I spent Day 1 of CES 2018 inside the Sands Expo in search of those consumer products and services that can meet your business demands.
The proliferation of smart devices is apparent in nearly every company's offerings. It also seems like the trend this year is to include Artificial Intelligence (AI) in product names or description. That is not to say that AI does not have a key role in many of these products - it's just amazing how much more prevalent the term is this year relative to last year.
On the lower level of the Sands Expo is an area called Eureka Park. In this crowded area you will find more than 20 countries highlighting technology that is coming from more than 800 startups and established businesses in those regions. There is so much to see as you walk around that it can easily cause sensory overload.
However, I headed into the Sands Expo to hunt down the products most likely to provide viable business solutions.
After you review the snapshots below, be sure to check out the product images and links to the companies in the gallery.
This ergonomic furniture includes electric standing/sitting desks and fully adjustable chairs. The latest model of their desk includes an option to have an embedded touch screen used to adjust the desk, get meeting reminders, order pizza or call a ride share.
This company is pioneering infrared tech as a long range wireless charging technology. Assuming your office has their overhead charging unit installed, you can then wirelessly charge your devices if a. it's within 33 feet of the charging station, and b. you've outfitted the device with a specific dongle or phone case. The unit on display here at CES was incorporated into a light fixture that combined two practical necessities - light and recharging power - into one single unit. It even has an outer ring of light to indicate it is charging your device.
This team collaboration app is aimed at enabling workplace collaboration. If that sounds familiar, then you might have also heard of Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Slack, and HipChat. Gaiku shares many of the features of other collaboration services such as chat, voice and video calling, reminders, tasks lists, etc. This service is just barely three months old and plans to become a subscription based service on a per user scale. You can go to their site and sign up for free right now to try out the service and mobile app.
If you watch Shark Tank you might have seen this product. If not: PhoneSoap is not a wet wipe for your device, but a UV-emitting device, in a range of sizes to accommodate different numbers of devices, that uses UV to clean and disinfect your phone. The baseline product is a clamshell style device that can hold most smartphones and promises a ten-minute cleaning time. They also have a quick disinfect option that can clean devices in about four minutes; these are targeted towards medical applications.
This company is developing programming that will allow AI processing directly on a device instead of needing to rely on a cloud processing of data. This would make for speedier face detection, face identification, face grouping, object recognition, and gaze direction. The capability is downloaded as an app with the necessary offline data to enable this device based processing to occur at anytime on that device. Even a heavy duty object recognition database is in the ballpark of 200MB's worth of data to be downloaded to your device.
I keyed in on this company because the literature said they were developing an emotion chip for robots/AI. My mind immediately went to Star Trek and the android Data who had his own emotion chip. After talking to these folks, I believe they are onto something here that can really refine the interactions we have with AI-based services. Using the EMO chip, AI-based customer services can learn context, inflections and tone, then respond accordingly. The learning is constant and an AI personality emerges over time.
Kuzzle IoT is an open source option that is scalable, uses a multi-protocol API, includes an admin interface, plus a set of plugins that provide even more advanced capabilities for getting the most out of your connected devices. Kuzzle can be deployed on-premises or in your cloud provider of choice.
There are a lot of virtual and augmented reality headsets on the show floor of CES and this one is a telemedicine platform that can assist both office-sited doctors for consults and paramedics in the field.
OrCam My Eye
This technology works offline to help individuals who are blind or vision impaired to understand the world around them. It can read barcodes to identify products plus it can read text right off any printed material. It also learns who your colleagues/friends are and uses facial recognition to whisper into you ear and tell you who is in the devices field of view. The goal of this technology is to provide individuals dealing with vision difficulties with greater independence. The OrCam My Eye 2.0 is gesture controlled either by interacting with the touch bar on the device itself or with several hand gestures that are visible to the device.
The Serena VM is unique because it delivers phone, network, file sharing, and remote access while adhering to strict cybersecurity approach to protect your business-related data. Everything is centralized so you can manage remote instances of Serena VM with simplicity. Their goal is to make it possible for SMBs to have robust technical capabilities and maintain solid security protections.
Another emerging theme at CES 2018: language translation tools. SignAll company is unique because they are developing a visual system to translate American Sign Language (ASL). While I have seen plenty of spoken-word translators, this is the first time I am aware of this kind of effort. The company is working with a school in the Washington, D.C. area building up the baseline database of ASL hand gestures and they are prototyping cameras designed to pick up the physical intricacies of ASL.Each person who uses ASL has their own accent/dialect, so the challenge is understanding all of those variations and building an accurate database. Imagine being able to use a terminal in an airport or other public place with ASL and find out information that those of us with capable hearing have straight forward access to use? This will eventually have many applications including use in businesses and enterprise applications.
This French company has developed a backend for handling building maintenance through the monitoring of IoT sensors and other connected devices. Push notifications are sent through the service to an app install on the building manager/maintenance man's phone that lets them deal with any issues that come up on the managed property. That maintenance man can then resolve the issue, provide documented feedback through the app, or request higher level assistance for any issues that come up in the course of taking care of real property. Right now this service is only available in France and a few locations in Europe but eventually they see a market for this in other parts of the world including the U.S.
Stay tuned here at ITPro Today and on my Twitter account (@WinObs) for our coverage throughout the Consumer Electronics Show 2018.