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A Recap of CES 2018

CES recapCES (otherwise known as the Consumer Electronics Show) has come and gone again this year. Featuring emerging products and brand new innovations, CES is the gathering place for what’s new in robotics, internet of things, gaming, health, and much more. CES is also a popular event for startups and investors, as VCs can discover disruptive trends and influential technologies.

Here are the trends, exciting developments, and inspiring companies we saw this year at CES:

Self-driving automobiles

In 2017, only a few robotic vehicles were available for attendees to experience. This year, autonomous automobiles were seemingly everywhere. The biggest fleet was operated by Lyft, with self-driving technology from Aptiv. Currently called Mobility as a Service (MaaS), many well-known brands are also now entering the marketplace or showing interest, including a partnership between Toyota, Uber, Amazon, and others. There are also new technological developments in the chips powering these vehicles, as well. Nvidia announced its Drive Xavier processor, specifically designed to power robot taxis, and Intel unveiled its Intel AV compute platform for self-driving cars.

Voice assistants

Whereas CES 2017 was all about Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, CES 2018 saw a range of voice assistants from Google, Samsung, LG, and others. Alexa is now available in microwaves, mirrors, TVs, and more. Google featured over 350 voice-controlled devices this year, including speakers and cars. What’s more, both Amazon and Google executives both predicted that voice assistants will be used in cars, offices, and more in the future – a move away from just controlling your home’s lights or music.

Smart home

Not only are our homes voice activated thanks to many voice assistants, but they’re also now smarter than ever with a range of devices for every room. Winner of the TechRadar award for Best Smart Home Device is the Samsung Family Hub fridge, which connects other smart devices into one hub…and can tell you what to pick up at the grocery store. Kohler introduced an entire smart bathroom range that can turn on taps, set temperatures, and fill baths automatically. Artificial-intelligence backed smart home devices also made waves, including in security cameras, light switches, lamps, and even water leak detection.

VR and 360-degree video

Many companies have gotten more serious about crafting VR and AR experiences. Intel’s partnerships with the NFL, the Winter Olympics, and Paramount Pictures can create VR experiences that allow a scene to be viewed from almost any camera angle. HTC’s Vive Pro and Lenovo’s Mirage Solo are just two new VR headsets that offer a number of enhancements, including a sleek redesign, fewer cables, and improved resolution. Mobile VR is evolving into self-contained headsets with mobile processors, no phones needed. Exploring VR worlds is becoming easier with add-ons like foot-controlled navigation. Combining the latest in television, 4K, with 360-degree video is a new camera – which aims to encourage 360-degree phone calls, social media videos, and more for additional VR-like experiences.

These are just some of the many products and innovations featured at CES 2018. That said, the tech world is constantly changing, and each year brings new developments that may reshape how we commute, perform household chores, communicate, and live our lives. For more startup and tech news, subscribe to our blog.

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