Last Gadget Standing, presented by Living in Digital Times — a raucous event at the tail end of CES — has been a tradition for 19 years, when journalist/editor/author Robin Raskin founded it. The event features a showgirl in skimpy red spangles and feathered headdress, loads of swag thrown out to the audience, and music with a powerful beat. Having featured New York Times writer David Pogue for several years, this year’s event was hosted by the first woman ever, consumer electronics journalist Jennifer Jolly, who wore a top hat with a video screen embedded in the front.
Before the parade of gadgets the event presented the Young Innovator Awards, to an impressive group of young people: Lyron Co Ting Keh who created HICCUP, a novel cancer diagnosis tool; Tanisha Bassan, a 17-year old working with IBM on the Quantum Support Vector Machine Kernel Algorithm; Kumaran Akilan and Archishman Sravankumar who created Lumen, an algorithm that uses digital imaging data to diagnose dementia in its early stages; Jerry Qu, who created an engine to search for research papers; and Vishanth Thangavelautham and Talha Atta who developed a product that uses blockchain to distribute Wi-Fi to people in need.
To cut to the chase, the Last Gadget Standing was the Shure MV88 + Video Kit, which turns your smartphone into a mobile recording studio. Compatible with all phones, it features real-time monitoring, connectivity, mounting options, audio quality, charging and is live-stream ready. The People’s Choice Award went to the HP Spectre Folio (below), a leather-bound two-way laptop/tablet.