Like every year, the ritual gathering at the CES 2023 edition brought us its share of solutionism and other innovations to fill our future daily lives.
The environment and sustainability were once again a strong trend at this show, at least in the spotlight, but what’s the news on it?
Many companies (including Samsung, which had a large, dedicated space on its booth) displayed slogans about reducing water consumption in their factories, improving packaging, achieving zero-carbon objectives... The proportion of recycled materials in its products was much more prominent than usual. (Belkin announced that its best-selling devices would now be made of 73% to 76% post-consumer recycled plastic.)
In short, there was a lot of talk but little questioning on the very model of overproduction and impact factors consideration.
We've put together a little Flops and Tops of this edition to bring you a less ecstatic view of this great annual technology and digital event.
Flops, our Top5
1 - Nourished
From Barjavel’ Ravage to Soylent Green movie, fiction has never been so close. Nourished publishes digitalized food that makes the fruit of our planet permanently invisible. We no longer talk about agriculture, natural resources, or traceability but about nutrients, certainly vegan but with obscure origins, without health or impact measurements. A solution that is not there to solve world hunger but to surf on the smart food (sic) trend. We all remember Feed’s products.
2 - One Third
A startup whose promise is to prevent food loss and waste by making anyone an expert in predicting shelf life! Their device automatically checks if a product is ripe or not. Beyond the cost and impact of such a solution, it is undoubtedly a worse than the devil “solution”, as the handling of foodstuffs increases spoilage and is therefore an additional source of waste.
3 - The office bike with pedal charger
With the eKinekt BD3, Acer has come up with another eco-responsible pedal solution to reduce energy bills while ensuring the health of the employee. Nothing new except that we are still entering into a production of new products with unmeasured impacts and efficiency. It's a far cry from the low-tech solution it claims to provide and €999 for a simple dynamo dressed up as high tech.
4 - The Ella connected stroller
THE ultimate stroller. Created by the Canadian startup Glüxkind, Ella is an autonomous electric stroller! Equipped with sensors capable of detecting obstacles, this stroller, combined with an power steering device, follows its owner without the need to push it. Available on pre-order for 3 800€, you will unfortunately not have access to the drone bottle or drone rattle for this price.
5 - Screens, robots, smartphones...
Always bigger or always cheaper, the vast majority of the products on offer do nothing more than invite you to renew products that are far from obsolete, for an ever-greater impact... change is not for now!
It's hard to narrow down this flop because the awareness of virtuous innovation is simply not there.
Wait, there’s also a bright side!
Amid all this futility there are some innovations to be noted, not so much for their environmental impact but for digital inclusion. Digital with a positive impact.
Here is our Top5.
1 - The Dot Pad
A new opportunity has arrived to show the world to the visually impaired and blind. The Dot Pad is the world's first touch-sensor graphics device, specially designed for the visually impaired and blind. With the Dot Pad, it will be possible to display images, graphics, charts and other resources in a tactile way. The device has a Bluetooth connection, is portable and has a battery life of up to 11 hours.
For more information on pad.dotincorp (You'll have to forgive their not-so-eco-designed website)
2 - The defibrillator for individuals
There are more than 50,000 deaths per year just in France. Cardiac arrests kill 4 times more than road accidents and 300 times more than fires. Although a law obliges many public places to equip themselves with defibrillators, the rate of equipment for individuals and companies is still low (80% of arrests take place at home or in the workplace)
This is where, Clark, an innovation 100% designed and produced in France comes in. Designed in Paris and produced in Honfleur Normandy, Clark is the first defibrillator for the general public... a real innovation that can save many lives, knowing that the intervention time to save a victim is only 4 minutes, whereas it takes 10-15 minutes for the emergency services to arrive, if you live in an urban area.
More information on Lifeaz.co
3 - The Clean Water Pathfinder
Today, water distribution companies lose an estimated 32 billion m³ of drinking water each year due to the poor condition of supply networks and lack of knowledge about how to manage resources. According to the UN, global demand could increase by 40% by 2030. Wasteful use of this precious resource must end. ACWA Robotique solution, is one of the innovative technologies awarded at CES 2023. This intelligent robot, installed inside the pipes, does not interrupt the flow of water through it, while providing important data to companies to build the city's water infrastructure and, above all, save precious cubic meters.
4. An adapted joystick for disabled people
After Microsoft and its accessible gaming system compatible with Xbox, Sony is also thinking of players whose disabilities are incompatible with a traditional joystick. A whole series of buttons and modules that can be freely arranged will enable the Leonardo joystick to adapt to a whole range of disabilities. Access to games is also part of digital inclusion, especially for young people.
5 - The revolutionary reading aid lamp
According to the FFDYS, 6 to 8% of the French population is affected by DYS disorders, and screening for these disorders has become a priority. But what are DYS? In Greek, "DYS" means "difficult". The origin of the word is significant, as it sums up the battle that children, teenagers and adults must wage against this invisible handicap. There are several forms of language and learning disorders. The most known, dyslexia, concerns written language. About 60% of dyslexics are dysphonics. This refers to difficulties in distinguishing between visually similar graphics and phonemes.
Two French physicists from Rennes, Brittany, researchers Albert Le Floch and Guy Ropars, have highlighted the right-left asymmetry of the Maxwell centroids of the foveas in adults with and without dyslexia. The solution? A LED strobe lamp that helps to force the brain to forget the superfluous image communicated. Based on this study, 2 solutions, designed and produced in France, were presented at the exhibition : Lexilight by Lexilife and Lili by Lili for life.
As expected, the results were mixed from a responsible point of view. Awareness is growing but there is still no real consciousness between the need for innovation and to do it responsibly. So no real move towards change. The audience of the show is decreasing, as is the Chinese manufacturers presence, who were originally the bulk suppliers exhibitors. This show has also become, paradoxically, the new world car show, where technology replaces oil... for the same impact?
Autor : Franck Valadier