CES 2018 was like a sequel

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CES 2018I did not get a chance to go to Las Vegas to attend the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 – CES 2018 for short. But I followed the conversations on Twitter and read all the tech journals and geeks who were reporting live from the booths.

The world has officially moved from mobile first to AI first. So if your CEO is still getting excited about putting its app on mobile, tell him or her that it is time to think of introducing AI into your company’s life. This is 2018 and if you do not have AI powering everything, you will soon miss the bus. Even the bus you miss will be AI powered, think about it.

LG showed off its TV powered by Google Now. That means you can use voice control to play a You Tube video or see a Google Photo album on the TV.

Nissan has already showed the first version of brain to vehicle interface. Brainwaves can be sensed by the car. If your brightest ideas come to you while you drive to work, the brainwaves may make your car wobble more than the potholes on the road.

Widescreen displays

That means everything from your TV to your car will have Artificial Intelligence built in. Talking of televisions, the 146” ginormous TV sent gasping crowds searching to see if they could watch the next match on a twelve-foot-wide TV screen. What is so great about a massive TV like that? For one we have to land up finding a room that has a wall that big where you will hang the TV. But then once again, you will run out of space because Samsung is creating this TV with tile-like micro LED displays. So if you saved up enough you could keep adding tiles to keep expanding your TV. I think that is how it will work.

If you think you will have to compete with the Jains only on the size of the TV display, you are wrong. They could still make you feel inferior by showing you a 49” touchscreen display in their Byton car. The car’s dashboard has face-recognition built in and you can have your very own choice of favorite locations, music and health tracker. Tencent backed Byton displayed this car and has now challenged Tesla to improve it. Byton also has voice control thanks to a tie up with Amazon. You can have Alexa entertain you with music and jokes as you drive.

Look Ma no wires

The challenge of batteries in anything is that they tend to run out at inappropriate times. It happens with your TV remote and will happen with the car. But battery manufacturers had a great excuse this year. Even the biggest consumer electronics show on earth had a blackout. In India, power failure does not generate headlines, unless a politician is involved. In US, power failure generates headlines.

Ossia displayed a wireless battery charger that will charge AA batteries (these were demonstrated) and potentially your TV remote will run forever.

The Razer Mamba Hyperflux, is a mouse (not a snake even though it is called Mamba) powers itself entirely from the mousepad. Calling a mouse a snake can be confusing. Imagine having a cat named “dog”. It could disorient your guests.

In the same breath, there were autonomous BMWs from Aptiv and Lyft picking up CES passengers. That was a novelty for some until someone started demonstrating a suitcase that follows you around as long as you are holding the remote (batteryless, I hope) and not walking too fast. The people who were demonstrating the suitcase had to stop every now and then as the suitcase toppled over frequently. OK that technology is not for me, for sure.

Hey Google vs Alexa

Last year Alexa created a stir with its novelty factor. Since then voice has become bigger and continues to grow. Google has the advantage of passing on its AI power through all its Android devices. But Alexa has had a two-year head start in the market. Plus, Alexa offers 10,000+ “skills”. Google’s marketing department was the clear winner having plastered Google Now everywhere. But this is the space to watch.

Other than that I had a feeling I was watching not a new movie but a sequel. Nothing eye popping to report. Why do I say that? A power failure made bigger headlines than the tech at the tech show.


Join me on Twitter @AbhijitBhaduri

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