My first impressions of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 did not disappoint. It was mind-boggling, fascinating, and overwhelming. Because the new technologies unveiled at CES are so important to DISHER and our customers, we had a team in attendance to soak it all in. Here are a few highlights and discoveries from this year’s show that you might like to know.

The 2018 Tech Trends to Watch as reported by Consumer Technology Association (CTA) on Media Day are as follows:

1. 5G

2. Artificial Intelligence

3. Robotics

4. Digital Senses and Native Interfaces

5. Realism Redefined

6. Smart Cities

7. Sports Innovation

8. Digital Therapeutics

Here are a few of my thoughts on these top trends in reverse order. Feel free to comment about what was fascinating for you from this year’s show.

CES 2018 Smart Cities

  1. Digital Therapeutics

At DISHER, we are passionate about making the world a better place. The healthcare industry provides a big opportunity to make this happen. We noticed several technologies that will serve patients well. “Software as medicine” is a definite trend. Doctors are being better informed on various medical conditions through innovative technologies. Medical equipment is being paired with companion apps for smart devices. One standout example of this is the Clipsulin Pen. It is an insulin injection device that measures and records injected doses to the user’s smartphone to eliminate the need for manual data entry. Other breakthroughs discussed was the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to treat trauma victims such as veterans suffering from PTSD.

CES 2018 Sports Innovation

  1. Sports Innovation

The Sports Zone at CES was busting at the seams with new product innovations. Cutting-edge wearables built to track metrics and provide real-time information for athletes, coaches, and trainers were commonplace as were simulators and other gadgets. Technology is leading the charge in developing smarter, faster, stronger, and safer competitors in sports. Spectators weren’t left behind with the development of new and more immersive media experiences including player cameras, 360-degree viewing opportunities, and the use of VR. Having worked with products in this field, DISHER is excited about several of these new product development directions.

CES 2018 Smart Cities

  1. Smart Cities

Ford’s space was pure eye-candy especially for DISHER’s electronics team. They displayed a visual representation of what a smart city could look like, function, and feel. We listened to Jim Hacket’s, CEO of Ford, presentation to learn more. He passionately proposed a vision that would benefit mankind, allowing us to live together in a more balanced, enjoyable way. It went way beyond autonomous pizza delivery vehicles and traffic congestion. He spoke about the benefits of less pollution, better safety, energy efficiencies, economic advantages, quality time improvements, and neighborhood transformations. The key, according to Hacket, is to understand where society and technology meet—where human beings reside and work together. For Smart Cities to work, there needs to be cooperation within businesses, communities, and policy makers to manage big data and work together to improve our world. It was clear that Ford is no longer just a car company but a lifestyle company and a community builder. It was amazing. See for all of Jim Hacket’s presentation and over 65 more.


  1. Realism Redefined

Virtual Reality (VR) isn’t new. We all have been watching it for years in multiple ways. We were amazed at the number of Fortune 500 companies, small companies, and startups focusing on VR and AR (Augmented Reality). The race has begun to take virtual reality from gaming to business and commerce. To do this, there is a need for improved fidelity, speed, and content. It needs to move from trivial entertainment to delivering information, educating, solving problems, and increasing productivity. It’s coming for sure – game on.

Digital Senses and Native Interfaces

  1. Native Interfaces and Digital Senses

Another theme at CES was the dawning of voice as the new and preferred user interface along with the importance of biometrics as a means of authentication and security. At DISHER, we’ve been around these technologies and see great value in them. Facial recognition and other biometric feedback was everywhere including: phones, smart beds, review mirrors, and countless other devices. Each had the ability to recognize a person’s eyes, nose, and face. The benefits are numerous. The most prominent being that the more we are recognized— the better the service we receive. Once we are authenticated, our devices can be personalized to help us start our car, pay for food, or even receive medical treatment.

When coming across products that utilized voice-user interfaces, I found myself turning to my go-to-gauge of a successful trend: “Would my wife use it in her busy life?” This past year, she used a voice assistant to shop for groceries and gifts. She usually resists new technology. But in this case, she became an early adapter. We believe this technology is here to stay and will continue to grow quickly. In fact, CTA recommends that companies invest in content and functions like this to build brand experience.


  1. Robotics

It is always fun to see the robots at CES. DISHER is drawn to robotics because we understand and use the technology behind it. Many companies like Mayfield Electronics and their robot Kuri present the “cute” robots that mimic Wall-E, R2D2, or little penguins. But some ask, “What can they really do?” The answer is— a lot! The focus for now is on service robots with many companies like Honda designing around the pillars of empowerment, experience, and empathy to aid those in need with everyday activities. For adoption to occur, the robots need to feel relatable and real— at least real enough to give instructions, ask questions, or even carry on a conversation. Robots like Honda’s 3EA18 are considered computers with feelings and are designed to both read and portray emotions. The presence of this technology in our homes and offices may take some getting used to, but we will certainly benefit. These robots might even help brighten up our day.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence will be the key enabler for many technology trends. AI enables machines to recognize and learn about their human’s preferences and support them in smart homes. AI serves as the backbone to the digital assistance features that we use. AI will be critical in enabling autonomous driving, properly interpreting and acting on our behalf. As demonstrated at Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility exhibit, the goal is to connect the vehicle brain with the human brain. Doing so will provide sensory perception, language interpretation, and data processing on the road to help us be better, safer drivers. Beyond the consumer realm, it will continue to radically change the way that businesses operate, whether it be through marketing, IT, or various other applications that call for the digestion of massive amounts of data.

CES 2018 5G Coming Soon

  1. 5G

You can now download the movie Guardians of the Galaxy in 3.6 seconds. Any questions? 5G will not only be transformative for consumer mobile devices but for industry and society as a whole by providing higher speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity. These advancements will yield improved safety for autonomous driving technology, where zero latency is essential for operational tasks that require vehicles to make decisions while consuming massive amounts of data. Faster thinking cars will mean less accidents and safer roadways. 5G will also improve user experience for AR and VR applications, enabling producers to cut the cord and opening the gateway for truly wireless headsets. This new technology is expected to redefine the capabilities of IoT. It may be coming sooner than we anticipated with major providers suggesting a rollout of this technology in the near future. Did I mention you can download a two-hour movie in 3.6 seconds?

CES 2018 5G, How Fast?!?

Well, there it is— the 2018 trends to watch from CES 2018. We’ll certainly stay abreast on how these growing trends will impact our lives and our customers right now and in the future. Stay tuned for a deeper-dive summary of electronics at CES 2018 in the upcoming weeks.

Written By: Dayna Beal, Business Lead – Discovery | Marketing
Dayna is a strategic growth guy with a BA from Hope and an MBA in corporate strategy from Northwestern. He is a Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni and Bill Hybels fan. Dayna helps organizations with vision mapping, branding, developing their people and more. He is a soccer coach, youth group leader and an energetic family man.