Trendspotting at CES 2019
Earlier this month, I spent the week at CES 2019, otherwise known as the Consumer Electronics Show. In my role as CitrusBits’ CEO, it’s critical to stay abreast of consumer electronics, as we continue to see convergence between electronics products and the mobile applications that operate them.
(Important Note: It’s also critical to support clients receiving honors at the show. IrisVision, a longtime CitrusBits client, received a CES Innovation award this year. We’re very proud of our team’s part in their well-deserved recognition and business success.)
An annual spectacle in Vegas, CES is a veritable smorgasbord of the latest innovations in consumer electronics products and experiences. Given all the eye candy on display, it can be hard to cut through the cutter and discern the meaningful breakthroughs and products that will change our lives in the near future.
Here are some of the trends and products that I think were noteworthy from my week at CES.
- LG killed it with their wavey floating curved 8K OLED, showing the enormous potential of micro thin, curved screens
- Samsung didn’t display their new flexible phones, perhaps saving that for a February announcement of the Galaxy S10
Smart Home & AI Assistants
- Google Assistant got several major improvements, including integration with Google Maps, flight check ins, support for notes/lists, and auto punctuation based on your pauses during dictation
- Google is pushing very hard for Google Home Hub adoption – and having you interface through Google to get info, set appointments, turn on your TV, and set your alarm clock
- Samsung Note 9, Galaxy Home – very similar to Google Home but with a very large speaker. Every big player with AI capabilities is wanting to get in on the smart home assistant category already occupied by Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook (Portal), and others
- Toto – Smarter Toilets provide more personalized experiences for one of life’s most essential duties
- Kohler Konnect – leading in personalization as well with kitchen appliances and fixtures – features like command sink with voice activation, measured volume dispensing, two function sprayheads. Innovation awards
- LG, Samsung, Google, Amazon Alexa – all getting into the game with smart door handles, latest version of Nest Thermostat also on display
5G Wireless Updates
- Telecom companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint talked a big game on the upcoming rollout of 5G wireless services, which is obviously a key factor for these companies’ success in the coming years
- Samsung had a prototype of a 5G smartphone that it says it will release in 2019
- Intel 5G Innovation program called Project Athena was announced, will bring new specifications to laptops to support 5G and AI use cases
Health & Wellness
- Owlet Baby Care health monitoring – Best CES Innovation Award
- IrisVision – CitrusBits’ longtime client won a CES Innovation Award for its wearable low vision technology
- Miku – sonar tech to track baby health in the crib
- Willow – world’s first all in one automated breast pump for mothers
- Butterfly – ultrasound under $2K using mobile app and device
- Samsung and LG had their own walking robots
- Walker – robots for your home – Best of CES finalist
- Avatarmind – children’s education and elder care for development and hospitality – won Innovation award
- Varram – pet feeding play toy
- Coayu- window suction cleaning robot
- John Deere – self-driving mega machinery
- Foldimate – folds your clothes automatically – Best of CES
Gaming & Recreation
- Dell was sponsoring a huge array of PC gaming and new devices
- Teslasuit Real Full body Haptic suits for VR / AR – Innovation award winner. Real Ready Player One, with EMS, TENS, motion capture, climate control, and biometry
- Square Off – world’s smartest automated chess board, AI, Robots, Sensors
- Rover – world’s first hands free autonomous golf caddie
- AI animates drawings automatically via TG9
- Johnson and Johnson – Neutrogena unveiled Neutrogena MaskiD, its new personalized 3D-printed sheet mask, which is created from images captured from a smartphone’s 3D camera
- SKII – using camera scanners to tell you your skin health quality, they plan to help administer the best products to your skin
- Airia – world’s first home “Scentuary” – uses personalized fragrances.
- Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Byton, Nissan, MX Kuro all had self-driving electric concept vehicles
- Nvidia demos for drive Autopilot- first available level 2+ self-driving system
- RoboMart – AI self-driving food pantry
- Samsung and LG had their own in car AI integrations – focusing on safety and human monitoring in car with cameras
- Segway Light Bee X – electric mountain bikes (about $5,500)
Other Cool Stuff
- Widex Energy Cell technology – Using hydrogen fuel cells to power their hearing devices
- Lamborghini has a new killer massage chair – created by Bodyfriend, Korea’s top massage chair company
- Omron – fully AI-led manufacturing and also a robo arm that plays table tennis (ping pong) well against humans
- Drones had some innovations like better image capturing, supporting heavier payloads by DJI, (including carrying humans by Electrafly), and being able to fly them with just your thumb (Shift Drone Package). Bell Nexus had a helicopter which looked like a gigantic drone.
An Exciting Year Ahead
The thousands of products on display at CES range from available-to-purchase today to early prototypes of products we won’t see in stores for years to come. It’s ultimately a good mix, providing an informative view of our technology-enabled lives for the next few years.
In terms of relevance to CitrusBits’ business as a mobile app development company, there are a few key trends we’re most excited about:
- AI and smart devices are poised to offer incredible improvements in user experience in areas ranging from smart home (including IoT), to health, and even transportation (e.g. in your car).
- 5G wireless technology represents a true paradigm shift in terms of the new classes of applications it will enable. From truly massive-scale IoT networks to self-driving cars, 5G infrastructure, devices, and applications will be absolutely disruptive in the next few years.
- Finally, augmented reality (AR) seems poised to explode into the mainstream in the next few years. With numerous startups and heavy hitters (like Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple) now competing to develop practical AR hardware (including glasses) and meaningful applications, we are sure to see incredible growth in this segment very soon.
If you are a technology company that is looking for a mobile app development company to help you ahead of emerging technology trends, it’s time to begin a conversation with CitrusBits.