What’s Cool at This Year’s Consumer Electronics Show

CES crackles with innovative energy. It’s a modern marvel unto itself.

Roaming the showrooms at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, peering across the great digital chasm of what’s coming next, I felt as if I were being teleported into the not-so-distant future.

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The future is highly automated, and our possessions are increasingly interconnected.

Spoiler alert: The future is highly automated, and our possessions are increasingly interconnected.

I attended CES 2016 this week with a team of UPS professionals who provide supply chain and logistics support for companies that work in the high-tech industry, a fast-paced field where innovators thrive and laggards don’t stick around long.

Among my team’s many goals was to learn more about the products that drive the consumer technology industry.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which sponsors CES, predicts the U.S. tech industry will earn $287 billion in revenue this year. Considering the more than 3,200 exhibitors at CES, there’s no shortage of potential drivers.

CTA says innovations in the Internet of Things (IoT) category will lead industry growth. IoT comprises devices embedded with electronics that enable them to communicate with one another. These products often are video and audio devices, smart home devices and wearables.

Other tech sectors to watch include drones, virtual reality and 3D printing, CTA says. But at CES, you can look in any direction and see something amazing.

For four days, this is the center of the tech universe. As I roamed the aisles, I saw one mind-blowing innovation after another. Some of these are destined to change the world.

And, of course, there were a fair number of imitations of highly successful products already on the market. I won’t name and shame.

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There’s no way to do CES justice in one brief blog post. But here is a snapshot of some of the eye-catching products I saw this week:

  • Kodak Super 8: This is a reconfiguration of the classic Super 8mm video camera that Kodak first made in the 1960s. Even as the entertainment industry becomes more digital, there are some purists who still prefer the warm, grainy texture delivered by older film cameras. Among those who support this analog revival are Hollywood directors Quentin Tarantino and J.J. Abrams. But, of course, there’s a modern twist on the new Super 8: The camera features digital perks like an LCD screen and USB charging. And when you send your undeveloped film to Kodak, they’ll send back digital and film treatments of your movie. In that way, Kodak blends the analog experience with digital convenience.
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    The sheer breadth and depth of innovation we witnessed was staggering.

    Virtuix Omni: The Omni is a gaming platform for “active VR” (virtual reality). It’s active because it requires the user to move on an omni-directional treadmill. You can actually run on this thing. The user’s physical movement also eliminates the motion sickness that stationary VR users experience.
  • Royole-X Smart Mobile Theater: This is a foldable, audio and video headset that the maker says provides a “personalized cinematic experience.” This headset allows the wearer to watch movies or play games from any source. The display is incredibly crisp, and the sound is excellent. It would be great for kids on long car rides.
  • Alcatel OneTouchThis is a line of smart mobile devices that can sync up with one another. The company had several items on display. They’re versatile, highly functional and priced for entry-level consumers. The Alcatel OneTouch Go Watch, which sells for about $150, is a great example. It’s compatible with smartphones that use the IOS or Android platforms, and it has lots of features, including a heart rate sensor, an altimeter and Bluetooth. It even has a customizable design.

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The sheer breadth and depth of innovation we witnessed was staggering – a single blog post could not do CES justice. In coming days and weeks, thousands of media reports will detail the technological achievements on display.

CES crackles with innovative energy. It’s a modern marvel unto itself. And the funny part is that by this time next year, the entire technological landscape will probably be quite different. It never stops changing. goldbrown2


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Dave Roegge is Director of Marketing, High Tech at UPS.

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