Five Amazing Gadgets From CES 2016 That Will Make Our Lives Better

Every January thousands gather at the Consumer Electronics Show to see the newest gadgets.

Every January, thousands gather at the Consumer Electronics Show to see the newest gadgets that will change our lives, or at least look like they might. The show just wrapped, and in between the virtual reality headgear and smart cars, there are some finds that could make the world a better place. Here are five products from this month’s show that are a bit more inspiring than a lot of tech and could help to save lives—and the planet.


On average, we use 80 liters of water when we shower. This shower head keeps track of your water use, turning colors when you have reached a target amount (it’s set to 55 liters). What’s more, it runs on a battery that is charged by the shower head.


The smart steering wheel cover alerts drivers with lights and sounds when they’re showing distracted behaviors, including taking their hands off the wheel. It was designed by a teenager, with his peers in mind.

The Smart Ski Airbag Vest

By In&motion, this vest “detects unavoidable falls and inflates in less than 100 milliseconds.” It’s designed for skiing, but there are a number of other high-impact sports it would be good for, too.

Ampware Case

Remember how much you relied on your battery-powered radio when you lost electricity? Old meets new with this crank-powered phone charger. Five minutes of cranking can generate up to an hour of phone use.


A baby monitor that uses pulse oximetry (what hospitals use) to keep track of vital signs. The wireless “Smart Sock” fits on your baby’s foot and monitors heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep, and sends the info to your phone.

AFP News Agency / Twitter

A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.

A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.

On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.

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via Andi-Graf / Pixabay

The old saying goes something like, "Possessions don't make you happy." A more dire version is, "What you own, ends up owning you."

Are these old adages true or just the empty words of ancient party-poopers challenging you not to buy an iPhone 11? According to a new study of 968 young adults by the University of Arizona, being materialistic only brings us misery.

The study examined how engaging in pro-environmental behaviors affects the well-being of millenials. The study found two ways in which they modify their behaviors to help the environment: they either reduce what they consume or purchase green items.

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One of the biggest obstacles to getting assault weapons banned in the United States is the amount of money they generate.

There were around 10 million guns manufactured in the U.S. in 2016 of which around 2 million were semiautomatic, assault-style weapons. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, the U.S. industry's total economic impact in 2016 alone was $51 billion.

In 2016, the NRA gave over $50 million to buy support from lawmakers. When one considers the tens of millions of dollars spent on commerce and corruption, it's no wonder gun control advocates have an uphill battle.

That, of course, assumes that money can control just about anyone in the equation. However, there are a few brave souls who actually value human life over profit.

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via Reddit and NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Trees give us a unique glimpse into our past. An examination of tree rings can show us what the climate was like in a given year. Was it a wet winter? Were there hurricanes in the summer? Did a forest fire ravage the area?

An ancient tree in New Zealand is the first to provide evidence of the near reversal of the Earth's magnetic field over 41,000 years ago.

Over the past 83 million years there have been 183 magnetic pole reversals, a process that takes about 7,000 years to complete.

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The Planet
via Pixabay

The final episode of "The Sopranos" made a lot of people angry because it ends with mob boss Tony Soprano and his family eating at an ice cream parlor while "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey plays in the background … and then, suddenly, the screen turns black.

Some thought the ending was a dirty trick, while others saw it as a stroke of brilliance. A popular theory is that Tony gets shot, but doesn't know it because, as his brother-in-law Bobby Baccala said, "You probably don't even hear it when it happens, right?"

So the show gives us all an idea of what it's like to die. We're here and then we're not.

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