Autonomous vehicles, digital “health tattoos” capable of transmitting health data to medical professionals and refrigerators equipped with touchscreens displaying photos of your food.
Not so long ago they might have sounded like the stuff of science-fiction, but CES 2016 illustrated they’re now a reality.
As usual, there were lots of exciting, and sometimes wacky, IoT innovations on display at the show – here are a few of our favorites.
There have never been more cars at CES before. And from the looks of what was on display, technology companies and car manufacturers are united in their vision of vehicles becoming powerful IoT hubs.
Microsoft’s vision, spelled out at CES, is one where drivers will be able to interact with Office 365 services in their self-driving cars. Their Azure cloud computing system, a response to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, aims to allow drivers to answer emails, Skype friends and colleagues and set up entertainment for the children all from the safety and comfort of their car.
It has already partnered with Volvo, Nissan, Harman and IAV, and promise that wearables will have a role to play, perhaps even allowing you to control certain functions of your car via a fitness band.
We were also impressed by BMW’s gesture-controlled connected car, the i8 Spyder Concept, which allows drivers to engage with the vehicle’s interface by simply moving their hand. Instead of dials on the car dashboard, users are greeted with a large screen, allowing them to choose their favourite music and engage with their smart home devices. Despite the innovative features, BMW have retained a sports car shape, blending the traditional and the futuristic, which we love.
All this leads us to conclude that future James Bond car chases might see the secret agent ordering a Martini on a touchscreen while evading his nefarious pursuers!
For as long as the IoT has existed, tech manufacturers have used the smart fridge of an example of the potential benefits of a connected home. It seems that we still haven’t quite moved on from that idea, as both LG and Samsung revealed state of the art connected fridges.
Samsung’s new Family Hub fridge garnered the most attention thanks to a giant touchscreen built into the front. With cameras inside, users can access a live feed of the fridge’s interior when out and about, meaning there’s no risk of forgetting an important item when doing the weekly shop. By downloading a specialist app, you’ll be able to order groceries and control the fridge’s settings remotely, as well use it as a hub to control other smart home devices on the network.
We wonder how long it’ll be before kitchen appliances become so advanced that Hell’s Kitchen features a digital skills test for contestants!
Other connected home highlights at the show included Tado, a Nest-like smart thermostat, and LG’s Hom-Bot Turbo+, a robot vacuum cleaner which streams live video to the user’s smartphone to allow them to steer it remotely.
Connected health gadgets
If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know that the health sector is set to be revolutionized by smart devices. Unsurprisingly, healthcare and fitness were key themes of CES 2016.
First of all, there were MC10’s health tattoos – sensors which attach to the patient’s skin and transmit data to medical professionals. Two types have been manufactured, with both clinical and recreational applications.
We were also excited to see a connected bed on display from Sleep Number, which adjusts its settings, such as firmness and support, based on the individual’s needs. It also features emBEDded (pun intended!) biometric sensors to track your sleep and make recommendations.
Overall, CES 2016 once again provided an exciting insight into the future of the IoT world. What was your favourite innovation from the show and which do you see becoming mainstream in the near future? Let us know by tweeting at @Gemalto or posting a comment below.