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My Top Tech Picks from CES for the New Year and Beyond

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Every year, many of the top tech companies launch their new products and upgrades at their own conferences around the world. However, there is nothing like the CES tech conference and showcase that takes place every year in Los Vegas. Each year, more than 180,000 tech-hungry professionals converge on the city to embrace the multitude of new tech gadgets and technology’s being showcased. This year is no exception. Although the mega-giants Like Apple, Samsung, Facebook and Microsoft launch their newest products at their own conventions, these giants have many third-party accessory companies that launch at CES. Plus. Large companies like LG, Sony and most of the mega tech companies like Samsung, Google and Microsoft still have a presence to help combat their current woes. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore the latest in Smart Cars, PC’s, Robots, TV’s, Digital Skin Care, Smartphones, Cellular networks, Gaming VR, Digital Plumbing and IoT Voice Control Appliances. So, strap on your VR Goggles and get ready to take a peak at what’s coming your way at this year’s CES conference and product showcase.

Over the years we have revealed in writing about new tech toys and products. Being a geek at heart myself, I love learning about new and Future Technologies. But what does this have to do with marketing? Well, if you think about it, you will realize that technology has a tremendous effect on how we use and buy things. For example; more people use their smartphones today to search the internet than they use computers! Soon they will be searching with VR glasses to get a better idea of what they are buying. In the past, we have written about Star Trek Tech, Robots, Tech Gear and Tech Wearables. These articles have been big hits amongst our reader base. Here’s a sampling of these articles.

I researched a lot of new tech articles and CES previews to write this blog for you. I have not been to a Consumer Electronics Show in many years. Some say that CES is not what it used to be, but as a veteran of several earlier CES conferences, I’m here to tell you that there’s nothing more exciting than going to one today. The new inventions and products are right out of science fiction, turned into reality. So, let’s get to my top ten countdown.

Coming in at 10th, a New Smart Car Prototype – There will be many smart cars showcased at CES, before the Detroit auto show, which means they are more about technology than they are about showing off a car! My pick is the new Toyota Camry Hybrid prototype test platform. Although it won’t be in showrooms for a while, it looks like a production model. It offers many innovative enhancements over its predecessors and other makes. The primary enhancements are its ability to “sense” 360 degrees around the vehicles up to a distance of 200 yards. It TRI's Platform 3.0 boasts a more powerful Luminar lidar array, whereas it’s 2.0 Platform lidar only looked ahead. It also has a full array of side sensors covering all directions. Check out this CNET article to learn more about this and other Smart car innovations.

My 9th Top Tech Pick - Acer Predator 21 XEvery year all manner of PC/Laptop upgrades are showcased. The Acer is definitely a cut above the rest. This is a “Showoff State of the Art Laptop” (if you want to call it that), featuring a 21-inch screen, an overclockable desktop Intel 7th-generation Kaby Lake Core i7 7820HKprocessor, with 64GB of 2.4GHz DDR4 memory, Dual GeForce GTX 1080 running in SLI with another 16GB of GDDR5X VRAM, plus room for up to four SSD or traditional drives in RAID 0. This beast can get hot, so it is equipped with five internal fans and nine heat pipes. This beast weighs in at a little over 8 lbs in all. As I said, you can call it a laptop, but it's more of a luggable. If you want to be the envy of any gaming party, you can drop $9,000 and take this fire-breather with you. Check out the article by Melissa Riofrio for more details and watch the video below.

My #8 Top Pick is the New Robots – Robots are not new to CES. In fact, they had robots back in the 80’s tech conferences. What’s new is that these new robots are actually capable of doing real menial labor. Don't expect Rosie the robot like in The Jetsons cartoon show. Expect more like service delivery bots that bring you things or carry your loads. LG has confirmed that it will show off new concept robots during the show. Other companies like Seven Dreamers, will show off their new robot named Laundroid that's capable of folding laundry. There will even be a smart suitcase make by a Chi company call 90Fun, that uses Segway technology to balance itself as it follows you around the airport. The robot call Puppy 1, uses the two-wheel and a “gravity adaptive system” on a 20-inch suitcase, to help balance the bag as it rolls. Click on the above link to learn more. Not to be outdone, LG unveils a new concept robot for carrying your drinks, suitcase, and shopping bags. LG wants to build useful robots. Now, LG is announcing a trio of new robots designed to help carry stuff — from drinks to suitcases to shopping.

My top 7th Place Tech Pick is Bigger Brighter Cheaper 4k Smart TV’s – Smart TV’s are not new but bigger, better and cheaper sure is. TV manufacturers always put on a show at CES. LG is one of the big players throughout the show, and the TV division is no exception.  LG made news late last year when it announced that it would be showing an 88-inch OLED that delivers an amazing 8K of resolution (LG defines 8K as 7,680 x 4,320 pixels).

You will see various upgrade flavors of HDR (high dynamic range), HFR (high frame rate), and of course, trash talk as to which display technology is best. LG will be the first to showcase an affordable 4K projector that can beam a 150-inch picture onto your wall. The model HU80KA is being pitched as an “affordable yet premium device” which can output a 150-inch picture on any wall big enough in your house. The picture is very bright. LG says it provides 2,500 Lumens, making it the company’s brightest projector yet.

