CES – Day 2

Here we are on the second day of CES 2019 in Las Vegas, and the overarching theme this year appears to be “Artificial Intelligence” and “5G”. In essence the technology is an imitation of it’s human creators in that 5G provides the “backbone” for the AI “brain” to exist upon. While some may consider the idea that a machine is able to learn from prior experience and apply this knowledge to new situations a bit far fetched, guess what?! This is now a reality.

Last night we heard from Nvidia about how they use AI and deep learning to increase efficiency and image quality in their latest RTX graphics cards. Today we heard this term many times to describe how AI is being used to help create platforms that have more natural speech dialogues, create predictive responses for autonomous vehicles or as we saw in LG’s announcement, the ability to determine for the user the best sound profiles to use based on the type of content and the lay out of the room.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

With long lines of eager reporters, we got to see a number of the new technologies that are going to depend on high speed connections and enormous quantities of data. Think about being able to download a full 4k video in seconds – nearly 20x faster than current 4G technology. In order to accommodate this LG has partnered with Qualcomm to bring 5G to North America in 2019.

Boy are we going to need it.

Both LG and Samsung are bringing out 8K OLED TV’s this year, each with their own subset of content including airplay 2.0 and better integrated AI’s. Samsung 2019 TV’s will also include the ability to utilize Apple iTunes Movies & TV. Flexibility and positioning increases exponentially when you look at LG’s new Signature OLED TV R. The first roll up TV with integrated sound bar.

Like last year, manufacturers are giving their customers the choice of which platform to use with their products along with the flexibility to connect them with an every expanding category of connected home products.

Speaking of which, how does the idea of a capsule based home craft beer brewing system sound? Intrigued? We certainly were! With the ability to brew up to 5 different types of beer, this Keurig looking machine takes just 2 weeks to complete the entire fermentation to consumption process in the comfort of your own home.

Sounds like the perfect end to a long day of reporting with lots more coming in the next few days so stay tuned!

Diane Williamson & Ron Fraser

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2019

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to attend the biggest and best technology conference in the whole world? Then read on, as Diane Williamson and myself, Ron Fraser, attend CES 2019 (The Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas all next week! We are computer department managers for London Drugs in Victoria B.C., and technology is our passion! We will be posting here daily, and you can follow us on Twitter @Londondrugs. We will also have live reports from Jan 7th, to Jan 11th on CFAX 1070 radio, and you can listen live, on cfax1070.com. We want to find things to tell you about that are exciting, practical, amazing, inspiring, and just maybe life changing technology that you can use!

How big is this show? This info sheet will give you a good idea!

This show is the biggest event of its kind in the world, and it happens every January in Las Vegas. The reason it’s such a big deal, is that a lot of CEOs and people that can make buying decisions head to this particular show. A lot of the products that you see in the stores, and in fact in our stores are decided on from attendees to this show. Many vendors bring their biggest and their best inventions and products to show at this show. All the big automakers are there every year, and they unveil the newest and greatest that they have in new vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and electric or hydrogen powered vehicles as well.

In recent years, aging in place technology, as well as home appliances and home conveniences with smart home connected technology has been featured very strongly in many of the display venues here. We will try to focus on the things that people will find really interesting or useful during the course of the CES. And as always, the large electronics manufacturers and camera manufacturers will be there showing the biggest and best televisions, and imaging devices and cameras for consumers and professionals alike.

We hope you will read and follow along with us here, and on social media and CFAX radio, and enjoy what we have to present!

Now, on to Las Vegas and two days of truly exciting press conferences! Talk to you soon!

CES – Final Thoughts

Alright, as of this writing CES 2018 is now in the books, over and everyone has gone back to their homes, and home countries. Alan, Diane, and myself, Ron Fraser have walked a total of 127,000 steps over three days, or about 97 kilometers! We did our best to cover that 2.75 million square feet of display space, but still only a fraction is truly possible to cover in any meaningful way.
So what are the big takeaways, how will this show affect us all going forward? I have a few observations to share on that.

1.Get used to saying “Hi Google” and “Alexa”…a lot. Just about everything that runs on gas, electricity, or batteries will also be driven by voice commands from now on. It is HERE.

2. Flying cars are real. Remember the Jetsons? Well, the Volocoptor is an autonomous flying drone that can take you quickly and safely from point A to point B. Roads are congested? Doesn’t matter.

3. Everything internet connected will talk to everything else you own that is plugged in, or on WiFi. If it doesn’t now, it will, and very soon. As you are driving home, the heat or AC will come on in your home, lights come on as needed, and maybe the oven starts to preheat to prepare to cook the meal that the refrigerator suggested based on the contents in your fridge. Really. I’ve seen that too.

4. Self driving cars as a concept are already real, and driving on their own in several cities the USA today. The new wrinkle there is that these self driving vehicles will also be mobile retail stores, medical clinics, pizza delivery, and anything else that needs goods, or services to be mobile. (Pizza hut has already signed on with Toyota for their autonomous delivery vehicle to start delivery of their food when their “E-Pallette” vehicle is on the roads.

