As the Consumer Electronics Trade Show (CES) 2019 kicked off at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre in Las Vegas, it soon became clear that certain technology trends were going to dominate the event.
Among them were artificial intelligence, 5G, augmented reality/virtual reality, self-driving vehicles and smart homes.
CES has been touted as the biggest technology showcase of its kind. It provides an opportunity for entities ranging from large-scale manufacturers to small companies, to display their latest innovations. The objective is to impress industry stakeholders, curious journalists and consumers.
During the CES Tech Trends 2019 conference 'Consumer Technology Association Innovation & Trends Senior Director' Ben Arnold, and 'Market Research Director' Lesley Rohrbaugh, took the audience through which technology trends dominated the last two decades and reflected on what to expect in the future.
They explained that while the 2000s saw the birth of the digital era of iPods, the 2010s brought about the “connected” decade of social media and video streaming. However, they predict that the future [2020 and beyond] will really usher consumers into the “data age”.
Lesley Rohrbaugh considers these tech trends “ingredient technologies”, which are intertwined with each other. She also observes that more content is currently being developed for the next generation of devices.
“For things like augmented and virtual reality, there are a lot more apps being developed, a lot more hardware advances,” she told Inside Scandinavian Business. Artificial intelligence is one of those areas being developed into various devices and it is becoming smarter, Rohrbaugh remarked. “It is able to take large sets of data and analyse or fine-tune them. AI is going to take things like self-driving vehicles to a whole other level.”
Other areas where the CTA market research director sees signs of development are blockchain and cryptocurrency. “These technologies are providing security for a lot of companies that are embracing them,” she explained.
Rohrbaugh also reflected on the latest in-display technologies such as 8K televisions. CTA forecast that U.S.' 8K UHD TV shipments will triple from 500,000 in 2020 to 1.5 million in 2022, and electronic giants like Samsung and LG are expected to unveil groundbreaking devices of this nature when their products hit the floor at CES 2019. “TVs are the centrepieces of a home and will remain so, even beyond the development of 4K and 8K.”
While on the subject of homes, the smarthome is an area of technologies that the CTA earmarks 'a trend to watch'. In line with Rohrbaug’s notion that its technologies will be intertwined, Ben Arnold said that 5G will make its presence felt in smarthomes. “As we adopt these 5G connections into our homes, it is going to have an impact on our connected devices,” he told the audience at the event.
He revealed that major announcements about the latest in smarthome technology will be made at CES 2019. “In my opinion, the next trend in smarthomes is how we connect all those devices together.” Arnold elaborated that not all consumers bought the same brand or even focused on the same patterns. He also outlined the importance of AI in the homes of tomorrow, again hinting towards the marriage of varying technologies. “How these till interconnect will play out this week. It’s a story of voice, of AI and object recognition.”
Rohrbaugh chimed back in on this topic and reiterated that AI, like 5G, is an ingredient technology. She said it is going to be omnipresent on the show floor of CES 2019. “Everything from processors and chips to voice-enabled digital assistants [will be featured],” she said.
The CTA marketing director also observed that digital assistants were finding their way into all products, a trend she predicts will be prevalent in the innovations at CES. “We see them in appliances in your household and even cars.”
Touching further on the subject of cars, she pointed out that such advancements enable safe, hands-free driving. Both presenters foresee that by 2030 the option for driverless cars, with high accuracy maps and safety cocoons, will be an option. Ben Arnold concluded that Level 3 (conditional automation) in vehicles is likely one of the key innovations to look out for at CES 2019.
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