As a first-time attendee of CES I
distinctly remember thinking on my flight over to Vegas: "What have I let myself in for?"
It turns out the answer was a week of no
sleep, motivational videos designed to make you cry and more gadgets than I
could shake a stick at. It doesn't matter what time it is in Vegas, there's always
something going on, and with the show spread over three major areas across the
city it's almost impossible to take everything in.
But here are the top trends I noticed
during my week in Sin City:
aren't interested in JUST data collection anymore
One of the biggest themes of the week was
the concept that devices that collect data are no longer useful unless they are
able to interpret it and make changes for the better.
At the show, Shawn G DuBravac, chief
economist and senior director of research at the Consumer Electronics
the need for a "feedback loop" whereby the analog input method for
digitisation and curation is then used to influence and change behaviour,
feeding back to the original input method.
It was widely agreed across the conference
that until this feedback loop occurs, digital and connected technology will not
towards a better and more convenient standard of living.
is focussed on making things "better"
CEA representatives were saying it,
Samsung's CEO was saying it, the
big boss at Intel was saying it - everyone agreed that the internet of
things and other connected
technologies could act as a gateway towards a better existence for human
According to Samsung's keynote at the
opening of the show, "better" means different things to different people, and
the public said the technology of the future should "be faster", "save time" and
And that's just everyday life - Intel spoke
about how its RealSense technology can allow automated
drones to more easily navigate on their own, allowing easier drop off of
items such as medical supplies.
The firm also shared its plans for a more
diverse workforce by launching its own Diversity in Technology initiative, aiming
to improve not just technology but the industry itself.
wearables market is as confused as ever
The last few years at CES has
seen wearables move from a possible future concept into a full blown industry
segment. The problem is, wearables still don't know what they want to be.
In the CES Marketplaces innovation hall
technology booths were split into sections, which included Wearables, Health
& Wellness, Fitness & Technology, Smart Watches and Sports Tech, all of
which contained, amongst other things, wearables of some kind.
Some of the products could have landed in
any of these categories, and the line between several of these segments is very
designer Lauren Bowker claiming earlier this year that she doesn't like her
scientific designs being referred to as wearable tech, it's clearly an
industry that, although has many products already embedded into people's
lifestyle, doesn't know where it's going.
I think wearables is a technology category
becoming a bit too big for its boots, and it needs to decide where its
loyalties lie - fitness, wellness or convenience.
printing is actually going somewhere
Last year 3D printing seemed like a gimmick
that would never take off. Now
it's a legitimate industry used for activities such as rapid prototyping,
and many products surfaced at CES that could expand the opportunities of the 3D
Intel's plans to integrate Intel's Core i7
processors within HP's upcoming HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer is a step
towards fast printing for functional items such as chainlinks and other
working parts for the engineering industry.
A 3D printing pen that allows users to draw
a functioning 3D object was also on display in the Marketplaces hall, as well
as many smaller 3D printers for home use that could solve expensive outsourcing
problems for wannabe engineers.
From a concept people scoffed at to a range of technologies with practical uses, the 3D printing industry
has come along in leaps and bounds.
Chinese market is booming
Once technology was only manufactured in
China on behalf of other businesses, but now Chinese
companies are huge, and producing products for both domestic and
From smartphones to smarthomes, China
definitely had a huge presence at the show this year, and the trend doesn't look
to slow down any time soon.
internet of things and smarthomes are both the fastest growing and least
Everyone was talking about the current
proliferation and development of the internet of things this year, including
and how connected devices can help to improve people's lives and save
However much like wearables, some of these
technologies still don't quite have the edge that's needed to make them as
useful as they could be.
We discussed earlier technology must
provide information that allows users to manipulate and improve their
environment in order to fully prove its usefulness.
What was also highlighted by Samsung's
CEO was the need for greater collaboration between different industry
segments and regulators to ensure the internet of things is able to properly
move forward and work seamlessly.
Looks like we have a lot to keep an eye on
over the next year!