As I mentioned last week in my business and enterprise expectations about CES 2018, despite this event being a consumer products show there is plenty of companies that are in attendance whose technology will migrate to the enterprise once it's proved useful to consumers. While not every consumer product leads to a business application, the potential exists for that to happen when those products and services fill business demands. The companies I spoke to at CES Unveiled understand this.
I saw more than 200 exhibitors at the show's preview events, and one big theme across them all: connected devices. No tech stands alone now. Everything gets set up and controlled via one of two different methods -- smartphone app or voice control -- and so everything is networked. The home has become more like the enterprise that way; expect the home to return the favor by introducing voice controls to your workplace tech in the future.
Here are some of the products I checked out that could be used in business environments right now or will be landing in an office in the near future.
Lokly - Connected and Secure Flash Drive
This was one of my favorite items at this event because you could see how it meets business demands for secure asset transfer without impacting the user's ability to access their sensitive and proprietary data.
Each Lokly USB device is uniquely manufactured and programmed with a hardware-based encryption key that protects the data on that specific device. If a malicious actor was able to compromise one Lokly device, they would only have access to the data on that device only and not a common key that would compromise other Lokly devices.
Think of Lokly as a hardware filter when it is plugged into any device on any operating system since it is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. That filter prevents any executable from running from any guest USB device that is connected to Lokly and it prevents any auto-run functions which are sometimes turned on by default in operating systems like Windows.
If you want to transfer files from Lokly to another USB flash drive that can all be done from the Lokly app on your smartphone without the need for a computer to host the files on a temporary basis. That prevents even further risk to your computer from threats lurking on that other USB device.
Pup Pocket Scanner
While our phones can easily take pictures of business cards and other data, you eventually have to go access that image and save it/share it as part of that process.
The Pup Pocket Scanner takes those bits of paper flotsam and scans them. You can then access a digital copy of the collateral via a cloud service, email, or social media. This is because the Pup has Wi-Fi, so you can connect it directly to your network and upload the scan you just made.
Using a laser view-finder you can scan in items ranging in size from A1 to A5 using the double anti-reflection flash to get a natural looking image in several graphics formats including the popular JPG and PNG.
It will run for about eight hours on a single charge and can store more than 2,000 scanned items. Everything between the device and your storage locations are encrypted to protect your scans.
Acute Angle PC
I keyed in on this Windows 10-based device because of its unique form factor and its capability to be a low powered digital currency miner.
Whether you would use this for mining some variant of bitcoins or not, this device could be a perfect system to use in classrooms for training, in call centers, or even on employee's desktops.
The specs look like this:
- Wired and Wireless (dual band 2.4/5 gHz) Connectivity
- Quad Core Apollo N3540 CPU
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB SSD
- 4K Ultra HD
- USB 3.0 (3), HDMI 2.0, headphone jack
- Uses up to 40% less power than comparable CPUs
That power note is a key factor because one of the biggest expenses many companies encounter is paying for electricity and this device could dramatically reduce that cost.
While many SMBs might not be able to afford the high end protection tools used on the enterprise level, the work Alarm.com is doing in the home translates very well to these other businesses.
The Smarter Business Security product offering from Alarm.com provides several benefits for the small business owner through professional monitoring and assistance:
- Secure and Connected tools
- Reduced expenses through reduced energy use when spaces are not in use
- Monitoring inventory and equipment
- Remotely manage access through key systems
- Manage employee access
- Video monitoring with cloud storage
- Property management
- Protect employees, customers, and property
The business solutions analyze the data collected through daily activity reporting, then use that data to build efficiencies into security systems. This is a perfect example of how a company is using what they learn in the connected and protected home to scale that coverage up for business owners of all sizes.
ThirdEye X1 Augmented Reality Smart Glasses
Augmented Reality has continued to be a focus for many companies, from developing the technology to its use for multiple business applications, to creating efficiencies in those areas.
ThirdEye's X1 Smart Glasses are intended for a lot of audiences, but relevant to the enterprise are meeting business demands for industrial training and remote assistance.
For ThirdEye they hope to stand out with their X1 glasses due to the following specs:
- Resolution 1280 x 720 FOV is 40 degrees on the diagonal
- Adreno 530 GPU with 3GB RAM
- 32GB Storage plus SD card support
- Runs Android 7.0
- 13MP HD Camera (4K at 30 FPS; 1080p at 60 FPS; 720p at 120 FPS
- 2400 mAh battery for eight hours of use (hot swappable, replaceable, rechargeable)
- Interchangeable lens, photochromic (changes in sunlight), and outer lens can be replaced with prescription lenses
- Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac wireless connectivity
- GPS, 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis compass, flashlight, brightness, temperature, and magnetometer
For remote workers who need to use this type of an Augmented Reality headset for more than eight hours, having spare batteries that can be quickly swapped out provides for a much longer period of use. If necessary, by swapping in those extra charged batteries (they are stored in the arms of the glasses, )you avoid any disruption because you have to plug the device in and charge. That keeps you working for much longer.
Stay tuned here at ITPro Today and on my Twitter account (@WinObs) for our coverage throughout the Consumer Electronics Show 2018.