New product and transport technologies revealed at CES 2016
Published on: 12th January 2016
The quest for the truly connected smart home is still accelerating with the major tech companies from Google to Samsung going head to head with a constantly growing number of start-ups. CES showed a wealth of products aimed at connecting users seamlessly to their appliances to enable new services and experiences. Products like the smart mirror from Haier showed the real value a connected bathroom could deliver and a similar offering from Panasonic showed how the mirror could analyse skin and target the application of products. It was great to see ideas that have been explored as concepts for many years finally coming to reality.
The integration with existing smart devices, such as Nest, provided innovative solutions for Whirlpool in the quest for a more connected home; in particular their “interactive kitchen of the future” was full of interesting insight and thoughtful design. The sink that doubled as a small dishwasher was particularly interesting and a great example of considered concept design.
Now you see it....
The stand out crowd pleaser at the Panasonic stand this year was a transparent TV demonstration. Displayed over a shelf with objects behind the screen, the TV demonstration converted from screen to window in an impressive presentation.
Virtual reality headsets and applications were available on most stands either as a way of selling a vision (Faraday Futures) or to demonstrate the as-yet untapped potential of this technology. Intel provided a display in partnership with Tilt Brush where an artist wore a VR headset and was able to draw literally in 3D. Adding further sensory depth to VR, Sennheiser presented their 3D audio technology taking VR to the next immersive level.
Personal health monitoring and analysis increased in popularity this year and there seemed to be a focus on the feet. Companies like ifit launched a smart trainer that monitors a runners cadence, strike pattern and impact point. Digitsole, Mettis and S2M all had “smart” insoles on display.
The 3D Systems stand was full of an eclectic mix of products demonstrating the innovative applications for 3D printing and how it has the power to impact everyday life, from lifesaving medical procedures to 3D printed edible sweets - an interesting experience! Successful collaborations across different sectors such as the New Balance midsole and sunglasses by Ron Arad, proves that with the right application 3D printing is moving to a viable manufacturing alternative.
The major automotive players were there in force. BMW, Audi, Ford, GM, Mercedes Benz, Toyota , Kia and VW used CES to launch innovative driverless features ahead of the Detroit motor show. Driverless vehicles and the vision on how this would be implemented were everywhere and the connection between the car, driver and home are beginning to be explored in detail. Ford revealed that it is seeking to link smart devices to its vehicles which would allow users to control Lights, thermostats, security systems and other features for their homes from their car. A partnership between Intel and Jaguar demonstrated an interface to control lighting and various other home appliances from the car.
Amongst the trusted automotive brands was a new concept vision from Faraday Future, the much anticipated Silicon Valley startup.
A hot topic over the last number of years has been personal (Urban) transportation. CES 2016 saw further thoughts and products on offer in this sector, from folding electric bicycles and electric smart scooters to a personal (manned) drone concept.