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The Accounting Technology Lab Podcast: CES Jan. 2024 Innovation Awards

Randy Johnston and Brian Tankersley, CPA, offer their take on the best technologies at CES 2024 in Las Vegas in January.

Randy Johnston and Brian Tankersley, CPA, offer their take on the best technologies at CES 2024 in Las Vegas in January. Check out their video on the best professional technologies from this year’s CES at

We now offer this podcast with video:

Transcript (Note: There may be typos due to automated transcription errors.)


Randy Johnston, Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA.

Intro: Welcome to the technology lab presented by CPA Practice Advisor with your hosts, Randy Johnston and Brian Tankersley.

Randy Johnston  00:03

Welcome to Technology Lab. I’m Randy Johnston with Brian Tankersley. We’re coming to you live from CES, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Now we’ve had the pleasure of seeing a lot of new technologies this week. And we thought we’d try to summarize the Innovation Awards. Now the innovation awards are given every year for lots of different products. These will seem somewhat at random order, but we’re going to take you through our walkthrough on the technologies, we’re going to skip many of them because there were dozens and dozens,

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  00:33

like 500, literally, award winners,

Randy Johnston  00:38

but we wanted to give you a flavor. So the first thing is right inside the door was the air farm. So Brandon, what about the air farm?

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  00:45

Well, this was a, this was a, like vegetables, they’re growing lettuce. And it was it you know, you’ve heard of hydroponics where a grow where the there’s a growth medium, that that’s in liquid that comes through the water. Well, this was this, this was a this was grew in air. So you didn’t have dirt in there. But there was some some nutrients that were being delivered to IT support through this through this system. And so the idea there was that you could grow your own your own lettuce and, and other vegetables and look like it was just lettuce right there. Because, you know, again, I can’t imagine growing potatoes and air. But it was, it was pretty amazing. Just as a concept, it looked almost like a I guess the way I’ve described it is it was it hit was about the width of the table. And then it had little holes in it that had lettuce growing

Randy Johnston  01:45

out that Yeah, well, now there were lots of medical technologies there as well. We noticed multiple genetic testers and other measuring pieces. But one in particular did a genetic test to a test for an obesity propensity, which I thought was interesting. And I’m familiar with a lot of genetic testing for other purposes. But you actually wanted to make sure that we talked about the Hydros.

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  02:14

So these, look at this real quick again. So the Hydros is a alternate way of storing hydrogen. So what is it what it actually is it’s a this particular device is a you know, one of the problems with hydrogen, it’s very difficult to store you have to store it in extremely cold temperatures. But this is a powdered form of hydrogen that they’re actually using. So you can we can have these hydrogen cars and hydrogen planes and hydrogen generators and other things like that. Now, you may remember if you if you seen some of our some of our Ketu seminars, a couple of years ago, we did a we had an extract of a keynote given by Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, where he actually went into their data center farms up in up in Oregon, Eastern Oregon. And he actually said that they were getting rid of all their diesel generators, and in 10 years, everything was going to be running on hydrogen. Well, the problem with hydrogen is the storage. And so this is a way of storing hydrogen in a format that is stable at room temperature. And so that’s a pretty big deal there.

Randy Johnston  03:25

Ya know, Brian is not much of a coffee drinker, but I am and Medea made an artificial intelligence coffee brain machine and basically allows you to analyze your taste preferences, and then it brews the perfect cup of coffee. To that spec we saw no less than 10 styles of these very specialized coffee brewing environments that were out there. And many of more robotic, others were custom

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  03:57

roasting there’s one that custom roasted to you by green coffee beans which most of us have never seen. And then you would then you would roast them to your preference. So if you wanted a light roast, you could do that. If you wanted a dark roast, you could roast it a little bit longer and and go forward from there. Well,

Randy Johnston  04:15

there were a lot of things that were electric and you know Honda showed a couple of concept vehicles kind of a van and a car in their larger biz. But they won an Innovation Award for a electronic bicycle now that thing Brian, just was weird. I know what you said the time we saw it but it was like wasn’t when usual shape. It

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  04:38

looks almost like it really is the size of a suitcase. So it is it is about you know if you think of it as the size of a large suitcase somewhat thinner, and then the handlebars and wheels and seat all extract out of it so that you can pedal it and run around.

