The Sights and Sounds of CES 2018
My Discovery About The Future of Technology
The Consumer Electronics Show, also known simply as CES, is the world’s biggest and splashiest showcase for the latest and greatest in consumer electronics with more than 4,000 exhibitors (including more than 800 start-up companies) and 180,000 total attendees covering nearly 3 million square feet of event space in 2018. It is held in Las Vegas every January and is the global proving ground for innovators where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace and the gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer electronics.
A long list of technology products that changed the game were first seen here. Yes, everything from the VCR to the CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, even the original Nintendo Entertainment System as well as the first XBox.
Most of the time, we’re waiting many years and sometimes even decades as these innovations trickle down from the early adopter tech community to mainstream society. If you can recall as prices started to drop, that stack of VHS tapes that you once owned became a shelf full of DVDs. Now the discs are starting to disappear too as they are being replaced by a stick about the size of a pack of chewing gum streaming online content from providers such as Netflix and Hulu in their place for under $40.
The feeling that I got from the floor of CES 2018 was that we’re somewhere in the middle of that timeline. I saw a lot of categories that were not here last year such as smart cities. We are moving quickly to self-driving cars, smart cities, 5G, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and things that were not even in our vocabulary just 10 years ago, and now they are considered major parts of CES. You can see where all this amazing technology is going to take us eventually, but we are not quite there yet. Automobiles are electric and, thanks to collision avoidance and self-automation technologies, will eventually become crash-proof someday, whether a human is driving or not. From folding smartphones to robotic cat doors to televisions larger, sharper, and smarter than those currently in our homes, you can best believe there is even more revolutionary gizmos and gadgets emerging from the world’s largest technology show.
Meanwhile, sensors and cameras are being embedded into clothing, shoes, home appliances and just about everything else that you can imagine. Artificial intelligent voice assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are appearing in more technologies at CES this year, such as a Sense Smart Deadbolt manufactured by Schlage which allows user to unlock doors on command. This is a tangible example of how real the connected home and the Internet of Things has become.
I definitely saw the definition of wearable technologies broaden beyond the wrist, with everything from smart suits, smart shirts, smart glasses and smart bras. Nearly all of these seem intent on monitoring every aspect of your body’s activity in hopes that more data can get us all on the road to better health and fitness.
CES has always been a big show for TVs, and 2018 was no different. Giant screens dominated the floor, at resolutions as high as 8K which is looking to make 1080p as old fashioned as black and white models. The successful development of the world’s first 8K OLED display is definitely a milestone and displays the exciting potential of the technology.
My takeaway was the idea of technology integrating our lives in multiple ways has really exploded. As you can probably imagine, I had tons of fun and came back home with a ton of new inspiration. I can’t wait until next year!!
Willie E. Brake is a Computer Expert and Industry Analyst at All About Technology, a Certified Minority Business Enterprise and Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, based in Detroit, Michigan.
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