CES 2019

THE FUTURE IS NOW BY . WILLIAM DERHAM

At the beginning of each year all roads lead to glitzy Las Vegas for the massive Consumer Electronics Show where the best and brightest movers and shakers gather to geek out and push the envelope in the ever changing world of technology. The first CES was held in June 1967 in New York City. It was a spinoff from the Chicago Music Show, which, until then, had served as the main event for exhibiting consumer electronics.

Fast forward to 2019 where so called, disruptive technology, took center stage. What is D.t you  ask? Disruptive technology is an innovation that uproots an established technology, or a revolutionary product or service that spawns a new industry. Amazon, Uber, Rumba, Siri, and Alexa are the obvious examples. Facial Recognition, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality are the intrinsic new kids on the block worming their way into every aspect of IoT (Internet of Things).

CES is the largest and most influential tech event in the world! It only takes setting foot on the show floor to feel the magnitude of its enormity. Extolling nearly 3 million sq. ft. of space and visited by upwards of 180,000 visitors it’s virtually impossible to see all there is to offer.

The highly festive and circus-like atmosphere of this convention has to be experienced to be fully understood; even then, timing and a bit of good luck can make the daunting task a more enjoyable and fruitful endeavor. The CES APP proved to be a valuable asset to schedule events, navigate the hall, find exhibitors, network, and get up to the minuet vital info. 

Upon arrival at the Las Vegas Convention Center the very first thing that catches your eye is the giant Google Gum Ball Machine filled with bright, primary colored “gumballs.” No, not actual gumballs but hollow globes containing various prizes and swag. That is, of course if ypu’re willing to stand in-line for up to 2 hrs to earn it. Prizes ranged from “Hey Google” beenie hats and Fandango movie passes to coveted tech toys like Google Home Hubs and Wiz connected smart light bulbs. 

Several innovative products fell into the “as-yet-unheard-of” category starting with the LG OLED TV-R. The sleek, unassuming base console houses a OLED flexible screen  that with a push of a button rolls up it’s 4K video display. Even with the screen fully down users can enjoy the  4.2 channel, 500 watt Dolby Atmos sound-bar in addition to the newly implemented Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

The Bell Helicopter Company’s introduced their jaw-dropping NEXUS Sky Taxi mock up where people stood in long lines to sit in the cockpit of this futuristic prototype that will someday soon offer transportation solutions “in the vertical dimension”. The Bell Co. has also partnered with Uber to bring the flying car to major markets in the very near future. Zero Mass Water Company’s outdoor booth showcased it’s SOURCE Hydropanels that use only sunlight and air to make pure drinking water. Ecovacs Robotics unveiled their gravity defying  WINBOT X, a first-of-it’s-kind cordless cleaning robot, think Rumba for windows. 

Much like a coffee machine that uses pods to brew your beverage, the LG HomeBrew uses single-use capsules that contain yeast, hops, and malt. All you have to do is pop in the pods and press a button, and the machine takes over from there. It automates the entire process, from fermentation and carbonation to aging and serving, and it even self-cleans and sanitizes in between batches. You can also check in on the status of your beer through the device’s companion app, so you’ll always know where it’s at in the process and when it’s ready. When it’s done, you can serve it straight from the tap on the device. Getting drunk just got a whole lot easier!

 Anytime you see a crowd gathering around it’s likely to draw even more attention as was the case for the OMRON Robotic Table Tennis Tudor. The Japanese company OMRON Corporation introduced a table tennis robot with a sensor that measures the position of its opponent and the movement of the ball 80 times per second, can predict the trajectory of the ball and hit the ball back, and project the landing point of the ball. It was a spectacularly entertaining sight to see the human ping pong professional go at it with the robot. 

Rover Technologies’ Speed Suitcase drew another large swarm of fascinated attendees with their AI enhanced robotic  suitcase that follows you like a faithful puppy dog. The case comes with a built-in remote follow, auto-lead features and USB ports to charge your gadgets anytime. It uses AI body recognition technology, which helps to track & follow its owner by using cameras and radar. The suitcase is equipped with a smart electronic lock system that gives you multiple lock access which can be controlled by the app. Rover Speed’s battery is removable so you don’t have to worry about TSA compliant and totally safe for air travel. 

Facial recognition was another high profile system that seems like another step closer to making Cyberdyne’s Terminator a real future threat

Of course the action doesn’t stop after the convention closes it’s doors for the day. There are numerous corporate music events each night and we were fortunate enough to attend Ford Motor Company’s  I HeartRadio Live Concert. Drais Night Club located in the Cromwell Hotel on the Vegas Strip played host to English chanteuse Ellie Goulding who opened up the show with a 30 min set of her synth-pop soaked hits. Golden Globe winner for best musical score, co-writing the hit tune “Shallow” from “A Star is Born” starring Lady Gaga. His DJ set included dance inducing tracks from Michael Jackson to Bruno Mars.

CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technology. No other event gives established and startup companies alike this depth of exposure and reach.

 Already looking forward to see what quantum leaps the mercurial industry will offer next year!  

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The Company was borne on a germ of an idea. 1992 in California. Rick Anthony, Bill Derham, Tim Riley