CES2018: Highlights from the world’s biggest tech show
January 13th, 2018
Thousands gathered in Las Vegas at the 2018 edition of the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), a showcase of the latest innovations from big corporations and tiny startups.
The four-day event featured the newest electronics that are being introduced on the market, with interest at its peak.
Samsung highlighted a smart refrigerator with a large touch screen and voice controls. Huawei, the Chinese manufacturer, showed its first high-end smartphone for the United States. And LG demonstrated a TV that can be rolled up like a yoga mat. Plus wifi-connected showers, a clothes-folding robot and much more.
“If you’re lying in bed and want to get into a hot shower you can either use an app or talk to Alexa and have your shower start up at your favourite temperature,” said Lindsy Argenti, Marketing Communications Manager from Moen, demonstrating internet-connected showers.
Another stand, featured a water bottle with a large electronic base with three replaceable pods to squirt in different supplements depending on your activity data.
“If you went on a 10-mile cycle in Las Vegas in the summer we would know the weather, the level of activity and intensity, so the bottle would know you’d need to hydrate and would dispense electrolytes,” said Rob Lawson Shanks, Co-Founder of Life Fuels, whose water bottle needs charging once a week via USB.
Forward X was one of several companies to have built a robotic suitcase that follows the owner around the airport so he or she doesn’t have the inconvenience of holding a handle.
Meanwhile, products designed to help the elderly in the event of a fall, included Helite’s bulky US$800 airbag belt that inflates to protect the hip bones and E-Vone’s smart shoes that alert a loved one if the wearer trips.
The clear highlight of this year’s show was not a gadget but the growing amount of artificial intelligence software helping these products run. The race between Amazon and Google to be the go-to service for integration of consumer products was on full display. In many booths, signs prominently advertised that products worked with Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa.
Home appliances like coffee makers, vacuums, ovens and even the cat litter box also received an A.I. upgrade. Samsung’s smart refrigerator, which was on display, allows consumers to control other home devices with their voice and a large touch screen.
“Last year we announced that all of our home appliances would be wifi-enabled. In 2018 we’re adding AI to all of our appliances,” said LG’s David VanderWaal on stage as he walked through a host of smart refrigerators, washing machines and ranges. He introduced Cloi, a controlled robot.
The Mercedes-Benz User Experience, known as MBUX, one of many vehicle systems showcasing connected car technology, was also a crowd favorite. The in-vehicle system includes a touch screen and understands voice commands.