TV producer's CES highlights: Top gadgets and a dancing Michael Hainsworth

After a staggering 3,200 exhibitors and more than 70,253 steps on my Fitbit, my four-day stint at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas comes to a close.

See Full Article

Every year, surrounded by thousands of brash business tourists, blonde booth babes and self-described gadget geeks, I ask myself the same question: Why am I here again?

Other than checking my aforementioned Fitbit, I’m not what you would call a technically inclined person. I work in news, think like a news person and see the world through a somewhat cynical lens. I guess in a lot of ways this is why I’ve been producing our news/business segments at CES for the past three years. I don’t easily get drawn in by complicated gadgets, boring blueprints, technical jargon or the booth babes. I stick to gadgets that ‘regular people’ would find useful, and more importantly, the ones that make good TV. And this recipe works, at least for me and my reporter, Michael Hainsworth.

The discussions around what we shoot and where we go LIVE are always lively with Michael. For instance, he explains to me all the science and wiring that goes into making a sleek and sexy smart shoe for women, and I reply, ‘Yeah yeah, now make sure you put on the pumps for the live hit.’ And he did.

CES 2016 Zhor Tech shoes

Michael, who’s a TV genius by the way and a master of self-deprecating humour, probably had the most talked-about segment this year when he shook his barely there booty on national television. We found a pair of really cool headphones, but even cooler was the Gogo dancing floor the model was standing on to display them. Next thing you know, off comes the model and up comes Michael ‘Magic Hips’ Hainsworth. I can no longer recall much about those headphones but this image will sure last a lifetime.

Michael Hainsworth on the Gogo dancing floor

Believe it or not, finding a ‘cool’ backdrop for a live hit at CES isn’t the biggest challenge for a TV producer. My biggest obstacles at the shows are the following: telling people to stop vacuuming their booth during a live hit, begging others to turn down the music, and oh I almost forgot, constantly avoiding being hit by a forklift while managing crowd control. I’m happy to report we are still incident free after three years and 100 live hits.

Avoiding forklifts at CES 2016

So after all those hits and products, which ones did I want to take home from CES 2016? Here are my top 3!

#1 CES 2016 PICK - Smart Suitcase

#1 has got to be every woman's dream: a suitcase. But not just any suitcase. It has a built in scale so you know when you've over packed; it's outfitted with a GPS so you'll never have to worry about lost luggage again; and, to top it all off it comes with a built-in phone charger. Bluesmart touted as it as the world’s first smart, connected piece of luggage will set you back about $575. Interestingly, like a lot of inventions this year at CES, Bluesmart began as an Indiegogo campaign.

CES 2016 Bluesmart suitcase

#2 CES 2016 PICK - Automatic Calorie Counter

The GoBe calorie counter could soon revolutionize the world of fitness wearables. Unlike the Fitbit this gadget boasts that it can do the math for you. Say goodbye to figuring out how many calories you consumed in half an apple. This gadget claims to know how many calories you’ve eaten in a day, simply by being on your wrist. I won’t bore you with the science behind it but the makers say it’s currently 85 per cent accurate and they're selling it for $430.

CES 2016 GoBe calorie counter

#3 CES 2015 PICK - The Wearable Translator

The makers behind the world’s first wearable translator were on hand at CES. About the size of a thumb drive it works by having users speak into the device by holding down a button. The Ili Translator then converts their conversation into another language.

The company didn’t have a working prototype on hand but did have a video demo. If this gadget does what it claims I will have no more regrets about skipping my French classes in University! This product has yet to be priced.

CES 2016 Ili Translator

This year's Consumer Electronics Show unveiled some pretty jaw dropping inventions but even with all the amazing advancements in technology it still amazes me that no one has managed to solved the problem that plagues us all -- a cracked screen on your smart phone! Thankfully this was the only casualty during this year’s filming.

Cracked smartphone screen

Now if you want a closer look at the dozens of new gadgets unveiled at CES at year, plus Mr. Hainsworth’s dance moves, make sure you watch The Best of CES. The show airs this Sunday on CTV News Channel at 1:30pm ET and 8:30pm ET.


Latest Tech & Science News

  • Here are the places in Canada — yes, Canada — vulnerable to drought

    Tech & Science CBC News
    This story is part of our series Water at Risk, which looks at some of the risks to the water supply facing parts of Canada, South Africa and the Middle East. Read more stories in the series. Source
  • Uber self-driving system should have spotted woman, experts say

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Video of a deadly self-driving vehicle crash in suburban Phoenix shows a pedestrian walking from a darkened area onto a street just moments before an Uber SUV strikes her. The lights on the SUV didn't illuminate 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg on Sunday night until a second or two before impact, raising questions about whether the vehicle could have stopped in time. Source
  • Chris Wylie says he'll testify in U.S., U.K. about Cambridge Analytica

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Chris Wylie, the Canadian data scientist who revealed information about how Cambridge Analytica gathered data about Facebook users, tells CBC News that he wants to testify in the U.S. and the U.K. about social media's threat to elections and democratic institutions. Source
  • 'Horrified' scientists watch killer whale infanticide

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Marine scientists in B.C. have for the first time seen a killer whale drown a baby of the same species. The researchers watched the orca infanticide as it unfolded off the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island on Dec. Source
  • 'Speaking glove' translates sign language into speech

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Three polytechnic students in western India have developed a 'speaking glove' for the speech impaired that can interpret sign language and convert the message into speech through a mobile application. The inventors, Gopi, Khushali, and Dhrumi, designed this glove with the help of their project guide Naman Khandelwal. Source
  • Breaking up is hard to do: Why leaving Facebook is more difficult than it looks

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Facebook's latest privacy scandal, involving Trump campaign consultants who allegedly stole data on tens of millions of users in order to influence elections, has some people reconsidering their relationship status with the social network. There's just one problem: There isn't much of anywhere else to go. Source
  • Fake Facebook post about snakes prompts fear in Georgia

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CALHOUN, Ga. -- A fake Facebook post is spreading fears that venomous snakes are lurking in the sewers of a Georgia town, and the city attorney has expressed concerns to the social media network that it's creating confusion and panic. Source
  • Sea lion entangled in rope rescued off Vancouver Island

    Tech & Science CTV News
    A sea lion that had a plastic rope tightly wound around its neck was saved over the weekend by a team from the Vancouver Aquarium's Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. A video posted on the Vancouver Aquarium’s Facebook page shows the rescuers sedating the female Steller sea lion with a dart and then slowly detangling the plastic from her neck in the water off Vancouver Island. Source
  • Necropsy not likely for dead humpback whale in Nova Scotia: marine society

    Tech & Science CTV News
    HARBOURVIEW, N.S. -- An animal rescue group says a necropsy will likely not be performed on a humpback whale that washed ashore on the Bay of Fundy near Harbourville, N.S. The Marine Animal Response Society says it received a report on Sunday that the carcass had washed ashore. Source
  • Canadian NASA astronaut blasts off for space station today

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A NASA astronaut with ties to Canada heads to the International Space Station today on a visit that will last nearly six months. Andrew "Drew" Feustel, who has dual Canada-U.S. citizenship, is scheduled to blast off at 1:44 p.m. Source