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CES 2018: A Look Inside the World’s Premier Technology Show

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From flying cars to code-teaching robots, here are some of the coolest technologies, gadgets, and applications that made their debut at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show

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Photo credit: CES 2018

When it comes to groundbreaking technology, there’s no place quite like CES to make your eyes light up and your inner child come out and play. For over 50 years, the Consumer Electronics Show has served as a global stage to introduce next-generation technology to the marketplace. The show attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneer thinkers.

First held in 1967, CES started with just 117 exhibitors and has since grown to more than 4,000 exhibitors, including some 800 start-ups, 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space, and over 180,000 attendees. The show is owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association, which bills CES as a “launch pad for innovation that changes the world.”

New and Noteworthy Tech

Self-driving cars were of big interest to exhibitors and attendees alike, but voice-activated gadgets, e-bikes, and robots also stole the show this year.

Computer maker Dell’s newly introduced Latitude 7490 uses an active steering antenna technology to improve Wi-Fi performance by 155 percent, while its Latitude 5285 notebooks will begin shipping with motherboards made from gold e-waste as of March, according to ZDNet. Dell has announced a pilot program to produce the motherboards in its Latitude 5285 2-in-1s with recycled gold from used electronics, such as smart phones, as of March. The pilot extends Dell’s closed-loop supply chain from plastics to precious metals. The closed-loop gold process will enable the production of millions of motherboards in 2018, Dell claims, noting that the use of reclaimed gold has a 99% lower environmental impact than traditionally mined gold. This also fits in with Dell’s Legacy of Good Program, which aims to recycle 100 million pounds of material into its products by 2020.

Technology and Logistics

The appetite for tech that increases efficiencies and/or cut costs is greater than ever in the world of logistics. We’re always on the lookout for the next thing that will revolutionize our industry, either directly or indirectly. As you might have already noticed, much of the buzz at this year’s CES relates to innovations in Transportation, a field integral to Logistics.

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Gary Shapiro welcomes Ford CEO Jim Hackett to the keynote stage

For example, Ford’s new CEO Jim Hackett outlined the company’s approach to recent trends in the transportation sector, like autonomous vehicles, ride-hailing, on-demand deliveries, and smart cities. As part of its “City of Tomorrow” utopian vision of urban mobility, Ford also unveiled its new self-driving platform, upon which companies like Lyft, Domino’s Pizza, and Postmates can leverage the automaker’s fleet of autonomous vehicles, The Verge reports.

Ford also unveiled a partnership with Silicon Valley-based software firm Autonomic that will lead to what they’re calling the “Transportation Mobility Cloud.” Touted as an initiative that will “allow cities to better manage traffic and the commuter flows data they collect,” the project will leverage technologically advanced – and potentially self-driving – vehicles, according to US News & World Report.

Also with an eye on the future of transportation, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich told his keynote audience at CES on Monday that the company plans to build highly-detailed maps of roads around the world for self-driving vehicles with cameras pre-installed to use, CBS reports.

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Intel Keynote during CES 2018

Krzanich also showed off the “Volocopter”, an autonomous passenger drone, during his keynote. According to CNET, the Volocoptor actually took off inside the keynote venue without a pilot flying it. Elsewhere at CES, Bell Helicopter unveiled its design for an “urban air-taxi.” The four-passenger concept offers full connectivity, including videoconferencing! “The future of [the] urban air taxi is closer than many people realize. We believe in the positive impact our design will have on addressing transportation concerns in cities worldwide,” Bell CEO Mitch Snyder told AINOnline. “While we are laser-focused on the passenger experience and eager to share with the public, Bell continues to develop our air-taxi design to provide safe, reliable transportation services to the world.” Unfortunately, there’s still no word on when it will be time to convert your driveway into a helipad. Then again, there’s always CES 2019…

Photo Credit: Science.edu

Finally, as Logistics continues to rely on technology more and more, the need for tech-savvy, skilled workers will only increase. So it was exciting to see educational innovator Acellus officially unveil STEM-10, a ten year coding course, at CES 2018. This self-contained course features Cellus Bot, a teaching robot, to engage 3rd graders and introduce them to fundamental coding concepts. “To become proficient in coding and similar technology, one must start at an early age. While some few are drawn to technology in their youth, most are not,” says Dr. Roger Billings, Acellus Chairman, “In ten years the demand for these abilities will be far greater than anyone can imagine, not only to be able to run our own telephones, and smart devices, but also to be able to develop the new products and applications of the day.” Indeed — and we can’t wait to see what STEM-10 students will contribute to upcoming CES shows!

We had a lot of fun checking out the latest-and-greatest technology at CES this year. Join us in Las Vegas for CES 2019 next year!

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