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Things That Made US Say “WOAH” at CES 2018

Photo by J. Foley

WOAH! Thoughts on CES 2018 by J. Foley.

CES 2018 kicked off last Monday (January 8th) with this year’s theme of “WOAH.”

Now, did I say “WOAH” as much as I have in previous years? Unfortunately, the answer was a big fat no. After you cross your 50th booth with that company’s version of their Bluetooth speaker, you start to wonder where the innovation is!?

I came to this simple solution, we are in the middle of a tech cycle. Cool game-changing technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality, smart watches, and Bluetooth speakers are all already here. Now every company (including the US Post Office) was at CES with their way of perfecting the technology hoping to get their piece of the pie.

via GIPHY

So what DID make me say “WOAH“?

One was The US Postal Service.

Yes, I said to myself, what is the US Post office doing here? In fact, I wasn’t alone, their staff wore nametags that said: “Ask me why we are here.” So naturally I asked, and what I learned is something I never knew before about the post office. They offer a free service which you can sign up for now called “Informed Delivery.”

Did you know the Post Office takes a picture of every piece of mail? Now you can get an email of the mail that will be delivered in the mailbox each day. If you’re like me, I hate walking to my mailbox unless I know there is something I want to be mixed with all of the junk mail. Now I can see exactly when my rad grandmother has mailed me my yearly birthday card via email.

You can sign up for informed delivery here. (informeddelivery.usps.com)

Another thing that did make me say “WOAH” is Wireless Charging.

I have to give credit to Samsung for really creating a market for wireless charging. It’s nothing new, in fact, Palm (remember them) even had devices with wireless charging technology. Now that consumers see how great it is, now comes the innovation.

Up until now, wireless charging has been for a low power solution good for say charging your cell phone, but now we have the technology to power devices at full power.

Here is an example of a desktop computer with NO WIRES!

There is nothing I hate more than wires on my desk. This technology is expanding to everything imaginable.

You can now even get wireless charging into the garage! Craftsmen is coming out with a toolbox where the lid is one big wireless charger. So when you are done with your power drill, set it on the toolbox and your battery will always be full.

The next thing I saw everywhere is Bluetooth technology.

You couldn’t go anywhere without a company trying to showcase why THEIR Bluetooth speaker is better than the other person’s Bluetooth speaker. The technology is getting better and the common theme was making your speaker work with personal assistants such as Alexa or Google Home.

One Bluetooth speaker that stood out to me was from House of Marley. The products were designed by Rohan Marley (Bob Marley’s son) and ironically enough, they are developed right here in Utah. You’ll soon be able to check out the cork & waterproof speakers that will be able to float on water. They sound great and they don’t feel cheap. The other eye-catching part about their products is the unique wood finish.

Another thing that did make me say “WOAH” is THE CURVE

Curved displays are where LG and other manufacturers think consumers want to spend their money. I’m not convinced yet that this is where I will be spending my money, but LG’s proof of concept of a 4k curved display was pretty convincing.

I AM excited to see what could be on the way as far as wearable technology. These proofs of concepts had me intrigued from Skyworth:

Last but not least. THIS made me say WOAH!

I witnessed a paralyzed man walk. No joke! This exoskeleton he is wearing has a Bluetooth controller in his canes. He can click forward or backward and the suit does the rest. He just has to keep his balance and lean while he is walking. Right now they are developing technology for spinal cord victims and once approved by the government, they want to expand this to other conditions.

Overall, CES showed me that we are in the process of perfecting what is out there right now as well as adding to the smart home. I’m excited to see what the next wave of innovation has to bring in 2019!

-Jared


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