Randy Johnston  04:59

Yes So this electric bike literally is four or five inches wide, and about two foot long, and got a seat and a pair of handlebars on it and wheels underneath. It’s the strangest stern looking thing that I’d seen in a long time. It’s

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  05:13

ugly, but if it works, and you’re in New York, and you don’t have much space to store it, maybe it works for you.

Randy Johnston  05:18

Maybe it does, indeed. Now, we were concerned about finding multiple screens for you. Because for professionals, when you’re out with a laptop, having that second screen is really important. We saw a few Sonics, a screen, we saw a very nice one from the Ricoh have formerly known as Fujitsu or PSU unit, which was a very nice screen. But there was another one that was, I guess I’ll just say maybe a little flimsier than I would like, we’ve

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  05:50

seen the ones and what Randy’s talking about is, there are some of these screens that we’ve seen, where you have two screens that pull out that effectively, you have a fix these two screens to the back of the monitor that’s built in the laptop, and then you fold these things out, and they stick out one sticks on either side of the actual monitor. Now, we’ve looked at these and I’ve been coveting these for a while, Randy, and I have to tell you that every time I look at these in the flesh, and that’s one of the reasons we come to see us is so that we can see these things in person and, and see what they really look like. They’re just flimsy. Okay, and that’s the problem I ran into with this. I mean, I literally walked up to this thing, and just tapped the tap the screens, and I thought they were so flimsy that that they might fall off of the laptop. So I think I want you to be very careful with these devices. They look interesting. And if you get the lighting just right on him, they look like they might hold up. But they’re, you know, they just not don’t appear to be quite ready for primetime in my mind.

Randy Johnston  07:00

Yeah, but the Z back snap, that’s XEVC snap, the two extra screens to a laptop, and I could see why people were attracted to it. But I just wasn’t sure there was ready for primetime now one that we discovered, maybe in 2019, initially out of Australia, the espresso display, we talked about in our key to events. Well, this year, the espresso 17 Pro came in, and it’s a stand up foldable monitor. And it’s a very nice little unit. It’s a 17 inch monitor. And I think looks very interesting. We saw a number of these. And Brian, you asked a number of vendors to fold up the stands, but they come with their own little stand and you can kind of fold them flat and carry them around. Most of them are very light. In any case, the espresso 17 Pro, so

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  07:53

they seems worthwhile. Yeah, the interesting thing about the espresso is that it has a dockable station it so you can have kind of a docking station, but you can also mount it on a wall or on a stand. And it can be portable. So the nice thing about it is you can take the same monitor on the road with you that you would use in the office. And it has a magnetic attachment to the, to the standard. So the stand is as it’s not as inflexible, you know, when you’re trying to pack it in in your briefcase, and you know, you have to jam it under the airplane seat. You’re not You’re it’s not going to have those stress points that

Randy Johnston  08:31

you might and we’ve got another one coming up that you’ll really like I hope Brian will keep his shirt on when we start talking about that one because he was just really all over it. When we saw that earlier today. Now, cooking. And a lot of food prep changed in our minds, relative to CES one in particular was the graphene square cooker. And it basically was a cordless unit that basically was rechargeable, and it cooked the food with radiation from graphene. And, you know, that’s a very interesting style of cooking and we saw a number of approaches where we just said, Wow, that is fascinating how that would work. Now, there was also an immunity testing system. Now a lot of people have disease and their immune compromised. And this particular test unit looked like he could do a profile on immune systems in a relatively rapid order. It was from metal mewn metal immune tech, Inc. And it was a lens free imaging technology to do that. With very small blood sample you can actually get a pretty good reading again, the medical tech here was pretty astounding along the way. And

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  09:55

this device looks kind of like a breadbox or a you know or a document scanner. It’s just a small device that’s about the width of the laptop, and about six inches tall and six inches deep with an LCD on top of it.

