Every year hundreds of thousands of nerds descend on Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. 2018 was no exception as attendance records were shattered across the board. Here are some quick numbers; 4,000 companies exhibited across a sprawling 2.6 million square feet of show floor and entertained and interacted with 185,000 attendees.
The show ended about a month ago so now that the dust has settled, let’s take a look at the standouts and the upcoming trends for 2018.
Smart Home Speakers / Devices:
Amazon was the first into this arena all the way back in 2014 with its Echo and Echo Dot. Google, Sonos, and most recently, Apple, have all jumped on the bandwagon. Expect to see more products from more companies, as well as a more robust app ecosystem.
Virtual reality and augmented reality are not interchangeable phrases. Virtual reality consumes your vision, separating you from your surroundings and replacing them with an entirely virtual experience. Augmented reality does just what it sounds like. Imagine strolling through a museum or a historical landmark and as you glance around, interesting facts and details are presented to your vision. Some are expecting augmented reality to surpass virtual reality in the near future, maybe even this year. Microsoft was one of the first into the modern iteration of AR with their HoloLens. Check out this video from the official Microsoft HoloLens YouTube channel.
AI has been gaining steam exponentially over the past couple of years. You may have even heard some the uber-nerd buzz-words like, “machine learning” and “big data.” AI is starting to wrap its tendrils around almost everything. Just a few days ago Google’s health-tech subsidiary, Verily, announced a breakthrough in being able to assess a person’s risk of heart disease by scanning the back of a patient’s eye and running the resulting data through their AI program.
Now onto some specific gadgets that this author (one of IRIS’ own Technical Account Managers) found particularly compelling.
Of all the nerdy gadgets I own, Amazon’s Echo powered by Alexa makes me feel like I’m living in the gadget driven world. Muse by Speak Music provides a dead simple way to bring Alexa voice commands to your car…If you’re lucky enough to have a car with a USB port. Mine has a tape deck. Imagine driving home from work and telling Alexa to turn the living room lights on and start playing Huey Lewis and the News. What a utopia. All for the low, low price of $69.
Like something straight out of a Sci-Fi movie, LG’s new 65-inch 4K OLED TV can roll itself out of site when not in use. It can also only display part of itself, allowing for ultra-wide aspect ratios, like 21:9 without black bars.
Looking like a chandelier out of a Philip K. Dick novel, IBM’s 50-qubit Quantum Computer takes up 105 square feet and its processor must be kept at 10 milliKelvin, which apparently is about as close to absolute zero as is efficiently possible. Finding actual performance numbers has proven difficult but IBM says it’s capable of calculations that today’s supercomputers cannot even dream about.
Finally, my top pick from CES 2018. The FoldiMate laundry folding robot. Need I say more?
Regardless of which gadgets you use CES will make you wonder how close we are to living a life of a sci-fi futuristic film.