Kicking off tomorrow until the 12th of January, The Consumer Electronics Show is one of the most popular and innovative conferences of the year. CES is a global platform for consumer electronic brands to come together and show off their most ingenious, captivating products that will cause a stir expanding well past the walls of the Las Vegas convention center. It’s also a chance for brands to set the technology bar for the year to come, and solidify their name as the pioneers in their space. And while the show hasn’t officially kicked off yet, I’ve rounded up five things you should know and expect ahead of this year’s conference.
Lyft and Aptive take self-driving cars to the open roads
Lyft, one of the most famous ride-sharing companies, teamed up with Aptive, provider of self-driving technology, to give CES attendees the (almost full) self-driving experience. These BMW 5 series cars will take participants from the Gold Lot at the Las Vegas Convention Center to any of the 20 pre-determined destinations. The experience also includes an informative exhibit to educate attendees on the importance of self-driving cars, and the impact it has on the future. Still wary of the technology? Not to fear. For those who aren’t yet convinced on the safety, a driver will be present to ensure all passengers are at ease.
Amazon vs. Google: Who will dominate?
And the saga continues! Both Amazon and Google are in a race to take CES by storm with their voice technology. Amazon announced on their blog last month that they have many panel and workshop sessions planned solely for the Alexa team, along with smart home and offline activations right outside the CES doors. And if their first session titled “Amazon’s Quest for Alexa to Be Everywhere” and their large Alexa booth presence doesn’t give away their motive, they are also offering to give an Echo to those exhibitors who want to use the device to engage with visitors. But don’t underestimate Google in this fight – they have plans to make a major splash with their Google Assistant, especially compared to year’s past. They’ve branded a monorail that crosses the convention center with “Hey Google” in bold letters, followed by “Hi, how can I help you?” This branding is continued in their enormous installation located in the parking lot below, built to challenge all of the Alexa talk that usually takes place at CES. Google also invested in various billboards posted around Las Vegas. Only time will tell who will be the talk of the show.
Image by James Bareham / The Verge
Have around 4k to spend? This rollable LG TV can be yours.
What’s been dubbed to be the most talked about TV at CES, LG will be showing off their new rollable OLED 65-inch television. The first of its kind, the television rolls up like a newspaper and is easily transportable (so long are the days of trying to find a friend to help carry your large TV down five flights of stairs). This shows LG’s dedication to consistently increasing their user experience with their TVs. “LG Display is all about innovative products that provide new value to customers,” said Dr. Sang-Beom Han, Vice Chairman and CEO of LG Display in a press statement. In 2014, LG unveiled an 18-inch version of the television.
Fake nails aren’t only for nail salons
Speaking as someone who shares the same skin as Casper the ghost, I know all too well the pain of a sunburn. That’s why L’Oreal has created a fake nail that can detect when users are spending too much time under the sun. The sensor attaches to the user’s thumbnail and monitors UV rays, sending an alert to their smartphone when they’re risking sunburn. In the past L’Oreal tested a patch with the same functionality, and found that 34% of people applied sunscreen and 37% of people went into the shade more often when alerted. Pricing is expected to be around $40 – a bargain compared to many of the other products at CES.
Refrigerators continue to have a mind of their own
Well, we’re not there yet – but Samsung is proving that we’re on our way. The electronics giant is expected to debut their next generation of Family Hub refrigerators at this week’s show. The new Family Hub better connects with the SmartThings ecosystem, allowing families to control their connected home from the refrigerator. Rather than a place to simply hold food, these refrigerators are able to show you who is at your front door, adjust the temperature in the house, check cameras from other rooms, and allow you to view the inside of your fridge from your smartphone. Don’t know what to make for dinner? The Meal Planner functionality also provides recipes based on food expiration dates, dietary restrictions, and preferences. There’s even a Deals app that allows you to search for deals on your favorite foods and sync them to the Shopping List. With the latest changes surrounding the grocery industry in 2017, including Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition and Lidl’s break into the US market, it’s no surprise Samsung would use a platform like CES to unveil this product.
While my personal invite must have gotten lost in the mail, I am excited to see what other products (and other shenanigans – looking at you Amazon and Google) will be unveiled at CES 2018. As a consumer and marketing enthusiast, I can’t wait to see how the mobile, auto, computer, and other tech industries plan to raise the bar in 2018. Planning to head to Vegas for the show? Make sure you email us at email@example.com to meet up with one of our representatives!