This year was my second visit to the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and I got a peek into what the future of technology holds. With over 188,000 people flooding Las Vegas and 4,500 exhibitors demoing their products, here are three of my favorite trends from the showroom floor (besides the insane amount of TVs, drones, and robots).
The Way We Get Around Will Change
With the rise of Uber and shared bikes, autonomous vehicles and future car concepts took center stage at CES. Once cars and shuttles are fully autonomous and successfully able to navigate us without any danger, we can spend our time in our vehicles doing other things – like shopping, watching movies, playing games, warming up before the gym, or getting some work done. Companies like Ford, Audi, KIA, and Mercedes have created concept cars (electric, autonomous, connected) to display what this may look like in the future, while other companies like Watergen and Lavazza are making sure we can create clean water from the atmosphere or make espresso while in our cars, whichever fits our needs.
But before we are fully ready for that, car companies are easing us towards it by creating teched out electric cars and wide screen digital display dashboards, where you can monitor your home, in car entertainment and order groceries all while video calling your grandma.
Check out Mike Murphy’s twitter thread to see all the concept cars.
The most mind-boggling thing was seeing the massive Bell Nexus helicopter, which you will be able to order as a flying taxi, and drivers can navigate it without a pilot license (not frightening at all). While it looks like it’s made for a sci-fi movie, reps shared that we can expect these electric hybrid flying taxis in the air by the mid 2020s.
By 2030, nearly no one in the US will own a personal car, so companies are also gearing up for the future of a shared economy. The coolest one is Panasonic’s concept of a modular interchangeable vehicle- it can be a makeshift food truck, farmers market, carpool, working station or even a doctor’s office.
Questions on my mind: Since most of the future cars are just concepts, what will the actual close to production model look and feel like? Will they be affordable and accessible enough for full adoption? How will we ensure safety for all people during the transition period when we have humans driving and autonomous driving vehicles sharing the road?
Own Your Health
We live in an era of connectedness and digital disruption. We’re told to maximize our day, along with our health and wellness, but with the cost of a healthier lifestyle and insurances always being our demise, a stronger need for prioritizing wellness showed up on the floor this year.
Tech companies want you to sleep better, own your own health and successfully take on new habits. Rocking Bed will rock your entire bed so you can sleep like a baby, and Philips headband can learn your sleep patterns and help you get better quality sleep without you needing to sleep longer – talk about efficient. Devices like Aura fitness tracker (pictured above) can measure your hydration level, activity and body composition, and imec ingestible pills can help you diagnose digestive issues before going to your doctor. Companies like Seraphin want you to start your digital detox tonight, and Slighter is a lighter that can learn your smoking habits to help you quit smoking.
It’s All About the Babies
According to Pew, more than a million Millennials are becoming moms each year – hence the emergence of baby tech at CES. Tempdrop wristband is dedicated to helping women manage their fertility to increase their likelihood of getting pregnant, Efelya is a pregnancy tracker and passport app, and Baby-Scans will help moms perform in-home sonograms. I especially loved seeing Nurture-Imalac, a breast massage system, and breast pumps like Willow and Elvie to better assist lactating moms.
There were endless numbers of baby monitors, but the crowd favorite was Miku. It’s a baby monitor that can keep an eye on breathing, motion, sounds and sleeping patterns as well as environmental factors like temperature and humidity levels, with a paired app that lets you see all the reports. In the future, they’re hoping to use the baby’s data to make health recommendations for parents.
Check out the other winners of the Baby Tech Awards 2019 CES.
Questions on my mind: What will happen to the baby health data? Are we providing access to data that the babies would not consent to once they are older?
While everything has become Google home assistant or Alexa enabled – from toilets and instant pots to water bottles and ovens – these were the three trends I appreciated the most. It makes me hopeful for the future of a shared economy, empowered health and a better pregnancy journey. But I’m also excited that we are not deploying all types of autonomous vehicles on our roads quite yet, we’ve got a ton of testing, accessibility considerations and infrastructure creating to do.
What trends did you enjoy at CES 2019?