Gear Diary’s Best of CES 2023 Awards

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It was a blast to be back in person for CES this year, and as is always the case, we found plenty of new gear that caught our fancy.  After sorting through hundreds of announcements and making our way through dozens of CES events, venues, and demos, we’ve decided on the gear that we found to be the most innovative and intriguing. Without further ado and in no particular order, here are our top ten choices for Best of CES 2023!

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

BlenderCap by Cruz

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

Portable blenders aren’t new, but the Cruz BlenderCap falls into the category of “Why didn’t someone think of this before?” Made to fit Cruz’s premium vacuum insulated bottles as well as bottles from other brands, the aircraft-grade aluminum alloy BlenderCap is precisely what it sounds like: a self-contained cap with an 18,000 rpm blender built into its underside.

BlenderCap has a triple safety switch mechanism, so the blender will only activate when it’s securely fastened to a bottle; an onboard microcontroller measures the resistance of the switches in series to help prevent false activation. According to Cruz, a single charge will let you blend ten 32-ounce bottles of ice.

Not only will you be able to use BlenderCap to create perfectly blended shakes, smoothies, and frozen drinks on the go, but you’ll also be able to keep them cold all day.

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

The $129 set will include the BlenderCap, a Cortez Silver 32-ounce vacuum insulated wide mouth bottle, a collapsible silicone funnel, a blade cap, and a USB-C charging cable.

We love when companies present products that are a “better mousetrap,” and the BlenderCap by Cruz is precisely that. You can pre-order one for $129, and it will begin shipping in March.

JBL Tour PRO 2 Earbuds

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

We’ve long been fans of JBL’s true wireless headphones, and the new Tour PRO 2 Earbuds with active noise cancellation look to continue that longstanding tradition. The earbuds have 10mm dynamic drivers, six microphones, and Bluetooth 5.3. With 10 hours of playback time per charge and an additional 30 hours in the battery case, these earbuds pack the tech we expect from JBL’s latest premium TWEs.

What earns the JBL Tour PRO 2 a place on our Best of CES 2023 list is the earbuds’ innovative charging case that sports a 1.4″ LED touch display. With it, you can manage and control media playback, adjust the ANC, receive social media notifications, and view incoming calls before accepting or rejecting them.

Expected to sell for $249.75 when they are released later this year, we’re excited to see if the JBL Tour PRO 2 Earbuds’ in-case display is a game-changer that other companies will emulate or simply a fun novelty; we’re betting on the former!

ViraWarn

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

The arrival of home tests for Covid-19 was a game-changer about a year into the pandemic; being able to test at home allowed family and friends to begin gathering once again with a bit more confidence that they wouldn’t accidentally infect one another.

I use home tests before, during, and after every trip that I take, while Dan and his staff self-test before every service they lead; this gets expensive! On top of that, the used tests end up in landfills where they can do long-term environmental damage.

The ViraWarn Multiple-Use Self-Test for Covid-19, RSV, and Influenza changes everything.

ViraWarn is a small device that looks like a breathalyzer and is used much the same way; a few breaths and the device will let you know if you’re contagious or not. ViraWarn is quick, painless, and reusable.

This video helps explain the technology behind the device and why, with reports coming in that, once again, there is a surge in the number of COVID-19 infections, this may be the right product at the exact right moment.

 

We don’t have pricing or availability on ViraWarn yet, as it is currently undergoing clinical trials and has been submitted for FDA review. You can opt-in for updates here.

Amazon Ring Car Cam

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

Amazon’s new Ring Car Cam is a dash camera with two wide-angle, night-vision-enabled HD cameras. One camera faces the road to capture footage while driving, and the other camera is trained on your car’s cockpit. Rather than being a dashcam that gets stuck in the middle of the windshield with a dangling or at least partially exposed wire, the Ring Car Cam has a long body with a tapered end that is meant to be tucked between the dash and the windshield. The result is a more integrated OEM appearance.

Your privacy is important, and that’s why the Ring Car Cam has a built-in privacy switch that, when flipped up, physically covers the camera and switches off the microphone; when the privacy shield is down, both cameras film simultaneously with audio.

Since the Car Cam plugs into your vehicle’s OBD-II port, it stays on even when your vehicle is turned off. This means that you’ll get real-time notifications when there’s movement around your vehicle or when someone enters it — as long as it is connected to nearby WiFi. If you opt for the $6 per month/$60 per year LTE Ring Protect Go subscription, that’s where things get really good!

With the Ring Protect Go subscription, you’ll have access to Live View, Two-Way Talk, Real-Time Notifications, and GPS Locator over LTE when the Car Cam is away from home WiFi, and you’ll be able to use Cloud Highlights (including Cloud Highlights for Traffic Stop).

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

If you’re already in the Ring ecosystem and you own a compatible vehicle, the Ring Car Cam is a no-brainer. The Ring Car Cam will sell for $249.99, but it is available now for pre-order at $199.99 — I’ve already put in my order!

