Highlights from CES: Talking heads, airlifts and checkpoints for pets

Whether dreaming up a 24-hour artificial friend, getting out of a traffic jam or working without your cat’s dead bird “gifts”, CES inventors have no shortage of imagination.

Here are a few highlights from the Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest tech and consumer electronics trade show, which runs through Friday in Las Vegas.

“I’m designed to be a supportive and non-judgmental presence in your life,” assures Wehead, a sort of computer creature made of a set of screens mounted on a robotic head projecting a human face. and which uses artificial intelligence.

A US startup of the same name has created this strange thing that can be placed on your desk like a paperweight or a miniature figurine and engage in human-like chit-chat.

“Sometimes you just need someone to talk to and create your own solutions,” said Wehead founder Ilya Sedushkin.

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“You can do that with ChatGPT, but you don’t get that natural feeling that someone is listening,” Sedoshkin said.

WeheadChat runs on GPT, has real-time Internet access and more memory than the popular OpenAI chatbot that generates text, voice or images from a simple question in everyday language.

“If you were to discuss today what you would do at CES…in a week’s time, it would ask you, ‘How was CES?'” Sedoshkin said.

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Fans can adopt Talking Head for $200 per month on a subscription basis.

“Did it feel real? No,” said Alan Pierce, a retired professor attending the tech show, calling it a cleverly designed “talking head.”

A cross between a helicopter and an airplane, the electric S-A2 stands to be the transportation of choice for cities paralyzed by traffic jams.

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Its original name is eVTOL – Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing Vehicle. It carries a pilot and up to four passengers.

“This is civil air mobility,” Jeon Shin, head of Supernal, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Hyundai Group, told AFP. “The biggest market is the United States — cities like Las Vegas or Los Angeles.”

An hour-long car journey due to traffic jams can be replaced by just a 10-minute flight, departing from so-called vertigo ports dotted around a city.

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The aim is to make flying less expensive than a helicopter flight.

After landing, a robot scans to check the integrity of the aircraft — whose propellers are attached to a single long wing and rotate for takeoff and landing.

Jaiwon hopes to launch in 2028, but regulatory hurdles remain.

“It’s never been done before in aviation… it’s really a revolution and the battery is a technological challenge,” he said.

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Installing door hatches to allow cats and dogs to roam freely in and out of the home also leaves the home open to wildlife.

For Martin Diamond, a resident of the desert state of Arizona, unwanted visitors can include coyotes, venomous snakes and raccoons.

Not eager to meet one of them in his room, Diamond invented the Pawport, a hermetically sealed door that opens with a badge worn by a pet.

The Pawport can be installed on an existing hatch, is available in several sizes and finishes, and can be connected to a rechargeable battery, solar panel or electrical grid. Available from May, it will cost a minimum of $459.

Swiss twins Oliver and Denis Vidler were drawn to other unpleasant surprises: “gifts” — usually birds and mice — that some cats proudly bring back to their owners.

With its Flappie access door, AI cameras monitor objects and block access if the cat’s mouth is not empty.

The AI ​​will also detect snakes and fish, with over 90 percent efficiency, the startup claims.

And the door opens only to those who have a microchip. The device can be linked to an app so owners can track their pets’ comings and goings, complete with photos.

The Flippy starts at 299 Swiss francs ($350).

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