Smart home technology on display at CES booths

According to my Nike Fuelband, I walked over 10,000 steps today at the Consumer Electronics Show. I saw a lot of TVs – some curved, others bendable, all showing amazing colors. The biggest TV was 120″. Who has a house for such a huge TV?
I spent most of the time looking at smart appliances. I was impressed by the LG fridge that tracks the expiry dates of the foods and displays the information on a small built-in screen. The “freshness tracker” not only shows which food expires when (sour cream by Tuesday) but displays recipes that are based on what’s in the fridge.
The feature I  liked the most is that the fridge’s water dispenser can dispense sparkling (soda) water rather than regular water, my favourite type of water.
The LG vacuum cleaner does the vacuuming and has a “dual eye” to minimize missed spots. In addition to the refrigerator and vacuum cleaner, LG also has washers and dryers that can all be managed by the  LG Home Chat.  This feature allows communication with the appliances with an SMS interface. Supposedly you will be able to send a message to your refrigerator to ask if there is milk in the refrigerator and it answers the message. Very Orwellian.
Then there was the adjustable bed, where the foot board contains a large screen TV that raises up with a remote control for comfortable watching TV from your bed.
There was also the ADT exhibit showing how various controls such as lighting, temperature, security can be adjusted through a smartphone.
There were hundreds of booths showing everything you ever wanted on your smartphone and/or tablets. including  hundreds of cases, earphones, battery back-ups, screen protectors and I could go on. Let me highlight two:  a smart phone screen protector that is so tough that even cracking a walnut on top of it didn’t scratch it. The Invisible Phone Guard screen protector  sells for $15.
The second one was an iPhone case (for $99) that converts your iPhone to have features like the GoPro action camera that mounts on your helmet or arm to document life events.
There were the unusual items, like a set of speakers from Stelle Audio Couture that were inside a purse and looked like a clutch purse when closed but were speakers when the purse was opened. The speakers have 15 hours battery life and a 15 foot range and cost $345.
There are over 3,000 vendors at CES and over 150,000 attendees. It’s a zoo! There are the annoying things that make attending the show a challenge. There is no place to recharge smartphones or tablets. A vendor could make good money offering secure charge stations. And there are only a few places to sit. Many corridors are lined with people sitting to rest, talk on the phone, have lunch.
Then there are the things that work. The bus shuttles work well and there are lots of them. There are an army of people wearing big signs saying “ask me” who direct you to the various venues and answer questions. CES is an experience!
Catherine Aczel Boivie
Catherine Aczel Boivie
Dr. Catherine Aczel Boivie is a widely respected executive with over 30 years of experience in the leadership of advancing the value of information technology as a business and education enabler. Prior executive roles includes: CEO Inventure Solutions and Senior Vice President of Information Technology/Facility Management for Vancity Credit Union; SVP of IT and Chief Information Officer at Pacific Blue Cross and Canadian Automobile Association of British Columbia. Catherine is also an experienced board member serving on several boards, including those of Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-television Services, Canada Foundation for Innovation and MedicAlert Canada. Dr. Boivie is the founding Chair and President of the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Association of Canada that has over 400 Chief Information Officers as members across Canada. She has been publicly recognized for her contributions, including being named as one of Canada's top 100 most powerful women by the Women's Executive Network in the "Trailblazers and Trendsetters" category and the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for being a "catalyst for technology transformation".

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