Friday, January 12, 2018

Our CES 2018 Wrap Up

As this week comes to a close, so does CES 2018. And boy, was it an eventful one. While the lights may have been off, the jaw-dropping displays of up-and-coming tech were in full force. If you’ve been keeping up with the first half of the week at CES (we recapped it a few days back!), you might think that we now exist inside of a Sci-Fi movie, complete with robots that can deliver luggage to your hotel room as well as fold your laundry. So what else did CES 2018 have in store for our imminent future? Let’s dive into what the last two days showcased as companies and featured speakers discussed where technology is headed in a matter of just a few short years.

Smart Home
Tired of having to turn on your kitchen sink’s faucet manually? Or even worse, flipping on the bathroom lights in the morning? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re just in luck–Kohler released Kohler Konnect, so you don’t have to lift a finger when getting ready anymore. Need to fill up a pot with water, but you’ve got your hands full? The company has eliminated the “challenge” of completing these tasks by enlisting the help of Amazon Alexa, so now you can simply say “Pour eight cups”, and your smart sink will take it from there, with hands-free, accurate measurements.

The Race for 5G
Have you ever had a moment when you were dying to show a friend a funny YouTube video you came across, and you get the dreaded “buffer” circle? It’s embarrassing! If this scenario sounds all too familiar, fear no more. Featured speakers at CES this year discussed the race to roll out 5G. In a world that’s more connected than ever with self-driving cars, drones and smart cities, there is an impending need for a faster network. Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, notes that with 5G, it would take approximately 3.6 seconds to download a 2-hour movie, compared to the current 6-minute wait time with 4G. While this sounds nice, I’ll have to remember to keep on exercising patience when sharing funny videos with my friends; It might take a year or two for 5G to deploy.  

The Future of Our Cities
It seems like almost everything these days is labeled “smart”, and now cities can be tacked onto this long list. Smart cities will allow the urban ecosystem to become a more connected environment in order to improve the daily lives of city-dwellers. Although it may sound a little too futuristic, companies like Bosch are already tackling aspects making cities smarter. The tech company was awarded with a CES 2018 Innovation award for its version of a smart city, The Climo System, which tackles the challenge of monitoring air pollution in Las Vegas. This was just one of the many proposed ways in how society can adopt new and exciting innovations. In about 30 years, 60 percent of the world’s population will be living in a city. Still skeptical if cities really needed to be “smart”? Smart cities have the potential to positively impact this staggering growth by making our towns cleaner and safer, and they can even render less congested traffic.

Gary Shapiro said it best, “Every company is now a tech-company.” As we head into the rest of 2018, I’m excited to see how companies will continue to write the script for our futuristic world with these disruptive technologies.


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