If you have ever been to a Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) in the past fifty years, you know it’s complete sensory overload.
I bet the folks that enjoy CES from the comfort of their home, living vicariously through all the broadcasters, bloggers, vloggers, and journalists covering the event also get overwhelmed trying to make sense of the ever-expanding electronics landscape. With older industries being revolutionized with technology and entirely new industries being created, it has become impossible to see it all at CES. Here are some fast-growing product categories that have earned larger footprints on the expo floor.
Adulting is tough and everyone is always tired. People are losing sleep in the attempt of achieving the mythical work-life balance we all seek. Traditionally, for those with issues falling asleep or sleeping through the night, big pharma stepped in to provide various types of sleeping aids. The problem is that many of the formulations used to induce sleep were habit forming and built a dependence in the user.
Though there are many natural remedies and alternatives to the standard over-the-counter sleeping medications, it’s about time that technology takes a larger role in this industry. Especially since many critics would attribute the less serious sleeping problems of many individuals to their incessant use of mobile devices and late-night screen time.
Since sleep is so important to health, and it affects all of us, it is no surprise that Sleep Tech, as a category, will have a larger presence with more exhibitors in the space. Sleep tech can range from different form factors like a smart pillow, smart mattress, or a wearable. Some products focus on collecting data and analyzing your sleep biometrics like how much rolling around in bed you do, ie “restlessness.” Other products aim not only to shed light on your sleeping habits and quality but to actually physically help you fall asleep.
Moona creates a temperature regulating device for pillows that allows sleepers to maintain the cool side of the pillow all night without tossing it around. Coline Juin, co-founder of Moona says, “Temperature is a key parameter in sleep quality. By tracking and understanding the user sleep pattern and then adjusting the right head temperature throughout the night, Moona improves sleep quality. As we are all different when it comes to sleep and cold/hot sensitivity, Moona leverages machine learning to adapt to each unique sleeper. “
Friendly and Helpful Robots
The recent CES Unveiled event in New York City, had a successful 15th year as it gave the media a sneak peek of what to expect in Las Vegas. The Sony booth, usually busy, will probably see extra traffic from dog lovers. They have a robotic dog called Aibo that people can’t seem to get enough of. If you or an elder loved one is in need of a companion but don’t have the ability to provide care to a real puppy, these robo-pups may not be furry, but they are cuddly and should satisfy that need. Having exhibited at CE Week and Unveiled in NYC, temi is another robot creating excitement in the market with a consumer-ready, highly functional product.
“For years we’ve been dreaming, writing and reading about robots in our homes and now when technology has finally caught up with our imagination it is only natural that multiple companies are trying to deliver the first actual home robot or robotic assistant – especially when it is a market that has potential to exceed the existing smartphone one.
At temi, we’ve invested a lot of thought in conceptualizing what robot we’d want and need to see in our homes. It’s day-to-day usability, navigation technology, and human-robot interaction bringing it’s unparalleled abilities and it’s affordability ($1499), make temi a unique and extremely useful product.”
– Danny Isserles, CEO, TEMI USA
Voice Devices and Digital Assistants
It feels like overnight, everyone got a voice-enabled smart speaker in their home. Spotify recently gave away a free Google Home Mini to subscribers of Family Plans and we are likely to see more promotions like this that will boost adoption of these digital assistants. Consumer behavior must evolve for this category to really get interesting. CES research shows that most of the usage happening is based on simple commands like turning on a light, checking the weather, setting an alarm, or calling someone. There are more complex use cases possible that are being underutilized such as ordering food, ordering an Uber, or researching prices and information for shopping
The overlying technology of voice recognition and natural language processing enabling these devices and AI digital assistants to interact and talk with us also need to improve greatly. I don’t think anyone actually enjoys talking to robots when they call into customer service, right?
It sort of makes sense that the most use is experienced with simple one-line commands like “Ok Google, Turn on Living Room Light” because the more complex functions require more of a dialogue. How much verbal back and forth do we want to do with a digital assistant like Alexa in our home to compare products and prices and make purchases on my behalf? These are some of the topics to be discussed at CES 2019 and we will likely see many developers creating new applications to integrate into our new voice-enabled lives.
Peter Salib is a contributing writer at Grit Daily. He has been going to CES in Las Vegas consecutively for the past 7 years since the age of 21 and is an avid attendee of events nationwide. Having attended hundreds of events, he is now a co-founder of Event Integrity, the first integrity-based, vetted marketplace for event professionals. He also frequently works with startups to consult and advise on media, strategy, events, and fundraising. His dog, Scruffy, was featured on the Today Show with Kathy Lee & Hoda and was dubbed “Scruffy the Wonder Dog.”