Five revolutionary trends in technology in 2018 | Articles | Gadgets, gifts and accessories
The International Consumer Electronics Show or CES is one of the industry’s largest trade shows. It takes place at the very beginning of January in Las Vegas, and sets the tone for almost the entire year, allowing manufacturers to present new technology, concepts and products that seemed fantastic yesterday, and tomorrow they will hit all the shelves in the world.
True to form, this year’s CES took place January 9-12 in Las Vegas and revealed a lot about what 2018 will be like for gadgets, home electronics and our favorite everyday devices.
Trend 1: Voice assistants
This year the exhibition paid a lot of attention to home assistants, almost at every step one could meet devices based on Amazon Alexa. There is nothing surprising in this, of course, since voice home assistants have gradually come into use with the advent of Siri and are now getting smarter every year, and the range of their capabilities is expanding.
However, the most revolutionary innovation, perhaps, still remained with Google. Google introduced Smart Display. Lenovo, LG and Sony have already volunteered to produce smart displays. It was these devices that were presented at the exhibition.
What is the difference between a smart display and the usual assistant on a smartphone?
First, a smart display is a home device, a cross between a small TV and a tablet. But all the information requested from the assistant is displayed on the screen.
By the summer, it is planned to launch smart displays from Lenovo, just like the new device from Amazon Echo – Echo Show, which is equipped with approximately the same functions. The key difference is that Google Displays will be able to work with YouTube.
So, we have to see firsthand the competition between the two major players, and find out which of the devices will gain more popularity.
It should be noted that while Google looks pretty advantageous – with more global support, with a wide model line of devices from LG to JBL and of course, with features: recipes, videos, photos and even video calls – all this is at a distance of one voice command.
Trend 2: Retrofuturism
If you have not wondered for a long time what is new in robotics in the direct sense of the word, then it’s time to think about our mechanical assistants.
An interesting discovery was the return of retrofuturistic devices that combine the somewhat archaic design of the past century with completely modern features.
A clothes-folding machine, a robotic dog from Sony, and even a smart home manager CLOi from LG were presented.
The first device is intended, as is clear, for folding and sorting clothes. So far, only a demo version has been presented, so there were some problems, for example, the machine refused to fold a black T-shirt. Plus, the price of $16,000 makes it not the most attractive. For that amount, most of us would prefer to clean up our own closet on our own. However, the device is expected to sync with a smartphone app and, soon with Amazon Alexa.
Sony’s Aibo dog is no stranger to robots, but it has received its own upgrade in the form of new tricks. Aibo received OLED eyes, and facial expressions, recognition of the faces of the owners and the ability to distinguish them from inanimate objects. In addition, she will interact the most with the one who pays the most attention to her. Well, very soon, obviously, we can expect the appearance of electric sheep.
The robot house manager CLOi made a big splash, despite the fact that the impression was rather negative. CLOi is a device similar in design to everyone’s favorite Eve from the cartoon WallE, and in theory, it should fully inform the residents of the house about what is happening inside. For example, plan meals, offer recipes, monitor laundry and set the mode depending on plans, and much more.
An unpleasant moment was that CLOi showed her character right at the presentation, and chose to ignore all the requests of the LG representative. Well, according to him, even robots have bad days.
Trend 3: Healthy lifestyle
Most devices in the past few years have necessarily included a number of functions aimed at maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It started with a pedometer and ends with fitness trackers, smartwatches and dedicated health apps. In 2018, this trend will definitely remain in place, and even move to a new level.
On this occasion, several interesting devices were presented at once.
The first is the Philips Smart Headband, which is designed to help us fall asleep. It is not surprising that such a function is necessary in the modern rhythm of life. But what exactly does this device do, and how does it work?
A soft bandage is put on the head and works with white noise in order to send certain signals to the brain and help the person fall asleep. Special sensors are responsible for reading brain activity, and the information obtained in this way is sent to the application. In the deep sleep phase, the speakers begin to play white noise, which, according to the manufacturer, should help us get a good portion of sleep.
