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CES 2018 -Day 2 - Not Your Father's Buick

Jan/18/2018

For my non-techie colleagues, if you haven’t heard the expression level 4 autonomous driving, you soon will. The car the future will not only be able to drive without the assistance of a human being, they will recognize you, use your brain waves to anticipate and respond to your needs, and be as comfortable as your favorite chair at home. This technology is the breakthrough that I was looking for and didn’t see day 1. What’s most impressive about these vehicles is that unlike the self-driving cars on the road today (You know, the ones that look like an Apollo lunar vehicles), these cars have fine curves and are downright luxurious. If you haven’t heard of Byton cars, Google it, as they seem to be on the leading edge of autonomous driving. And yes, they are a Chinese company. Read on…

 Other observations from day 2:

  • The ascent and dominance of Asian countries, most notably China, in the technology and AI space is obvious by the overwhelming number of Asian companies represented at the conference.
  • I have to admit that I didn’t fully understand the possibilities of 3-D printers. After yesterday, I am blown away by how far the technology has come. You can essentially manufacture anything if you are willing to put out the investment. Prices start in the hundreds of dollars and go as high as a million for complex manufacturing.
  • Speaking of 3-D printing, I think the next fun gadget fad will be having what is referred to as a 3-D pen. I am not an artsy person but even I became a creative artist with a 3-D pen in my hand.
  •  I spent most of yesterday looking at the latest advances in TV technology and was not overly impressed. While the TVs I saw were better than the ones in my home, they weren’t that much better. What did impress me is that the TV of the future will be as thin as wallpaper. Well, almost.
  • There were some new technologies on display that I really don’t get. One is virtual fitting room where there’s no need to try on clothes as the technology fits you to the right size. I like trying on clothes. Another is a smart kitty litter box that senses when it is full and informs you. I didn't get that or the smart appliances that speak to you and follow your commands. I like a clothes dryer that works, is seen but not heard.
  • A friend of mine was curious if Ronco was introducing a breakthrough gadget this year. I haven't seen it but after walking 10 miles yesterday I most like the Homopedic foot massager. Low tech but a killer app for the feet.

As for the conference itself, it is logistical nightmare. When you put 170,000 people in the same space at the same time and bad things happen. Simple task like getting a cup of coffee, finding a seat, or getting a cab become nearly impossible. Add record rainfall and it becomes miserable when you venture outdoors. Just the same, I am having a blast. The show is a festival of the senses. This show is a definite bucket list adventure.

Till tomorrow,

Bob