What’s The Buzz At CES 2020?



Las Vegas physician Dr. Samir Qamar discusses the MedWand at CES. Qamar describes MedWand as a multiple diagnostic tools in a handheld device.

CES does what it always does best, preview future tech products and reveal the trends that will share the year ahead in technology.

This year is no different. Wired new TVs, interesting new modes of transportation and internet-connected pleasure devices are just a few of the items on display.

CES is huge. Two-point-nine-million square feet of show space at the Las Vegas Convention Center along with 11 other venues in Las Vegas will welcome 170,000 attendees, 4,500 companies and more than 1,000 speakers.

CES organizers on Sunday highlighted the biggest tech trends to watch at this year’s show. This year’s trends include 5G devices and artificial intelligence that powers many of 8K televisions or smart devices in our homes.

Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of research at CES, told KNPR's State of Nevada that 5G and emerging AI technology is part of all categories of technology on this year's show floor.

"Companies across all industries will unveil for the first time the latest hardware and software AI solutions at CES, creating a customized user experience using things like speech recognition and machine learning," she said.

With the advance of 5G technology, which is the next generation of connectivity for devices, Rohrbaugh said consumers will start to see not just the internet of things but the intelligence of things.

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Other AI uses include facial recognition and biometric technology such as fingerprint and retinal eye scanners.

Bryan Horwath is the business reporter for the Las Vegas Sun. He said one of the most interesting things he's seen on the show floor this year is a ping pong playing robot.

Bryan Horwath speaking to Joe Schoenmann at CES/Photo credit: Chris Smith​

"You actually play ping pong with this robot," he said, "This thing is probably as good or better than Forrest Gump."

Horwath talked to the robot's creators and, unfortunately, it's not something that is going to arrive on store shelves anytime soon, instead, it was a way to highlight the company's robotic medical devices.

Forpheus, an automated table tennis robot from Omron/Photo credit: Chris Smith 

Horwath said while most people think of CES as a place for the coolest new gadgets to go on sale it is actually becoming a showcase for gadgets designed to make life a lot easier.

"There's a lot of things in this expanding field of digital health that are geared toward helping us not only live healthier lifestyles but kind of recognize if there is a health issue that we need to be aware of," he said.

Las Vegas physician Dr. Samir Qamar is getting into the digital health space with his award-winning MedWand diagnostic product.

Dr. Qamar holds the MedWand/Photo credit: Chris Smith

The MedWand combines a stethoscope, thermometer, electrocardiogram and about seven other devices in one hand-held device. Qamar said the device, which is the size of a computer mouse, allows patients to be examined by their doctors anywhere in the world.

"I wanted to create something that was literally portable, hand-held and could be at home with the patient or at work with the patient," he said, "That is how I think it is going to advance telemedicine in that you'll now be able to have examinations in addition to just basic video chat."

Qamar said the device allows for “70 to 75 percent of what you can get in a physical visit.”

Bringing the upgraded device back to CES this year was important, Qamar said, because the show gives his company a chance to know who is interested in the product and where the market for the product will be.

Streaming content also remains popular with details about those services from companies such as Quibi and NBCUniversal expected to be unveiled.

Quibi CEO Meg Whitman and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg are expected to discuss their TV streaming service before it launches in April.

Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s chair of advertising and partnerships, is expected to discuss the company’s video streaming service Peacock, which is launching this year.

“Entertainment and technology are intertwined more than ever before, with tech innovation providing new pathways for content creation and consumption,” said Karen Chupka, executive vice president of CES.

More than 160 automotive technology companies and automakers showcased their wares at CES.

CES floor/Photo credit: Chris Smith

While more and more non-tech companies continue to move into technology and our lives become more and more integrated with technology the question of privacy has become more and more important.

One of the panel discussions at this year's conference will focus on whether the big technology companies, that gather our information on a daily basis, need to be broken up or more heavily regulated.

Jennifer Huddleston will be part of that discussion. She is a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Huddleston said with the hands-off approach the country has had when it comes to technology companies a number of privacy options have sprung up. 

She noted that not everyone has a problem with their personal information being gathered and sold but those who do have options to protect their information.

In addition, she pointed out that technology moves so fast that innovation is the best way to reign in big companies.

"Just a little over a decade ago, we were asking very similar questions about was My Space a natural monopoly or how Yahoo won the search wars," she said, "What we've actually seen in the past is that a lot of times innovation is actually the best competition and that we don't necessarily know what that next competitor or that next technology that completely changes the marketplace is going to be."

CES officially takes place Tuesday to Friday and is sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association.

Joe Schoenmann talking with Dr. Samir Qamar at CES/Photo Credit: Chris Smith


Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of research, CES; Dr. Samir Qamar, founder and CEO, MedWand; Bryan Horwath, business reporter, Las Vegas Sun; Jennifer Huddleston, research fellow, Mercatus Center ay George Mason University.


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KNPR's State of Nevada
KNPR's State of Nevada
Jan 07, 2008


KNPR's State of Nevada