CES 2018: 6 key takeouts

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Locher/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9313005a) People walk through a display of television screens during CES International, in Las Vegas Gadget Show LG, Las Vegas, USA - 09 Jan 2018
That’s that, then/ CES 2018— AKA the Consumer Electronics Show— finished in Las Vegas on Friday, closing four days of forward-thinking, future-proofing, attendee-wowing showcases for another year.
Here are six key takeouts everyone in marketing and comms needs to know about…

*Women remain under-represtented in the technology sector

2017 represented something of a potential watershed for gender equality issues— from #metoo to pay gap exposes. Sadly, the ultimate event for tomorrow’s tech missed the opportunity to invite a single female keynote speaker to its 2018 edition, as highlighted in this engadgetUK article.
 

*Robots are about to be everywhere, and some may actually prove pretty useful

This year’s event featured a host of non-human entities designed to save time and get various jobs done. The BBC has been pretty scathing about the Aeolus and Cloi models— both very Jetsons, and aimed at offering us humans help around the home, when they work properly— but others won more favour. Robo Mantis is a four legged machine that could be used in rescue operations. Aflac, a robot duck, can comfort children suffering from cancer. Totem Spider is a build-it-yourself metallic arachnid that teaches kids how to code.

 

*AR and VR will explode in 2018

No, not in the literal sense, like some contemporary take on a Mission Impossible brief, but with huge steps taken by a variety of companies working in the fields of both Augmented and Virtual Reality, the next 12 months will see both blow up in terms of popularity. CES 2018 hosted AR toothbrushes that help kids learn how to brush properly, and new VR devices from Google, Lenovo, HTC, and more, representing leaps and bounds-style jumps from previous offerings.

 

*5G is coming fast

One of the keynote speeches that attracted most attention was Mobile Innovation: How 5G Will Enable The Future. And this didn’t start or stop with faster smartphones, either. Self-driving cars, health care breakthroughs, smart city technologies and commercial AR/VR applications are all set to benefit from the arrival of the latest connectivity, which will be 50 times faster than 4G— so think downloading a movie in under 4seconds.

 

*Prepare to get really personal

Medicine will be ‘hyperpersonalised’ in the near-future, thanks to gene sequencing. Leading AI assistant Amazon Alexa was the big one at 2017’s event, but this time round Google Assistant was everywhere, from headphones and TVs to cars and kitchens, the end goal being tech that truly knows you as a person because it’s monitoring in every possible situation.
There’s fresh competition for the market big guns in this field too, with a multitude of startups and rivals working on their own alternatives. Then you have things like Wintual, which can turn any screen into a 3D interactive display, with the angle adapting to any movement that takes place in front of the screen, giving the impression of looking at a real window, and delivering imagery that’s therefore unique to any situation you could ask for.

 

*Wearables are going nowhere but up

Wearables also have a lot to answer for this year, devices that can store up so much data about our health, fitness, and activity levels. Others, like the Coros Omni Helmet, answer problems surrounding safety and entertainment on the go— allowing cyclists to ride and listen to music via bone conduction rather than headphones. Meanwhile, the Philips SmartSleep tracker can ‘intervene with clinically proven technology to boost slow wave sleep in real time’. Perhaps most incredible of all in this area, though, were predictions suggesting we’ll be charging many of these devices using energy harvested from our bodies, via smart clothing, in the not-too-distant years.
 

Think we’ve missed something special from this year’s CES? Want to see what it’s like to work with a comms agency that’s just as forward thinking as many of these innovations? Email rick@smokinggunpr.co.uk