Sometimes life brings us surprises we’ve never thought of. My working day did not seem to be different from the rest 261 in the year. I was sitting in the office chair and looking at the ongoing list of tickets in Jira. After several hours of intense work, I noticed the crowd in the hall and looked at the clock - that was the time for our weekly standup meeting, which is traditionally held by our C-level employees. In the flow of news and updates, I heard the announcement I could not get out of my head — an invitation to the biggest consumer electronics show. The idea of going to one of the most prominent events in the US was much appealing, and just in a day, I found myself in the plane, heading to CES — that is where my journey began.
What is CES?
The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is the event that has been in the public eye for more than 50 years. The first exhibition was just a spinoff of the Chicago Music Show. However, the organizers decided to revolutionize the world of consumer electronics with a powerful opening show, where the Chairman of Motorola acted in the role of a core speaker. Held by the Consumer Technology Association, the trade show has become one of the most prominent events in the industry.
I was sitting in the airplane, drawing a detailed plan for my trip, when it landed. A 24-hour trip with 3 connection flights is not something you’re excited about. Jetlag and fatigue were my best friends for the next several days. So, if you’re traveling from remote regions, be prepared for some inconvenience. Furthermore, I recommend booking your hotel in advance. More than 170 thousand attendees visit the event annually, so it might be challenging to find affordable accommodation in a couple of days. I also had some issues with my bank account, as I could not use my credit card to pay for a room. Therefore, having some cash with you is really beneficial.
Top 5 Trends at CES You Must Know
1. Tech for Good. While 20 years ago, tech companies were ranked “the best” based on how cool they are, now they are ranked “the best” based on how good they are. Social responsibility has become a crucial factor that profoundly impacts our buying decisions. Thus, manufacturing socially important products is not only trendy but also profitable for all parties involved. Technology has great potential to help people with disabilities to perform a variety of activities.
2. Eco-friendly Initiatives. Impossible Pork caused a real hype at CES with the biggest crowd around the booth. After its hit launch of an Impossible Burger 2.0 last year, the company went even further and presented a plant-based pork, which promises to have the same characteristic as meat. A series of tests have been carried out that only confirmed the highest quality of the product. A one-year achievement can be shrugged off as a coincidence, while two hits in a row must be regarded as a trend. Theis the sign that the tech world is ready to embrace food innovations at all levels.
3. Auto Innovations are Still on the Rise. The invention of self-driving cars marked a significant milestone in the AutoTech world, which proved that even the boldest ideas can be implemented with help of tech innovations. Since then, it seemed like nothing new was going to disrupt the industry in the upcoming 10-20 years. However, automobile companies continue to amaze trade show visitors with “wow-how” projects. Both multibillion corporations, as well as startups, were eager to showcase their latest products. Toyota has become a pioneer in its niche with a prototype community of the future that will be based in Japan. The tech giant promises to build a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The idea behind the project is to create a “living laboratory” with full-time residents and on-site scholars that are going to create innovations in robotics, AI, personal mobility, smart homes, and other industries.
Startups don’t fall behind and try to catch up to the latest trends with their cutting-edge products. Hubway brought augmented reality to drivers’ windshields with lots of new features and possibilities. The lense integrates with your mobile phone to fetch notifications on the screen and show directions. Also, it connects to vehicle cameras to ensure better control of blind spots, thus enhancing your security. If you think that the concept is far from being sold on the shelves, you’ll be surprised to hear that Hubway lense can be ordered somewhere between $300-500. At CES, you understand what the phrase “innovations at your fingertips” really means.
4. Neural Interfaces. Brain-computer interfaces, or as they are frequently called neuro-control interfaces, provided visitors with a grasp of the future tech. Starting from Narbis glasses that help to control attention span and ending up with NextMind that went from the show with an award, companies of all sizes have an ambition to find new applications for neural interfaces. It is expected that this direction will gain pace with new manifestations of neural-based devices that will profoundly affect all domains.
5. AI Products. Although AI is no longer a buzzword in the world of tech, its new applications are still highly demanded across all domains. HealthTech benefited much from AI innovations as they have the potential to improve the quality of medical care. Binah.ai presented a product that promises to provide a new level of security, stability and performance. The app scans your face and equips you with the basic info about your heart rate, mental stress level, oxygen saturation and blood pressure. The product is expected to go beyond its application in healthcare. The app can be applied in criminal justice to spot lies and track fake evidence.
So, what is my impression of CES 2020?
Even though I have become a random visitor at CES, I was really surprised by the scale of the event. This is the place where all dreams of tech genius, startups and multibillion corporations meet reality. If you have a chance to give a visit to this trade show, you should definitely opt for it. You’re sure to get plenty of insights, positive emotions and effective networking!