It hasn’t even started yet, but CES 2018 has already fulfilled its promise of WHOA, several times over!
We’ve come to expect a lot of innovation and excitement from our visits to CES, but we don’t recall seeing so much before the show even officially opens.
How’s that? There are a day and a half of media-only events, CES Unveiled (a sneak peak and chance for one-on-one discussions with a number of exhibitors), and a handful of pre-show conference sessions.
It has been enough to give us several “whoa” moments already, not to mention running us ragged with the whole show still ahead of us.
CES Pre-Show WHOAs
Six things already have us saying WHOA! from this year’s CES experience.
- Google Assistant vs. Amazon Alexa
- Smart speakers and voice control throughout the home
- Vive la France
Let’s look briefly at each of those.
Google Assistant vs. Amazon Alexa
Before you even get to a CES event you see Google firing the first shots in what is clearly an all-out voice control battle with Alexa. Google was everywhere we turned, from digital billboards outside the casinos to signs plastered on every form of transportation.
More than the visible signs, everyone is talking about Google going after Alexa, not just for smart speaker dominance but voice control in devices throughout the home.
Smart Speakers & Voice Control
The Google Assistant vs. Alexa battle is even bigger because voice control is everywhere, both in media presentations and in the home. With a role for smart speakers in every room and voice control built into seemingly everything, the stakes are high for the competing voice technologies.
This is something we see as big for aging in place seniors, as it will give them the ability to control the tech devices in their homes without having to be tech experts.
We have been hearing for some time about the next generation of wireless, 5G, and now it is just about ready for release.
That’s not the “whoa,” though — it’s the speed. One speaker described it as fiber speed through wireless communications, but that still doesn’t do it justice.
There are a number of cities and broadband providers touting “gig” speeds for their fiber, but 5G promises wireless speeds ten times that. Think about being able to download a two hour movie in the amount of time it takes to say it’s title. That’s WHOA fast!
Vive la France
For years we have marveled at the innovation we have seen from French tech companies and lamented that more of it is not available in the US, especially connected health devices.
This year the French are back in bigger numbers than before – – with several devices we can’t wait to report are available to seniors and family caregivers in the US.
Technology has been offering great experiences to users for years, with that experience based on what each user made of the tech. That is changing.
This year everyone has been talking about technology personalizing the experience for each user. We’ve heard a lot about artificial intelligence, AI, and machine learning without really understanding what they will mean to us. They will enable our devices to learn about us and tailor what they do for and with us based on that knowledge.
LG, in its press session, referred to it as “I learn to know you.”
There are always lines at CES, but already this year there are LINES! Everywhere we turn, from press conferences to conference sessions, excitement about the innovation is drawing crowds and lines so long there isn’t even enough standing room for everyone who is waiting to learn more.
All this and the sight of BMWs drifting in the parking lot . . . and CES 2018 doesn’t officially start until tomorrow.
We can’t wait to see it and bring it to you!