Other cool stuff at CES

By now everyone has heard about the FFZero1 concept car from Farraday Future.

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But there were plenty of other exciting advances at CES that we may or may not be hearing about in the coming months and years.

There was the connected bed that will keep track of all your vitals and let you know if you had a good night’s sleep or not.

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One of my favorites was the automated window washer, in just 2 short years it can wash every window on the Empire State building.

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There were smart suits, another option to track your vital signs and smart belts that tell you when it’s time to put the fork down (no thank you).

 

Of course there were robots marching all over the convention center.

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Another smart garment – this warm-up jacket connects to your smartphone and if you put your run/bike course into the app, it will tell you when to turn left and right.

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Drones took up a large swath of real estate on the convention floor, but this was the only one claiming to carry a human passenger (at least in a couple of years).

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The smart home hit the mainstream, with every type of appliance available in a ‘smart’ version.  These washing machines were sleek, but I have yet to figure out why I need to pay a premium for bells & whistles that essentially do the same as the annoying buzzer that sounds when my laundry is done.

Old school tech was represented as well and according to the guy in this booth, spinning vinyl records is making a comeback.

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The price of 3D printing is moving to consumer levels.

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And of course 2016 is predicted to be the year of Virtual Reality ((VR).  This guy is playing a first person shooter game against a competitor and they both are ‘running’ around a virtual scene as they stalk each other and earn points.  They were working hard!

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Two of my all-time favorite NBA players were at CES filming their nightly NBA on TNT show and shilling products (not sure why, but it was cool to see Sir Charles and Shaq (and Kenny).

My favorite entry at CES was this contraption that will take a pile of clean clothes and fold & stack it in the appropriate pile in just 4-7 short hours, available at a store near you (in about 5 years).

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Once again CES was amazing with over 2 million square feet of exhibition space occupied by over 3,000 companies including close to 1,000 from China alone.  I hope to file a report again next year.

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Observations from Web Summit

It was nice to be back in Dublin for Web Summit earlier this month.  It felt like the city and F.ounders had finally worked out the kinks.  Unfortunately we start all over again in Lisbon next year, should be exciting indeed.

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Over 1000 companies showed off their wares at demo stations at the Summit.  Most were just a level up from two guys in a garage, but many really had legs and I expect good things in the years to come.

3D printing once again was well represented.  The technology seems to be maturing and yet I can’t get by the feeling that it’s primary value at this point is still making chess pieces and dolls, with the occasional customer using them to crank out models and prototypes of real components.  There are rumors of applications for life-saving devices but that may be a few years away still.

There were companies selling new-fangled pet supplies, online video tools, daily fantasy options, all kinds of IoT devices, personal marketing tools, electric hoverboards and of course cannabis delivery services.

Some of my favorites were:

Jaunt, not typical of the pre-A round crowd that predominated the attendees, Jaunt is at the forefront of the VR revolution and I expect to be hearing more from them in the near future.

Did you know that you can hire Philip Phillips or Neymar (Brazilian soccer phenom) for your kid’s birthday party or to tweet on your behalf?  It will cost you up to seven figures for the honor, companies like Ad.ly can make it happen.

Collaboration software is all the rage these days with the success of Slack as lead unicorn in the space.  A couple of my favorites at Web summit were Wrike and Trello.

Selfiepay is taking retina scans to the masses, offering their authentication solution to online and offline retailers.

Americans take 911 service for granted, especially if you are in the enviable position of never having to use it.  But did you know that much of the world does not have an ubiquitous system for emergency calls?  MUrgency is successfully bringing 911-like services to India.

Gold has lost its luster as the currency of choice for most transactions, but with the advent of bitcoin and the block chain, gold is coming back into vogue-at least in some small but influential circles.  Bitgold strives to be the easy-to-use platform for global gold transactions.

Paddy and company put on another great show with interesting speakers, random celebrities (author Dan Brown?), and cool technology.  Let’s hope that Lisbon can match the energy and joy that Dublin has provided over the years.