In January I attended the International CES with 170,000 of my closest friends, about 25% of whom were from outside of the US. Together we attempted to visit 3500 exhibitors and listen to many, many keynotes, panels and speeches. It was a people, technology, and gadget-filled few days. Many of the announcements were very exciting, but not real as many vendors showed or proposed futuristic (not available today) devices and features in the keynotes and booths. You had to ask to really know, if it's available now, will be available later this year, or just a great idea that someday may be available.
BK Yoon of Samsung delivered an industry pitch for the Internet of Things. He mentioned that IoT will be open, secure, personal and everywhere. By 2017, 90% of Samsung products will be IoT, with 100% by 2020.
Mark Fields of Ford took a look at the challenges of mobility to mankind. He focused not on direct population, but on population density - of the top 100 densest cities worldwide, only one is in the US (Los Angeles, 90th on the list). Solutions ranged from parking to new methods for moving people in highly dense areas.
The Intel Keynote, by Brian Kranich, was a product pitch for Intel Real-Sense 3-D software. It will enable computers to See and be much more 3D aware, with gestures, being able to measure distance with a picture and other things. Bryan also announced a new small IoT computer from Intel is the Curie, a next Generation Edison that is the size of a shirt button.
The Mercedes Benz Keynote was delivered by Gary Shaprio, CEA president, who arrived on stage in a driverless concept car. The passengers sit in swivel char's that enable them to face each other and not on the road. The walls of this concept car are computer screens that you can view your email or a show on. Very interesting, but as brought out in the Keynote, seeing driverless cars is now less about technology and more about the laws to allow them.
There was a specific area for drones in the main hall. There were so many it was bit overwhelming. Drones were big, small, had special controllers or cell phone controllers, consumer and industrial (costing up to $ 2,000). Many drones include their own camera or allow a camera as an add-on. Some were smart drones that attempt to come back to where they took off if you take them out of range (say send them out over 1500 feet).
There were many screened off areas where the exhibitors showed their products. Some even had coordinated multi-drone flying in formation.
Much of the car talk moved from Telematics as in years past, to driverless and driver assisted cars.Hyundai had a movie in their booth that showed MANY drive assisted scenarios, from automatic parking to the car automatically detecting when a driver falls asleep and pulling over and stopping the car. When I asked a booth person about software/firmware updates for the car, he mentioned that they did not want the user to have to perform software updates so they will be done at the dealer at a twice a year frequency. Knowing what I know about software development, this seems like not frequent enough for me!
Toyota was promoting the Hydrogen powered car. This is essentially an electric car that converts the hydrogen to electricity. . It can be filled up quickly, as opposed to a Tesla that requires a couple of hours to recharge. Android Auto (which shows as coming soon on the web site) was visible at CES, from Hyundai Pioneer, and others. It provides Googles Auto interface. Apple Car Play was also visible at CES. Several vendors were showing support for it. Apple Car Play is largely and extension of the Apple iPhone screen to the car in-dash screen, speakers and microphone.It does take a physical wire hook up rather than blue tooth or other wireless connection.
Eureka Park was pitched by Gary Shaprio as the innovation center of CES. That's where you found startups and crazy technology. One of the most interesting innovations to me at Eureka Park was a cell phone jammer for drivers, which enabled anyone else in the car to use their cell phones but not the driver. A police captain had contacted the company for a cell phone jammer that works in crosswalks to reduce accidents for pedestrians who are focusing on their phones and NOT watching traffic. Vocal Zoom from Israel, makes a voice recognition systems that uses lasers to detect sound coming from the skin on your face. An OEM product that they were just introducing at CES. The fun-est booth was the Gibson Guitar booth. They had an open bar and live music and MANY guitars. Very awesome!
I've never thought of how Selfies drive our culture, but given that even our President poses for Selfies with other world leaders they sure must be. CES had multiple products to improve your selfie. Products from selfie stick to hold your cell phone away from you to a remote controlled camera that can be connected to your phone via Bluetooth.