What We Gleaned from CES 2017
CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is an annual trade show that takes place every January in Las Vegas, Nevada. A group from DISHER’s electronics team gleaned quite a bit from this year’s gadget-thon. Why does DISHER attend CES?
- To see the devices that DISHER helped create.
It was exciting to see DISHER projects on the show floor:
- An entry/exit locking system on the Faraday Future FF91
- A design and integration story for Shift-by-Wire automobile component
- An office drawer system that locks and unlocks by the correct owner and contained USB charging
- A wireless charging system that is easily attachable to another device
- To help our customers by expanding our knowledge in IoT/connected homes.
A common theme was “creating value to the end consumer” through adding monetary value, increasing personal safety, saving time (i.e. trips to the store), improving convenience, etc. Regarding wireless connectivity (ZigBee, Zwave, BlueTooth, Thread, and Wi-Fi), the end-user doesn’t care which wireless protocol is used as long as they can connect with any device in their home. A few IoT highlights trends included:
- Alexa-enabled devices/products (more discussion on this below)
- The evolution of data usage
- Testing, testing, and more testing— devices must work 100% of the time
- Smart apartments, smart communities, and smart cities
We examined partnerships, business models, and technology integration that we deemed necessary to achieve an IoT-enabled smart home. While examining these areas, it became clear that interoperability (or creating value by making everything work together) is absolutely critical in a multi-vendor ecosystem. Being one of those vendors, we work towards creating a positive experience with our customers in developing products that create a positive experience for their customers.
Depending on the product application, factors such as distance, battery life, security, the amount of data, etc. all determine the choice for the correct protocol that should be used. At DISHER, we have engineers with a variety of specialized education and experience to help organizations design their next IoT device/application. We love challenging projects and welcome the opportunity to delight our customers.
- To know what’s new in electronics technology and the growing trends.
Significant trends we noticed include:
- Virtual reality
- Wireless audio
- High-power wireless charging, i.e. laptops, etc.
- Technology in every area of life: sleep tech, baby tech, fitness tech, self driving cars, etc.
Autonomous Vehicles / Sensors
CES was plastered with in-vehicle electronics for autonomous, self-driving vehicles. One new trend includes BMW’s “HoloActive Touch” which is new way to interface to the stereo, navigation and other systems via gesture control. Another big trend in self-driving vehicles at CES is security. Fingerprint authentication, facial recognition, iris scans, and heartrate monitoring are other genetic linkages between people and their vehicles.
Nowadays, technology is in everything and that means added complexity for new product designs. DISHER has the experience and knowledge to integrate technology into a variety of new products and can help with every step of the product development phase from napkin sketch to engineering to manufacturing.
- To know why “Alexa Enabled” is everywhere.
Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service, “Alexa”, was the hot topic. Over the past 5 years, Siri helped break down the barriers of humans interacting with non-human devices through voice commands. Through this adoption, more and more people are using Siri and their trust factor for Siri’s response is on the rise.
Now comes Alexa. Alexa has hit the stage with a great voice recognition front end and does a fantastic job with the complexity of genuine conversations and commands. There seemed to be an endless number of product examples where Alexa was partnered with devices in the home and in the vehicle. The statement, “X – powered by Alexa”, was everywhere.
Whether it’s Amazon Alexa, Google Home Assistant, or any of the other “personal assistants” vying for a position of trust in consumer’s lives, DISHER is poised to help integrate these virtual companions into the next generation of products.
We welcome the opportunity to partner with you on your next hi-tech project that will make a positive difference in our world.
Written By: Tod Grams and Matthew Reed |
Tod has a BS degree in Electronics Engineering and an MS degree in Engineering Management with over 19 years of Electronics industry experience. He volunteers as President of the Greater Holland Bowling Association and loves competitive bowling.
Matthew received his BS in Computer Engineering from Cedarville University in Ohio. He is using his automotive product development background as an Electronics Engineer at Disher. Matthew’s interests range from gardening and mountain biking to cooking, woodworking, coffee, and photography. When asked what motivates him to work hard, Matthew replied, “helping other people”.