Amid all the excitement created by new technology innovations at the recent CES 2018 show in Las Vegas came a sobering reminder – electrical power is at the center of everything. A power outage lasting nearly two hours brought the show to a standstill, interrupting product demos, turning off screens and plunging exhibits into darkness.
The blackout resulted from an unusually intense rainstorm that delivered about one quarter of the region’s annual average rainfall in one day. Once power was restored, the lights started to shine again and displays sparked back to life. Then it was back to business.
Much of that business was imagining a world in the near future where smart homes respond to voice commands, robots perform myriad tasks, cars drive themselves, TVs roll up like paper, and everything is connected. There was plenty to marvel at, and as I walked around the show floor, I couldn’t help feeling the excitement of things to come.
Spotlight on Voice Activation
From smart mirrors to virtual assistants to futuristic TVs, CES had plenty of products designed to make our lives more convenient and our interaction with technology more satisfying. Products compatible with Google Assistant, such as TVs, ceiling fans, lighting and door locks, seemed to be everywhere.
Voice activation is a central feature of smart home assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. And the capability is being integrated into cars to allow drivers to keep their hands on the wheel while advancing to the next song, getting responses to texts and reserving parking spaces.
Voice activated devices that integrate with household products and cars give us a real taste of what a connected world will be like, as IoT (Internet of Things) implementations get under way. Many vendors have made a commitment to IoT-enable their products. Among them is Samsung, which says all of its products will be smart by 2020.
Age of Robots
Robots also drew plenty of attention at CES. Thanks to ongoing advances in AI (artificial intelligence), the age of robots appears to finally be dawning. We’ve talked about it a long time, but talk is finally turning into action.
On display were various robots designed for specific functions. Some are high-tech pets while others perform household chores, and yet others can work at construction sites. Robots still have a long way to go, but seeing some of them in action, you can really visualize their potential to take over many human functions.
TV’s Staying Power
It also struck me during the show that the TV has amazing staying power despite the emergence of smartphones and other mobile devices. TVs on display included models that roll up like paper. Why would you need that? So you can transport it to any room in the house.
Other TVs included various smart displays, 360-degree screens, wall-sized models and 4K models that take picture resolution to a whole new level. It’s clear that a lot of innovation is still going into the world’s most beloved household device.
CES certainly did not disappoint this year, especially for those of us who love to see the new innovations entering the market. But it also highlighted an undeniable reality: Without power, all these technologies cannot function. As I said in a pre-CES blog, the components and artificial intelligence in the smart products typically will demand a steady and clean supply of power.
And that’s what we deliver with solutions such as the new APC Back-UPS Pro as well as APC BACK-UPS 850VA UPS and BACK-UPS 600VA UPS. Remember, power protection provides Certainty in a Connected World by making IoT-enabled and smart devices more reliable as we grow more dependent on them.