Last week, three members of our Grommet discovery team, Ian, Kate and Aaron, packed their sunglasses and most comfortable walking shoes for a flight to Las Vegas to attend the Consumer Electronics Show. If you're familiar with the tech world, you know this event is like the Superbowl for technology. It's the biggest and best event of the year and no one wants to miss it. While at the show, our team scouted for the newest, innovative products and got an overview of this year's biggest tech trends. With 150,000 estimated attendees and miles upon miles worth of show floor to cover, they were pretty tired at the end of each day. Yet talking with them about their overall experience, I sensed nothing but exhilaration and excitement from their adventure.
Each January, there are thousands of articles, tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram pictures available for anyone who wants to keep up with all the happenings. I asked the trio about their experience to get a first hand look. Below you can read more about their take on the biggest trends coming up and some of their favorite products. Think these crazy gadgets don't apply to the average consumer like yourself? Think again and read more for what might be coming your way sooner than you think.
The "internet of everything" has been written about all over, and for good reason. There are sensors and computers in everything now and simple physical products that you would never think could become "smart" have done just that. My favorite product of the week? A company named 9450 has created a basketball that is so smart, it helps you improve your game. The sensor inside monitors the dynamics of how you throw the ball and guides you on how to do better next time. Who knew?
I was also pleasantly surprised to see how much of a startup presence there was at the show. An entire section was dedicated to them called Eureka Park. Many reporters wrote that startups are really starting to steal the show and bigger companies like Dell and Apple are becoming less present, opting for smaller venues. This is in line with what some of the big thinkers on the maker movement say and it's good news for The Grommet and our makers.
One big trend (of many!) I noticed at the show was health technology. The future of health monitoring looks really promising and I can't wait to get my hands on some of the products I saw like the Basis wristwatch that can diagnose the quality of your sleep. Favorite product? There were SO MANY but I liked the Thinium; a super thin, multi-function charger that's so small it can fit in your wallet like a credit card.
I was also thrilled to see one of our makers, SpeeCup receive a prestigious award at the show as they were named an honoree for the Innovations Design and Engineering Awards. Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products across 29 product categories. I was happy to see them and know they deserve it after all of their hard work.
I saw a lot of what I like to call "watchdog tech". With the "internet of everything", it's possible to monitor almost anything you do these days, either by wearing something on your body like a wristwatch (also saw many of these all over the show floor) or by placing pieces of hardware nearby. Case in point: Mother. This little device can connect to anything you choose, or multiple objects such as the refrigerator, a water pitcher or a bottle of medicine and it will remind you of certain tasks like brushing your teeth or taking your medicine. Much like, well, a mother! One product that I would love to own is the sleep number smart bed. It's so smart that it will track your sleep and can even quiet snores from your partner. Want one? It will cost you $8,000 right now. Hopefully that price will go way down in the future.
While these three saw a lot, I was able to fill in any gaps on what was regarded as the next big thing by reading through just a few of the thousands of articles covering the show. Even more tech trends that the typical consumer can look forward to in the future are things like more and better connected cars, higher quality and cooler television screens, 3D printing available to the masses and even drones, yes drones!
Until next year, Vegas.
Do you have a product or company that you'd like us to check out? Tell us about it in the comments or submit your idea here.