And we’re back! CES 2018 is officially over and it went off without a hitch… Well kind of, if you don’t count the buckets of rain on Tuesday and the power outages on Wednesday. Besides those things, CES 2018 was a hit. While the statistics haven’t yet been released, this year’s looks to be one of the largest CES events of all time, eclipsing, if not overtaking completely, the 184,279 attendees of last year. Regardless, now that the show has officially come to a close, let’s recap some of the coolest tech we saw and the people we met.
Editor vs. Robot
Whether we like it or not, robots are coming. Companion robots are entering the home and some robots are even entering the workforce. At CES 2018, they had robots that could do just about anything. One of the most interesting? A robot that can play ping-pong. Assistant Editor Anthony Elio had the opportunity to play ping-pong against said robot (and inevitably lost). What was so fascinating about this robot developed by Omron was its ability to read its opponent’s ability level and adjust accordingly.
In relation to Anthony’s battle against Omron’s robot, I had the opportunity to play Scrabble against a robot developed by ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute). The robot was able to read the board, analyze its own letters, then place the letter blocks to optimize its points. I held my own for a bit but once the robot played the word ‘Te,’ I knew I wouldn’t last long. And I’m still not convinced that it’s a real word, but that’s what happens when you play Scrabble against a living dictionary. Stay tuned to our YouTube channel to see Anthony and I battle these robots.
Neil Patrick Harris
We started off the week by attending a short panel discussion with Neil Patrick Harris. He talked about everything from content development in a modern age to driverless cars. In the realm of driverless cars, NPH discussed the blossoming relationship between these autonomous vehicles and entertainment. With driverless cars, users will now have time to kill on their way to work. So how will we keep entertained on the roads in the coming future? That’s the question that NPH tried to tackle. And obviously, it’s not exactly simple.
John Grisham and Dr. Kassel
Famed author John Grisham recently teamed up with Dr. Kassel and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation for a new project The Tumor. It was Grisham’s first dive into the medical genre and both Grisham and Kassel were at CES 2018 distributing copies. I had the opportunity to talk to them both about the short story and what inspired it. The story follows a man with a tumor. The first part follows his standard treatment and how it affects his life and family. The second part is the same man, but this time he uses focused ultrasound to deal with the tumor. If you are not aware, focused ultrasound is a growing medical technology where doctors use concentrated sound to break up tumors. We have a video to come, but if you want to learn more about focused ultrasound, The Tumor is available on Amazon for free.
A Jedi Bed
Telekinesis has long been an integral power in sci-fi and fantasy stories. But technology is starting to catch up, allowing us to actually move things with our mind. However, you may be surprised to see this kind of tech coming out of a company that develops beds. Reverie was debuting a new bed at CES 2018 that actually allows you to move it up and down with your mind. I was skeptical at first, but trust me, it works. I laid down on the bed and a sensor in the pillow was actually able to read my Alpha and Beta brain waves. When I focused on something, the bed would slowly start raising. And the Reverie representative wasn’t just sneakily pressing a button, I checked. In fact, we were so impressed by the technology that we gave Reverie our CES 2018 Editor’s Choice Award. So make sure you stay tuned for our video with Reverie as well!