In June, a similar Dreem device was already announced, and it even went on sale.
But here it is important to note that Philips has already conducted studies that have shown that the device does improve sleep.
A more professional device was introduced by Prevent Biometrics: a specially designed dental splint that allows you to recognize potentially dangerous blows in real time. I must say that in many sports such a device will definitely find its audience, especially since the company approached the development very seriously. Research and testing was carried out for 8 years. By measuring the force and direction of an impact, the tire identifies potentially dangerous injuries that can lead to a concussion. Well, I must say that the device has a future and it can really lead to positive changes in sports.
For swimmers, a smart swimsuit was introduced, again aimed at tracking training and performance during swimming. Neutrogena showed a skin scanner that can understand the condition of their own skin through the application.
These are far from all devices worthy of attention, but the general trend is very clear: great attention in modern technologies is paid to health, beauty and sports.
Trend 4: Virtual Reality
The expected continuation of the victorious march of VR-enabled devices was no exception and CES 2018, where HTC’s Vive Pro virtual reality headset won the most attention. The main thing you need to know about this device is a positive and updated upgrade of the previous version. The resolution of the helmet is now 2880×1600 (615ppi), that is, it has been increased by 78%. Accordingly, the graphics will become much sharper and clearer, and the helmet itself has become much more comfortable. Built-in headphones also appeared, which in principle is very important for the immersive effect when playing VR games, but the headphones do not have built-in noise reduction, which is both annoying and logical – we don’t want to completely lose touch with reality.
By the way, for those who are waiting for a wireless helmet, HTC has already announced plans to launch a wireless adapter for the Vive and Vive Pro on the market, thereby approaching and competing with the Oculus Rift Santa Cruz prototype. The price of the device is not yet known, and this can be a weighty argument.
This is not all that was presented with a focus on VR, and the smart glove, a product from Design Partners, is of much more interest. The glove not only brings hands into the virtual world, but also allows you to get a tactile user experience. For gaming, this could mean a real virtual revolution, but more importantly, prototypes of this glove are used in surgeon training, allowing them to have a more realistic experience in the operating room. In general, such a glove has many applications, and we have yet to find out how many.
Another novelty is the VR180, a camera from Google in collaboration with Lenovo and Yi Technology (Xiaomi) that allows the user to capture their own VR content. In fact, it hints that you can easily arrange a real virtual tour of the places where you are. Just imagine the possibilities for bloggers.
Trend 5: Multifunctionality
We love it when our devices interact with each other, this is best confirmed by the Apple experience, where all devices live a common life, creating an almost single organism.
One of the most interesting new products at CES 2018, which definitely deserves its portion of close attention, is the Razer Project Linda. What is it? In fact, the device looks like a normal laptop familiar to us, but in fact it is a Razer smartphone dock that turns your smartphone into … that’s right, an Android-based laptop. Where the trackpad is usually located, we put the Razer smartphone and get a comfortable touchpad. Applications recognize the large screen and work just like they would on a tablet. Many games are supported by this device. And the battery helps to charge the smartphone.
As a prototype, this device is surprisingly impressive. Of course, there’s a downside to the fact that very few people actually use Razer smartphones, but it’s nice to know what the future holds and the use case for our favorite mobile devices.
Of course, depending on the feedback received and the results of the new Razer, we will be able to say for sure whether this technology will take root, but the trend itself really makes itself felt – we are looking for more from all our devices. Other devices confirm the same, for example, the Garmin Forefunner 645 Music with the ability to listen to music, the NVIDIA BFGD gaming monitor with Shield TV, and much more.
Well, the trends are quite obvious, and even if for now we can only guess and guess what exactly will take root and what will remain in the past, it’s nice to know that in the future in 2018 we will have a large number of new developments, each of which necessarily carries something new.