What you missed at CES

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What you missed at CES

The world’s largest consumer tech show wrapped up in Las Vegas last Friday. CES featured 4,500 companies exhibiting products to an audience of over 100k industry attendees.

Truthfully the show has a lot of fringe futuristic gimmicks, but here are some stories worth talking about. 

CES bans sex toy for women while sex bots for men are A-OK

Last fall, CES organizer, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), selected Lora DiCarlo’s Osé personal massager for a coveted CES Innovation Award in the robotics category. 

A month later the CTA withdrew the award and banned the product from exhibiting at CES, citing a legal rule related to indecency. 

Lora DiCarlo’s CEO Lora Haddock claims CES is exhibiting a clear double-standard because shows in the past have featured products in the same vein but designed for men, citing sex robot and virtual reality porn demos of years past. 

Frustratingly, this appears inconsistent with past CTA decisions. In 2016 an e-book connected vibrator won an Innovation award for the wearables category. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Google goes all in on Alexa competitor

Google dedicated its massive CES presence to promote their Google Assistant technology in a continued effort to make up market share against Amazon’s ubiquitous Alexa. Highlights:
  • In partnership with Google, Lenovo delivers a $79 Smart Clock competitor to Alexa’s Echo Spot
  • Google Assistant and Phillips Hue smart lights can now wake you up gently with a 30 minute simulated sunrise before your alarm goes off. 
  • “Hola Google, dónde está la biblioteca?” The Google assistant now features an Interpreter Mode. Select hotel concierge desks are piloting the technology to facilitate conversations. 

Self-driving cars slow their roll

At CES in 2017 the CEO of chipmaker Nvidia boldly claimed that their technology would put self-driving cars on the road by 2020. In reality, they oversold, and fully autonomous driving turned out to be harder than anyone anticipated.

This year Nvidia dialed back their rhetoric and announced a glorified advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), which they are calling Autopilot (sound familiar?). ADAS tech includes a range of smart driving features like adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and parking assistance. 

The car tech conversation at CES has shifted to focus on how the developing self-driving technology can create safer driving experiences and generate financial returns in the near term.
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