Randy Johnston  10:10

Now a little more standard would be like the Bosch espresso machine. It basically has the home connection. And in fact, if you’ve listened to his talk in the past that the standards for connecting appliances matters, Z wave and home Connect are the three big standards right now what will the Bosch machine is a home connect, and it will do about 22 different beverages in an automatic fashion. So it turns out that may not be bad for your break room, at the office or for your home if you’re looking for a little bit more sophistication along the way. Now, we saw in many places, web three, and Metaverse offering a lot of augmented reality virtual reality headsets, we recognize full well that Apple will put their vision pro, you know on sale here in early 2024. And you can see that and only get them at the Apple stores themselves. But the Glynda AMI visual in basically allowed you to create Metaverse content quickly. And we saw a number of places where you could take drawings or sketches and turn them into animations in the innovation group.

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  11:29

Now the exciting part about that was you know, many of you’ve seen the virtual home tours that realtors will do of a home will this is a next step beyond that. So in addition to creating a 3d map that incorporates pictures, as well as a 3d representation of the home, you can you can now take that and put your furniture in it and see what it would look like. And so whether you’re remodeling your existing home, or whether you’re buying a new home and want to see how your stuff is going to work in the spacing of that particular home, that’s particularly helpful. So those of you that do a lot of work with residential realtors or commercial realtors, where people need to figure out the layout of their of their space, and they need to communicate that to others. This this could actually be pretty interesting.

Randy Johnston  12:18

Yeah, so that’s the Glynda a I am I, Glenda AMI from visual sin. Very interesting concept. And we saw several other things that were very interesting in concept. Now there were also a lot of all say, technologies to assist with major problems around the world. And one of the products from water, basically was a water recycling, tent looking thing, I guess is the way I describe it, it really

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  12:46

looks like those tent, those stand up tents, you have for people to change their swimming suit at the beach, or, you know, for outdoor showers that you might use when camping where basically it’s just it’s the size of an old school phone booth. And you know, you would pass a hose into there so that somebody could could have could have a shower, well, these actually would recycle, recycle water that was used for you know, for another purpose. They would then extract, you know, maybe you would maybe have water that used to to wash clothes or something like that. It would then run it through filters, and then you could use it to wash yourself. So it was a pretty interesting little device.

Randy Johnston  13:29

And you know, next up was a pallet mover as best we could tell with them from mando seemed like an automatic thing that

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  13:37

that’s a car Parker. That’s right. So so we had say. So this is a device where you pull into, let’s say, a very tight garage, and they can put this thing underneath your car, it will lift your car up off the wheels, and then they can move it to fit wherever they need to move it very much like you would have a you would have, you know some four wheeled casters that you might put underneath a piece of equipment to move it from one place to another. You’re

Randy Johnston  14:04

absolutely right, that’s called parky, the parking robot from HL mando. So that was an interesting thing. Of course, we saw some other robots that made less sense to us. But that would seem like it would be useful along the way. Now, there was also a new generation clothing. And one of the pieces that we saw there was basically wearables technology that looked like well, what would you call those

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  14:35

things? Certain leggings, so it was leggings and they had haptic feedback in them. So you know, I don’t know exactly. You know, I don’t know exactly what that would be, you know, maybe it’s to let you know when when you’ve run a certain period of time or something, but it was it was incorporated in to connect to a mobile device through Bluetooth In

Randy Johnston  15:00

a more practical front, there is a number of vendors that created home battery systems. ecoflo was the one that seemed to get the most traction. And they had a nice combination of batteries that wouldn’t run your whole home or office for an extended period of time. Now, retired partner Ward Blanche was very interested in this for his home up in Halifax, and Lance Ward

