11 November, New York
The annual event that is CES Unveiled in New York City is meant to be a nanoparticle-scale preview of International CES in Las Vegas, 6-9 January. It’s a smörgåsbord of what used to be called ‘consumer electronics’ and now is all about innovation–a taste of everything from ever-smarter video and audio to sensors, smarter homes with IoT (the cutely named Internet of Things), Big Data, robotics and (drum roll) Digital Health and the Quantified Self (QS). This Editor regrettably missed the opening briefing by Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s Chief Economist and Senior Director of Research which would likely touch on his areas of the innovation economy and disruption along with the other four 2015 trends to watch: big data analytics, immersive entertainment content, robotics and digital health. (CEA helpfully provides the 30-page white paper here.)
The exhibitors at the Metropolitan Pavilion did not fully represent the trends, however. There was no 3D printing or robotics, and digital health was thin on the show floor compared to smart home and traditional audio/video. Best of Innovation 2015 winner iHealthLabs was surprisingly not on display in the Innovation Booth with their sleep/activity plus vital signs trackers and monitors. The mini-Eureka Park for early-stage companies featured Finnish sleep monitor Beddit and Germany’s GYMWATCH exactingly correct strength and motion fitness training monitor.As expected, Robin Raskin’s Living in Digital Times tables featured a cross-section of January’s showcases in health tech, kids and lifelong tech: Life360 family tracker, TellSpec food composition scanner, Jaybird Reign activity tracker, Doctor on Demand virtual consults app ($40 a visit!) and, winning the TTA It’s Too Cute For Words Award, Edwin the Duck. A rubber ducky for the tub and playtime, it’s a responsive smart toy that alerts to too-hot tub water, tells stories and lights the night. Developer pi lab has it up on Kickstarter for $59 and up (retail $99), but has received only $10,000 with 11 days to go.
Revisitings: France’s Withings‘ display prominently featured their analog Swiss smartwatch Activité (two CES Innovation Awards) now on pre-order (delivery next month) for a slightly higher price ($420) than forecast at June’s CEWeek [TTA 26 June]. Alarm.com’s home automation and security systems are now incorporating much of what they helped develop for the BeClose telecare system, which according to their representative is concentrating on senior housing and LTC.
Previously in TTA: Further to Mr DuBravac’s thoughts on disruption theory à la Clayton Christensen, his white paper article mentions the needed debate on where the theory’s gone off the rails [TTA 24 June] and a second digital era that ‘opens the floodgates of disruption.”