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6 Products From CES 2019 We’re Still Waiting On

by Walter Jules

The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is underway, and, as always, we’ll see new innovations we can’t wait to buy. Unfortunately, not everything announced at CES is released at the promised time. Here are six products announced last year at CES that you still can’t get.

LG’s Roll-Up TV

When LG showed off its roll-up TV, everyone oohed and aahed, and for good reason! The biggest problem with modern televisions is also their biggest benefit—their giant size! It’s great when you’re watching TV. When it’s turned off, though, your TV just becomes a huge rectangular eyesore.

The LG Signature OLED TV R promised to solve this problem. It’s a giant, 65-inch TV that rolls down into a wide box when you’re not using it. You can even hang some art behind it so there’s something to look at when your TV’s rolled up and put away.

LG promised this would be released during the summer of 2019, but here we are in 2020 with no fancy rollup displays.

This year, LG is showing a newer version that rolls down from the ceiling like a school projector screen. If you’re wondering how much these will cost, well, LG isn’t saying, which is perhaps better than promising and not delivering.

Mui Calm Interface

The premise of Mui is simple. Most of the time, it looks like a plain wooden board hanging on your wall. When you touch it, though, its controls light up, and it shows you the weather. You can also control your smart home devices with it. The minimalist design would work beautifully in just about any home.

I’ve been following Mui’s connected block of wood since at least 2017. As a hobbyist woodworker and professional smart home guy, it speaks to both my passions. I was surprised when it appeared at CES 2019 and made a big splash.

Mui went on to fund both a Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and rake in over $ 200,000 across the two sites. However, like so many other campaigns, the promises of quick shipment (as soon as January 2019, somehow) didn’t come true.

According to the latest updates on both sites, though, it might ship soon. The company sent out surveys for final details (like wood color) and said the mui should go out to backers this month.

We shall see!

Luka Isn’t Ready to Read Yet

Luka, the reading owl, made the shortlist of favorite CES products over at our sister site, How-To Geek. Chris Hoffman, HTG’s Editor in Chief, singled out the product for the idea, the thought that went into it, and the clever tech behind it.

Ling Technology, Inc., the company behind Luka, manually scans books (it now has tens of thousands) and stores them in a database. Luka uses the database to read the children’s book you place in front of it.

Luka could be a great help for busy parents, especially when work prevents them from being there for nighttime reading.

Ling promised to release Luka in the U.S. sometime in 2019, which never happened. Now, you’ll find a signup page at the Luka website, followed by the simple promise “Coming Soon.” Hopefully, “soon” means 2020.

North’s Focal Smart Glasses Arrived, and Then Left

Focals by North gets the distinct honor of being the only product on this list that technically delivered. Billed as “smart glasses that look like regular glasses,” North ran into trouble with its Focals line almost immediately.

They were basically better-looking Google Glass with an augmented reality in your vision that no one else could see. The starting price was $ 1,000.

Within a month, North slashed $ 400 from the price and laid off 150 employees. Even at the lower price, the glasses were only available in a couple of stores. They also required a special fitting to work correctly.

Eventually, North pulled them off the market entirely. The company said it’s working on a 2.0 model that will ship in 2020.

Still No Sign of KichenAid’s Smart Display in Your Kitchen

What’s better than a Nest Hub in your kitchen? One that’s waterproof and comes with helpful, easy-to-find recipes! KitchenAid’s Smart Display promised to be a Google Assistant-powered, water-resistant dream machine filled with Yummly recipes.

The keyword here is “promised” because you still can’t buy it. KitchenAid said these would be delivered by the last half of 2019 for $ 200 to $ 300.

There’s still a signup button for the Smart Display on the company’s CES page. Let’s hope it releases this year and drives down the price of the Nest Hub, which typically sells for $ 100.

CES is filled with gadgets, promises, and all the pretty, shiny things you could ever want. Just keep in mind some products will never see the light of day—even when companies promise otherwise. If you see something truly amazing this year, don’t pin all your hopes on ever being able to buy it—that day might never come.

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