CES 2017 Viewpoint: Who’s Talking to Whom?
Once again, this year’s CES show beat all past events with 2.6 million sq. ft. of exhibits, 3,880 exhibitors with over 600 startups, and 6,500-plus media folks — more than the 2016 Olympics. More than 175,000 people attended the show, with nearly one-third being global travelers from more than 150 countries. Now that’s a trade show! No one person could see everything, but key themes dominated the event — connectivity, artificial intelligence, voice control and innovation.
The connected world could be seen everywhere from smartphones, smart homes, and self-driving cars to connected cities and future 5G mobile networks. The Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices dominated in all categories. For the home, there were connected beds, mirrors, showers, appliances, and even a smart refrigerator that knew what you had, could suggest recipes, and add needed items to the shopping list. Connected devices got personal with toothbrushes, hairbrushes, weight scales, and wearables gathering data and striving to improve our lives. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg for smart cars with their connectivity and self-driving abilities.
Artificial intelligence (AI) was pervasive at the show; embedded in products ranging from garbage cans, to robots, to automobiles. Products learn and observe changes in human patterns and adjust automatically. AI is the next frontier of technology. By leveraging existing data, and the ongoing collection of more data, with human creativity, AI capabilities are virtually limitless.
Alexa, Amazon’s voice control, was the clear pageant winner with estimates of 75 to 100 Alexa devices and more than 700 Alexa-enabled products at the show. Voice is the most natural user interface and whether it be Alexa, Hey Google, Siri, or others, it works extremely well, is constantly being improved, and enabled products are being added every day.
Innovation has become the mantra of CES. This is the place to discover and explore revolutionary ideas, launch disruptive products, seek and secure funding, and have some fun, too. CES brings together innovators from around the globe to promote game-changing concepts and technology that will transform our lives and make the world a better place. Innovations at the show blended together hardware, software, and services; going well beyond just the devices and demonstrating the limitless personalized experiences that can happen.
The revolution has begun and is gaining momentum. Get informed and hang on for an astounding ride!