Las Vegas has set the perfect frame for this buzzing event. Consistent with its liveliness and craziness of the city, CES® comes up with the latest trends and innovations in the consumer electronics market every year. The 50th anniversary of CES® was bursting at all seams. More than 175.000 visitors flocked to the Nevada desert city to see the exhibits of the 3.800 exhibitors.
Even if the big blast failed to appear, there was plenty trends and innovations to discover at this year’s show. Top-notch technology topics such as smart home, robotics, wearable technology, digital health or autonomous cars, set the tone of the show. One topic was omnipresent however, connectivity as one of the subjects that makes the Internet of Things happen.
Smart and intelligent will the future look like, and that happens to be in almost every sphere of life. No matter if smart home components, TV sets, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, everything listens to the voice of the user. Personified artificial intelligence (AI) assistants like Amazon’s Alexa play an essential role here. They have been identified as one of the top technology trends for this year by IHS Markit and will find their way as levels of human control in autonomous cars or robots.
Talking about autonomous cars, CES® 2017, besides all the consumer products, resembled also a little car show. Connected and autonomous driving are terms that are being discussed in more and more detail. Chip suppliers, like Infineon, in the meantime are essential partners of the automotive industry. Radar and sensor solutions enable the future of autonomous driving. The CEO of the Munich-based semiconductor manufacturer Dr. Reinhard Ploss even said that “Without us there is no autonomous driving”.
Also in intelligent car assistance systems speech control enabled by Amazon’s Alexa or Microsoft’s Cortana will play a more important role. A different way of user interaction with cars introduces Bosch with its concept car during the CES® 2017. Its dashboard is equipped with touch-free haptics control developed by Ultrahaptics. The UK-based technology company is a partner of EBV and developed a gesture control solution that works with ultrasonic sensors. The uniqueness about it is that, their gesture recognition has feedback without a physical connection. It is responsive and reactive.
Driver assistance systems thus will play a significant role in the development of (semi-)autonomous cars and will be crucial for safety. OSRAM showcased, amongst other solutions, LiDAR at its booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). LiDAR stands for “light detection and ranging”, and is a systems that generate laser pulses that hit objects and reflect light back onto the detector. By measuring the time of travel of the laser beam it calculates the distance to objects and a 3D image of the surrounding can be generated. Appropriate driving manoeuvres such as breaking can be initiated.
Connectivity is also an essential topic for wearables, which are supposed to be the next big thing. Typically CES® is the place where companies introduce their latest smartwatch products, so it happened this year with the Casio WSD-F20 Smartwatch for instance, which comes with a range of activity trackers. RunIQ is another development of the sport footwear manufacturer New Balance together with Intel. The smartwatch is able to upload and share workout with a community, has built-in GPS and heart rate monitoring. Nokia-owned Withings’ smartwatch Steel HR also comes with a built-in heart rate monitor. Besides that it is also able to function as a sleep tracker and monitors users’ restful and wakeful periods, as well as the duration of sleep and heart rate during sleep.
But there were a lot more products categories to see, such as in-ear thermometer that measure core body temperature, artificial intelligence-embedded toothbrush that contain sensors understanding individual brushing habit or wearable ECG monitors. A sensor-enabled mattress – able to adjust to movements, warms feet and is even able to nudge people over if they start snoring – was also very impressive.
As mentioned above, digital health was one of the major topics at CES®. Fitness wearables could be found on every corner. Connected shirts are to be mentioned in this context, too. They don’t purely function as fitness trackers anymore or measure the intensity of workouts in real time, but are pairing as blood pressure monitors or anti-nausea connected devices.
Nevertheless, CES® was surely about consumer products and items of common and daily use. In one of our earlier articles we wrote about sevenhugs. Their Smart Remote makes is a must for every smart home. This universal remote control, which has an all-touchscreen surface, adapts to your room based on what you point it at. Every smart device you own can be controlled, no matter if luminaires or home entertainment systems. Smart Remote is such a seamless and intuitive control system that it won three CES® 2017 awards including most innovative product in the Smart Home category.
(Featured Image: Official CES® logo)