile a report that lets you know any sleep irregularities, such as frequently waking up, tossing and turning or an elevated heart rate. The whole set will retail for £200 ($330 US).

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