data science

Data Science Ireland’s Favourite Technologies from CES 2018

It is the event where some of the biggest tech companies come together to show off their latest innovations and this year was no different, as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) once again showed off some of their unique, weird and life-changing gadgets of the future.

180,000 attendees and more than 3900 exhibitors spread out over the 2.75 million square feet venue in Las Vegas, making it the largest CES event in their 51-year history. The venue was jam-packed with new technologies that are truly changing our lives to make things just that little bit easier, more convenient and also making life more fun too.

More new technologies and inventions were on show at CES 2018
image: techadvisor.co.uk

Each January, tech companies – both big and small – from around the world come together to show off their latest inventions and innovations and this year the latest technologies ranged from improving communication between smart home gadgets, making the car experience more personalised, Samsung’s 146 inch TV, walking robots and a whole lot more.

While a lot of the technologies are not yet available to buy, the show does offer pretty cool insights into where these tech giants are investing their time and resources. CES 2018 gave us a glimpse into the future world of technology – one where every device, every vehicle and every person are interconnected with one another.

There was plenty new gadgets and innovations to feast over at the Las Vegas Convention Center, so let’s take a look at some of the best technologies that caught my eye.

1.Sony’s Aibo.

Do you love dogs but don’t necessarily want to go through the likes of cleaning up after it, finding someone to look after it when you are out at work or having to feed it. Well then, the relaunch of Sony’s Aibo could be the one for you.

There was a lot of robotics on display, such as Buddy and Keecker which could be your very own robotic housekeeper, while Honda unveiled their 3E concepts including Empathy which invites you to hug them in a bid to explore an emotional connection between humans and machines.  However, it was those cute puppy dog eyes of Sony’s Aibo was the one that caught the attention of many at CES 2018.

Sony’s revamped robotic puppy is a lot more advanced since its 1999 predecessor and it is amazing to learn that Aibo has more than 4,0000 parts packed into its small body that makes it come to life almost like a real puppy. AI helps Aibo develop a unique personality over time and collects data on owners reaction, which means that each and every Aibo will be different.

Aibo has a camera on its nose to help it identify you and your family members and overtime, Aibo will be able to recognise you and create an emotional bond with their owners. It has a second camera near its tail to help it map and navigate around your home, including finding their own charging station. Pet Aibo on the head, rub its back or feel under its chin and it will respond affectionately. Aibo also has touchpads on his paws which will help you make him or her do different tricks.

Artificial Intelligence has allowed Aibo to become more advanced than ever before and makes it display nearly as much energy as a real puppy. It shows just how far technologies have come since its original design was pulled from the shelves in 2006. Aibo may not bite but the price may do so, as this sweet robotic puppy will set you back around $1700. It was only made available to buy in Japan this week but hopefully, Aibo will soon be hitting shops around the globe.

2. MoodRoof

Autonomous cars have been a hot topic for a few years now and CES 2018 showed us that self-driving cars are no longer a vision of the future, it is very much nearing a reality.

Ridesharing company Lyft teamed with tech company Aptiv to give attendees the chance to ride around to 20 locations in Las Vegas in an autonomous vehicle. The only thing stopping these self-driving cars from being truly on our roads just yet is the need to show the industry and governments how they will function safely in society. Once these safety regulations are solved, the future of driving could change forever.

Some of the words used to describe the journey by those who experienced the journey included ordinary and boring, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Audio firm Harman could have the solution to that problem in a bid to make the future journey more entertaining, as drivers will be freed from the physical acts of driving and become a passenger just like everyone else in the car.

Moodroof can display images in sync with your music in your vehicle
image: cnet.com

MoodRoof is a QLED display that covers the roof of the car and acts a centrepiece of a larger audio suite called Moodscape, which adjusts the in-cabin audio experience based on your desired mood. It will be able to display relaxing videos or produce images in sync with whatever music you have playing in the vehicle. It also includes a technology called “Music Motivator” which can automatically program your music based on external information, such as your calendar, location and even analysis of your emotional state.

The prospect of fully autonomous driving will change the way people spend time in their cars and as we are freed from the act of driving, the greater the need for in-car entertainment. If these self-driving cars are just a few of years away, then Harman’s Moodroof will give you a great way to just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

3. Aeolus Robot.

We saw a wide range of robots at CES 2018 from Hanson Robtoic’s Sophia that you may already be familiar with which is very human-like, Walker – who can travel upstairs, follow a ball and even dance – and Keecker, which has a built-in projector that can bring a big screen TV to life in any room of your house.

While all these ideas sound pretty cool, the idea of a having a walking security robot in your home that can also help with the housework, such as putting away the dishes or doing the hoovering would sound very appealing to many people, as it is a robot what will make our lives a whole lot easier.

The Aeolus Robot has interchangeable arms with seven degrees of freedom (7 DOF) that allows it to grip objects, so you can kick back after a long days work while the robot can get you a can of beer from the fridge. The robot will follow your instructions thanks to an integrated voice-command system similar to Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.

It has wheels to smoothly move through your home and the camera above its LED eyes helps it learn faces, objects and can associate locations with objects. If something is out of place, such as your child leaving a toy out in the middle of the floor, Aeolus can pick it up and put it back where it should be. Since it can grip objects and map your home, Aeolus can also do the vacuuming for you or mop the floor while you sit back watching TV.

However don’t get too excited that your days of doing the housework will soon be a thing of the past, as the robot is only just a prototype and not quite consumer-ready just yet. Like Aibo, Aeolus could make you dig deep into your pockets and while the costs have not been revealed, company reps did drop a hint that it would cost as much as “a family holiday abroad”.

There was so much cool and whacky technologies from CES 2018 I could have included on this list, but there was just something about a robot that can do housework and a cute robot puppy that makes me and I’m sure more of you reading this make you say “I want one.”

There were plenty more amazing products that you would want to get your hands on and you can check out some of CNET’s Best of the Best from CES 2018 in the following video.

We would also love to hear what your favourite products were from this year’s event, so please like, share and leave a comment below.

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