CES 2017 / Hong Kong Radio 3, ABC Local, ABC Far North Qld
CES (The Consumer and Electronic Show) is the ultimate geek and nerd convention held each year, in early January in Las Vegas, attracts over 180,000 visitors who are all there to find the latest tech machinations, thinking, prototypes and products that may just become the next big thing.
This year’s show was no different, with an incredible array of must-have’s, didn’t know I needed it but now I can’t live without it and I’ll never need that on show, but more telling for me than the individual products are the overarching themes and tech directions and in a series of interviews with Hong Kong Radio 3’s Phil Whelan, Glynn Greensmith of ABC Local radio and Kier Shorey of ABC Far North Queensland I chatted about what CES 2017 tells us about the tech world ahead.
Like last year show there wasn’t one outstanding new product or category for me, but that’s symptomatic of our times with technology now moving out of its teenage years into its adulthood and instead of wild outbursts and bravado, we’re seeing a more tempered approach that’s working through what we already have and know and trying to find a better use and purpose for it.
Theme 1 is voice controlled technology, and Amazon’s Alexa seems to be the frontrunner this year with even Amazon’ expectation of 30-40 products carrying their voice assisted tech being surpassed, with its inclusion in over 100+ prototypes and products ranging from cars, to fridges, wash machines, watches and more, which given that Alexa is technically American-centric and not really available internationally makes it an interesting choice, but nevertheless it points strongly to the day when we routinely start talking to our machines and they answering back.
Theme 2 was drones available in every shape, size, colour, purpose and future promise ranging from a return of last years favourite the single manned Ehang 184 quadcopter drone to what I’m sure will become this years drone equivalent of last years must have selfie stick, the plastic lightweight and easy to use hover camera that follows you around with its 4K camera beaming back images of you from the sky to all your adoring followers and fans.
Autonomous cars and robots were also on show, again great stuff but no new standouts, although Nvidia showed strong promise with its AI capable in-car technology and level 5 autonomous driving technology.
And my favourite part of CES are the weird and wonderful gadgets on show, here’s just a few:
Kérastase Hair Coach connected hair brush,
Power Vision’s PowerRay the underwater fishing drone that lets you catch fish using your underwater drone and watch and control all the drones’ actions from the safety of your boat on your VR headset,
FoldiMate due out in the latter half of this year and able to fold all your laundry for you, and my favourite
Oombrella the smart umbrella that tells you when its raining outside (or you could just go low-tech and look outside for yourself)
Great shows – so take a listen now for more CES 2017 insights and tech overviews:
Phil Whelan Hong Kong Radio 3 – 10th Jan 2017 (11 minutes 44 seconds) .
Glynn Greensmith ABC Local Radio – It’s Just Not Cricket – 14th Jan 2017 (14 mins 22 secs)
Kier Shorey – ABC Far North Queensland – 16th January 2017 (11 minutes 08 seconds)