For the tech industry, the New Year begins with the annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas to attend the consumer technology show known as CES. According the organizers, CES will bring together over 4 500 exhibitor, 170 000 attendees and 1 100 speakers from over 45 countries.
While CES officially opens on Tuesday, 7 January, the event organizers have already provided a preview of some of the technology trends to watch in 2020 in a joint presentation by Steve Koenig and Lesley Rohrbaugh.
5G promises higher speeds, lower latency and greater capacity than the current mobile system. This will allow for the deployment of widespread IoT services which rely upon ultra-reliable and low latency networks. Industry will lead in the deployment of 5G, using it for logistics and tracking, remote manufacturing and healthcare, grid automation and industrial control.
Agriculture will also benefit from new digital technologies that rely upon 5G. Examples include automated farming equipment and robots, smart silos and soil sensors that will connect the farmer to the data necessary to run an efficient farm.
AI will power many of the devices in homes and factories. According to Rohrbaugh, AI is entering many consumer devices, from television sets and ovens to showerheads and doorbells. Intelligence can enhance the home, offering a voice activated and connected user experience.
Virtual and augmented reality will become more prominent. AR glasses are becoming more realistic while VR headsets are becoming untethered. Gaming and e-sports are traditional users of extended reality. However, these devices can also be used in the workplace to increase productivity and provide training.
Future of transport
Innovation is underway in the transport sector. It is allowing for faster charging batteries, self-driving fleets and car-to-car communications. Flying cars, officially known as electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts, are also becoming more prevalent.
Digital health is becoming a lifestyle with technology available to monitor sleep, wellness and fitness. In the United States, over a third of households own at least one wearable health device. And healthcare companies are beginning to use digital technologies to help extend their care, lower costs and provide remote services.
Two types of robots will be showcased during CES. Some robots will offer specific skills such as baking bread or folding clothes. Other robots will provide social companionship by, for example, allow individuals to remain in independent living situations despite advanced age or disabilities.
The promise of these new technologies is enticing. However, ensuring the safety, interoperability and performance of such technologies is an essential role of standards. IEC standards fuel the trends prominent during CES 2020 and stimulate their innovation.