A few weeks after returning from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas we have reviewed some of the highlights of this amazing spectacle.
Power outages at consumer electronics show; disobedient robots that showed very little respect to some of the world’s most influential CEOs and a Google stand that was basically rained off. And that after Google had bought about half of all the available advertising and promotional opportunities in the whole of Vegas. You can see it now;
“How do you water-proof an exhibition stand?, I dunno…I’ll Google it”
Highlights were firstly the CX1 self-driving piece of luggage that brought convenience and laziness to a new level. Of course, the CX1 had to be partnered with a range of clothes folding machines that any parent of teenagers will be re-mortgaging to buy.
In the world of connected cars and gadgets CES was booming yet again. Gentex launched a rear-view mirror that acts as an iris scanner that identifies you to the car for security purposes but the award for the “slightly baffling” technology goes to Nissan for its B2V initiative.
The “brain to vehicle” project requires the driver to wear a connected skullcap which then reads the driver’s brainwaves. Nissan say the car will then be able to anticipate what the drivers wants to do up to a second faster. All a bit “George Orwell”…?
Mercedes-Benz launched MBUX, the latest Mercedes-Benz User Experience, and it’s their blueprint for the dashboard of the future: two 12-inch screens, steering wheel controls, so you can navigate menus but an advanced touch pad for those tech savvy millennials. The new A-Class and Sprinter van will be the first to receive the technology.
There were of course numerous EV being launched; The Byton model looked particularly stunning and promises a level of connectivity that could put GCHQ to shame. It positions itself as the next generation smart-device, more than an electric car.
And, not content with running our households, Amazon's Alexa is coming to a dashboard near you later this year thanks to Toyota. It’s an obvious move by Toyota (BMW, Ford, and announced Alexa support last year) as the company does not want to be totally reliant on the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto bandwagon.
Who would have predicted 10 years ago, that within a decade most new cars will operate in conjunction with either Google, Amazon or Apple?
And it’s those technology players that form a vital part in the future of the automotive industry. For years automotive manufacturers have innovated in the way they drove commerce, freed people to travel in a way that was previously impossible, and made personal transport a safer, more enjoyable experience.
Now that incredible innovation is converged with “connectivity” to meet the needs of the next generation of consumers and workers. People who grew up with the entire world at their fingertips now live in today’s 24/7 “always on” society.
Images are courtesy of Byton and Mercedes.