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Wide array of consumer technology on display at CES 2018

A sign at CES 2018 (Courtesy of Frank Gorman)

A sign at CES 2018 (Courtesy of Frank Gorman)

As he’s done for The Daily Record in years’ past, Frank Gorman of Gorman & Williams is guest blogging from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

In 1918, the primary developers and beneficiaries of technology were industries, governments and businesses. New technology reached the general population slowly. We are fortunate today: New technology is developed and applied quickly to meet consumer needs and demands, and it’s all on display at CES 2018.

This week, 180,000 CES attendees invaded Las Vegas. As one cab driver said, “it’s impossible not to pick up a ride this week.”

According to CES registration records, the attendance breaks down roughly as follows: 71,000 domestic, 35,000 international, 67,000 exhibitor personnel, and 7,000 media types. Everyone is focused, one way or another, on new technologies and better consumer products and services.

The display of technology is concentrated at three locations:

Tech East: artificial intelligence, augmented reality, computers and appliances, smartphones and cameras, 3-D printing, drones, robotics, vehicle and self-driving technology, sensors, internet of things and more.

Tech West – accessibility, high-end audio, startups at Eureka Park, fitness, gaming and virtual reality, sleep products, wearables, baby tech, smart home and more.

Tech South – video content platforms and distribution, digital and online media.

This vast array of technology can be overwhelming. It helps to be organized and have comfortable shoes!

There are several new applications of consumer technology at CES 2018 in healthcare delivery, sports and cities.

In health care, doctors and patients now use the internet for access to and delivery of medical advice and treatments, but the use is not structured or systematic. The development of nationwide digital health systems using mobile devices is being discussed at CES 2018 conferences. Also included are cutting-edge concepts for using software to predict medical conditions and “software as a medical device.”

For athletes, professional and otherwise, products that enhance performance are exhibited at Tech West. There are conferences discussing sensor technology for monitoring and prompt detection of injuries that may not be easily observed.

We are familiar how technology can connect devices within homes for easier and safer use (“smart homes”). The vision of “smart cities,” however, is just beginning to be viewed as a goal that can be achieved using new information and communication technology. Deloitte is sponsoring an exhibit at Tech East that presents how using new technologies can benefit an entire city – for example, helping trains run on time, monitoring and coordinate energy use, and providing greater Wi-Fi capacity throughout the city. (There are privacy and security challenges to address and overcome, of course.)

Even the FBI has a booth at CES 2018. (Courtesy of Frank Gorman)

Even the FBI has a booth at CES 2018. (Courtesy of Frank Gorman)

There also is a new “Government 2018” program at CES that enables substantive discussions among government leaders and tech companies about the application of technology and innovation to government and infrastructure.

Speaking of government, one of the best-known federal agencies has a visible presence at CES this year. The FBI has a modest hallway exhibit in Tech East staffed with friendly agents who urge attendees to protect their intellectual property and provide helpful materials.

Finally, amid all this enlightenment, a blackout occurred in Tech East on Wednesday. The cause was condensation from a previous rainfall. It affected only portions of the exhibitor area for an hour or so, but several heavyweight exhibitors were affected, such as Sony, Samsumg, LG and Intel. Battery-powered signs provided light as attendees walked to lighted areas.

It was a good reminder of the importance of the people who maintain fundamental infrastructure and perform essential services while we go about our business.

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