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Jared Bendis 2017 CES Report: From Smart Belts to Garbage Cans

[photo: Jared Bendis]

Earlier this month Case Western Reserve University's digital new media officer Jared Bendis travelled to Las Vegas for the 2017 CES technology conference.  While he was impressed by new virtual reality gadgets and the latest in drone technology, the tech invention that impressed him most was a belt.

"It's for the elderly and the idea being is that you wear it all the time.  If you fall it's got sensors in it and before you hit the ground it inflates and it's airbags for your hips!"

Also Bendis admits he found a tech gadget that he hopes someday will help him with his own troubled stomach.

"If you have a bad stomach you're always looking for what are your trigger foods.  I think the Venn diagram for what I'm allowed to eat is oatmeal." 

So he immediately signed up for its crowd-sourcing effort.

"The idea is that you still have to keep track of what you eat, but throughout the day you regularly blow into this device and based on multiple sensors it can tell the types of fermentation going on in your stomach."

Meanwhile in today's digital world we have our smartphones, smartwatches and smart TVs.  But what about a smart garbage can? 

At first Bendis was skeptical.

"I'm expecting someone to say, 'It's a garbage can you can talk to or you wave your hand at it."

But he was surprised that the smart garbage can was actually quite practical.

"It makes a lot more sense when you realize that it's an accessory that goes near your garbage can.  It's a barcode reader that sits next your garbage can that before you throw something away you scan the barcode."

It has the potential to be a great device for those of us who are list makers. 

"If you think of it from a grocery perspective, 'Oh my gosh I just threw away the last bottle of ketchup.' Well now my garbage can knows that."

Listen to Jared Bendis share more from CES 2017 Tuesday January 17 at 12:33pm and 1:40pm on 90.3 WCPN for Here and Now featuring The Sound of Applause.



Dave DeOreo is coordinating producer for Ideastream Public Media’s arts and culture team.