Alexa and AI at CES, in Our Cars and Ovens

Alexa and AI at CES, in Our Cars and Ovens

Ina Fried of Axios Login has an enviable and fun gig this week, covering the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where the latest hot tech is rolled out.

It’s good to read tech reporters who bring institutional memory to their coverage. They bring a much-needed cool to the hot type.

“While the biggest tech breakthroughs probably won’t show up at the CES,” Fried writes, “it’s a good place to see where the industry as a whole is placing its bets.”

The big bet is (still) voice assistants and artificial intelligence, everywhere:

“The big trend: The integration of voice assistants into all kinds of consumer electronics gear, from your TV to your fridge.”

It takes two forms:

It’s a fierce battle between Amazon and Google to get their assistants included on other companies’ devices. 

As the same time, hardware makers including Samsung, LG and Roku are putting their own voice assistants into their products.”

Another area to watch, Fried adds, is the speed with which voice-activated assistants are finding their way into TVs and cars and cooking appliances and bathroom fixtures.

“Bixby, for example, is being added to Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator, while Amazon’s Alexa is coming to ovens and microwaves.”

Wired’s CES curtain-raiser has seen it all before, most of it anyway:

Every year, more than a hundred thousand CES attendees pour into Las Vegas to convince each other and the world that everything before was crap and everything to come will change that. They go to see the biggest and thinnest new TVs, the fastest and lightest new laptops, the headphones and the phone cases and the drones and the refrigerators. All of it more powerful than last year’s model, more connected, more deeply integrated into your everyday life.

David Pierce’s article doesn’t overlook the ongoing spread of augmented and virtual reality to more areas of consumer devices, self-driving cars and “all things artificial intelligence.”

“Each of these will re-shape our lives in ways we don’t yet understand,” he writes. “Neither do the tech companies.”

And take heart, people with grey hair. The show has plenty of tech for you and your influential, disposable income. Gizmodo.com reports that this year, the best gadgets could be the ones designed for seniors.

A French startup called E-Vone has created a line of custom shoes and sneakers packed with a host of sensors including an accelerometer, a pressure sensor, a gyroscope, and GPS, that all work together to not only detect falls, but also notify friends and family of an incident.

So never again will they have fallen and can’t get up.  They will bounce back:

“Even more ambitious is a wearable product called the Hip’Air that features airbags hidden on either side of a special belt. Using a gyroscope and accelerometer, the airbags automatically inflate in less than 0.08-seconds when the motions of a fall are detected, and then cushion the impact to help reduce the risk of broken bones and other serious injuries.”

2018 is the year of artificial intelligence (AI) becoming more robust, smarter and everywhere. It’s baked into sensors that are transforming the Internet of Things (IoT) and accelerating major changes in manufacturing. AI will be with us throughout CES and for the rest of our lives.

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