With 4500 exhibitors, a space of over 260,000 m2 and around 200,000 visitors, CES 2019, the biggest hi-tech innovation show and a benchmark for innovators all over the world, recently concluded in the heart of Las Vegas.
Here, from 8 to 11 January, pioneering start-ups and businesses (including 44 Italian companies) offered a glimpse of the future, showing how technology can help solve global problems and improve our quality of life, embracing all sectors, including the world of insurance.
Whereas the new millennium ushered in the “Digital Era”, leading ten years later to the “Connected Era” with its myriad of social networks, now is the time to reap all the benefits of the “Data Era”. In short, having connected people, now is the time to connect objects thanks to artificial intelligence, virtual reality, 5G and quantum computing. The keyword accompanying this change is autonomy.
The transformations will encompass smart cities and healthcare, transport and robotics, with emerging technologies that take the form of smart speakers, wireless earphones, drones, smartwatches, smart mirrors, 3D holograms, sleep tracking headphones, chatbots and much more besides. A universe of possibilities in great ferment: in fact, artificial intelligence and connected technologies lead the consumer technologies sector in the US with a value of $398 billion in the retail segment (smart speakers + 7%, smartwatches + 19%, drones + 4%, new in-vehicle tech + 9% and smart homes + 17%).
Disruptive innovations will change our lives in every area. 5G, the ultra-fast bandwidth that facilitates interaction with IoT devices, will be increasingly present in businesses and the working world, also thanks to next-generation laptops, smartphones and smartwatches. Innovations will also play a role in the domestic environment: it is no coincidence that the entire Google stand was dedicated to the new smart devices that integrate Google Assistant and improve people’s lives. These include, most notably, Interpreter mode, which enables people to hold conversations with somebody that doesn’t speak their language via Google Home. An application that will prove useful also in the working world. In fact, this function has already been used in Las Vegas hotels to help receptionists. Just as exciting is the Lenovo Smart Clock, a digital alarm clock with smart functions that automatically turns on the lights in the room, controls the smart devices in the building and organises daily appointments. Also undergoing constant development are chatbots, artificial intelligences that respond to requests for assistance sent via chats. The language comprehension systems continue to improve and they can be used in many areas: from the chatbot for supermarket shopping to the one designed for the pharmaceutical sector that provides information and advice on prevention and natural methods for treating the most common ailments.
The universe of healthcare also stirred up lots of interest with the latest trends in the field of digital healthcare including Omron HeartGuide, the smartwatch that monitors blood pressure up to 40 times and emits warnings in the event of problems; Samsung Bot Care, the device that monitors people’s vital signs; D-Heart, the smartphone-based technology that enables anybody to carry out an ECG, wherever they may be (a solution with strong social impact and of interest also to the insurance sector) and OiX Care, the wearable wireless device designed to monitor the mental fragility and disturbances of sufferers of Alzheimer’s. “Activity trackers” are also starting to integrate increasingly advanced functionalities, measuring blood pressure and making it possible to monitor emails and calls, with batteries that last up to 2-3 weeks and in some cases are recharged by body heat. In short, what we have is a genuine new hi-tech horizon in the field of health and wellness.
And what about mobility? This topic was another undisputed focal point of CES 2019: from self-driving cars with, among others, the futuristic infotainment system designed by Audi and Disney, to the devices designed to monitor vehicles and supply the information recorded to insurance or rental companies. Notable among the Italian companies was Blubrake, the lightest ABS system for ebikes on the market, designed to make braking safer and prevent accidents.
So, whatever the field, the enormous showcase that is CES 2019 leaves no room for doubt: data is the biggest natural resource in the world. All that’s left for us to do is put it to the test, leaving space for creativity and technology, in the working world but also elsewhere.