Technology develops quickly and every year new forms of technologies and products are developed and unveiled. You may be wondering where these products and technologies are shown? They are shown at the CES, which is one of the biggest and hottest shows on earth. CES 2018 was held in Las Vegas from Jan. 9-12. All the tech savvy people gathered in Las Vegas, and I had the opportunity to explore this unique world of theirs.
What is the CES?
CES stands for ‘Consumer Electronics Show.’ It is a high-level global business event that touches almost all industries. There is another show in Europe called IFA. CES started in 1967 and has come quite far in the past few decades. This year, all the latest devices and technology from over 150 countries and 3,900 companies could be experienced in Las Vegas in three locations: Tech East, Tech West, and Tech South. However, CES is a trade-only event for individuals 18 years of age or older and affiliated with the consumer technology industry. I was able to participate at the CES as a member of the media because I am the Editor-in-Chief of the CBNU Globe. As a reporter, there were many cool benefits. First of all, entrance to the show is free! Also, there are separate lines for the media when going to press conferences or lectures. As a representative of the media, I participated in almost all the media events for companies from Continental and Byton, to Samsung and Nvidia.
What kind of products show?
At CES, the product categories covers almost all types of industries so attendees may see and feel the near future of everything! The categories are as shown:
3D Printing, Digital Imaging / Photography, Robotics, Accessories, Drones, Sensors, Augmented & Virtual Reality, Electronic Gaming, Smart Home, Audio, Fitness and Sports, Startups, Communications Infrastructure, Health and Biotech, Vehicle Technology, Computer Hardware/Software/Services, Internet Services, Video Content Creation & Distribution, Lifestyle, Wearables, Digital/Online Media, Personal Privacy and Cyber Security, Wireless Devices & Services
The Keywords of CES 2018: 5G, Smart City, AI, IoT, AR, VR
All kinds of technology were shown at the CES, but 5G, AI, IoT, AR, VR, and autonomous cars were the tech that were in the spotlight, so why not learn about these technologies? With all these technologies, we can have a ‘Smart City’ somewhere, in the near future.
5G is the fifth generation network. It allows 10GB of data to be downloaded per second which means that it takes just seconds to download a movie. 5G is really important because as the time goes by, more and more data has to be processed and sent for better results. A human produces about 1.5GB of data per day, while the car produces about 4TB of data per day. With the current 4G or LTE, the download speed is about 100 MB per second, so it isn’t sufficient for the big data. With 5G, connected cars will able to send traffic and environment info to the ‘Cloud’ and communicate with other cars. Also, VR headsets with HD resolution can become wireless with a faster network. These examples are only the tip of the iceberg and there are unlimited applications with 5G. This wonderfully fast 5G was demonstrated at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics for the first time in the world and is estimated to enter commercial markets at 2020.
<The speed of networks>
AI stands for ‘Artificial Intelligence.’ It is a popular keyword that pops up everywhere. What is AI? Simply said, AI is, ‘The machine that acts like a human by learning and educating itself by reacting with the environment.’ How does this work? AI works thanks to machine learning and deep learning. By machine learning, the machine learns the pattern or the characteristics of the data and tries to predict what data is what. Deep learning is more complex than machine learning and a deep neural network is made with the help of the computer and massive amounts of data. The more data, the more accurate the machine gets. Where does this technology get used? For the time being, we mostly use it when we translate or when we do online shopping because the computer shows you products you would likely want to buy. However, as AI gets better and better, it will be used in almost every electronic product in the future for a comfortable and efficient experience.
IoT stands for the ‘internet of Things’ and simply involves all the ‘smart’ appliances we see around us. IoT can be easily seen on commercials, like refrigerators, which can reveal its contents, or personal secretaries like Amazon Alexa, that can control the temperature and electricity of the home. Thanks to IoT and a connected network, everything can be comfortably controlled from practically anywhere in the world, as long as there is a network. This IoT market is becoming a big market and all the electronic products nowadays come with a feature that lets it be controlled via a network. At CES 2018, all the products were IoT products. The best part of IoT is that everything can be controlled via an app and is very comfortable. However, there have been problems related to hacking and there isn’t a universal platform. Also, home appliances aren’t replaced regularly, so there may be problems related to hardware updates.
AR and VR seem alike but there are slight differences. AR stands for ‘augmented reality’ and VR stands for ‘virtual reality’. To easily distinguish between those two, see if the real reality is reflected. AR uses a display that shows information and animations on the real world. However, in VR, the information and animation are shown in a virtual world. AR can be applied to car windows to show the information right on the driver’s view and to factory workers’ glasses to help make the work more efficient. VR can be applied in the gaming and entertainment fields. There are plenty of examples, like VR roller coasters. At CES 2018, Looxid Labs presented LooxidVR, the first mobile VR headset to provide an interface for both the eyes and the brain.
