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CES 2016: Smart Barista, Virtual Reality, And Faraday Future

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Consumer Technology Association

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, welcomes Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to the stage at CES 2016

Another Consumer Electronics Show has come and gone with most of the 170,000 attendees headed back home after spending several days being overwhelmed by 3,600 exhibitors spanning more 2.4-million square feet.

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association, shared his vision of a connected world that is changing rapidly as “billions of intelligent products and services are now woven into the daily fabric of our lives,” connecting each of us to these products and services, but more importantly, to each other.

“I see a world with connected devices that are constantly learning and discovering new ways of doing everything; improving the way we live,” Shapiro said during his speech to open CES 2016.

So, what were the hot products at this year’s CES? Was it all about the Faraday Future unveiling its concept car, or are their products that will make our lives easier when they are brought to market later this year.

Rick Velotta, a business reporter with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, made his way through the crowds at CES to get a glimpse of the latest tech gadgets.

“The thing that really intrigued me was the emphasis on the cars,” Velotta said.

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The cars featured are not like the ones currently on the road, Velotta said. They are the new generation of connected car.

“It’s having the ability to communicate with the outside world from your car,” he explained, “A lot of cars you can communicate into the vehicle… but this is a system that allows you to communicate outside.”

He also said electric vehicles and self-driving vehicles were on display at the show.

One of the most anticipated vehicles unveiled at the show was the new car by Faraday Future. The company plans to build the cars in its $1 billion plant in North Las Vegas.

Daniel Rothberg, a reporter with the Las Vegas Sun, was at the big reveal of the concept car.

“There was obviously a lot of buildup,” he said, “There was a lot of anticipation. I think the crowd was pretty excited about the car. It was a flashy car. I think talking to some experts after one person who followed the car industry told me he was ‘disappointed.’”

Rothberg pointed out that the car Faraday Future unveiled is not a ‘consumer-oriented’ car but instead it is a race car that shows off everything the company can do. The car is also a connected car.

 “I think the interesting thing about that car in particular… was that it was connected,” he said, “And that’s what Faraday has been pitching the entire time is connecting a car to the home and to every aspect of life to change the idea of mobility.”

Rothberg also said the way the car was engineered was interesting and innovative from how the battery worked to the versatility of the car’s body.

“So, they can very easily modify the size and specifications of the car’s body,” he said. “So they can make the battery pack smaller or bigger depending on the car size.”

Besides the cars of the future, the other hot topic at the show was the so-called Internet of things, which is the idea that everything from your refrigerator to your child’s teddy bear can be connected.

“Basically, I think there is a belief that everything can be connected to the Internet,” Rothberg explained. “One press sheet I got at CES said that there were over 3,500 exhibitors there, 1,000 of them were exhibiting products that had to do with the Internet of things.”

But, Rothberg said, the Internet of things brings up issues of security and the infrastructure to support the network in every object.

Velotta said the connected fridge is an example of what the Internet of things could look like in the future.

“You go to your refrigerator and you find out, ‘oh man! I’m almost out of milk,’” he said, “And then you have your checklist right there on your refrigerator where you push the button and say, ‘I need milk’ and the milk is delivered to your house.”

Other inventive items they spotted at the show: the smart barista by Bosch, which is a robot arm that helps a barista fill coffee orders. The new virtual reality helmets that give people an immersive 360 degree view of everything from skiing to war zones. And the new do-it-yourself, wireless home security kits, which allow people to set up their own home security systems and monitor them with their smart phones.

With all of the people and all of the tech, has the show outgrown Las Vegas? Velotta doesn’t believe so.

“As far as the future of CES is concerned, I don’t know if there is a place in the country that can handle it the way Las Vegas can,” he said, “So, it’s a pretty sure bet that they’re going to be staying.”

Guests

Rick Velotta, business reporter, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Daniel Rothberg, reporter, Las Vegas Sun.

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