CES 2018 offers a glimpse of disruptive technologies

CES 2018 offers a glimpse of disruptive technologies
Models dressed as mermaids promote a Sublue underwater scooter during CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

las vegas - IoT, virtual reality and augmented reality, robotics, 5G technology and smart cities were some of the major trends

Published: Sun 14 Jan 2018, 6:09 PM

Last updated: Sun 14 Jan 2018, 8:12 PM

It was a glimpse into tomorrow's world of technology which will bring far-reaching changes in the lives of those who adopt it.

Curtains were brought down on the largest consumer electronics show on Earth here on Friday. But before it closed, the show brought visitors in contact with how new-age technology would affect every aspect of our lives - from health, entertainment, security, mobility, food and more.

Artificial intelligence (AI) was seen to be entering new areas such as farming and sea rescue. The Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (AR) and augmented reality (AR), robotics, 5G technology, smart cities and digital health brought hundreds of large and small companies here, vying with one another in offering their wares.

Some of the new technologies include a miniature 360 degree camera from Taiwan which can be adopted to a mobile phone, taking video by two lenses with 180 degree vision and then stitching them together for VR view or other uses.

Even alternative medicine advocates were seen offering wellness technology based on Chinese procedures such as acupuncture - aiming to heal aches and pains through transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

So were several stalls from AR/VR companies, offering to entertain, amuse and inform the young generation through more challenging games. The distinction between virtual and real worlds were sought to be erased.

Robotics - from miniature autonomous machines just millimetres in length and breadth - to oversized humanoids which could play ping pong with real human beings enticed visitors. Robots with tactile ability were a few of the newer adaptations.

Many companies were aiming their robots at educating and entertaining children at home so that busy parents have a substitute to bring up kids.

Nasa was there with its latest drones and so were dozens of others. Drones overwhelmed visitors by their abilities from surveillance in difficult terrain to rescue operations in disaster zones. Japanese company Yamaha has come out with a drone to spray pesticides over hundreds of acres of land, avoiding human contact with dangerous chemicals. They cost $100,000 a piece.

Kodak, which specialises in photography and photo-printing, has entered into 3D printing which makes physical material from plastic and other raw materials to build blocks for making any product. The company still does not use metallic raw material but others at the show promised the technology was around the corner.

There were autonomous vehicles galore, showing us which way traffic would move on the roads in the near future - safer, faster and with minimal human intervention.

But one of the most innovative plans on driverless vehicles appears to be a new concept on truck driving. Instead of removing the driver's presence completely, Sigma Integrale's remote driving offers control of large trucks from an office hub near the driver's home. Large screens offer the same view through several cameras mounted on a truck that a driver would have normally seen from the driving seat, with full ability to control the movement from hundreds of kilometres away.

The technology is being tested out and, according to Peter Sosinski, head of technology at the company, it would take nearly two years for such trucks to be operated by companies after all safety aspects were worked out.

Smart home technology has taken a leap of faith with cheaper and easier controls and a variety of use in entertainment, lighting control, communication and food preservation.

Developments in computer technology - from laptops to tablets and high-end personal computers to mobile phones - were there for the visitors to see.

According to CES senior vice-president Karen Chupka, with every major industry now engaged in tech, "our show attracted major global brands and innovative newcomers from industries as varied as entertainment and marketing, sports and healthcare, and automotive and lifestyle". - IANS

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