There are tons of themes at CES every year. My first visit to CES was as an exhibitor back in the mid-90s. A lot of great tech changes have happened since then, and many industry firsts made their debut at CES. This year there are new 8K TVs and more form factors for TVs as well. Given that television tech was an early CES mainstay, this isn’t surprising. What has caught my attention this year however is the plethora of relatively affordable and in some cases interesting IoT devices; some of which promise to make major transformations in our lives. Many of these products might initially be used at home – but in many circumstances what starts in the home often moves to college, to school and ultimately morphs and shows up elsewhere in business.
Being the CTO of a networking company, I am always looking for trends that would benefit, and advance society more effortlessly, if the networking side of the equation was more frictionless. The opportunities for IoT certainly check the box here. Let’s take a look at some remarkable technologies.
My Sampler List of 6 Intriguing Products
Xsensio – This product is intriguing because it represents silicon-based microfluidics and biochem sensors that could be integrated into a future smartwatch. By conducting an analysis of many biochemicals in your sweat, this type of sensor could make some major advances in promoting improved health, and providing early detection of things going amiss. The model in time clearly would be a cloud-based Saas subscription service, and likewise, ML analytics that benchmark the user versus peer demographics, etc. Clearly an indicator of a new big thing of the future.
AerNos – Introduced a small 3×3 sized chip, a baby brother of their Smart City general-purpose product, which can be delivered to sense a specific set of gases. If you recall my blog “Cloud Brains” I posited that with the proper sensors in wireless Access Points – that data could be sent to a cloud, analyzed and provide insights. Too much CO2 in a room – improve the ventilation – or too much CO (carbon monoxide) in a room – sound an alert siren and address evacuation immediately – or detection of natural gas – nobody light a match! You get the idea. At the right price point, this type of technology has mega use cases. Again, this type of IoT will also benefit from a cloud connection as well as ML and AI technology insights.
Core Meditation Training by Core – OK, perhaps meditation isn’t your thing – but – what caught my attention about this is this product represents the opportunity to leverage modest cause sensors and some algorithmic insights to provide a positive feedback loop to a human to improve their health and performance. I suspect that this Core product is by itself a niche and specialty product, and who knows I may buy one to try it – but more importantly, easily accessible biofeedback to improve our health or our performance is a new thing that may become “a thing”.
Norm Glasses by Human Capable – Yup, Google Glass didn’t make it. I see some missteps in the Norm glasses as well, but in general, this product delivers some useful augmented reality using a pair of semi-stand looking eyewear. I find this product indicative of a “heads up display” that cooperates with your phone, and, cooperates with software in the cloud just to improve your everyday life. For instance – have you ever forgotten someone’s name? Of course, you have! What if your Norm glasses could cooperate with your phone, do facial recognition, and tell you the name of the person you first met 8 months ago privately on your augmented reality glasses? Holy heck Jethro – interpersonal communications would improve all over the place. Net-net, perhaps the Norm glasses can gain sufficient momentum that they can start a movement that will be become meaningful.
Lovot by Groove-X – Indeed there were many household mini-personal robots at CES this year. However to meet it seems that the Lovot from Japan also incorporates a lot of Japanese Kawaii – lovable cuteness, bundled with some ML/AI based learning behavior. All of us who are dog lovers are, well. . . dog lovers. Why? They pay attention to us, lots of attention, have undying loyalty (unless someone else has a dog treat that is), and their eyes can melt butter. Lovot holds the potential to be a unique tech alternative to the otherwise irreplaceable relationship people can have with a dog. Given the health statistics on the value of dog ownership, it just seems like the Lovot and the others are the beginning of the next pet that 2-year-olds on up are going to want to have – without the need for the poop bag or listening to incessant barking to the mail person.
SmartBeat – My kids are grown, but one of the biggest fears any parent has for the first year after bringing their babies home from the hospital is SIDs. SmartBeat uses camera technology and advanced video analytics to detect an infant’s breathing – and more important – alert parents when breathing ceases. Enough said.