For anyone interested in tech, the beginning of the year always offers the chance to marvel, exclaim, laugh or raise a sceptical glance at the technology coming out of CES. Jack Rear's recent round-up in The Telegraph of health technology was a great example of all that is wonderful about CES.
There is the Hydrofoiler XE-1 bike that allows you to cycle on water. The health tracking underwear which some of us may struggle to imagine on the market. There are also the technologies which will make such a difference to people in your life that you wish you could buy them today.
For me, it’s the OrCam Hear. My Dad has used a hearing aid for the past five years and been through various versions with varying degrees of success. He is otherwise a very fit and healthy 79-year-old. He's still active, playing sport and working in a profession he has always loved. His loss of hearing is the one thing that ages him. It’s become something of a family joke that when chatting to a friend of his in a noisy environment, they've no idea what the other is talking about. I can only imagine his frustration, though he hides it well. But this, OrCam Hear, would transform his life.
The technology built by Israeli tech company OrCam is designed to tone down background noise. For anyone familiar with someone who uses a hearing aid, the increased volume of background noise is often their biggest gripe. The new technology uses artificial intelligence to help you identify and single out a speaker's voice, leaving you to follow the conversation that you want to.
Of the other devices that media picked up, another potential life changer is the Lexilight Lamp - a lamp designed to transform reading for people with dyslexia.
If only I had a magic wand to ensure these technologies could be available to everyone who would benefit today.
My colleague, Justin Westcott, wrote in his CES blog post about the seeming move at CES from launching devices to the new focus of launching concepts. Let’s hope for all those people whose life may be truly transformed by technology such as the OrCam Hear or Lexilight Lamp that these are more than just a concept.
The Lexilight Lamp is available for pre-order and you can register for more details of OrCam Hear, so let’s keep our fingers crossed for these and many other life changing technologies.