Jetsons beware!

The chaotic Consumer Electronic Show (CES 2014) kicked off this week in Las Vegas, and the world is closely watching to get a glimpse of the future of technology. Some 20,000 products are being introduced at this gadget fest, and many attending are capturing insight on “what’s next” so they can best prepare for these new innovations.

The aisles were jammed with the continuation of wearable technology (for humans and now also pets) as well as fitness-tracking products. The “connected home” — home smart home — is generating a huge amount of interest as well. In fact, research firm Parks Associates disclosed in 2017 more than 11 million U.S. broadband households will have a smart home controller, which is up from 2 million in 2013.

On another front, get prepared for the return of hydrogen-powered cars, and the beauty of recharging a device may be as simple as dropping your device into a bowl!

The following is a rundown of several product intros and breakthroughs that are definitely the show’s top draws.

  • Massive curved HDTVs feature displays that emulate a 3D IMAX-like experience without the need of 3D glasses and boast four times the resolution of current models.  
  • A waterproof phone performs camera tricks such as background refocus that enables you to focus on an object of a scene while blurring the background or shooting a business card so the captured information can be saved directly to your contacts.
  • A smart lock shows who’s knocking at your door via a text or email with a digital photo of the person.
  • A solar power phone case for iPhones and Samsung Galaxies charges where the sun shines.
  • A new startup is using the power of the cloud and virtualization to “connect appliances.” Imagine using a smartphone app to dial back the cooking to simmer before leaving the office.
  • Wireless deadbolts can be operated from your smartphone.
  • Get ready for “smart earbuds” with integrated fitness-tracking sensors.
  • Smart Bluetooth headsets are on the horizon with an integrated Siri-like personal assistant.
  • An egg crate wirelessly tells its owner how many eggs are left in the fridge and how fresh they are.
  • A smart “bowl” can wirelessly charge devices once placed inside. 
  • Designers will be delighted with invisible wireless speakers that boast an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
  • 3D printers will be deemed a common home product in the next few years.
  • Smart watches use “geo-fencing” technology to notify parents if children have left a specific area.
  • Wearable tech bands for dogs monitor heart and respiratory rates, calories burned and other key vitals to serve as an early warning system for the owner or vet.
  • Hydrogen fuel cell power may solve issues related to an electric car’s range and charging time.
  • Cars will do things on their own such as take over the driving. They’ll warn you of lane changes or tell you you’re falling asleep.

In closing, there are all sorts of trends gearing up to be game changers. Knowing exactly how they will affect hospitality is TBD, but having the awareness of what’s on the horizon is what this blog is about so it can best prepare and steer you in the right direction when implementing new technology.

If any of these CES product introductions or breakthroughs are something you are intrigued to adopt, feel free to share which ones and why.