Big Takeaways from CES, Part 4

Ed Wenck | Feb 04, 2019

Here’s part four of the CEDIA Tech Council’s thoughts on CES 2019 in Las Vegas. We’ve distilled a series of takeaways from the podcasts from the show for several quick reads, as well as a “recap” show that was taped a week after the Consumer Electronic Show wrapped up. 

The ”voice agnostic” ecosystem will be an immense help. Peter Aylett of Archimedia notes “One interesting thing that we saw at CES: There are an increasing amounts of companies being voice agnostic and embracing both the Amazon and the Google ecosystems. What Samsung had said is that they are going to embrace both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on the backend, as far as voice. I'm going to be very, very intrigued of how they do that because every single year as far as press conferences go, the Samsung one is always by far the slickest. This year it was a fantastic display of the entire connected Samsung ecosystem all being pulled together with the Bixby AI voice front end, so it's going to be really, really interesting to see how the next year develops with a lot of the big consumer, electronics manufacturers acknowledging that if they're going to sell their products, their products need to play well with others.” 
For cyberManor’s Gordon van Zuiden, the issue is summed up well in a post by one Steven Sinofsky, recommended to van Zuiden by Rich Green of Rich Green Design:
Sinofsky says, "I think of the CES now as a universal remote problem. Everything starts work but to really work you long for that one simplified control point, and the challenge is making that while all the other pieces are still moving."
“I think that's really the gist of where we are. Everything's connected, everything has IP address, everything has an interface, whether it's touch, or key paid, or voice, and the world now is crying for a way to create some kind of synergy to cross those platforms,” says van Zuiden.
And next? As for Green, he’s thinking one step further: “I attended a seminar by Adam Cheyer. He was one of the people who invented Siri. In his talk he said, ‘The future of the user interface of the user experience of technology is the digital assistant.’ He is convinced that there will be no single digital assistant to rule them all but there must be interplay and exchange between them. When you think about the backend business model of Amazon and Google, they’re all about acquiring data. If you think about the backend business model of Samsung and Apple, they're not about acquiring data. They're about selling hardware.”
“It makes total sense to me that Samsung’s Bixby, for example, would open up into a larger group of cooperating voice AIs so that a person owns their experience of the digital assistant, that it becomes their digital assistant regardless of the AI they happen to be talking to. It could be Bixby, Siri, Alexa, or Google. It shouldn't matter.”