Past Unveiling At CES
Some of the most exciting technologies in recent history have been unveiled at CES – think pocket radios in 1967, Blue Ray discs in 2004, 3D TVs in 2011, Smart TVs in 2013, and last year’s Sony AIbo companion robot and Samsung’s Family Hub smart fridge. As creators of these gadgets anticipate consumers’ future wants and needs, some make their products available for mass purchase at the time of the show, while others are in beta for additional refinement.
Did This Year’s Predictions Come True?
As the show approached this year, early reports of products were teased and experts began to predict what might be unveiled – many of which came true. Broader themes throughout the show included advances in augmented and virtual reality, robotics, and 5G. Other key themes and highlights included:
- Health and wellness technologies unveiled at CES centered around self-monitoring and rehab at home. Withings introduced the BPM Core, which is a device you can wrap around your arm to measure blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. Rapeal introduced a smart glove, which allows stroke victims to do exercises and play games as a form of therapy. And wearables were there in abundance, from watches for blood pressure monitoring, to a device you wear on your head to train yourself to sleep better, to baby monitors that let you know when your little one needs a fresh diaper.
- The continued rise of voice technology and voice control was backed by many brands and devices highlighting their integration with Alexa and Google Assistant. Google in particular had a large and noticeable presence at the show with multiple large format “Hey Google” signs all over the Vegas Strip. They touted that Google Assistant will be in 1 billion devices by end of January, including phones, Samsung TVS, smart alarm clocks, Sonos speakers, Instapots, and various car accessories. Also, the Assistant is coming to the Google Maps app, allowing users to use voice commands to share an ETA or reply to a text while driving.
- Smart appliances are nothing new, but fully connected smart homes and even smart cities are on the horizon. Whirlpool unveiled an oven that uses augmented reality and LED touchscreens to help with cooking and family management. It will provide cooking instructions and manage calendars to help pick meals to make between busy schedules. 5G was on the list of predicted hot topics this year, but wasn’t talked about much outside of the realm of smart cities. With better connections, we’ll have the ability to deploy sensors that monitor weather, traffic, and basic city activity, which will make the flow of traffic through cities smoother and pave the way for the use of driverless cars.
- Don’t forget about smart cars! Innovations in the auto industry spanned from pure entertainment with Audi and Disney’s partnership for backseat Virtual Reality, to potential life-saving utility with Hyundai’s Elevate walking car prototype aimed to eventually aid in rescues after natural disasters like earthquakes.
- Perhaps one of the most easily adoptable categories from 2019’s CES is wireless charging. Griffin had its wireless fast charging pad on display, which can charge a phone in as little as a quarter of the usual time – without an outlet in sight. And the Matrix Powerwatch 2 is a watch with a ring around the face that allows solar charging, so it never needs to be plugged in.
- The first foldable smart phone was unveiled by Chinese company Royole. Although early reviews of usability of the developer model were not great, it’s rumored that Samsung will come out with its own version in February. Samsung had another interesting screen on display – its 98-inch TV. Samsung will produce TVs that have iTunes functionality, marking the first time Apple has let its apps appear in another company’s device.
2019 Key Takeaways
This year’s show was full of innovation. From a focus on voice control, health and wellness, to smart phones that collapse, the 2019 CES was nothing short of exciting. While the gadgets themselves are enough to keep consumers busy, there are several key takeaways that are important to highlight. The insights listed below are crucial to understanding just how much further technology will, and can evolve, as consumers demand greater automation in their everyday lives.
- Electronic development is being driven partially by consumer’s impatience and desire for convenience, as evidenced by self-charging and wireless charging products
- More personal data may become available from wearables that make at-home monitoring easier, which could have implications for the health care industry and privacy overall
- Voice technology continues to be adopted by consumers, making it increasingly important to optimize and write content for this purpose
- Smart homes and cities allow machines to solve problems on a micro and macro level. Will people give out more personal info in order to save time?
- Pre-releases are becoming much more popular at CES, just as they are for other high-profile events like the Super Bowl, where brands often release their commercials or other stunts prior to the actual game. It could be a case of FOMO, where companies don’t want to wait until the event for fear that another brand could unveil first and steal their thunder
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