CES 2018: Not Just TVs Anymore


The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas attracts nearly 200,000 to Sin City every early January to see the latest and greatest in TV technology, audio speakers, drones, car technology and more cell phone cases of every shape, size and color that you ever knew existed.

But CES has evolved to more than this.  There are robots (including robotic strippers who danced in high heels at a nightclub), electric motorcycles, Virtual Reality tech, and fitness/health technology that promises a better night’s sleep, better data for diet and exercise, smart cities tech, devices that secure Internet of Things (IoT) tech for your home (like smart thermostats, locks and doorbells.  3D printers, so cool just two years ago, get yawns.

But among some of the coolest stuff on display – technology that addresses climate change and reduces greenhouse gases.  This technology represents an enormous market of products that will not only help the environment but offer high paying jobs.

Since January 11 is sustainability day at CES, the show is honoring companies with a vision for making the world a greener place.

“To combat climate change, the tech industry must incentivize innovation and champion technology-based solutions,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Consumer tech already provides many solutions to address climate challenges well beyond the electronics industry. Home automation systems cut unnecessary energy use, tech-enabled telecommuting reduces car travel and emissions, and newer tech products use less electricity. And there’s nowhere better than CES, the global stage for innovation, to scout the next startup that can deliver meaningful emission reductions.”

Robotics is another area where enormous advances in technology have occurred.  Robots can mimic human movement like walking, running and even jumping while staying balanced.  Yes, it’s almost “Westword” come to life.

As costs fall, it’s entirely possible robots can and will replace humans in several labor-related positions.  Imagine a fast food restaurant with a robotic food prep staff.  A theme park where robots sweep the grounds and pick up litter.  Robots and autonomous vehicles replacing truck drivers and delivery workers.  Even robots fixing broken robots.  Could a robotic army or police force be far behind?  Robots don’t need time off (except to recharge or for repair), they don’t need healthcare, raises, a minimum wage, or sick days.  At some point, a robot worker will cost less than a human being who works in labor.

If it sounds like Skynet from the Terminator movies is no longer far fetched its because its not.  It’s scary and exciting all at the same time. Robotics tech is also creating an entirely new economic workforce — design, development, testing, manufacturing — and its a labor pool that needs well-educated and creative people.

Our future is increasingly connected, wireless, and automated. And CES is where you can come to see exactly what the future holds.