I just returned from my first CES experience. People are not kidding when they say that the crowds, the lines, and the sheer magnitude of the conference are on another level; nothing could have prepared me! I was, however, mentally prepared to be blown away by the featured technologies and, to be honest, I was not. I have been debating whether or not to blog about this because who comes back from CES and says that?!?!
I must admit, I spent most of my time in the “Vehicle Technology” section. Just about every booth had a vehicle – either an existing vehicle with snazzy features or a conceptual design. Here are a few examples of the conceptual vehicles: Mercedes Benz “Urbanetic, (modular design)” Bell’s “Nexus” (flying car!), and Hyundai’s Elevate (walking car).
It was amusing to see how many companies are focusing on auxiliary technologies to support fully autonomous vehicles. Clearly these are fun to think about, but how soon will they actually be needed?! Some examples include:
- Kia’s Real-Time Emotion Recognition Technology – This artificial intelligence technology can “change the cabin environment with settings which can play upon human senses.” Aptiv is doing something similar (see link here).
- Audi and Disney’s Virtual Reality – “The VR experience is intended to match, visually, what the passengers feel as they ride: If the car turns, accelerates or brakes, the VR environment will do the same thing.” Intel and Warner Brothers are doing something similar (see link here).
- Byton’s futuristic dashboard – This 48-inch curved unit stretches across the entire dashboard and “gives the driver information about the car and its surroundings…displays the infotainment system, and gives the front passenger access to entertainment like movies and television shows.”
And there were two significant disappointments for me at CES:
- Electric vehicle technology was barely mentioned. Outside of Nissan’s Leaf e+, electric vehicle technology did not get a ton of attention.
- Where was all of the good swag?! Even my one-year old wasn’t excited by my souvenirs…
That all being said, it was an incredible few days and I’m grateful for the experience. My favorite was hanging at the Continental booth where we demonstrated a robot completing first/last mile package delivery from EasyMile’s EZ10 (see video below). What did other people think about CES?