Best of the best: Our 10 favorite CES 2020 Best of Innovation award winners

Ready for some cool tech in your life? These award-winners include items for safety, productivity, accessibility, and health.

Best of the best: Our 10 favorite CES 2020 Best of Innovation award winners

From artificial humans and toilet-paper delivery robots to mesh Wi-Fi routers and urban air mobility services, and a whole lot more in-between, this year's CES 2020 in Las Vegas has no shortage of wow-factor technology on display.

Each year, CES combs through thousands of products for The CES Innovation Awards, an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. A panel of industry expert judges reviews applications in each product category based on specific criteria and then delivers two levels of recognition: Honoree (a product that scores above the threshold set for a specific category), and Best of Innovation (given to the highest-rated product in each category).

SEE: The 5 most important things that happened at CES 2020 (CNET)

In 2020, 464 products received awards across 28 categories. Thirty-one products were anointed Best of Innovation winners. Out of those 31, we picked our favorites for enterprise (and fun). 

Best of Innovation (Digital Imaging or Photography)

Leica Geosystems BLK2GO

By Leica Geosystems, part of Hexagon

The BLK2GO wireless handheld imaging laser scanner allows users to scan spaces, structures, and objects simply by walking through the space while holding the lightweight device. Its one-button operation instantly captures the dimensions with dual-axis LiDAR and panoramic imaging and turns them into colorized and dimensionally-accurate 3D point clouds. 

The data gained from the BLK2GO can be used for documenting a space or location, creating 3D models, surveying, and designing new buildings or retrofit and remodels. 


The BLK2GO wireless handheld imaging laser scanner.

Image: Leica Geosystems

Best of Innovation (Drones & Unmanned Systems)

Long Endurance Fuelcell Drone (DS30 with DP30)

By Doosan Mobility Innovation

Doosan's DS30 with a DP30 is a fully integrated hydrogen fuel cell commercial drone solution. This drone is built for BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line Of Sight) applications and as a scalable tool for organizations deploying fleets of drones.

This fuel cell power pack enables long endurance drone flights. With eco-friendly technology that uses hydrogen, which is a clean energy source, this system has an overwhelming energy density (700wh/kg) more than three times that of a battery drone, enabling up to two hours of short flight time, which was the most restricted condition in the conventional drone industry.


DS30-long endurance Fuelcell Drone

Image: Doosan Mobility Innovation

Best of Innovation (Headphones & Personal Audio)

Norm Glasses

By Human Capable Inc.
Looks may be deceiving. Take Norm Glasses, for example. They look like normal sunglasses, yet they are actually augmented reality (AR) smart glasses, featuring Android-based OS, voice user interface, dual speakers, camera, and a head-up display that can show digital content in the user's field of view.

Weighing less than 36 grams, Norm Glasses can be worn all day and pair via Bluetooth with Android or iOS smartphones. The glasses can also provide captioning for the hearing impaired and enable blind people to interact with digital content with voice, or to get help from a remote assistant.


Norm glasses

Image: Human Capable Inc.

Best of Innovation (Embedded Technologies)

Syntiant NDP100 Neural Decision Processor

By Syntiant Corp. 
The Syntiant NDP100 microwatt-power Neural Decision Processor (NDP) is a commercial silicon device designed to put machine learning/AI processing into almost any consumer device. 

Custom built to run neural workloads, the NDP100 processor consumes less than 150 microwatts making AI a reality for products as small as hearing aids to as large as laptops without requiring a connection to the cloud.  

Syntiant's processors enable a speech interface within the smallest systems to supplement or replace tactile interfaces, such as buttons, switches, dials, and touch screens. 


Syntiant NDP100 Neural Decision Processor

Image: Syntiant Corp

Best of Innovation (Virtual & Augmented Reality)


By NextMind
NextMind is the world's first brain-sensing device enabling users to control their VR/AR headsets with their mind. 

The NextMind device sits at the back of the head and clips to any headband, cap or VR/AR headset and could be seamlessly unified with VR/AR headsets. It combines deep neural networks and neural signals from the brain to transform a user's intention into direct brain commands, creating a symbiotic connection with the digital world. 

For example, it allows users to perform actions and navigate without traditional controllers, creating a direct and touchless immersion with virtual or augmented environments. 


NextMind brain-sensing device. 

Image: NextMind

Best of Innovation (Smart Cities)

The Valerann Smart Roads System

By Valerann

Valerann created an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor that transforms roads into data generating infrastructure, which makes traveling faster, safer, and supportive of autonomous vehicles

Valerann's Smart Road System is an AI web-based traffic management platform that produces real-time, high-resolution information about everything that takes place on the road. By integrating wireless sensing technologies into roads, the system continuously provides insights and predictions, transforming roads into future-ready, data-generating infrastructure.

For example, aggregating this information allows Valerann to provide real-time critical information to drivers such as informing autonomous vehicles of merging vehicles, sharing information about risks, and providing navigation apps with lane-by-lane traffic.

The sensors can use controllable LEDs to share simple messages with drivers, anywhere on the road. 


The Valerann Smart Roads System

Image: Valerann

Best of Innovation (In-Vehicle Entertainment & Safety) 

Bosch Virtual Visor

By Bosch
Say goodbye to the conventional vehicle sun visor, which never seems to shield out the sun's glare. The sun visor is getting an upgrade with the Bosch Virtual Visor. Featuring a transparent LCD screen paired with a small in-cabin RGB camera, the Virtual Visor tracks the sun shining on a driver's face. Then, using artificial intelligence (AI), blocks the driver's eyes while leaving the rest of the visor transparent. This lets the driver see more effectively than with a traditional visor would. 


Bosch Virtual Visor

Image: Bosch

CES 2020 Best of Innovation: Accessibility

Code Jumper

By American Printing House for the Blind
Blind or visually impaired children can learn computer coding and programming skills thanks to the new educational toy, Code Jumper. Designed by Microsoft and developed by the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), Code Jumper makes coding immediately accessible for  children (ages 7-11), regardless of their level of vision. 

To use, students can identify, by sight or touch, bright-colored plastic pods with oversized buttons and knobs, which they connect with "jumper cables" (thick cords) to physically create computer code that can tell stories, make music, and even crack jokes.

Not only do children learn basic programming concepts such as sequence, iteration, selection, and variables, they are encouraged to solve the same challenge in multiple ways. 


Code Jumper

Image: American Printing House for the Blind

Best of Innovation (Wearable Technologies)


By Charmcare Co., Ltd. 
H2-BP is a wristband-type blood pressure monitor, which can be worn for 24 hours as a watch. At 43g with the size of 60(H)x75(D)x24(W), it's the smallest and lightest blood pressure monitor in the world. Users can check the data through a smartphone app.



Image: Charmcare

Best of Innovation (Health & Wellness)

Colgate Plaqless Pro

By Colgate Palmolive
Most people don't know if they brushed their teeth properly. The Colgate Plaqless Pro electric toothbrush--which will soon be commercially available--seeks to change that. Touted as the first electric toothbrush that detects buildup in real time, the Plaqless Pro has embedded smart optical sensors in the brush head, which allows brushers to "see" how they really brush. A light ring on the handle turns blue to alert users that buildup is detected and turns white when an area is done. The toothbrush also syncs with the Apple Health app for easy and transparent tracking of oral health. 


Colegate Plaqless Pro

Image: Colgate Palmolive

Product availability

To qualify for CES 2020 awards consideration, products must be available for sale to the public, for the first time, in US retail outlets or online between April 1, 2019, and April 1, 2020.

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