The Latest and Greatest from the Consumer Electronics Show

Tod Grams (Electronics Lead)


What is CES?

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the more influential technology events that happens just once a year that brings together consumers, suppliers, developers and many other professionals into one huge location. The beauty of a show like this is that a company like Disher can gain vital product and technology knowledge, top trends, and market insight on the who’s, the what’s, and the where’s of technology. Ultimately, helping us help our customers.

For those having spent time at a past CES event, you make your journey how you want to make it.  There are so many take-a-ways that not anyone’s goals for the show are the same.  For example, my goals were to identify product ideas and technologies in four key areas that Disher could apply and/or use as solutions for our customers, including IoT, Wireless, Smart Home and Biotech/Health.  I also went out with the mindset of making 10 business contacts in the before-mentioned focus areas hoping to build relationships with those 10 new companies.

My coworkers – Tommy Knight and Dayna Beal – had different objectives. Dayna wanted to gauge how influential CES is with our customers – and the fact he connected with about 100 people he knew continued that. Tommy looked into the automotive industry’s expansions, IoT and smart home technologies, and wearable devices. The three of us going together created some powerful connections and observations.

 

Integration of Technology & Human Life

+ Bridge-building electronics creating major developments that “bridges the gap” or creates a link between humans and their interactions with cars, homes, office, healthcare & e-commerce.

+ Human ingestible technology that provides data and can be used to predict heart attacks, strokes, or other ailments.

+ Smart “things” that anticipate the thinking aspect of humans; think for you.

+ Crossover technologies crossing over into other industries (i.e. fitness info into the car – “you didn’t exercise enough today so maybe you should pull into the gym.”)

+ IoT challenges including battery life, security of bigData, interoperability and human machine interface.

+ Loss of IoT standards

+ Wearable visibility – devices are great for people that use them. The question is, how do we get them into the hands that currently don’t use them? The elderly. The poor. The non-tech savvy.

+ Collaboration continues across an eco-system. For instance, SmartHome devices with the eco-system of the home. The next challenge is, how to get collaboration from one eco-system to another with safety, security and all that matters to humans?

+ Baby Summit was a football size room with the best products for baby, infant, and toddlers. Tommy was able to see tons of tech and apps for family planning, smart devices for baby health, car seats with sensors and tech, hospital quality monitors for premature babies, and more.

 

Top Trends

+ Internet of things providing connectedness for hundreds of thousands of developers

+ Short-range, ultrasonic technologies (for sensing or haptic feedback)

+ Multi-functional wearables because fitness information is no longer enough – wearables are not just for fitness anymore.

+ Coopetition as one company cannot do it all.  The future success depends on companies using their strengths and then partner with another company on their strengths. Even if they compete in some space, there is plenty of market to go around.

+ Technologies are SHRINKING……Shrinking…..shrinking.

+ Old style paper data has a shelf life and then it’s gone, destroyed or possibly fossilized. Not so for digital data.  Digital will be around forever.

The Future of Tech

BigData was a big theme of CES, with plenty of growing technology that may be expanding too far into a useless area. To compare to Disney’s Wall-E, advanced technology can impact human society to a negative state. Products may be big and beautiful, but empower users to be lazy, breaking down socialization and degrading community. These products range from AutoLace and heated shoes to belts telling you your fat, dresser case-goods that fold your clothes, robotic pets, and Smart Umbrellas. Is all this “bigData” necessary?

 

“Co-opetition”

A big takeaway was the idea of co-opetition. It seems like everyone is partnering with everyone, even if they are competitors. Companies know they cannot meet customer demands for integrated features on their own. So they need to cooperate and share technologies.

 

Parting Thoughts

As I said earlier, you make the trip to CES how you want to make it.  If you want to focus on one area or many, one industry or more, one technology or a combination of all, it all works out in the end.  I do believe from this year’s top observations and top trends, that we have come far and learned how to do things better than yesterday.  And, as humans, we continue to learn how to do things better tomorrow through successes and failures of technologies and applications today.  We may think we have the answer today, but we need to strive for what’s possible tomorrow.

Where do you see the top trends heading? Which ones do you believe will provide success and bring differentiated products to market? Which ones will ultimately fail?

Please comment or give us a call. We want to move forward together.

 

Written By: Tod Grams – Electronics Lead | Tod has a BS degree in Electronics Engineering and an MS degree in Engineering Management with over 19 years of Electronics industry experience. He volunteers as President of the Greater Holland Bowling Association and loves competitive bowling.

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