CES 2020: Tech Trends to Watch

Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/2020/01/07/ces-2020-tech-trends-to-watch/

Our roving reporter Jeff Porten heads into CES 2020 with coverage of the annual Trends to Watch presentation, which focused on (surprise, surprise) 5G, AI, streaming video, augmented reality, and well, a bunch of other things that seem less likely to become real.

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I use a filter in Feedbin to automatically mark all RSS about CES as “read” before I ever see them, because 99% of the stuff from CES will never come to light, and the other 1% won’t be out for 6 months, at which point you’ll find out about them another way.


I see CES largely as fiction—or at least wishful thinking—which is why we like having Jeff write about it, since fiction should be entertaining. :slight_smile:

Thank you, Jeff for the many laughs. Great article. :slight_smile:

Many of the outlandish things I cover are already shipping, so “fiction” isn’t quite the right word for them, only their claims.

Every year I plan to come back with a story reviewing the prior year’s coverage, both to see which of those products ever existed or still do, and to grade myself on my prognosticative abilities.

As far as esports go, it’s more than just watching people play video games. The UCI (Olympic governing body for cycling of all sorts) has been talking about running championships for indoor cycling, and maybe has already had some national championships. They use a commercial site called Zwift. High end trainers can simulate rides by varying resistance to replay a real ride that you’ve recorded, or in the case of Zwift, fictitious rides on a fake island “Watopia”. (One course on Watopia has dinosaurs.) I replay rides on occasion that I’ve done earlier in the year myself as a change of pace for more normal (and usually harder) trainer sessions. Some trainers can even simulate road surface feel and bike tilt on “climbs”. Simulated steering is supposed to be coming. So we’re getting closer to virtual reality. All we need is the VR glasses and a way to mimic wind and smell.

Of course, in addition to the usual doping problems cycling has, if you let people compete from the comfort of their homes you have to ensure somehow that they’re not competing from their couch and sending faked data streams. Lying about weight (used to turn incline into power) is a common problem now . Zwift also does running, so that may be coming, too.

Great article! I found the section on jobs especially interesting. Just last night I saw a commercial for a local furniture chain advertising their great new couch with recline, tilting headrest and lumbar support - all power of course. And because the couch is powered, that lead to the little spots to plug in your devices. “So you never have to leave” - that was the whole point of the commercial. I guess they are preparing for the day of the unemployed farmers and McD workers.

Scary world coming up. Maybe the beach will be free of loud people then :slight_smile:


CES has been a joke for a long time, and we treat it as such.

Oh, man, completely disagree. I treat some things as a joke. But overall? If I felt that way I wouldn’t go. In 3-6 days I get expertise about the next several years of technology that I couldn’t get any other way. And for everything I see that fails or is worthy of mockery, I see something that should exist and I’m rooting for it.

Paul, my comment on Esports was slightly tongue in cheek, as I sometimes enjoy watching videos of people mastering video games I haven’t.

Great article. Fascinating how CES sucks up all available bandwidth at the show, yet the exhibitors still manage to perform demos. I wonder how much cable is hidden under the carpets?

Last night I was in my favorite chair and snuggled under a blanket while reading when my iPad ran out of juice. I sat there thinking I need a chair with power so that I can keep my device powered. :rofl:

I’m wearing my Consumer Electronics Manager Ad Sales hat again. I spent more than 20 years going to CES shows back in the pre and early internet days when there were two shows a year. I agree that the stuff that makes it into the press is the pie in the sky “fiction” PR projections. That’s because the show itself is not aimed at consumers; it’s a trade show aimed at buyers for retail stores as well as the press.

There used to be two CES shows a year, January and June. Around the mid 90s when prices on CE stuff started rapidly declining, department stores like Macy’s stopped selling the products because the margins began falling too low, smaller specialty chains were folding and online shopping began soaring through the roof, they consolidated into one show. CES became focused on building brand names and loyalty almost as much as it is on getting retailers to stock products. Consumers are still not allowed into the show, but getting consumers hyped about what the brands will be doing will and who and what will be the leader in what’s coming down the road will have a big impact on what products from what brands they will want to buy now.

What consumers don’t read about is all the schmoozing and deal making between the manufacturers and retail buyers beyond the reach of the press for products that will hit the shelves soon.

I would imagine that the “X” in “XR” is for cross-reality (or crossover-reality). Like “School Xing”, XR is a general term for crossing technology with reality, whether that be virtual or augmented). Just my 2¢ worth…

I see the conspiracy is real, there is something missing of that map in the article… #GetNZontheMap :slight_smile:

Also, were TidBITS profiles reset recently? It seems to think I’ve only been here 5 minutes instead of a couple of decades :wink:

The “profile” here in Discourse just reflects history within Discourse itself for sure, not anything beyond that. We don’t have data in a useful format that would give us better reader history, unfortunately. :slight_smile: