Alexa, write a CES review for my blog post… That would be cool and may even be right around the corner. One thing for sure is the age of digital personal assistants is upon us and the clear leader is Amazon’s Alexa. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was filled with AmazonAlexa products that range from the full AI implementation like LG’s refrigerator and Ford’s Fusion car to products that incorporate Alexa integration to control their products such as Samsung’s robot vacuum or Dish’s Hopper DVR. According to IDC the IoT(Internet of Things) industry is expected to grow over the next few years to more than a trillion dollars and Amazon is doing their best to cement Alexa as the go to platform for companies to develop around. After a successful holiday shopping season, which saw the Echo, Dot, and Tap sold out across all retailers and even on Amazon’s own website, the company is not slowing down. In June of 2017 the company boasted 1000 Alexa integrations, but fast forward to January and that number has grown to over 7,000 leaving the competition in the dust. While Google also had good success this holiday shopping season with their Google Home AI assistant, they are still very new to this field and don’t have the level of integration that Alexa does. That doesn't mean they didn’t have a CES presence as they too announced integration in big car companies (Hyundai, GM, Chrysler) and with Nvidia, but they still have ways to go to catch up with Amazon. Another major competitor Apple, per usual did not have a direct presence at CES but their “HomeKit” integration was spotted at some booths, yet most of the products were old news, coming from companies that had promised these products last year at CES. The slowdown in HomeKit integration is definitely something Apple should be concerned with before Amazon’s lead gets too big to recover from. CES did present us with the first announced to market HomeKit integrated camera from D-Link.
Home automation and smart assistant AI’s weren't the only things to get upgraded tech. The automotive industry, which has been having an increased presence at CES more and more every year, had their own “smart” announcements. Luxury car company Faraday, announced their pre-production Tesla “killer”, the FF 91. This car screams performance, with a 130kW battery battery pack the produces 1,050 horsepower for a 0 - 60mph in 2.39 secs, a time that most super cars including Ferrari have trouble competing against. All that power is combined with what Faraday is saying “the world’s first ecosystem connected car” that allows for it to be connected to all our favorite mobile devices. Not to mention the amount of sensors built in, totaling over 35 that include cameras, radar, lidar, and ultrasonic sensors. But this level of technology comes at a luxury price that will be out of range for most consumers at an estimated cost between $150,000 and $200,000, so for now Tesla might not need to worry too much as their sub-$40k Tesla 3 should start being delivered later this year.
Lastly, in what I call the random yet cool category we have some off the wall concepts that just make you wanna stop and think about it for a moment. Razer showed off a concept laptop called Project Valerie, that sports three 17in 4k monitors that fold out when the laptop is open! Not that this has many real world applications, but I’m sure those that work in a multiple screen environment such as IT, would find it appealing. If they didn't, someone else sure did because two of the concept prototypes were stolen from Razer’s booth and they are now offering a $25,000 reward for information that could lead them to recover the stolen prototypes. Razer was the only laptop company making headlines this year. Acer unveiled the Predator 21 X, a $9000 laptop! What makes it so expensive? How about a 21in curved display, 64GB of DDR4 RAM, dual Nvidia 1080 graphics cards, and a top of the line Intel i7 processor. This thing is awesome, but even if you have the cash to get your own don’t think it will be the type of machine you can just throw in your backpack and bring anywhere with you. The laptop weighs just about 20lbs! Finally the last and one of the most talked about devices at CES, the smart breast pump by Willow. They are hoping to bring mothers into the 21 century with the device that connects to your smart phone and gives you important information such as, the amount of milk pumped, the frequency of the mothers pumping, and how long the milking session lasted. All the breast information you may need as a mother for $430.
That does it for my review of CES. Of course there was so many things I didn't get to talk about that were pretty cool so make sure to check them out for yourself and leave any comments below.