CES 2020: Tech is Much More Than Entertainment

Ed Wenck | Jan 20, 2020
Home health was at the forefront of the up-and-coming companies as well as the behemoths. Many of these technologies were wearables — but very smart wearables. Wearables that track a family member’s movements through the home, when they are eating, sleeping, active, inactive, or using the restroom, all while measuring their heart rate and body temperature.
One watch-like device called CarePredict even takes that data and processes it into a dashboard so a caretaker or family member can see trends and observe abnormal behaviors. For example: Is the subject not eating regularly? Is their mobility limited? Additionally, the watch has a “help” button and a two-way communication system.
There are tools for the youngest members of the family as well: With video analytics you can now monitor your baby’s heart and breathing rates with just a camera and get notifications of any abnormal activity.yoga
The health innovations don’t stop with humans:  Pet health can be monitored, too. New tech includes collars that measure your pet’s heart rate, temperature, breathing rate and activity level, and systems that train your dog on your TV while you are gone for the day.
Here’s a look at some of the other top-line trends from CES 2020:
Simplistic design: The CI industry knows plenty about simple design and non-intrusive technologies — in fact, we invented it! From bespoke cat litter systems to digital readouts embedded in beautiful wood panels, tech is being designed to nearly disappear. Gone are the days of bulky, intrusive tech devices. The new era of consumer tech is all about hidden, simplistic, and minimal designs incorporating technology seamlessly into the environment and the users’ lives.

Robots, drones, exoskeletons, oh my! Robotic hands to assist in cooking and working in the kitchen are ready for commercial spaces, and soon these will arrive in your home. Initially helping those with disabilities to be more independent (and safer), they’ll eventually be adapted for everyone. (We already have robotic vacuums and mops so the transition should be fairly easy. 

Drones are taking on new roles beyond photography and military applications (as we have seen with Amazon package delivery) but they are also being used in agriculture, yield and property evaluation, as well as crop dusting.

A few companies were showing the new era of exoskeletons at the show, including air carrier Delta. (Loading luggage should be a snap with an “Aliens”-style loader.) These devices will be used in the near future to allow people to lift and work safely in ways never thought possible.?
Food is changing with technology. Impossible Foods unveiled their new meatless pork at CES, adding another product to the growing list of animal-protein-substitutes. Meat alternatives require technological advancements — and, of course, a supportive consumer base — in order to thrive. A new company even unveiled a new meat from tissue grown in a lab from cells taken from a living animal. But this tech isn’t just helping those who love meat. This year at CES, we saw more farming solutions than ever before, from small to large, do-it-yourself to an ag business in a shipping container.?
The world is waking up to what a “Smart Home” or “Smart City” really looks like. For example, a truly “smart” home would feature full and seamless integration between all of the systems in a home without a bunch of apps or DIY platforms. There is still a market for the “DIY smart home” but more and more companies are realizing that the technology in the home needs to improve the lives of the individuals living in it, not complicate it.?The overall message presented at CES was about the experience of living in a cohesive environment where health, entertainment, security, productivity, and day-to-day living are all connected and supported holistically.
Smart cities are not as far out as one might think: Toyota is building the world’s first complete smart city at the base of Mount Fuji where everything is integrated and no one drives.?
If CES 2020 showed us anything, it was that the next five years will see dramatic advancements in health and wellness, AI and machine learning, holistic integration and design, food and agriculture, and the sensorization of the world.
Ian Bryant is CEDIA's vice president, of technology application and workforce.
NOTE: This Emerging Trends piece is brought to you by CEDIA’s Technology Advisory Council and Technology Application & Innovation department.