Innovation takes center stage at Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Innovation takes center stage at Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

January 22, 2018

Each year the very brightest and best converge in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and once again this year representatives of Louis Mamo & Company were in attendance looking for cutting and leading edge business and consumer solutions for its clients and customers.

From January 8th to 12th, more than 3,900 exhibitors showcased world-changing technologies that spanned more than 2.75 million net square feet of exhibit space across Las Vegas – the largest show floor in CES’ 51 year history. There were 860,732 tweets about CES and 450,554 uses of the #CES2018 hashtag on social media. From major international brands to the more than 900 startups participating in Eureka Park (home for CES startups) CES truly reflected the vibrant global tech industry. There were also several hundred government leaders in attendance, including one cabinet official, 10 members of congress and six international ministers and heads of state.

This year CES was one for the record book, bringing industries together at the largest and most influential technology event on the planet as Smart Cities, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Digital Health, 5G Technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) were front and center, dazzling the world with a glimpse into our future.

Large and small companies from around the world came to Las Vegas to launch technologies that will change our world. These are the technologies that will likely shape the future of our planet and hopefully impact our lives in a positive fashion.

Ever since its inception CES has been the global platform from which you can see the critical ingredients of technologies and better understand how they interconnect, providing both a clear snapshot of today’s breakthrough innovations and the vision of the road ahead.

While robots, drones, self-driving cars and even flying commuter transportation vehicles were once again highlighted throughout, a lot of attention was given to Smart Cities, most people were asking, “What are they?”

More municipalities are beginning to integrate sensor technology into infrastructure in ways that impact public health and safety. The implications here are huge – covering everything from public transportation to crowd control. Can you imagine, for example, not having to search for a parking space because you know where all the open spots are thanks to sensors? Conceptually Smart Cities will make us smarter, allowing us to be more efficient with our time and resources.

Intel, Ford and Huawei took the CES keynote stage with corporate showcases. Intel’s preshow keynote involved a grand production with technology advances and creative artistry that rivaled top Las Vegas shows. Throughout the extravaganza, Intel celebrated innovation, explored what’s next for big data and set a Guinness World Record with its Shooting Star Mini Drone show – the most advanced software fleet of 100 drones controlled without GPS by one pilot. Ford’s opening keynote focused on creating a reliable future of transportation through a systems-based approach for smart cities. Huawei announced the availability of its Mate10 Pro smartphone in the American market next month during its Tuesday afternoon keynote.

“With every major industry now engaged in tech, our show attracts major global brands and innovative newcomers from industries as varied as entertainment and marketing, sports and healthcare, and automotive and lifestyle” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, CES and corporate business strategy, Consumer Technology Association. “We had a record number of international attendees, which is amazing due to the strength of the U.S. dollar and the drop in international business travel to the U.S. CES is truly a global event, proven year after year.”

An array of groundbreaking technologies were introduced, explored and analyzed over the week-long event, illustrating how our world is heading towards a more connected future. Smart Cities at CES spotlighted many of these innovative technologies, including 5G, AI and IoT. 

The CES conference program covered the entire tech industry through more than 900 speakers, including 240 women, across some 200 conference sessions.

“CES 2018 will be remembered as the year where the wattage of innovation was so huge that it caused a blackout!” said IBM Chief Technology Officer and Vice President Bridget Karlin. “CES once again demonstrated that this is the world’s premiere showcase for technology innovation with unparalleled diversity from international public officials to industry leaders to entrepreneurs.”

The brand new Smart Cities Marketplace delivered multiple conference sessions that featured policymakers, city officials, industry innovators and more.

Smart speakers and digital assistants made their way into everything at CES from speakers and glasses to cars and appliances. Quantum computing also emerged at CES as a key component to the future of technology, showcased by exhibitors like IBM and Intel.

“CES is by far the world’s preeminent technology showcase and innovation catalyst. At CES, companies, both large and small, along with a powerfully diverse set of entrepreneurs from around the globe come together to define the technologies, products and services that will help address society’s most pressing needs,” said John Penney, executive vice president, consumer business development & partnership at Twentieth Century Fox. “CES is a connection system for the global community of innovations, their companies, and countries.”

Here’s a look at some of the most notable products and technologies for businesses today:

Mesh Networking.
Huawei’s Q2 (that’s its name, not the delivery date) is a WiFi router that can communicate with its peers over WiFi or powerline communications. The latter is useful in buildings with thicker walls found in industrial or office buildings. Although intended for home use, its maximum throughput of up to 1867 Mbps could easily serve a small offce. A three-pack of the base stations will cost around $350.

WiFi Security.
WiFi routers get bad press as a way for malware to sneak onto the network. Netgear is trying to change that image with security software from BitDefender for one of its latest models. Called Netgear Armor, the paid upgrade runs on the Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi router and incorporates an antivirus scanner and a URL blocker to protect from phishing and other attacks. It also includes a vulnerability assessment tool to help spot weak links elsewhere on a network. It’s free for 90 days, then $70 a year and, although intended for home users, beats leaving SOHO networks unprotected. 

Affordable Acer Chromebook with USB-C charging.
Acer’s new Chromebook 11 is handy for businesses using Google’s G Suite. It has two Type-C USB 3.1 ports that can be used to charge the laptop itself or to recharge other devices – and of course to transfer data. There are also two Type-A USB 3.0 ports, so you won’t need adapters for existing peripherals or thumb-drives. The 11-inch display has a 1366×768-pixel resolution, and is available with a touchscreen option. Other features include 4GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of flash storage, an integrated webcam and stereo speakers.

Dell XPS 13 laptop.
Dell’s XPS 13 laptop has slimmed down for 2018. It now weighs only 2.67 pounds and is under 0.46 inches thick. It’s put on some pixels, though: The XPS now has an almost bezel-less 4K “Infinity Edge” display and is available in touchscreen and regular models. It uses a silica aerogel from Gore to help manage heat – a similar material to that used in the Mars rover, according to Dell. Other features include a microSD slot, a Type-C USB 3.1 port with PowerShare, DC-In and Displayport, two Thunderbolt ports with the same features, a headphone socket and an infrared camera. Prices start at $999.

The Comeback of the PDA.
Planet Computers has developed the Gemini, an Android phone with a very PDA Psion-like fold-out physical keyboard. It started out as a crowd-funded project, and is now seeking a broader market. You can still sign up for the project on Indiegogo: The version with 4G wireless and 802.11ac WiFi is $399. It has a 5.9 inch, 18:9 multitouch display and a 10-core ARM processor that dual-boots Android and Linux. The biggest downside to the product is its weight. At around 11.3 ounces, you’ll definitely know when it’s in your pocket.

WPA3 security protocol is coming to WiFi routers.
First we had WEP to help secure our WiFi connections, then WPA, then WPA2. One by one, like dominos, they toppled, with WPA2 succumbing to KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack) in October 2017. But don’t worry, the WiFi alliance has a plan. Two, in fact, and it presented them at CES. The first is to conduct additional testing to ensure existing systems are implementing WPA2 securely. The second is to introduce WPA3, an update to the security protocol that will begin appearing in new devices later this year. It will require a minimum of 192-bit encryption (compared to 128 bits in WPA2) and force devices to perform a handshake with the network at each attempt to guess a password in a bid to prevent offline assaults on passwords. To protect users on open networks from eavesdropping, it will encrypt traffic differently for each user even where no password is required for network access. And finally, to help secure WiFi-connected IoT sensors with a limited user interface, it will define a way to provision such devices by touching them with a smartphone or similar device.

If you would like to explore some new and innovative options for your business, contact Louis Mamo & Company today.