This article was written by Jennifer Crontinger, C2G Product Manager, while she waited at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas for her flight home from CES.
Imagine this... Living in a world where our “fitness watch” will tell us we have burned a certain number of calories through exercise, then alert us that it’s time for a snack to replenish. It will be able to pull up a list of available snacks in the refrigerator that are in that calorie range. Once that item is consumed, the refrigerator will alert you that stock is low and put that item on your shopping list. When you are ready to head to the grocery store you can send a voice command through your phone to tell your car to back out of the garage. Seriously…..check out Samsung’s technology in the all-electric BMW i3! Once you get done at the grocery and finally sit down you may decide you need a glass of wine. But don’t worry about having to get up to chill it. Use your mobile device to send a command to your Bluetooth wine cooler. I saw it all...at CES 2015.
Aside from our new hyper-connected life, there were many other interesting technologies at CES. 3D printers where abundant with many models under $500. Wow! 4K devices were in every major electronic manufacturers’ booth. The Sony rep said that content will finally be widely available this year. There were many consumer video cameras out that can record in 4K. And because 4K is finally here we of course need to move to the next big thing. Sony and Samsung did not disappoint with the announcement of 8K video. But don’t expect to see that for several years.
In the mean time, wireless power seems to be the next most exciting and useful trend I saw. The “Charging Zone” is at full capacity as we are all trying to breathe some life back into our devices after a long day. The power strip has several outlets but as travelers come and go we have realized many of them do not work. Several people have come by and realized they forgot their power cord. Wireless power is what we all need right now! Instead of providing power outlets, the airport (restaurant, coffee shop, conference room, bedside table, kitchen counter, car console) could be fitted with a transmitter under the table. We would have the receiver on our phones in the form of an aftermarket case or built into the case by the manufacturer. We could drop our phones, tablets, laptops, etc. on the table and charge. No cables, no plugs, just charging! There are a few competing technologies but Rezence and Qi (pronounced chee) are the main players. We will all benefit from one standard taking the lead and being installed in all the places we like to charge.
Aside from wireless power, the biggest trend that stuck out is being called “The Internet of Things”. This means many devices (even things you wouldn’t think of as “smart”) are connected to the internet via a network and are able to be controlled with a mobile device or a computer. Home automation was a huge focus with many companies displaying technology to get your lighting, door locks, window blinds, sprinkler systems, and much more, networked. Once the devices are on the network you can control them all from an app on your phone. Worried you left the TV on when you left the house? No problem! Turn it off from your phone. Getting home late and don’t like coming into a dark house? With one click on your phone you can unlock the door, turn the lights on, and open the blinds. More traditional devices like washing machines and refrigerators can also be networked. Beyond the home, you can do the same networking with functions on your car.
I'm closing with a trend that is being closely watched, and is under development by C2G is USB 3.1. (Type C). USB 3.1 will be able to act as a single port on any device to provide video, data, and charging over one cable. Expect consumer devices, cables, hubs, etc. by mid-year. Click here for more information this exciting technology.