CES 2016 Report

CESweblogo.jpgYesterday I spent my day at the events that are held in advance of the floor opening for the Consumer Electronics Show—some research sessions and a keynote by the CEO of Intel. Some interesting things afoot for the world of technology:

1. Farewell to the upgrade cycle. I used to get a new PC every three years or so. Not because I wanted to spend the money, but because the feature set and need for more power warranted it. Beyond the promise of Virtual Reality gear, there’s little discussion of new needs for PCs. In fact, in Intel’s 90 minute keynote, the PC got only a bit mention—and that was as a gaming device. Things have changed dramatically in that world.

2. Sensors, sensors everywhere. From Intel’s button size Curie chip to countless fitness devices, one of the biggest trends at the show is the ubiquity of sensors. This will create some interesting side effects. More sensors means more data—which will create quite an opportunity for those in data analytics (good news for Virtual’s client, the Data Analytics Association). It will also raise privacy and security concerns. The breach or release of data from a fully “measured life” could have a variety of bad consequences.

3. Who’s driving? The question being asked on driverless cars isn’t whether they’re going to happen, it’s when. The technology is becoming more advanced every day. Two questions remain in my mind—who will manage the regulatory and legal issues driverless cars will create, and how will security be handled? Both call for a strong association in the space.

4. Look, up in the sky! If you’re not dodging a driverless car on the road, then you’ll be watching for a drone up above. Drones are everywhere at CES. Like driverless cars, the regulatory and security challenges will need to be addressed before they become an obstacle. Just one small example—drones are incredibly fun, but they’re also noisy. Much as it would be fun to have one while I’m surfing, the buzz of a dozen drones overhead would cancel out any other buzz I get from surfing.

5. The Reality is Virtual (Hey, I like the sound of that). As if the cars and drones weren’t enough, CES is filled with people swinging wildly in the air as they wear VR goggles. The VR path will be an interesting one—like so many technologies before it, gaming is going to play a key role in its early adoption. Where it goes from there will be interesting to see. As one who spends a lot of time traveling, I’m eager to see if there will be applications that mimic face to face meetings.

I’ll be interested to get my hands on this technology on the show floor later today.

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