CES 2016 – Hot Topics You May Have Missed

Posted by: Roy Sherrill

Having attended CES the last six years, I know I’m in for some amazing innovations and entertainment when I step off the plane in Las Vegas, and this year did not disappoint. There were a few big topics on display this year that all present opportunities for Datalight: 

  • Wearable Technology
  • Automotive Technology
  • Smart Home
  • Drones

Intel’s opening keynote was really compelling from the start, and they did a great job of making it an “experience.” They showcased wristbands that lit up in response to hand gestures, and at the end of the keynote had musicians use the wristbands to make really interesting futuristic music using only gestures.

A more practical use of the wristbands is to provide for real-time analysis for athletes. Intel demonstrated this with two bikers doing incredible stunts, while the wristbands measured their height, G forces, speed and spin speed, which was then displayed on screens for everyone to see. It was truly an amazing display, and I was impressed by the capabilities of those tiny wristbands.

Other wearable technology that received attention were Intel’s interesting Spider Dress that detects the wearer’s adrenaline and changes its look to display their emotions. There was also a sports bra that opens vents to cool the person wearing it when they get too hot.

Automotive technology was a hot topic, with almost every auto manufacturer offering some sort of driver support – automatic braking, lane maintaining, auto-parking, etc. The market clearly is not ready for completely autonomous cars, and people have made it clear they wouldn’t be comfortable not having control over the automobile transporting their families around town.  With this in mind, it will be interesting to see how far auto manufacturers can push new driver support features over the coming years.

The other auto tech innovations revolved around electric cars that offer long range driving and better reliability. General Motors CEO Mary Barra introduced the new, and relatively affordable, Chevrolet Bolt EV that can travel up to 200 miles on a single charge. Electric cars have certainly made strides, and they are becoming more versatile and useful for the everyday driver.

With IoT still gaining momentum, smart home technology seems to be right around the corner for all of us. Home devices, such as refrigerators and speakers (like the Amazon Echo) are becoming increasingly sophisticated by featuring Internet connectivity. And with the number of connected devices that will likely be in homes in the near future, having a way to control them all in one place and get them to “talk” to one another will become important. As a result, “home hubs” seem like they will gain momentum in the marketplace.

Drones were also big news this year. We have all seen drones of some kind, but now their functionality is really expanding. One particular drone that caught my interest was designed to follow a person wearing a wristband like the one I mentioned earlier. The drone featured a mounted camera, which in the example shown, captured real time video of a snowboarder as the drone followed him down the mountain. It was amazing to see this functionality without the need for a person to operate it remotely, and this drone would seem to take the place of a helmet-mounded GoPro camera.

With all of these great innovations, I see opportunities for Datalight to expand its role in the areas mentioned above. We are already featured in automotive computers, but there is room for us to grow our footprint in them. Also, with the growing complexity and features of IoT devices, such as wearable technology and smart home technology, the need to process and store large amounts of data will become more critical. And so too will the necessity to protect this data in the case of power loss, which is a great fit for Datalight’s products, especially the ultra-compact, configurable and MISRA C compliant file system, Reliance Edge.

This year will be an exciting one for Datalight, and I look forward to next year’s CES.

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