By Dianne R. Davis
Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis unless otherwise indicated.
CES 2018 - The Future on Display
The annual CES held in Las Vegas is overwhelming. The 2018 show in early January hosted over 180,000 attendees and contained over 3,900 exhibitors occupying 2.75 million square feet of space. The show not only filled the Las Vegas Convention center, but also utilized convention space at six Las Vegas hotels.
The gathering is a showcase for the latest in consumer electronics including everything from automobiles with special features to help avoid accidents to kitchens that think for themselves to robots that respond to voice commands.
As an unsophisticated techie, I felt I was visiting a Star Wars exhibit. I could not find C-3-PO or R-2-D-2, but I found several other robots. The use of artificial intelligence was one of the themes of the show. Exhibitors offered robots that folks could use as companions. Thanks to artificial intelligence, these robots could recognize their particular companions and respond to their commands.
Sony offered Alpo - a pet dog robot. This $1,700 device would get to know its owner and act like a genuine pet. The artificial puppy becomes more attached to you the more you play with it. Thus, it interacts with each person differently. It also recognizes voices and can bark back in response.
Cozmo doesn't have to be fed or walked Photo by Dianne Davis
We enjoyed interacting with Cozmo a $299 robot that would learn its companion and follow him or her around the house. Great for kids or adults.
For athletes, there were new devices to track heart rate, oxygen intake, muscular reactions, and overall metabolism as well as the latest in headphones for runners, jumpers, or others who challenge nature.
Samsung spotlighted their Smart Home during their press conference Photo by Burt Davis
For those in the kitchen, there are artificial intelligence contraptions that suggest healthy snacks, provide recipes, and even order food for you.
Of course the televisions continue to evolve way beyond what anyone might have imagined as they watched Howdy Doody. There are sets now that track your viewing patterns, know what you like to watch, and make suggestions.
Cars that drive themselves? Yes, that's happening too. Medical big brother equipment to look after elderly parents in another state and advise you if there are issues. And of course those smart phones just keep getting smarter.
It appears that all aspects of everyday life can be “connected digitally, ” Automobile companies are now an integral part of the show. All of the major automotive companies exhibited. Most featured the latest in driverless cars as well as numerous safety devices.
Exhibitors use many methods to attract visitors to their displays. Spin the wheel and win a phone case Photo by Burt Davis
Smart Home Products
Smart home products had a huge presence. Major companies such as Samsung offered “hubs” by which the consumer can control many aspects of a home through a connected smart phone. Homeowners can remotely control room temperature, television programming, and washing machines. Smart refrigerators can keep an inventory of food contents, tell you when food items are aged, and even suggest meals for various members of the household.
One way to prove that your phone case is water proof - Drop it in the fish bowl Photo by Burt Davis
It seems like it was only yesterday that we were excited about exhibits of lap top computers and digital cameras. We are now overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of all the new devices. The digital future is bright.