Consumer Electronics Show: Usable Technology or “Jetsons” Fantasy?

| January 10, 2017 | |

The Consumer Electronics Show celebrated its 50th anniversary this year with a record-breaking footprint of more than 2.6 million net square feet of exhibits. Cable – whether broadband or video – played a pivotal role in many of the offerings or trends seen on the exhibit floor.


Did Santa bring you Amazon’s ALEXA or Google’s Home? These voice-operated assistants are cool, but the future holds much more highly functioning robots that will eagerly await your command. As NCTA – The Internet & Television Association explained, “Robots made it very clear that they offer something we can’t quite get from our iPhones, tablets, or voice assistants, and that they are indeed the next step in the evolution of the Internet of Things.”

TV screens

No matter how you get your video – cable, streaming or over-the-top – the viewing experience all boils down to what you see on your screen. New and improved TV screens on display were curved/thinner/larger/pricier (or some combination) and offered improved color, brighter displays. A review of the trends.

Internet of Things – Home edition

Programming your home thermostat remotely via your mobile phone is so 2016. Among the multitude of products on display that will let you control your home with your smart phone:

  • The connected shower lets you preheat shower water, control water temperature and shower duration from your phone.
  • In the kitchen, this robotic “egg” looks up recipies and project step-by-step videos to help you make them.
  • A connected air freshener, which integrates with Nest thermostats, to release Febreze at the right time to take advantage of the air conditioning coming on in the room to optimally disperse the scent.
  • Get your morning started off right with this connected coffeemaker and toaster. The toaster has digital temperature adjustment settings for bread type and darkness, with an app that remembers individual user preferences. The coffeemaker can create a brewed-to-order cup of coffee on demand. The same company also is working on a mirror that displays time, weather, and status messages at its sides of the mirror and can be customized.
  • Your clothes haven’t been forgotten. Among the smart washers and dryers is this one that is a combo unit – washer and dryer are one machine. Smart technology allows the consumer to schedule operating times for when electricity costs are lower, and the dry cycle starts when the washing’s done so your clothes don’t get moldy. The unit also reoders detergent when needed.
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