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Quick CES Observations

A few reflections of the tech and trends experiences at 2019 CES.

I am writing this on a red-eye plane trip that is taking me away from Las Vegas and the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. My plan was to read a little and hopefully pass out, but I’ve got some thoughts on the trends that I’ve experienced over the past few days, and I think it’d be best if I got them out of my head and into some pixels. Here goes:

Autonomous Vehicles: They were everywhere — in the parking lot behind the convention center, in the convention center, as the subjects of panels — but that doesn’t mean you should expect them any time soon. There are many roads to travel before there will be enough automated vehicles on the road to make a significant difference in the current staggering automobile death rate. Regulation and the fulfilled promise of 5G are all vital elements for making it happen, but we are looking at years of development. Still, for now, look for customers wanting their in-car experience to match their in-home situation, so you may be getting some calls about that….

5G is Here — To Some Degree: Speaking of 5G, it seems to be all but a done deal that there will be 5G phones available from multiple carriers in 2019, but that is only the tip of 5G’s potential. With ultra-reliability and the ability to handle enormous amounts of data, 5G is the key to smart cities, telemedicine, smart agriculture, and so much more — but all of that needs to be developed. Cell service is only the beginning.

Need to Know: 5G — Riding Wireless’s Next Wave

AI and IoT: The Internet of Things has exploded, with pretty much everything now connected. You can look into your smart makeup mirror while you use your smart toothbrush and spit into your smart sink. On top of connectivity, devices are now using machine learning and AI to track habits and talk to other devices in the kitchen and bathroom to not only take voice commands, but also offer suggested actions. As AV, lighting, shades, and security all came on the network, it made sense for integrators to install and manage them all, but with all these new devices joining them, lines will need to be drawn.

Need to Know: AI & Machine Learning

Aging in Place: One place that should fall within the line are aging-in-place technologies. There were plenty of new tech at the show in this category, and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the producers of CES, found in a study that both seniors and healthcare professionals are interested in using technology to monitor patients and make their home lives better. These devices use AI to help patients take medicine, obtain vitals, and alert caregivers in an emergency. The importance of their role and attention to detail when installing makes them a key area for the CI channel.

That’s my hot take from a few days in the trenches. We’ll be following up on these trends throughout the year.

Now to get through the rest of this flight.

Wait — ISE is only how many weeks away?