CES 2019 Showstoppers, the Show Floor, and Some Neat Stuff


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CES 2019 is over, and those of us who spent four to five days trying to see and hear as much as possible are in recovery mode. There were over 182,000 attendees, and 6,600 of us were media all trying to get to as much of the 2.9-million-square-feet exhibit space as possible.

Three journalists from I-Connect007 attended the show this year, and my guess is that we saw in total less than 25% of the show. But we are reporting on some of the major press announcements and trends that will have a significant effect on our industry in the next few years.

CES, which used to stand for the Consumer Electronics Show, has become a primary platform for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). There is so much more than electronics, and some of it is difficult to consider as real technological advances. No matter what you call it, the key focus is on technology supporting devices of all kinds—and the vast majority of them are electronic.

We have already covered some of the press events, and upon reading my CES press day article, I think I was so caught up in the tech and excited about what I saw and heard from companies such as NVIDIA, Intel, and Samsung, that I perhaps got a little over-techie. Thus, for this one, let’s look at some of the advanced stuff that will change our world over the next few years. I’ll try to share some the fun I experience being one of the first to see—and in some cases, try—things that were considered science fiction when some of us were growing up.

Over the next few thousand words and dozens of pictures in this and the upcoming wrap-up article, we are going to look at some amazing things from the huge (and I mean HUGE) connected John Deere tractor and the large Bell Helicopter passenger drone to the tiny Travis language translator to a palm-sized picture-taking drone (flying selfie stick, anyone?) and lots of things in between.

The following are some of the best that I saw on the show floors at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sands Convention Center, and Venetian suites and exhibit halls over a few days of trying to see as much as possible. Let’s start with a few small—but very impressive—devices, and then on to big stuff and a mix of things that were plain fun.

CES19-3-TravisTranslator.jpgThe Travis Translator is clearly an example of 1960s sci-fi. I first saw this device last year, and it worked well, but with the addition of AI and what appears to be machine learning capability, this year’s version is truly spectacular. This unit understands and speaks over 100 languages and is globally connected for amazingly fast and accurate translations. Not only does it allow you to carry a virtually normal conversation with someone that speaks a different language but it also has a teaching mode and records your conversation in both languages so you can either listen to it or read it. This device can be, of course, controlled by its touch controls, but it also can be controlled by using voice commands. Captain Kirk could have used this device for sure, but I am not sure if it speaks Klingon as yet.

CES19-4-Cubit-2.jpgNew advanced tools that use precise measurement abilities and incorporate XR/VR to allow you to visualize your project as you design it are now available. The Plott AR/VR home improvement measuring DIY tool allows users to take their real design concepts into the AR realm and back to reality with precise measurements and calculations. Plott’s extended reality (XR) platform and accompanying hardware bring real-world elements and dimensions into the LetsPlott app—a design center for measuring the project and then using XR to visualize it as it will look in the real world.

BenjiLock is a simple and easy padlock that can be opened by a standard key or by using its owner’s fingerprint. This Shark-Tank winner comes in various sizes and colors. I can see everyone using one of these.

CES19-3-BenjiLocks.jpgDrones are not new at CES, but their progress and ease of use have been rapidly evolving. This year, there were numerous drones from the huge Bell Helicopter passenger drone down to the mini selfie drone (covered in my CES 2019 preview article). The Bell passenger drone prototype is massive and impressive. It includes large buffers around the props, which are reported to greatly reduce noise levels to something that is not annoying to those on the ground.

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