They were all there, the multi-billion-dollar corporations all the way down to the individual inventor-entrepreneur. Two convention centers and their parking lots full of gizmos, gadgets and electronic devices. Every country represented. Exhibitors and presenters gladly answering each individual question from the hordes of tech nerds.
Here are some final thoughts on CES 2019…
TV’s will be larger with awesomely brilliant color and sound in the short term, long-term, the action on the screen will be projected off the screen into your living room.
Virtual Reality (VR). Do you know how gamers can play for hours on end? I can see the same type of addiction happening in the near future with VR, regular people, non-gamers. Remember when smartphones first came out and there were only a handful of apps? Visit your PlayStore (or wherever you get your apps) and browse while paying attention to the variety of categories and scope of subject matters they cover. 1000’s of ‘em. Think of the hours you spend watching videos or sports, streaming movies or visiting websites you frequent. Yes, porn included. All these “activities”, and more will be available on VR headsets. Once immersed, there will be no going back. The minutes will fly by.
Artificial Intelligence (AI). The concept isn’t new because we’ve all grown up watching television shows and/or movies where humans interact with computers. The computer gives the status of the vessel or does the calculations for the life-saving co-ordinates to safety or takes overall operations in an electronic mutiny. What’s new, in real life, AI will have full control for the operations of our cars, semi-trucks, and planes. No human drivers or pilots need to apply. AI monitored security cameras can recognize safety threats such as physical altercations and assaults, identify medical emergencies or fire incidents, then alert the authorities when necessary. Using an interface, employees can access to allowed work areas, while visitors will have limited workplace access without a human escort or programmed permission. Sorry rent-a-cops, you’ve also been replaced.
Robotics. Remember the robot dance? Stiff and slow with limited straight-lined movements. Well boys & girls (or whatever you identify as all are welcome here), those type movements are now only limited to that dance. Tomorrow’s robots are and will be very fluid with their movement abilities, have a greater range of motion and strength. They are being designed in various shapes and sizes as necessary for their programmed fields and duties. Several companies are focusing on personal aid robots. Robotic assistants, maids, butlers or whatever you want to call them, will be fetching your slippers and tea. Yes, sex robots also.
Drones. If you’re looking for an investment, this space is going to skyrocket. The range of sizes and applications for drones is ever growing beyond the Radio Shack type consumer. Business owners and landowners can have a bird’s eye view of their property for any maintenance issues, development ideas or security concerns in real time. Real estate developers can survey inaccessible acreage and other industrial applications. Drones will be delivering orders you’ve placed for food or other goods. Personal, snowmobile sized drones will be available for riders Born to be Wilder. On a smaller scale, think of a hive of bees. Each individual bee is a drone. Insect small drones that can maneuver around each other just like a flying swarm. I don’t know how practical the tiny ones will be, but I know they exist, and the tech is only getting better.
Now, guess I’ll mention the water-based drones. The sizes, shapes, and colors of different species of fish and other marine inhabitants were imitated and installed with cameras to give us fish-eye views in aquatic settings. From the size of a seahorse on up to a baby dolphin was on display in tanks and pools. Currently, the main drawback to the water drones is that most of them need to be tethered, which limits their depth and range.
Keep in mind, AI, robots and drones can all be mixed, matched and/or combined to create __________. Exactly!
Smart home stuff. There were so many different smart home items. I can only equate it to being onboard one of those spaceships where the AI runs everything, responds to voice commands and has the autonomy to adjust every household system.
Alexi, or whatever you name it, warm up the shower; play my morning playlist; start the coffee machine; check pantry inventory and order any needed items. Increase shower temperature two degrees; show me who’s at the front door. This is a simplistic description for sure as I don’t think I’ve wrapped my head around the entirety of home automation.
5G networks are super fast with concerns about health issues for those near its hardware. The scope of the potential health problems probably won’t be truly understood until full implementation. I speculate it will be like the health issues of residents caused by living to close to clusters of power lines.
There were interactive sports games that include aspects of AI and robotics. Golfing games that require the players to take full swings with real clubs and balls at a video screen with any golf course layout of your choice and weather conditions. Baseball batting cages with video screen backdrops of opposing players and their individual stadiums. Robotic sparing partners for boxing enthusiasts that learn and react to the punches you throw.
Smart glasses; new ways of charging your devices; gaming chairs; wearable step counters and other devices to aid with your physical conditioning regimens; speakers, headphones and earbuds from various manufacturers across the globe; gimbals galore; new computer technology; waste renewable systems and water generation from the humidity in the air and on and on and on. So much to see, in fact, too much to be able to take it all in with the tens of thousands square feet of displays. The only way to possibly see every exhibit is to not make stops at any booths for closer looks or asking questions, while making sure you arrive at 8:30 a.m. for opening and staying all day till closing at 5 p.m., skipping lunch. Bringing a few packs of trail mix or other energy filled snacks will get you through as long as you don’t skip breakfast.
Overall, in the global marketplace, our inner connectivity is becoming easier while our personal interactions will decrease even if we only utilize a portion of the items available. Many fields that currently employ humans will be automated. The boundaries of privacy will be over-stepped even more. Is privacy really a ‘thing’ anymore?
For future reference, if you plan to attend CES 2020, transportation-wise, there were free shuttle buses that serviced just about every hotel on the Strip, but those only ran for two hours before and after opening and closing times. The Monorail is also an option to get to the convention center, though I can’t speak for its service or costs because I never took it. Taxi’s and ridesharing services were available as well. For you rugged types, hoofing it is an option if you can withstand the desert conditions.