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  15:25

actually live we at Halifax, in serious note, we’re on an apple farm. And that’s why he’s so interested is that he’s kind of in in northeast Nova Scotia, up near the Bay of Fundy. And the problem up there is that when they get really bad nor Easter, you know, he can lose power for quite a while. And so he’s he’s very interested in doing this so that he can have a stable power source. And

Randy Johnston  15:50

the power source looked very expandable because it didn’t effects mobile and stacking battery units. And they had all sorts of different use cases for these battery units called ecoflo, E, C, O, F ello, W,

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  16:08

and these batteries are about the size of a carry on bag like you might have for for an airplane. And they charge and then output will output 240 volts. So they’re serious heavy duty things that I would expect that an installation of these would get into the 1000s, if not the 10s of 1000s of dollars pretty quickly. But

Randy Johnston  16:28

they are really whole house battery generators and in a train scene, but technology. Now kind of Next up was from your friends at Brunswick, Brian, electric boat motors, he had a 30 foot like a 35 horse and a 20 horse

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  16:45

unit. And again, this is you know, if you think about mixing electricity and water together, what could possibly go wrong. So the but these were actually I believe DC powered motors that they had, so that you could again, get away from this, you know, if you think about the rules that California has promulgated that are going to try to get rid of as many of the small combustion engines and the two cycle four cycle engines we use for lawn mowers and weed eaters and those kinds of things. Obviously, the small boats are also on the chopping block. And so this is part of the transition toward that.

Randy Johnston  17:20

Yeah, and you know, you think about gas and so forth in the boats, you know, these motors looked like they’d be pretty promising to me. Now, next up from tech magic was an AI Robo Stir fry cooking robot. And we’ve talked about that in the personal technology, a technology lab with you. But to me, it looks kind of like a big cement mixer, and you just throw the product in there and cook it so

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  17:45

yeah, and I will tell you that it was an interesting looking device. It looked almost like a stainless steel tornado taking place, you know, in there. And you know, I don’t think you’re don’t get me wrong here. No, this is stir frying. So I don’t think your your your chefs at the Japanese steakhouse that put on a show for you. I don’t think they have anything to worry about. But for, you know, if you have if you had, let’s say a, you know, a place that served a lot of stir fry dishes, and you needed to have a weigh in, you had a labor shortage. This is actually a pretty interesting little, little tool they have.

Randy Johnston  18:23

Yeah, now next up was from top table, a thing called Inc, a four D food printing system now, Inc, which stands for innovative individualized nutritional kit. It’s supposedly the world’s first personalized nutrition developed delivery system based on 4d printing. And it takes a dynamic framework and composite material and kind of produces a bread. We jokingly call it mana because it supposedly could fit your individual nutritional needs by just printing bet brand for materials inside the unit. That was very interesting in terms of technology. Now, there were other pieces that were, I think helpful for hearing speaking and so forth. So they had a very interesting solar rechargeable hearing aid sets as an example. They had artificial intelligence speaking, there were gloves that were well one called the Phantom, which was basically a wearable glove for positioning pieces. There was also a very interesting workspaces from targets mirror logic, which were a combination of docking stations, battery sensors, surge protectors and so forth in their area. Another product we’ve used in the past Brian was leap, but this was leap vert. version two. Now you remember that the LEAP controller allowed you to basically use hand motions to, you know, work kind of like a mouse in the air. Yeah, it

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  20:10

really worked more like a aftermarket touchscreen. And so but instead of you having to actually touch the screen, you just had hand motions to control and do different things. Yeah.

Randy Johnston  20:21

And you know, for presentations, like, you know, in your conference room, I thought that was very interesting. It was obviously also made, where you could do games and things like that with it. I was also fascinating by the Braille capability from PRIMO. Now, this was called Braille plus. And it’s a digital education kit that uses like the equivalent Lego blocks to teach you how to interpret Braille. And I thought that was a pretty interesting evolution, I’d read about that in advance. But the next up was a portable screen again. Now this portable screen was really quite interesting. It was called the wrinkles, just try clarity in screen. And it uses nano and advanced materials, but it was in kind of a bag that I would say was no more than about two and a half inches high by six by six or something like that. But Brian, what about the way that that thing expanded?

