the festive celebration has ended in the new decade and more than 175,000 high-tech travelers have traveled to Las Vegas for the 53rd Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The forum, which unveiled gadgets such as floppy disks, portable camcorders, and Blu-ray players, has become an all-year showcase for consumer-oriented technology.
This year was no exception to past sights. Participants marveled at the foldable tablet, large OLED TV, smart toilet, auto-swaying bassinet, flying taxi, impossible pork, and strangely Bluetooth robotic toilet paper.
But beyond the state-of-the-art (and sometime quirky) displays that fill CES’s 3 million square feet of space, what does such a show talking about the future of consumer technology? What trends and technologies can take hold, and what distinguishes truly innovative innovations from those that burn brightly but disappear quickly?
Penn Today talks to David Hsu, a professor of management studying entrepreneurial innovation and technology commercialization, to see what CES talks about the prospects for consumer technology and what innovations will spread in the future I learned more about what to do.
What are you most interested in commercializing technology?
I went to Stanford University. It is difficult to escape the drive for technological change in society. It has been enhanced at MIT, where I received my Ph.D., and continues to have a great interest in technology as an empirical researcher working with data on technology and startups. That’s important to me because I believe that technological progress improves society and drives economic growth.
How do you feel at CES? Is it a product or a bigger goal?
I joined CES many years ago as a graduate student. It’s about frontier technology, which tends to be consumer-oriented, and shows that something is achievable and likely to become more mainstream in the next 10 to 20 years, perhaps not next year.
With an emphasis on innovation, companies are given incentives to show the world that they are ahead of the curve and working on the cutting edge. However, because they focus on customers rather than businesses, they tend to see a lot related to consumer-oriented technology. Overall, it’s a very big visible meeting, and (for companies) it’s really an opportunity to meet many people in the supply chain.
What trends do you think will be trending at this year’s show?
One theme is connectivity. For example, in 5G, there has been a lot of innovation in the infrastructure that enables the IoT (Internet of Things). For example, you can use one million sensors with interconnectivity. Increasing [connections] also applies to the theme of data awareness, with more connections providing more data.
So, in this case, not just the technology itself, but how well the device can connect and talk to other devices?
I think so. There was this breathtaking data explosion, which was fascinating. I didn’t think I could get all the information. And with the rise of AI, under these data availability themes, consumers will be able to get faster and more relevant information from potentially behavioral sensors enabled by communication technologies such as 5G. You might be able to get
How will having more data and better-connected devices impact the future of consumer technology?
One danger is overload. Data is taking over our lives and we need to be aware of “saving ourselves from technology.” That’s why we have alerts like “You spent 20% more time online this week.”
Since everyone has only 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, you will not be surprised to see consumer device producers trying to do other things to us. There are almost elements of company responsibility. I think it’s an opportunity to readjust things. Create alerts that benefit people, like smartwatches that remind you to get up and go.
What are some examples of technologies that are currently popular but may not last long?
One of the more innovative categories is drones. It’s cool, but I’m trying to find a reason to buy it, but it’s actually a hobby for most consumers. You might have a business application for delivering pizza or parcels, taking pictures from different perspectives, mapping terrain or work sites. On the consumer base, it is an interesting domain to follow, especially because it interacts with regulations.
The other category is not a strict innovation, but a category that has more business models than ever. It is personal transportation. The two companies that achieved unicorn status the fastest are electric scooter companies Bird and Lime. This is not legal and is not found in Philadelphia, but there are many other cities that change the cityscape if you visit before and after [Rental Scooter].
On the other hand, while it makes sense to have personal mobility that can occupy less space than Uber, taxis, and cars, there are many restrictions, legitimacy, and ways to do that around human-centered technology. There is a debate. This is that innovation is not so high-tech and enters human behavior, and it will be interesting to see how this works in cities for personal transport.
This year, the theme of CES was “Innovation that changes the world”. Is such a theme a common thread within consumer technology?
MIT’s motto is “men et manus”, a Latin word for “heart and hand.” It also reflects the value of practical and useful knowledge. I think the CES theme is consistent with such values. The belief is that innovation is a major goal, advancing the frontier of technology, while at the same time benefiting society through translation work.
CES is for the future. See what is possible and stimulate your ideas. It’s good for society that people around the world come to CES, and it’s good for American innovation and leadership that people around the world come and want to exhibit. This is an opportunity to show publicly that we are not only doing things on a small scale, but also doing difficulties, and to raise awareness.
What trends in consumer technology do you expect in the future?
I want to think more about the human-centered aspect of technology. This helps distinguish aspects of pure technology development, and many innovations can occur given the [human-driven aspects].
If I was the CEO of a high-tech company, I might try to think of another strategy instead of building the right technology product for CES. I want companies to reach their technological frontier, but when it comes to building the next $ 1 trillion company, it’s not only about competition for technology frontiers but also about how consumers and It’s just as useful as technology is integrated into our lives, keeping in mind how it behaves and interacts.