Technology is in almost every single aspect of our daily life.  Things that were once big screen sci-fi are now an everyday reality.  So how do we know what the next new thing is on the horizon?  CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is a massive preview.  Happening this week in Las Vegas, CES has more than 4,400 exhibiting companies and spans more than 2.7 million square feet of exhibition hall.  About 180,000 people from 155 countries attend the event.  Here are a few highlights.

“AI is the star of the show, the ingredient in other technology,” said Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Technology Association.  Over sixty companies will exhibit in the AI section this year, but the technology is involved in many other products across industries.

5G takes a broad step forward this year.  The cellular network technology will be nationwide by 2020, bringing faster internet speeds not just to phones but to other systems as well.  Chip-makers and wireless carriers at CES will reveal more details on 5G potential.  5G is expected to eventually support mind-blowing speeds up to 10 gigabits per second on smartphones.

China will also be a focus at CES, both because of the trade war with the United States and for their innovations. The new DJI mini gimbal camera features better lenses in a smaller body than GoPro.  Small and large companies may be looking to shift production from China to neighboring countries in light of the trade war, and that’s valuable information for start-ups.

McAfee announced the launch of new Secure Home Platform voice commands for Google Assistant. Secure Home Platform will come built into routers and gateways and will enable you to keep track of your whole network.

A touch-sensitive plank of wood? The first product from Mui’s Japan-based studio is a smooth wood housing that contains a touch-sensitive smart display that can show clocks, thermostats, weather information, text messages, and slogans.  It will also allow you to control other connected smart devices in your home.

Electric car startup Byton is back at CES this year and has confirmed that their First Smart Intuitive M-Byte concept car will be a reality before the end of 2019.  Although the interior has been updated, the huge dashboard screen remains, as does the 7-inch ‘driver tablet’.  The car utilizes face recognition technology to tailor to your needs.  It even reads your hand gestures.

Companies like Samsung, Hisense and Panasonic will show televisions this year with better image quality HDR (high-dynamic range) and 8K.  Samsung is displaying a 75-inch shape-shifting MicroLED panel television that will soon be entering the home.  Each Micro LED panel can be replaced individually if needed, and the LEDs make for stronger contrast and vibrant colors.  Voice assistants are also expected to make an appearance.

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