POV: CES 2019


The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place in Las Vegas this week, drawing the world’s leading consumer technology brands, all showing off their latest and greatest inventions. From 5G everything and smart cities to beauty trends and that Apple Ad, brands brought their biggest, fastest, and most connected projects to the CES showroom.

Details and Implications:

Three key themes of this year’s show were:

Infrastructure: Tech elements that will support and enable the next round of tech innovation. 5G wireless will achieve speeds up to 100x faster than 4G and cloud computing to store the data, applications, etc. will fuel new products, services and experiences.

Intelligence: Artificial intelligence is increasingly interwoven into every piece of technology enabling faster decision making, better personalisation and greater relevancy.

Interconnectedness: Getting devices and technology to work together is a problem that still vexes the industry. Large and small players are aggressively working to be the default ‘OS’ that wins this challenge

Here are a few of the highlights:

5G: It was as more about the concept of 5G versus actual 5G-enabled products. The 5G network is anticipated to roll out in the USA in 2019 and expected to transform a variety of industries including: transportation and cities (driverless cars), medicine (remotely controlled operations), and personal entertainment (faster downloads/streaming). For remote workers hampered by low bandwidth, 5G routers could be a game changer – the D-Link 5G NR Enhanced Gateway Router will provide ‘speeds up to 40x faster than the fixed broadband speed in the U.S.’

Sound & Vision: Voice is making its way into everything and is becoming even more accurate and personalised. Voice has crept into even the most personal moments with the Kohler’s Numi 2.0, an intelligent toilet with built-in Alexa. Vision at CES saw screens of all sizes becoming more physically flexible, so we may start seeing them in newer places. VR, on the other hand still looks for a compelling case beyond gaming and entertainment.

Health & Wellness: The Health & Wellness industry is a huge business ($4.2tn, globally). Tech is pivoting from monitoring health to enabling wellness and offering not only ‘diagnosis’ but suggested courses of action. Consumers view health data as extremely personal (and valuable); discussion around right of consumers to own (and profit from) that data is proliferating. Wellness is an all-encompassing term now – beauty, mental and physical health, fitness, prevention, diagnosis and more… and it’s about to get even bigger in 2019.

Transport: Transportation will look different in the future. Personalised modes of transport and transport that converts easily from a passenger vehicle to a freight vehicle will be common. Transport will be much more autonomous and safer (98% of all accidents are result of human error). Autonomous cars will be much more efficient (and theoretically better for the environment) and the in-vehicle experience will change, making entertainment a focus.

Smart Homes & Cities:  Companies are battling it out to be the central home control/coordinator. Google, Amazon, Apple and Samsung appear to be in the lead. But lots of smaller niche competitors are also in the space. Voice control is a key accelerant of the smart home. We no longer need to build smart cities from scratch as new tech is being created to turn ‘analogue’ buildings ‘digital’ and the tech we use to control our homes will also extend to the way in which we look after our pets.

The largest trade show in the world, CES is where the tech industry showcases what the future may hold for us. Expect personalisation to further encompass our lives and smart homes to become the new norm.

Further Reading: Mindshare In The Loop | 5GAA  | Digital Trends | CNET