Lenovo Smart Paper

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

The Lenovo Smart Paper is a digital notepad that will let you draw, jot notes, and generally work on the fly. It sports an eInk screen designed to give a pen-on-paper feeling, and the stylus is battery-free and never needs to be charged.

There are nine different pen settings, including ballpoint, pencil, marker, and calligraphy, so you can jot your notes or sketch in whatever style is comfortable. There are also two integrated microphones, so when you’re taking notes, you can record at the same time. In fact, you can even pull up the recording to correspond to specific notes!

With 50GB of storage, you’ll have room for over 50,000 note pages that you can organize into folders and shuffle to your heart’s content. Smart Paper can even search with keywords on handwritten notes and convert handwriting to text, making research and note-taking a lot smoother. The Lenovo Smart Paper app can sync to Android, iOS, and Windows devices, so you’ll be able to access your notes from anywhere!

Lenovo Smart Paper will be available later this year for $399.99.

Kandao Meeting Ultra

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

During the pandemic shutdown, many of us got used to sitting in front of a camera for hours. Offices are open again, but hybrid meetings are here to stay, and that’s an issue. One or two people sitting in front of a camera is fine, but when you have multiple people in a room and multiple people logging in remotely, the “one camera/one screen” approach doesn’t quite cut it. That’s where the new Kandao Meeting Ultra comes in.

The Meeting Ultra has a 360-degree camera so everyone in the room can be on screen during the meeting. That’s great, but we’ve seen that before.

What makes this device innovative is that in addition to a camera that captures everyone in the room, it also has two attached and rotatable touchscreens so you can have conference meetings anywhere, anytime. Add in its HI-Fi speakers, omnidirectional microphones that can capture voices from up to 18 feet away, and built-in Android, and you get a device that can function as a stand-alone video conferencing terminal!

You can learn more about the Kandao Meeting Ultra here.

Lili Lamp

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

If you or someone you love has dyslexia, then you know how frustratingly hard it can be to read, write, and spell. In 2017, Albert Le Floch and Guy Ropars, two French physicians, found a new cause of dyslexia: the absence of a directing eye.

To counteract this, the Lili Lamp emits luminous flashes that are imperceptible to the naked eye, but that makes the perception of the written word more precise for many people with dyslexia. The creators say that with it, reading becomes more fluid, faster, and less tiring and that access to meaning is facilitated.

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How does it work? Through a stroboscopic effect of the lamp that is invisible to the naked eye, a temporal shift in perception between each eye is created. Therefore, the words on the page are no longer processed simultaneously by the brain, and the “mirror” image effect is erased.

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

The Lili Lamp sells for €359.00, and it is available now; they offer a 45-day trial, so you can ensure that it will work for your particular dyslexic’s needs.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

The Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Twist’s hinge has a wild 360-degree function that lets you flip the screen around from regular laptop to tablet or tent mode, BUT it also means you can flip the eInk screen around and have access to it while using the keyboard as well. The color screen is a 13.3″ 2.8k OLED screen, while the eInk screen is a generous 12″ screen.

The ThinkBook Plus Twist is also compatible with a digital pen on both the OLED and eInk screens. Those aren’t the only tricks packed into its slim sleeves, as it also offers an FHD camera and dual microphones for video conferences, the latest Intel 13th Gen processor, and Windows 11.

The eInk screen also serves as a handy window into calendar and email alerts without having to unlock the whole laptop. The ThinkBook Plus Twist will be your planner, your ebook reader, and your workstation — an impressive mix that starts at $1,649 and will be available in June.

L’Oreal Hapta

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

L’Oreal says that it’s estimated that 50 million people live with some degree of fine motor skills, and the L’Oreal Hapta was designed to help users with limited fine motor skills apply their makeup on their own. Being able to apply your own makeup might seem silly to some, but it is a pain point for people who don’t have steady hands when trying for fine details.

Using magnetic attachments and built-in smart controls, Hapta makes this kind of independence possible. The device will offer up to one hour of continuous use (it takes three hours to charge fully), and it will begin by offering a lipstick applicator, with more coming in the future.

The ability to dress up, wear makeup, and feel good about yourself shouldn’t be something out of reach if you aren’t completely non-disabled! If this is a product that would make your or someone you love’s life better, you can sign up for updates here.

Dyson Zone

Gear Diary's Best of CES 2023 Awards

The Dyson Zone has a very unique and possibly polarizing design, but underneath its futuristic and slightly dystopian style is an impressive melding of audio and health tech that works.

Dyson has combined two different technologies — air purification and full-spectrum audio with noise-canceling into the Dyson Zone headphones. It sounds crazy at first — believe us, we know — but the end result is an audiophile-grade pair of headphones with an advanced filtration system built into the ear cups!

The Dyson Zone will be available for pre-order in the US beginning in March. Shortly after, it will become available to purchase online and in-store at Dyson Demo stores, with pricing starting at $949.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Editor in Chief of Gear Diary, Secular Humanist, techie, foodie, hoarder of Kindle eBooks, lover of live music, and collector of passport stamps.