5. Autonomous Cars
Thanks to 5G and better-spec devices like GPU and lider technology, autonomous cars are becoming a reality. Until now, cars with similar tech specs were slightly autonomous, which means driver interference was still needed. However, the era has come for cars that can drive by themselves. In the autonomous car community, there are levels that show how much the car is really autonomous. Those levels are indicated below. At CES, there were many manufacturers that showed how much the sensors and devices like lider, GPS, cameras, network, servers, and much more have developed and are ready for level four or five autonomous cars. Also, Toyota announced its car platform ‘e-palette’ which is an autonomous modular vehicle that can be turned into almost anything, from stores and taxis to hotel rooms and medical rooms and much more, depending on the configuration. Maybe in the future, cars will no longer be a personal item to drive or maintain, but really rather a shared transportation method that takes you to places comfortably.
Level 0: The system can issue warnings, but no control over the vehicle
Level 1: “hands on” - Tech-like adaptive cruise control. However, the driver must be ready to retake control
Level 2: “hands off” - The system can accelerate, brake, steer the vehicle, but the driver has to be alert for possible system failure.
Level 3: “eyes off” - allows the driver to safely and promptly take their attention away from driving, though they still have to be alert for special situations. Mostly used on highways.
Level 4: “mind off” - Similar to level three but no driver attention is need for safety, so the driver is able to take their mind off and sleep.
Level 5: “steering wheel optional” - No human driver is needed so the steering wheel seems optional.
Award Winning Products: CES INNOVATION AWARDS
Dynamics Inc. - Wallet card: The first payment card with a network certified core, a display showing card info, and the capacity to hold multiple cards.
Siren - Siren Diabetic Socks: the first product created with Neurofabrics, which help people living with diabetes avoid amputations.
NAVER Corp., LINE Corp., and ORFEO SoundWorks - MARS: the world’s first pair of earbuds with an AI platform, “Clova” that allows a real-time translation between two people.
VIVO phone: in-display fingerprint scanner.
LG Display rollable TV screen
iFLYTEK XiaoYi Translation Machine: Real-time translation device
Ultra-D: Stream TV glasses-free 3D TV Technology
BenjiLock: a lock unlocked with a fingerprint
Wink Bar: bike handles that track, navigate, and light up for better cycling experiences.
I love flashy gadgets and robots, so when I first saw the show, I was fascinated and excited about touring the whole show. But, as I was walking through the show many thoughts came to mind. First, was the reliability of the technologies. For instance, the autonomous car manufactures say that their cars are high tech and there is a small possibility of malfunctioning and having an accident. However, if the chip malfunctions or if the car is hacked there will be chaos because in the future these cars will be connected and the wrong data sent to other cars will bring big consequences. Also, if the whole platform is made up of autonomous cars, it would be better. But because there will be human drivers for the time being, it might be impossible for the autonomous cars to react properly with other drivers. All this communication can happen thanks to the fast 5G. However, as you can see in the movie ‘Tron’, if the machines go off the grid (or network), they won’t be able to function properly.
Secondly, machine learning and artificial intelligence is getting smarter and smarter so it will be hard to adjust to. Personal gadgets with AI will be able to learn from the users’ patterns and in the end will be able to predict what the user will do. If you see it one way, it will be comfy because the lights will turn off when you’re about to sleep and the window shades will go up and coffee will be ready when you wake up. However in my opinion, it will be quite creepy because it feels like I’m doing what the AI tells me to do and the people of my generation will need some time to adjust to the trend.
Thirdly, it changed my view of China and the silver business. I thought China only manufactured low tech devices but at CES 2018, there was even an independent space for Chinese companies called ‘Made in China,’ where all kinds of products from low tech to high tech were displayed. Surprisingly, there were a lot of good quality products and they were all ‘Made in China’! Also, there were all kinds of tech and gadgets for the elderly. Because of better living environments and good medical skills, today, many seniors live to be over 100 years old. So, it is said that, the ‘silver’ business will be a thriving one.
Lastly, some of the thoughts I mentioned above may seem, negative but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t anything positive. For example, I could see that technology develops fast because after 6 months a GPU was announced, another came out half the size and weight with a higher specs. Also, if we adjust to the machines and technology, our lives will become more comfortable, and dependent, on them, and we will have more time to think because all the primary activities will be done by the smart robots.
It was a great experience to be able to attend the CES and feel the near future in person. I could see that autonomous cars will be soon seen on the streets and because of machine learning and artificial intelligence, there will be a lot of changes in how we work and think. So, I will have to come up with a plan to be able to survive in a future filled with smart machines that can do almost everything, some things better than me. Go see the show if you have the chance and be changed forever.
Chang Seung-won, Editor-in-Chief