CES 2018: Looking Under the Hood

Colorfy exhibits at Las Vegas’ annual Consumer Electronics Show for the first time this year. The event traditionally showcases the latest hardware and gadgets, physical technology you can hold in your hand and play around with. But the evolution of IoT technology has transformed CES in recent years. A very much deserving official theme this year is AI, as the spotlight turns from hardware to software, illuminating the brains behind the brawn.

Automated technologies are taking center-stage at 2018’s Consumer Electronics Show. CES is an event for all contraptions, but increasing implantation of intelligence is blinking life into more and more mundane products, and rapid developments in AI and IoT technology has caused a heavy influx of smart products to set up shop in Las Vegas this year.

Products range from the kooky to the more serious. A connected toothbrush that analyzes your routine is on offer from Grush, while IotaBeam’s Stardust, a low-power security system for IoT devices, looks to pacify consumers’ privacy concerns surrounding such products.

Mirroring the Colorfy office, business and technology innovation meet head-on at CES. This year, for the first time, we are showcasing our products and services as a part of the Berlin Partner for Business and Technology GmbH exhibit. Our stand is placed in Westgate Hall (stand 2401), the area of the show focusing on smart cities, another official CES 2018 theme. Berlin-Brandenburg’s booth, where we are based, is concentrating on smart mobility. 

That smart mobility is being given such attention at CES is particularly interesting for us. The trade show has over recent years turned from an offering of little gadgets, televisions and other household technology into something more resembling an auto show. The event has even been compared to the annual Detroit Auto Show, which takes place later in January.

Smart cities and vehicles are topics that lie close to Colorfy’s heart as we plan to begin work in green mobility sectors in 2018. We envision self-driving cars to function in a sharing economy capacity, which will mean they’ll have the potential to solve a range of environmental problems

Ford’s new CEO Jim Hackett, the former head of the 115-year-old company’s smart mobility division, will deliver the opening day keynote speech this morning. Just as CES itself pushes cars to the forefront this January, his speech is expected to focus on smart mobility as Ford tries to square up to the likes of Tesla and Uber in 2018.

Autonomous cars will be featured by names big and small. BMW and Mercedes will both have a presence, but the majority of companies will be startups such as Autoliv, Torc and ZF, whose names will be unfamiliar to the bulk of attendees. Lyft will be teaming up with Delphi-owned Aptiv at the event, offering free driverless taxi rides around the sprawling venue.

Smart mobility is not limited to the self-driving car. Although autonomous vehicle technology is indeed developing at a fantastic speed, this mode of transport won’t likely be dominating the tarmac for almost a decade. Products we would see hitting the streets a little sooner are also being unveiled. New face auto company Byton will be exhibiting their “SIV” (smart intuitive vehicle), an electric car that doubles as a smartphone. Instead of reaching for their devices while on the road, drivers will interact with the dashboard-long screen using hand gestures and voice commands. Its battery is a key feature, charging to 80% capacity in 30 minutes and able to take the car 250 miles on one charge. As we found during our work with Skyroam on the Solis portable hotspot revamp, battery life and charging speeds are two of the most important qualities in products for consumers right now.

As well as AI and smart cities, CES 2018’s third official theme is 5G. According to consumer behaviour trend forecasts, 2018 will see further integration of AI and autonomous vehicles in everyday life. Better IoT integration will boost seamless functionality of AI (which is vital for consumer adoption), particularly in the home. 5G is on its way, and has the ability to raise transmission speeds and drive IoT even further, lowering latency and increasing the amount of data that can be processed.

Software has overtaken as the star attraction at the Las Vegas tech Mecca (Tecca?). As the range of ability of IoT devices exponentially increases, so too does the excitement surrounding CES’s annual innovation celebration. We’re very happy to be involved this year. Come say hi!