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CES Debuts Are Now Much More than Just New TVs

New products at the just-completed Consumer Electronics Show touched on many industry sectors including residential and commercial construction.

Back not all that long ago the massive Consumer Electronics Show, held every January in Las Vegas, was all about new gadgets and devices like TVs, phones and audio equipment. But over the past decade or so it has become a showcase for companies outside the electronics area to preview new concepts and prototypes.

And while shows like the International Woodworking Fair remain the best places to see the most widespread collection of new product introductions for the industry, several building and construction-related technologies debuted. Of course, it must be noted that many items at the show never make it into production and end up the stuff of science fiction. Still, they often point the way for more practical introductions down the road.

Observers at CES this year noted a few items of particular interest:

Flying Whales
Flying Whales LCA60T
  • In an era when everyone is looking for new ways to transport cargo, especially in crowded areas, Flying Whales showed a model prototype of its LCA60T, a dirigible filled with helium capable of going 60 miles per hour and landing and taking off vertically. The company says it can carry up to 60 tons of cargo and will be emissions-free when it advances to an electric motor. While Flying Whales said it expects its first test flight, using a hybrid gas-electric engine, sometime later this year it should be noted that blimps and dirigibles have been forecast as the transportation vehicle of the future for decades. That future has yet to arrive.
  • Two companies, TokenMe and AirBolt, showed monitoring and smart tracking devices that would allow companies to better locate and keep tabs on equipment, people and other assets on construction job sites and other projects. Just like Apple AirTags, these can be controlled through a smartphone app and used by companies in a variety of ways in real time. If you think Big Brother is watching, it’s because he is.


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