CES 2018 Recap

CES softDo we still need CES? (TheNextWeb)

I COMMENTED… Twenty years ago I predicted the demise of COMDEX & CES, but it keeps growing in size albeit slowly and with less importance. I first noticed the trend while still working at IBM, where I attended each year as a market analyst and strategist. The trigger for me was “Internet Time” — the shortening of product development cycles from a few years from concept-to-launch to just a few months. That shortened timeframe caused companies to rely on the Internet to launch new products and create market demand. They no longer needed to rely on CES and print news, or at least less so.

Apple was one of the first to abandon CES and promote its products instead at its own show – MacWorld.  Compaq Computer was next to pull out. They realized it was cheaper to fly corporate decision makers to its Houston HQ for a days-long private event and wine & dine them and actually close deals. Contrast that with the high cost of rising above the CES clutter and getting noticed on the show floor – briefly, with just 2-5 minutes of average face-time.

And then there was Microsoft – long a staple of CES with one of the largest exhibits. As an IBMer promoting the OS/2 operating system against Windows, I saw lots of efficiency in how Microsoft used CES, but I wasn’t surprised when they pulled out too. The handwriting was on the wall.

Pulling out of CES didn’t mean big companies no longer attended; they just didn’t have the same presence on the show floor. Those big flashy demos often shifted to smaller and focused ones in private suites off the show floor or in a nearby hotel where they could host news media and corporate executives and devote more time to selling to them.

That was well over a decade ago, but even now it’s important for big companies to attend CES, even if it’s just for meetings with key customers, potential partners, and news media, or to evaluate trends and scope out new competition. After retiring from IBM in 1999, I still attend CES for years on my own dime as a market analyst and digital home consultant, for that very purpose. But these days I’m able to keep up with the industry without the travel cost, and from the comfort of my home office, where I can watch video demos and read & critique articles written by others – like the collection compiled below.

Digital Health

CES 2018 gets serious about health, wellness and medical tech (CNET)

CES 2018 Health Tech: 6 Next Gen Healthcare Innovations From Johnson & Johnson (Johnson & Johnson)
Xenoma builds smart clothing for dementia patients (Engadget)

COMMENT: Watch the Ted Talk by Intel’s Eric Dishman to see how low-tech devices, like an old analog phone, can be used to monitor health changes.

L’Oreal and John Rogers built a thumbnail-sized UV sensor (Engadget)

The brain makes waves at CES tech show (USA Today)

Artificial intelligence dominated the Consumer Electronics Show (The Economist)

COMMENT: Look into the interactive bathroom mirror by Haier, a giant Chinese white-goods maker, is like the Wicked Queen in Snow White. Instead of being told you are the fairest, your data profile appears on the glass. It displays weight (from an interactive scale), urine-test results (from a sensor on a connected lavatory) and other health-related things.

Smart Home & Robots

Check out all the smart home products at CES 2018 …so far (CNET)

COMMENT: The Elusive Smart Home is an article I wrote two years ago to critique marketing and media companies that over-hype the Smart Home market, which has been declared “the next big” thing for more than 50 years now. The article contrasts vision videos from LG and Samsung at CES 2016 and compared them to the RCA-Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen demo from the 1957 World’s Fair. Now at this year’s CES I get to share this video showing how these voice-controlled home robots aren’t ready for prime time either.

CNET vs. the Robots of CES 2018 (CNET)

Rise of the robots at US electronics show

This robotic maid takes us one step closer to ‘The Jetsons’ (Washington Post)

Summary Articles

CES in 90 seconds (CNET video)

CNET’s in-depth coverage (multiple stories)

Best tech of CES 2018 (CNET)

Presenting the Best of CES 2018 winners (Engadget)

The top five transformative tech trends from CES 2018 (Futurism.com)

Top 18 Tech Trends At CES 2018 (Forbes)

CES 2017 gadget round-up in pictures (WIRED UK)

Behind the smart gadgets, Amazon and Google are waging war (AP NewsWire)

Secret meetings provide further proof Apple is eyeing AR glasses (Cult of Mac)

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