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CES Round UP 2018

The CTA’s annual Consumer Electronics Show once again displayed, center stage, the future of technological innovation. 

More than 20,000 products launched at CES 2018, which ran January 7-12. The annual show, held in Las Vegas, is owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

"The future of innovation is on display at CES, with technology that will empower consumers and change our world for the better," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. "Every major industry is represented here at CES 2018, with global brands and a record-number of startups unveiling products that will revolutionize how we live, work and play. From the latest in self-driving vehicles, smart cities, AI, sports tech, robotics, health and fitness tech and more, the innovation at CES 2018 will further global business and spur new jobs and new markets around the world."

Intel's CEO, Brian Krzanich, took the stage Monday evening for the preshow CES keynote, to celebrate innovation and explore what's next for big data. "[Data is the] unseen driving force behind the next great wave of tech innovation," he said. Intel will bring VR content to the upcoming Winter Olympics through its immersive media plan and True View platform, delivering the largest ever VR experience across 30 sports programs. Former NFL star Tony Romo then joined the stage to further highlight how VR will transform the consumer experience for live sports, offering the potential to view from virtually any angle through 360-degree cameras, incredible data storage and super computing power. During his presentation, Krzanich also noted the recent opening of Intel Studios, a new workplace in Los Angeles, California, gave a live demo of an Intel-powered autonomous "human drone" Volocopter and set a Guinness World Record with its Shooting Star Mini Drone show - the most advanced software fleet of 100 drones controlled without GPS by one pilot.

The day prior, CTA's Steve Koenig and Lesley Rohrbaugh presented Tech Trends to Watch at CES 2018. They identified expected major CES trends such as ingredient technologies like AI and 5G that will permeate the product announcements, as well as native interfaces, smart cities, and digital therapeutics. They also announced the 2018 tech industry revenue at $351 billion dollars - a 3.9 percent increase over 2017. For the slides and more information, visit CTA.tech/salesandforecasts.

CES featured two days of product announcements from companies both large and small. Kicking off a week filled with innovation, 29 companies announced product announcements including:

  • Bosch - "Simply. Connected." portfolio, which highlights the use of smart city technology to revolutionize urban mobility, air quality, energy efficiency and security 
  • BrainCo - First affordable, non-intrusive, AI powered prosthetic hand
  • Byton - Electric, self-driving, connected concept car expected to launch in late 2019
  • Continental - Unveiled its long-term goal for seamless mobility and vision zero, Continental's goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities on roads
  • Faurecia - Voice-activated cockpit of the future with Amazon Alexa
  • HDMI - HDMI 2.1 Specification - the most recent update of HDMI standards and specification, supporting a higher range of A/V resolutions and bandwidth speeds
  • Hisense - H10E 4K Smart ULED™ TV, and H9E Plus 4K Smart ULED™ TV
  • Hyundai - New, technological flagship fuel cell electric vehicle called Nexo with advanced driver assist capabilities
  • Interaxon - Partnering with Safilo to combine fashionable eyewear with Muse's brain-sensing technology
  • Kia - Niro EV Concept, a fully electric compact SUV which can run 238 miles on a single charge with a 30-minute fast charge
  • LG -  Showcased its product integration of LG ThinQ AI - artificial intelligence products that can learn from consumers
  • MobileHelp - Emergency response system for the Samsung Gear S3
  • Monster - Monster Talk voice-activation technology, to be included in the Superstar Bluetooth speakers, Elements headphones and Clarity Bluetooth headphones
  • Nucalm - Patented relaxation technology, which combines a topical cream, microcurrent stimulation via the NuCalm visor, and the NuCalm neuroacoustic software
  • Panasonic - First 4K OLEDs with HDR10+ format
  • Philips - Philips SmartSleep headband designed to create better quality of sleep with personalized tones and volumes
  • Qualcomm - Processor for extensive use across 5G connectivity, automotive, and smart home tech, including low power Bluetooth audio devices and VR headsets
  • Ripple - App to improve professional networking that uses Ripple's "face connect" technology, allowing users to take a picture of someone and instantly add them to a connection list
  • Samsung - Unveiled the IoT ecosystem "SmartThings," the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen and the Samsung Flip
  • Showstoppers Launch.it - Winner of its startup pitching contest was Velco with their "Wink Bar," the first connected handlebar for bikes with smartphone compatibility
  • Sony - Showcased its A8F OLED TV
  • TCL - TCL Roku Smart Soundbar integrated with the Roku Entertainment Assistant
  • Toyota - Announced their new self-driving mobile marketplace, e-Palette
  • Valeo - Low-voltage (48V) all-electric vehicle prototype motorization
  • ZF - ZF ProAI, new super computer with modular and scalable architecture

This year’s CES included several important strides for the VR/AR industry, both as a content hub and a hardware offering.  The CTA reports that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are positioned for record growth in 2018. Exhibitor data on CES 2018 shows a record-setting footprint for both AR and VR.

The forthcoming U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report from CTA projects AR/VR headsets and eyewear will sell 4.9 million units in the U.S. in 2018 (a more than 25 percent increase from 2017) and sees U.S. revenues of $1.2 billion (almost 10 percent year-over-year growth). CTA also projects sales of consumer-focused AR eyewear will accelerate considerably within the next five years.

Last year, CTA's AR/VR Working Group approved industry definitions to help companies explain to consumers the broad range of technologies and experiences available, including:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) overlays digitally-created content into the user's real-world environment
  • Mixed Reality (MR) is an experience that seamlessly blends the user's real-world environment and digitally-created content, where both environments can coexist and interact with each other
  • Virtual Reality (VR) creates a digital environment that replaces the user's real-world environment

Additionally, CTA's AR/VR Working Group under the association's Technology & Standards Program - accredited by the American National Standards Institute - will soon complete its work on technical definitions covering a broad spectrum of the AR/VR industry. These definitions will provide support for future projects addressing best practices for consumer experience including MR, XR, Outside-In Tracking and Six Degrees of Freedom or '6DoF.'

"It's up to us in the industry to help consumers understand all the technology and content available right now in the AR/VR/MR space," said Mark Turner, vice president, corporate partnerships & strategy, Technicolor; and chairman of CTA's AR/VR Working Group. "The investments we're seeing in these immersive technologies, coupled with other innovations - like wearables and voice search - point to an exciting future of truly pervasive personal computing. A future where your physical environment can morph between being your digital workplace and your digital fun place."

CTA's membership is expanding and evolving in line with this emerging tech sector's growth. CTA welcomed more than three dozen new AR/VR members in 2017 - including Black Box VR, creator of a virtual reality gym; HaptX, maker of haptic gloves for training and entertainment; and VR biometrics content platform StoryUp - bringing the association's total AR/VR membership to over 100 innovative companies. Among the current members of CTA's AR/VR Working Group: Amazon, AMD, Dolby Laboratories, the Fox Innovation Lab at Twentieth Century Fox, GoPro, HTC Vive, Intel, Magic Leap, Meta, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Oculus, Reverge VR, Samsung, Sony, STRIVR, Technicolor and Translink Capital.

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