So now that CES is done, I think a comment on the highlights seems like the appropriate thing to do. As always, the most interesting thing to me about CES is the lack of appearance from notable tech companies Apple and Google, both of which take the stance that if they can’t be center stage, they aren’t going to play at all.
What was present and is close to my heart is autonomous vehicles. This wasn’t the first year that autonomous cars were showcased but while last year saw the big car companies make announcements, this was the year of the supply chain getting on board. Tier 1 supplier Delphi, using technology developed by CMU for the DARPA Urban Challenge provides an excellent example with their Audi Q5 showing that autonomous cars need not look like the ghostbusters mobile. Great coverage and video of that here.
Also in automotive, though not autonomy, is BMWs solar carport. Gorgeous design with all the usual nods to sustainability, though here in Canada in January, it’s more useful for keeping the snow off than for charging up your i3.
Of note in wearables is the trend towards more mature designs. The Withings Activité is one smart looking smartwatch that lasts for months off a standard watch battery without charge due to the lack of LCD. Utility may finally be trumping flash. A hideous counterpoint, however, is the i.amPULS which attempts to jam everything into a bulky cuff.
My top pick for the year, assuming it works, is the SCiO “molecular scanner”. A spectrophotometer that claims to provide the chemical composition of the objects it scans be they food or pills or whatever you can think to scan. The idea here is to be able to directly measure the nutritional content of your food and the validity of your medication. One closer step to the tricorder perhaps?
What did I miss? Plenty, I’m sure, so let me know.