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  21:22

Well, it expanded to about 40 inches. And so the nice thing about it was that you could have, you could have a large size screen, it had a projector that you put in the back of it. And you could have it as a second monitor, you could use it for a sales presentation or something like that. But it was extremely portable, you know, looking at it, it was not like a lot of the, you know, it looked like, you know, it looked like it gave you a way of being a little bit more flexible about the space. You know, when you think about an LCD, one of the problems you think about is, is this thing gonna get twisted one way or another and broken. And this would get you revved?

Randy Johnston  22:00

Yeah, now, I had been teaching in our K two events for a good number of time, about brain computer interfaces. I’m familiar with many from around the world. You know, Elon Musk is involved with one that he bought the neuro link, which I think first I discovered in 2008. There’s another one out of Switzerland, it’s very fascinating. It’s been covered in the news in the last 60 days or so forth. But we also discovered one that was from fonts clinic, which is basically a brain computer interface that then communicates to a wireless receiver, enabling people to walk and these devices have been demonstrated. And you can see video on how these work. But for for patients that have had a spinal injury, and craps or quadriplegia quadriplegic, these things will actually interpret your brainwaves and allow you to walk again, they are stunning bits of technology. And I enjoy what these technologies can do for people, which is a big deal. Now from there, the technologies continued to be a little more personal. Another one that was an interesting piece was from resit or Eazy, e t resit. And it was basically a mattress cover for athletes and others who needed to do recovery. And this company has been around for a long time. But it basically helps you recover from physical exertion in in ways that they control inside their product. Again, I don’t know everything I know about that, but I want you to be aware of it. We also saw a fair bit of artificial intelligence chips that were in play. And you know, we have to have those types of chips to drive a lot of the processing in AI. Well, Brian just about had a cow when we saw the next item, which were instruments, really labeled music with movement system for older adults, which was from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, basically

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  24:27

II Morocco’s so if you’ve heard of Morocco’s that make a little snapping sound that’s used in some, some Spanish music music. You had some drumsticks you had some Morocco’s and you had some tambourines that were all connected to connected to again make it easier for folks to work with them and use them in different therapies.

Randy Johnston  24:49

And there were also some other headsets that basically created personal space in effect. We were fascinated with the personal space from the to age. which basically was able to simulate heat cold when. And they said, even tickling, and I’m just looking at this headset said, how do we get that done. But there were also measurement devices from Wim poco. We robotics, it’s wearable mobility, and it will measure your gait and other things. I also tried a set of shoes that measured my gait. And it was fascinating to do that. But you know, Brian has a new goal in life, he wants to become a pilot and get certified. And he all of a sudden realized that Garmin had something that was quite interesting called Auto land autonomous aircraft landing system as a retrofit.

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  25:50

So this is an add on to King airs. And basically, it’s just a button, you press the button, and it will land the plane. You know, if you think about getting on a if think about the concept of getting on a single engine plane, or you know, going out flying with somebody, if you don’t know what you’re doing, and something happens to that pilot, well, you’re in a world of hurt. With this, you have a way around it. Now, some of the other airplanes out there, like the Cirrus airplanes actually have parachutes. Where you know, if your engine goes out, you could simply deploy the parachute and you will float down safely to the Earth. But this is really something that that’s pretty exciting, because it’s it’s closer to more automated fly. Yeah.

Randy Johnston  26:35

And Brian, you know, that I can do this. But, you know, beach was a long term client of mine. And I really enjoyed the work that I did there when we did the starship, which is, you know, now discontinued aircraft. But I’ve flown gears before and they’re, they’re fine products to fly. But, you know, the safety of being able to land automatically what a deal. Now, there’s clear evolution here with quantum computing, and things like AI, and I am very anxious to see the measurements of human waste, things like urine, and other ways you can actually detect disease in advance. And I thought that the yellow osis product that did that was interesting by itself.

