This year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada showed us more than just the usual array of advances and inventions: it also showed us a vision for how these innovative technologies might feasibly find a place in our lives and homes in the very near future. From jumps in connected auto tech to a new level of IoT presence in domestic spaces, this was the year that CES showed a relatable snapshot of the “future” that is now.
From the start of the show, the range of gadgets was staggering. We saw a drone capable of carrying a human (at least once it’s approved for human use) and everything from an LG TV you can roll up like a poster and carry with you to the much-discussed Oculus rift. Smith’s employees kept an ear to the ground during the week, offering their thoughts on what will be the next disruptive tech.
Automotive dominated on the CES floor this year, with a bounce-back from Volkswagen, new EV development and connectivity plans and advances from Ford and GM, a team-up between Audi and chipmaker Qualcomm, and the unveiling of newcomer Faraday Future’s space-age FFZERO1 concept car. For all of the big announcements, even subtle new offerings made a wave: Smith Account Executive Shawn Woodall was excited about Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist.
“Anyone who has towed a trailer knows backing up isn’t as easy as it looks,” he commented on the new feature. “But now it is.”
And if “the connected life” has ever seemed more feasible lifestyle than abstract theory, it was at CES 2016 – especially on the domestic front. Companies presented everything from a robotic bartender that mixes cocktails for you to the Laundroid, an automated laundry-folding machine that seems like something right out of mid-twentieth century visions of the future. The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator was one of the biggest standouts of home tech that got people’s attention.
“There’s a reason everyone’s talking about the Samsung fridge,” said Smith Account Executive Nora Gibbs. “It will scan your fridge for you and make a list when you are out of one of your staples. As a mother of two girls who are constantly forgetting when they finished the milk or used the last of the eggs for a science experiment, it would be amazing to have my fridge send me a note that I’m out.”
“I can’t get over how close we are to the Jetsons’ world that I wanted to see when I was a kid,” Gibbs continued.
As technology begins to reach seamlessly from our homes to our cars to the wearables on our bodies, offering whole new levels of connectivity and convenience, it is hard to ignore just how close we’re getting to the future countless books and movies have imagined.
As the industry and our technology just keep evolving, the really exciting question is: what new visions of the future will we create from here?
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