My 6th Place Goes to Digital Skin Care - Skin Care Goes Digital “You Say?” That’s right! Neutrogena owned by Johnson & Johnson has made an iPhone SkinScanner that magnifies your skin issues so that you can see how your skin is aging! The company states that “YOU OPEN THE APP, PRESS THE DEVICE RIGHT ONTO YOUR FACE, AND MEASURE YOUR SKIN’S MOISTURE LEVELS, WRINKLES, AND PORES.” Neutrogena knows you buy a lot of its skin care products – they are the number one facial skincare brand in the US and account for at least $1 billion of J&J’s quarterly sales. Neutrogena wants you to buy even more of their products, and with the help of their skin-scanning gadget and app, they are betting you will.

My 5th Top Tech Pick – New Smart Phones Developments - Are flexible, bendable smartphones here? Samsung has been working on flexible displays for some time now and this year may be the year they actually produce one. Samsung's head of mobile division has said the company is shooting to launch a bendable phone in 2018. Unveiling the Galaxy X at this show could be the first step towards a full-blown release later in the year. Let’s hope they bring it to the show.  Read Samsung Galaxy X: the story of Samsung’s foldable phone so far. We hope to see an early look at the Samsung Galaxy S9 during the show but only time will tell.

One of the exciting things you will definitely see at this year’s show is new low-cost smartphones showing off what were once higher-end features. For example, the Honor 7X, (parent company is Huawei) boasts a large, 5.9-inch screen with minimum bezels, dual cameras and solid performance for only $200. Huawei is a company to pay attention to. They will be featuring many new tech offerings including; new higher-end smartwatches, smartphones, and tablets that will rival Garmin, Apple, and Samsung products. Check out this link that showcases their products.

My 4th Top Tech at CES - AT&T announces 5G Cellular. AT&T will be rolling out; it’s 5G cellular network service in 2018 for its customers. This is a big deal and will again change the way people use their digital devices. 4G is already faster than a lot of users wired networks.  No one is saying exactly how fast 5G will be other than it will be much faster than 4G LTE. This new standard will affect everything from stream 4k video to connecting with autonomous cars. Other networks will be discussing 5G at the conference and will probably be rolling out their 5G over the next year or two.

3rd Best Tech Pick -  Gaming makes a virtual Leap. Last year CES was all about Virtual Reality glasses and software. This year the glasses have gotten better along with the supporting software and VR videos you can acquire and use.  We'll see a bunch of new mixed-reality headsets including existing ones with new features using the Windows 10 platform. Also showing will be Oculus’s Go standalone headset, now only $199, HTC Vive and of course the PlayStation VR system.   Other firms like Occipital and Madgaze plan to show off their new smart glasses that use augmented reality to place digital information on top of the real world.

2nd Best Tech Pick at CES - Plumbing goes Digital – That’s right! Kohler Smart Home Experience Lab has created a slew of voice-controlled bathroom plumbing connections that allow you to use Alexa to turn on your bathroom mirrors, lighting, flush your toilet and turn on your shower and faucets. Kohler’s says its newest mirror brings Alexa into the bathroom. Kohler says it will smarten most fixtures in the bathroom, starting with the new Alexa-enabled Verdera Voice controlled Lighted Mirror which uses the new Kohler Konnect app.

And My # 1 Top Tech Pick at CES - IoT Voice Controlled Home Appliances. IoT hits 3.0 this year as every kind of household appliance is coming out with Alexa or Google assistant voice control. This includes lighting, security, digital devices, HVAC, refrigerators, smart TVs, irrigation systems, bathroom plumbing, toasters, coffee pots, entertainment systems and even Alexa-powered smartglasses? Yes, from Vuzix. Voice command is in demand! Many of the vendors are offering the ability to use either Alexa or the Google Assistant, but it is apparent that the Amazon Echo Alexa system is in the lead for now. Expect to see a slew of add-on speakers and other accessory devices for both the Echo and Google assistant.

If you haven’t been to a CES conference, you should go. It’s a once in a lifetime experience. Heck, it just may become an annual event for you and your family. I hope this article provides you a fun overview of some of the exciting new products being launched at CES this year. The Consumer Electronics Show is an event that inspires techies from all over the world to dream of how wondrous the future will be. In fact, seeing this year's offering makes me think that the future is already here.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Make sure you take the time to visit our notes page for links to the supporting material used to create this article. I also recommend going back and reading some of our previous articles as they provide a horde of links to many wondrous tech companies who are at the leading edge of tech development. Thanks for spending your pre-CES time with us.

That’s my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

In this article, I have provided a pre-show look at this year’s CES. I have provided my top ten list of the coolest items that you should be able to see at the show. This list covers everything from the latest in autonomous cars to robots, to Digital Skin Care to the latest in anything smart or digital, including the hit of the show voice controlled IoT devices.

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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success

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