10th January 2020

POV: CES 2020

Background:

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), featuring over 4,500 exhibitors, took place in Las Vegas this week, drawing the world’s leading consumer technology brands together in one place to show off the latest tech.

Details and Implications:

In 2020, some of key themes from last year are still prominent with Health and Wellness a key focus, as well as 5G and driverless cars also making an appearance. These are some of the key themes from this year’s show:

Bringing Technology to Everyone: There was a focus on the needs of small individual groups and making daily activities more accessible to all. For example, Lexilens – glasses for children with dyslexia to aid their development, a Tactile Pro Tablet computer for the visually impaired and TADs food allergy detection tools to help reduce anxiety in food contamination for allergy sufferers. These are items that bring technology closer to everybody’s lives and make all these activities more inclusive for everyone.

Democratising and Quantifying Health: 2019 saw Health and Wellness as a prominent trend, the industry being worth a huge $4.2tr. This year, there were lots of new and exciting health and wellbeing tools for the mass market focusing on the idea of digital health. New smart ‘wearable tech’ like smart belts for the elderly that can predict a fall, FootWARE smart shoes that can track heart rates, blood pressure and even stress levels to monitor health conditions, could help many people in their daily lives.

Improving Mobility and Access to it: CES is almost synonymous with the unveiling of new mobility options. From concept cars to improving safety and entertainment for passengers, this year was another prominent year for transport. Sony surprised everyone by launching their Concept Car the Vision S, that comes with a dashboard aimed at entertaining passengers whilst the car, one day, drives itself. Aside from this, companies are continuously addressing major safety problems caused by human error (94 - 96% of traffic accidents are said to be caused by human error, according to the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration). They are also addressing the ‘last mile’ problem amongst commuters – which stipulates that most businesses are located further from transport than people are willing to walk, so brands are coming up with answers and solutions in the form of new foldable bikes and advanced scooters.

Addressing Climate Change and Resource Scarcity: Greta Thunberg was named person of the year by Time magazine and climate change protests shut down cities across the globe in 2019. Due to the prominence of the climate change crisis, tech solutions such as sustainable food options, fuel alternatives, and more efficient tools were presented. Brands will continue to focus on sustainability solutions in 2020.

Bettering Everyday Lives: 5G was introduced last year and continues to remain a popular topic. Connectivity is more important than ever and devices will work more seamlessly with more speed and power. The ‘smart’ home will include more everyday objects from saucepans to kitchen bins as tech companies are expanding the ‘smart’ devices available. Brands like Samsung have designed induction stoves for small spaces and bots to improve air quality in the home and help you cook (it has a voice assistant and two hands).

Summary:

These five key themes are underpinned by four key technologies: audio and vision, IOT sensors, 5G and AI. Whilst driverless cars are not quite here yet, companies are creating more and more auto safety features, and next year we could see our frying pans connected to the internet. As ever, CES is where the future is brought to life. We can expect our lives to be even more connected and technology to help keep us safe.

Further Reading: The Guardian | BBC | Wired

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Mindshare Global