What to Expect from CES 2018

This week, thousands of the world’s top marketers, technologists and business leaders will gather in Las Vegas for CES 2018. The conference is the epicenter for unveiling the most anticipated products, and sets the tone for the coming year’s biggest tech trends. While exhibitors and speakers at CES cover countless topics, we’ve compiled a look at the four themes that will take the spotlight at this year’s event.

The fintech conversation will be louder than ever.
While AR/VR, wearables, Alexa and the rest of the usual suspects will see their fair share of popularity, this year more than ever, we’ll see many of the big brands talking about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Fintech and crypto have been grabbing headlines, and because the big players are finally starting to dabble, it’s going to be a hot topic for all industries. From automotive to healthcare, the rise of fintech is going to change the way we do business in our daily lives—starting now. Our must-see tracks? The Future of Blockchain and The New World of Digital Payments.

Smart tech will live up to its name.
Both AI and alternative UI technologies have hit a maturity and ubiquity where they can finally deliver on the hype from the last few years. Cloud-based services have made AI so easy to implement that it should be, and will be, in everything—making “smart” products finally smart. Voice-enabled devices are becoming commonplace, so more people are expecting to interact with their technology without having to use a screen. With the investment in AR/VR technology making motion and environment tracking technology cheap and accessible, the opportunities for ways to interact with technology have increased exponentially.

Major shifts are coming in transportation and mobility.
A space often perceived as altogether inefficient, we’re starting to see some of the biggest technology shifts in transportation, with connectivity and mobility platforms as two of the fastest-growing areas in the industry. In order for smart cars, driverless cars and you—the driver—to become safer and more efficient, it’s necessary to develop smarter and more innovative approaches to what is called the connected car. VSA’s client Arity is helping to advance some of these initiatives through a holistic view of the transportation system, including insurance, automotive and shared mobility technologies that promise to make transportation smarter, safer and more useful for all.

5G is making smarter cities a reality.
It appears the market is finally primed for jurisdictions large and small to deliver on the promise of improving life and wellbeing through technology. 5G is bringing the reality of wireless broadband to all areas—remote villages and densely populated cities alike. Without the burden of breaking ground or finding room to lay miles of wire to connect communities across the globe, the potential of a truly connected world grows much closer. While transportation is the biggest opportunity in this space so far, other impact areas to look for at the show are energy, education, health and water management. With information able to flow both ways, 5G will allow people to download cat videos ad nauseum, while governments and policy makers build infrastructure—roads, hospitals, schools and other services—appropriately scaled to need and use.