Innovation Trends

Top CES 2018 Innovations in AI, Health and Home

After kicking off with a rare torrential downpour in Las Vegas that forced even Google to seek shelter, the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show — better known as CES — officially concluded on Jan. 12.

CES is an annual tech-stravoganza where companies large and small descend on Sin City to unveil their latest innovations.

Although the booths and displays have been taken down and packed up, the products and technology unveiled throughout the week will undoubtedly shape the coming years across many sectors.

Here are some quick highlights, and stay tuned for a look at CES 2018 announcements from the autonomous vehicle sector later this week.

Artificial Intelligence

Any direction you looked in Las Vegas last week, chances are you saw the words “Hey Google” (the Google Home wake word) festooned on everything from billboards to the Las Vegas monorail.

Google’s voice-powered smart home assistant is clearly giving Amazon’s Alexa a run for its money in spite of its first-mover advantage.

Alexa was also a prominent player at CES this year as well, with devices ranging from watches to robots to home appliances and yes, even toilets, starting to incorporate Amazon’s proprietary AI engine.

Elsewhere, while Samsung used the event to show off the latest version of its smart home assistant, Bixby, AI like Apple’s Siri/HomeKit and Microsoft’s Cortana were all but unseen, according to numerous reports.

This means Apple and Microsoft may have some serious ground to make up — at least, in terms of perception — as CES 2018 cemented Amazon and Google’s dominance in the space.

Consumer Electronics

The concept of a smart home is morphing beyond voice-enabled speakers and smart thermostats. Based on some of the reveals at CES this year, it won’t be long before every room in the house is equipped with some form of AI smarts.

Kohler’s Verdera smart mirror was on display at CES, which brings the full suite of Amazon’s Alexa voice controls to your bathroom. The Verdera enables voice control like other smart home devices, including adjusting lights and temperature, playing music, and more, all during your morning routine.

Also featured by Kohler was its DTV Prompt, a smart showerhead (also Alexa-enabled, no surprise there) that allows you to, using voice control, turn on your shower, adjust the flow and temperature, and even create pre-set personalized shower setting profiles for multiple-member households.

LG showed off its ThinQ smart refrigerator, a smart fridge that seems straight out of the future. The ThinQ has a 29-inch touchscreen display running WebOS that becomes transparent with two knocks, enabling users to see inside the fridge without opening the door. It also lets you enter your food’s expiration dates, which triggers reminders when something is about to spoil or when you’re running low on supply. It’s even got a camera inside the fridge so you can view its contents remotely, putting an end to the “do we have any butter?” questions at the supermarket.

Health and Wellness

CES 2018 was also a big showcase for some exciting emerging technology in the health space, much of it focusing on giving patients the ability to more efficiently monitor their well-being and even self-diagnose.

The EyeQue Insight, for example, is a viewer and mobile app that lets people test their own vision. Insight uses the same test done in an eye doctor’s office except on mobile phones, which the company told ExtremeTech lets people determine whether or not they need glasses, or whether their need to make updates to an existing prescription.

Eargo is making a run at the hearing aid business. The company’s on-site audiologists determine whether the user needs a hearing aid, and when the device arrives at your home, it’s already properly tuned, charged and ready to wear. It also incorporates fiber materials and an innovative fit, making it nearly invisible when worn.

Sleep is a cornerstone of good health, and the Nokia Sleep is looking to give you a detailed look at your body’s functions as you hit the hay, utilizing smart sensors and a mobile app to track everything from heart rate and breathing patterns to snoring.

The resulting data is then crunched, giving you a “sleep score” and even estimating how much deep, restful REM sleep you get in a typical evening. It can also be integrated into home automation devices to adjust lighting or temperature to optimize your slumber.