CES 2017

Having been in the tech industry for over 20 years, CES is still one of those Mecca moments for me.  It’s a time where I get to indulge myself into literally thousands of gadgets in one place that no one has ever seen.  It’s my crack, really. Here’s a summary of the highlights of CES2017:

The Smart-home device industry has hit a point of saturation.  There were no less than 100 companies displaying indistinguishable dimmers, lamp modules, smoke detectors, etc, all interconnected and operable from an app.  It was so saturated that I got bored and stopped visiting “just another IoT booth.”  In 2017 and beyond, companies will need to try harder to differentiate, and show why we should care about their version.  Worthy of mention here is that interoperability between each other’s devices still leaves much to be desired.  Many items were designed in Europe and/or Asia, and so there’s little focus in making sure that one particular brand talks to another.  This will need to improve.

 From GPS for dogs to shirts that monitor heart rate, wearable technology has officially exploded. Under Armor displayed shoes that connect to a training app, measuring jump distance, running speed, and more.  Athletes can now better measure themselves in their effort of constant self-improvement.  More awesomeness was a smart bicycle helmet, capable of music, communicating with other cyclists, and notifying EMS of a crash.

I am now 100% convinced that we will all be buying our self-driving car of choice NO LATER than 2020.  Every known manufacturer (and some unknown, like LeEco) had fully autonomous cars on display.   Thanks Elon, for disrupting that industry. 

 My favorite sighting was an obvious re-focus on record players.  Everything was on display, from $200-$12,000, ranging from simple wall-mount players, to amazing new ones that digitize the music and play through whole house systems.  I can’t wait to get my hands on a new one by Pro-ject that was made from solid Walnut, with a frosted acrylic base.  In a world of downloads, these prove that tangible music can still be both relevant, and absolutely gorgeous.