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  27:25

And those are being used to detect to detect, you know, things, you know, problems with, like diabeetus. And, and all manner of things through the extra things that come out of your waist. And

Randy Johnston  27:40

also the mind Mike’s really a set of hearing aid looking types of devices that do heart monitoring using infrasonic. A hemodynamic graphy is what they said. And so it’s heart monitoring through ear buds in sight. Well, that’s pretty fascinating stuff. While you’re getting an idea of the many medical devices that are there, there was a endoscope from link Salia tech,

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  28:11

there’s really so many medical devices that you can mention them all.

Randy Johnston  28:16

Yeah, that’s probably exactly right. And, you know, as we continue to think about what was there, you’re getting an idea of how much fun we have going through these types of innovations. But another one allowed people who had lost their voice to be able to speak with a product called whisper and you know, can you imagine how frustrating it would be to lose your voice and not being able to speak again, along the way. You know, as I as we close up this technology lab with you, I am going to mention one other product for called nipple from Mata spectra. Nipple is a spectral sensor module. And it basically can be used to look at products for example, like an apple and notice that it is safe and so forth with spectral analysis and the thing was so small, I would suggest it was smaller than trying to think of something our listeners would just spot in a hurry. An air pod case if you’re familiar with the size of that it was about that size. So roughly one inch by one and a half. Big very, very small piece of equipment to get that done. And you know, I watch the developments with the telescope systems in the world. And canon put out a new Ms. 500 ultra high sensitive interchangeable lens camera. But the thing that was interesting about this is most of the light sensors in our phones and cameras take 10 photons to be able to record an image. This only takes a single photon. And that is a big breakthrough in terms of recording images. So I’m pretty wildly excited about those types of products in the marketplace. Well, Brian, we could go on and on. But as you said, there’s 500 ish of these type of products that were there. Were there any others that you might want to call out that are of note?

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  30:31

Well, there was one that, you know, my, my late mother had a problem with incontinence in her later years. And, you know, as I’ve, as I’ve talked to more and more people, it’s this is something that senior citizens seem to have a lot. And so there was actually a device that used electrical stimulation, to actually to give you therapies to try to make you less incontinent. The

Randy Johnston  31:01

yellow tone product was very interesting. I agree with you on that, you know, I like the voting machine. options that were there. Course, we’re heading into election years, but you know, voting is very critical to be done and accurate, and so forth. So I thought that was interesting. And, you know, I know you well enough, your wife reports me a bit of a snoring thing. Then there was the motion pillow that we’ve talked about, I

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  31:31

don’t want any part of a motion pillow. I already have a wife, a son that jumps in bed with us, sometimes it’s 23, and three dogs. And you know, I just don’t need a pillow that’s moving me during during the night. There’s enough craziness in my life already. Well,

Randy Johnston  31:50

so that gets us back into care pet, because they report that there’s 4 billion pets in the world. And they have actually created a a map that the dogs can lay on. And you know, monitor breathing rate and the quality of rest and all sorts of data about the pets. This was clearly pet years at CES and even some of the innovative products used. were used. There were

Brian F. Tankersley, CPA.CITP, CGMA  32:19

all these products for telemedicine with with pets. And I just wonder what the veterinarians of the world think about this course. Yeah, I can’t seem to go to my veterinarian without spending $300. So, you know, maybe this is something I need. I don’t know. Why,

Randy Johnston  32:34

like, you know, and then another one that was fascinated with the desalinization solar panel. Supposedly, you can put your own advertising in that and provide that to get fresh water for people around the world that were near saltwater conditions. So anyway, you get the idea here, so many things to consider. We hope that you’ve found this overview, a summary of things that maybe are practical, may be innovative, may be a little out of the ordinary. But we will hopefully see you in another technology lab very, very soon.


Have a good day.

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