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January 15 2018 | Mark Breading

CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show), has become the biggest tech event in the world. CES2018 is so massive that there could probably be fifty different Top 10 lists. Here are just a few of mine that I hope you will find interesting and useful. 

 

 2018CESThemes

 

  1. 5G and AI are the top enabling technologies for the connected world of the next decade.
  2. Voice assistants are everywhere – incorporated into every smart device possible.
  3. Everyone is talking about mobility (driverless vehicles, the sharing economy, smart cities reshaping transport).
  4. The next big UI trend will be Augmented Reality for All (AR for All).
  5. Cutting the cord is a big trend (wireless power, untethered VR, wireless audio, etc.).
  6. Biometrics gain steam for security (facial recognition, fingerprint, voiceprint, iris scan, etc.).
  7. Smart Cities are gaining more visibility (they even had a special agenda and exhibit focus this year).
  8. AI is not only an enabler for the next decade, it is becoming dominant today.
  9. Specialized chips and sensors abound – for LiDAR, AI, visioning, and many other applications.
  10. Smart-home tech continues to proliferate, although winning platforms and companies are starting to emerge.

 

2018CESFavoriteProducts

 

  1. BYTON vehicle: New car company with an awesome vision for a “smartphone on wheels”
  2. Flexound: Sensation of touch added through sound waves
  3. Bellus3D: 3D modelling of human face/head to create avatars, etc. (To see mine, click here.)
  4. Aflac robotic duck: Cuddly animatronic, AI-based duck given to kids with cancer
  5. IV-Walk: Vest to administer IV fluids and enable patients by providing more mobility
  6. Foldimate: Automatic clothes folding machine
  7. LG Display’s roll-up TV: Ultra-thin 65” OLED TV display that can be rolled up
  8. SapientX: Movie quality avatars for conversational AI
  9. Monuma: Blockchain-based app to record, appraise, and estimate the value of costly objects
  10. Guardian by Elexa: Water monitoring system with leak detection and automatic shut-off capability

 

2018CESMostUnusual

  1. Tennibot: Autonomous tennis ball collector
  2. Robomart: World’s first self-driving store
  3. Phrame: Smart license plate frame
  4. 90Fun Puppy 1: Self-driving luggage (yes, it follows you around)
  5. B-Hyve: Smart yard (monitors watering systems)
  6. Milliboo: Smart couch
  7. Kohler: Connected, talking toilet, enabled by Alexa
  8. Somnox: Small robot that you can cuddle and sleep with
  9. Velco: Connected handlebars
  10. Kuri: Robot that acts like a digital pet

What, you may ask, does this have to do with insurance? It turns out that many of these are relevant for insurance in one way or another (ok, maybe not the talking toilet). But overall, these lists give a small glimpse of the era of unprecedented innovation that is sweeping the world. The things that the insurance industry insures, the way insurers communicate with prospects and policyholders, the nature of risk, and how insurers improve operations all are being affected by the trends in emerging technologies, and we are only at the beginning of the digital, connected world.