A First Timer's Snapshot of CES
Firstly, I walked in a little naïve. I had no idea just how huge it was.
Here's what you need to know:
It's in its 50th year with 177,393 attendees, with 3,887 exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge and world-changing technology, across 2.47 million net square feet of exhibit space.
One thing is clear: our lives are becoming easier. Products, designs and innovations are striving for us to do and think less every day. Smart homes, smart cars, smart walking sticks, smart vibrators, smart everything. Yes, you've read that right.
The smart cars.
I can't wait until these babies are on our roads. There's plenty to be excited about - whilst driving itself to your selected destination, a conflict breaks out in the car between father and son. Don't worry, the car will be listening and it will calm down a family argument by being a mediator. It will then play a family favourite sing-along to lighten the mood. All this built on family intelligence. Best way to imagine this is to think if your car had ears and a brain, got it?
Jibo. The home robot.
I fell in love with this little guy. He is your home robot with a cheeky personality. Retailing at around the same price as a tablet, I'm predicting we'll all have a Jibo by 2020. He'll tell your kids their favourite bedtime stories, help you cook a meal and remind you to put a jumper on as you go out the door - he knows the weather's going to drop a few degrees later in the day. He is the ultimate at home buddy.
Beam. Bringing people closer.
These revolutionise video conferencing by combining long-range mobility with superior audio and video capability. It's actually like you're there. You may have seen this one in Modern Family recently. This bad boy hangs out like the person is actually there. Forget calling for the IT team trying to get some failed Skype attempt. Beam will have you covered and will even greet your guests at the door. The best Beam will also have M&Ms to offer too... yes!
Virtual reality won't go away. Nor do we want it to, as it just keeps getting better. We just need to work out what role it has in our lives, as we've all been a bit lost on it. The best example I saw was helping victims of car crashes get their mobility back through visual physio. They worked in partnership with the Exoskeleton robotics Hyundai has created. Everywhere you looked, there was a demonstration of the latest and greatest VR.
EKKO, the world's first connected smart mirror.
This is where things start to get fun for your everyday.
Your mirror that you gaze into every morning just got a whole lot more interesting. With options like playing music, TV shows, YouTube videos, displaying the weather and news feeds in real time, and checking emails too, the possibilities are endless. The glass technology allows the information to be digitally displayed at the bottom of the mirror - making multi-tasking that much easier.
The smart umbrella.
Isn't she lovely? A fun product better than your everyday boring umbrella. It will predict rain coming and beep your phone to remember it. Also, if you leave her behind, she's sending you a text to come pick her up.
There were plenty of these around, my favourite was awarded an innovation award. Aira is a service for the blind and visually impaired. But instead of helping someone "see", it basically communicates to an Aira agent, who will act as an extra set of eyes. One can use either a pair of smart glasses or just a phone's camera for it to work. The company promises that this will help blind people do everything from grocery shopping to calling an Uber.
Everlast and PIQ boxing glove.
There were plenty of activity trackers for golf, tennis and many other sports, but what about boxing? Everlast and PIQ have teamed up to attach a motion sensor to a boxing glove to track your face-punching. That data is then crunched to tell you the type of punch, impact and force that you produce during your sparring sessions. You can then post it to social media - you know, to warn your Facebook friends not to mess with you!
So hopefully this gives you some idea of the great things you see here. Hopefully see you there next year.
Time to hit the tables.