If you like interesting and futuristic technology, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which takes place in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year, is the event to watch. Technology and consumer goods companies show off the newest and flashiest technology that might affect your life for years to come. Last year, we broke down some of thefrom CES, from robots to space-age transportation and holograms. This year, we took a look at how technology continues to evolve, focusing on three themes that will shape how we talk about technology in 2019.
Artificial Intelligence That Adapts Technology to Your Life
One segment of technology that has grown significantly over the past year is the virtual assistants. This year’s CES featured many of the virtual assistants we’ve come to know over the years, including Amazon’s Alexa, the Google Home Assistant and others. So far, these have been the chief archetypes of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our homes.
However, AI innovation is fueling an even more interesting change in technology. Now, instead of humans adapting to AI technology (reaching out to our virtual assistants for help with everyday tasks), AI is adapting to us. Because of advances in AI technology, autonomous vehicles are navigating the roadways, cameras can automatically adjust their colors based on lighting, and TVs can adjust to what you’re watching by adapting their color and sound settings automatically. This can change not only what technologies are available to us but how we interact with tech and devices overall, with technology gaining the ability to generate user data and then process, use, and adapt to it in real time.
The innovations in sleep technology garnered a lot of interest at this year’s CES. The CDC reports that 1 in 3 American adults does not get the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night. This can cause serious health effects such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The sleep technologies featured at CES may help make sleep deprivation less prevalent.
Sleep Number, a mattress manufacturer that has been a regular highlight throughout the years, announced several new features for their mattresses, such as sensors that monitor sleep and transmit data to an app that advises users on how they can improve their sleep.
Other sleep solutions featured this year ranged from white noise machines that would fit in a pocket to sleep-oriented smart home systems. Some of the most popular were the products that tackled snoring, like the Phillips Snoring relief band and the Hupnos Sleep Mask. The Phillips Snoring relief band is a soft piece of fabric that you wear around your chest that senses your sleeping position and prompts you to move to a better position using gentle vibrations. The Hupnos Sleep Mask works in a similar way by monitoring body position and guiding the user to a position where they will be less prone to snoring. It can also detect if you’re snoring and can help gently open your airways so you can breathe easier. As information on sleep deprivation becomes more prevalent, more people are looking to technology to help ensure restful sleep.
Technology That Is More Socially Conscious
In many ways, consumer technology is about making the user’s (or buyer’s) experience better (better entertainment, more convenience, etc.). One of the main themes of CES 2019, however, was technology that could not only better the life of one person but also secure a better future for everyone. This may have been the reason that the Impossible Foods’ new Impossible Burger 2.0 got so much buzz.
Before this year, meat substitutes from companies such as Impossible Burger got a bad reputation for being poor substitutes for the real thing. However, this year, the company unveiled significant improvements to their technology and even fooled(and carnivores alike) into thinking they were eating real meat. How does this fit into the larger social consciousness? According to , each burger requires 25% of the water needed to raise enough meat for a conventional burger, along with 5% of the land and 13% of the greenhouse gas emissions. Advances in consumer technology like this could help humanity as a whole.
No matter what technology you're looking forward to this year, you'll definitely hear about these three themes. As it improves overall, technology is getting better at adapting to our individual lives and at providing for the future of its users.