The most influential technology show on the planet

Jan. 19, 2018
by Mark Ollig

The largest and most anticipated presentation of technology was at this year’s 51st Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Jan. 9-12 in Las Vegas, NV.

More than 2.75 million square feet of exhibit floor space showcased technologies and innovative high-tech devices from companies around the globe.

These world-changing technologies included ones we’ve talked about in past columns, including:

• preliminary 5G cellular network technologies;

• Artificial Intelligence (AI);

• Internet of Things (IoT);

• Virtual Reality (VR);

• Augmented Reality (AR);

• autonomous self-driving all-electric vehicles;

• robotics;

• flying drones;

• digital health-monitoring devices; and

• smart cities.

This planet is becoming more networked and interconnected than ever before, with smart devices and advanced technologies communicating with each other, as well as with people.

Of course, social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, have already provided a global stage for anyone with a message or an opinion to be instantly seen and heard by millions.

During the CES, the number of Twitter tweets (messages) using #CES2018 was nearly 451,000. Total tweets including “CES 2018” were almost 861,000.

More than 3,900 companies and exhibitors from more than 150 countries came to Las Vegas to use the influential CES platform for launching their technologies before 170,000 who attended, including 7,000 members of the media and press.

The first CES event took place in New York City in 1967, and had 250 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees.

More than 900 individual industry and corporate speakers discussed the full range of today’s and tomorrow’s tech industry from the CES 2018 stage, and during 200 individual conference sessions.

Others in attendance included 10 members of the US Congress, one cabinet official, policymakers, city officials, and six international government foreign affair ministers.

IBM defines a smart city as “one that makes optimal use of all the interconnected information available today to better understand and control its operations and optimize the use of limited resources.”

CES showed examples of smart cities using technology to improve their infrastructure efficiencies, improve services to their citizens, and save money.

Last year, I wrote about the city of Arlington, TX using battery-powered, self-driving shuttle buses for providing a cleaner, less expensive way of transporting people and goods.

These self-driving electric vehicles shuttle people back-and-forth over non-publicly traveled vehicular transportation roadways and trails within the city’s entertainment district, where many of Arlington’s public events take place.

The mayor of Arlington said he wants the city to see how the driverless technology performs, and where it can be best utilized to serve their future transportation needs.

Other US cities are also exploring and testing driverless vehicles using advanced transportation software and hardware technology.

Forecasters say there will be at least 88 smart cities worldwide by 2025, with global smart-city technology spending projected to reach $35 billion by 2020.

An IBM video showed the installation of more than 1,000 wireless IoT sensor monitoring devices installed in office rooms, and attached to electronic and environmental systems inside an 11-story building.

These pre-programmed IoT devices monitored each room’s temperature, lighting, and security; they could even determine the number of people in a given area.

This smart building’s IoT sensors also observed utility usage, such as the heating, venting, air-conditioning, and electrical systems.

The information collected by the IoT devices is transmitted to a central database via 4G (soon-to-be 5G) wireless cellular, or from a secure internet connection.

Future 5G technology in smart buildings and cities will increase the efficient use of a local community’s utilities, health, safety, and other publicly-provided services using wireless communications.

IoT data transmitted is analyzed to make informed decisions for improving the operation of the various functions and environmental conditions inside a smart building, or home, for that matter.

There are already millions of IoT sensors receiving and transmitting data, monitoring and controlling various business and home utilities and devices.

IoT information sent to local data servers or the internet cloud undergoes data analytical software analysis to improve efficiencies and lower operating costs.

Today, many business and government buildings, plus home utilities and resource usages, are monitored and analyzed in real-time.

IoT is slowly developing into a part of the new building construction requirements for future cities, homes, and businesses.

New IoT businesses are on the rise; assisting cities and corporations in creating technologically-smart buildings, offices, and transportation systems.

If this present trend continues, we can anticipate a future where smart – and even artificially intelligent – buildings and homes are commonplace.

More from the most influential technology show on the planet, will be included in next week’s Bits & Bytes column, so stay tuned.

Be sure to visit my Bits & Bytes online web blog at www.bitscolumn.blogspot.com.

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