5. A.I. or Artificial Intelligence is being deployed is as many products as possible. Cars will learn how you drive and adjust power output for your habits, homes that heat and cool based on your patterns, music selection that learns what you like and dislike to be more relevant. Electronics that can update themselves when needed, making an item last longer without having to buy a new one.

6. Robots will be everywhere. Most of them, will perform simple tasks like answering questions, giving directions, carrying everyday items, groceries and such to and from your car or home. Some will be companions (like pets, or even partners) Security and such are already compelling uses.

Each year seems to bring us new refinements and more cooperation between product manufacturers to try to convince the consumer into trying their products. If it makes my life easier, simpler, and better, I’m in support of these changes. Let’s see what the next year will bring!


CES 2018, Friday January 12th

Today was the day we tried to see as many last minute booths and items as we could. We walked another 25, 000 steps and still just scratched the surface.

Relief band was first. An item to put on your wrist like a wristwatch, and it stimulates a nerve in your wrist to prevent, and even negate any nausea you may have for any reason. It was originally used for chemotherapy patients, but it also works for anyone feeling nauseous. A great, drug free solution for everyone.

Las Vegas is a photographer’s dream. So many great spots to practice your art. The Eiffel Tower at Paris was my moment to be inspired today.

Want to learn to play the piano, but think it’s too late? Well, think again. “The One Piano” comes in three different models, and can really help you by prompting you for which keys to play and you follow along. I tried it…..it works! Mr. Stevie Wonder even stopped by Wednesday, and bought one for his daughter!

The ride sharing company “Lyft” was offering free autonomous car rides today at the show. Alan Perry got to take one, and said it was smooth, fast and precise with the driver never touching the wheel once on a predetermined route. Here we go……

So, you have a top line recreation vehicle, with all the best amenities and you are showing it off at CES. What could be better than that? Wait…I know……let’s put a helicopter on top of it! Everything is possible.

News From CES 2018, Thursday, January 11th

We started a bit earlier on our trek to CES today, and beat many thousands of people that come to the show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Alan, Diane and myself did our best to cover more of this massive venue again today.

We found a few unique items today at the show we though would be interesting!

The “Rocking Bed”. This bed uses a special frame and it makes a side to side motion while you fall asleep! For anyone that misses the ocean feeling, or anyone that just wants a way to fall asleep that has been proven effective, this is for you. Captain’s hat optional…

A solid state smartphone or device battery.
There is a potential problem with todays batteries in our devices. If they are bent or damaged, they can explode and or catch fire.
This manufacturer (Prologium) makes a battery for other product manufacturers that is bendable, and can be cut, drilled through or otherwise damaged and not only does it not catch fire or explode…it actually will keep right on working. We saw it with our own eyes. I think you will see many devices go this way in the near future.

Last, but definitely not least, Intel put on a very special show using 250 of it’s famous “Shooting Star Mini Drones” in the sky tonight at 8 PM over The Bellagio Hotel and in combination with the famous fountains there. It was about 5 incredible minutes and an LED lighting ballet in the sky, with musical accompaniment of the song “Stargazing” . The area was packed, and the crowd was cheering wildly at the finale. As we slowly made out way out of the area, I heard someone say “you know…i think these will replace fireworks one day..” I think they were right.
Check out this link to judge for yourself

CES 2018 – Day Two

Day Two with Ron Fraser – Ford Surprises Everyone

So, you may ask…how does a simple car company affect my life, and what has it got to do with cutting-edge technology, and more specifically, the CES?

As it turns out, plenty.

Today was our first full day at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Alan, Diane and myself set our plan for the day, we were up at 5:30 am and out the door to attend a keynote address at the Palazzo hotel. One of the major events of the week certainly, when the CEO of The Ford Motor Company (Mr. Jim Hackett) gives a presentation on behalf of one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable companies on the planet.

The room was packed, there were around 4,000 people in the Palazzo Ballroom without a doubt. None of this was a surprise. What was a surprise, was that there were no flashy cars, no new product announcements, and no new technologies presented which seems to be a presentation standard amongst car companies today. What we did see and hear for the next hour was the very relaxed, and sincere head of one of the largest corporations in the World talk philosophically about what really would have to happen to our cities to be part of the New Connected World, specifically with autonomous vehicles. And while Ford wants to be an important part in that (it is good business) you really got the feeling that Mr. Hackett really wanted to get this right, for the benefit of everyone involved. He presented several of his expert employees who spoke just as passionately about how cities would have to be integrated with EVERYTHING that moves in the core, and everyone,  regardless of their particular mode of transportation. They showed city concept films that had autonomous cars, delivery vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians all sharing the same intelligently modified space.

Ford knows that the life of their 115 year old company is not guaranteed, and those disruptive technologies need to be embraced by all the stakeholders involved. A car that can monitor it’s driver, and summon help in an emergency, with no human intervention is coming very soon. The same system will change traffic control, and autonomous vehicles will clear a path for emergency responders.   He knows, and believes very passionately, that this integration into the urban landscape is critical for it’s success. He also knows there will be some trade offs of privacy to allow this type of system to operate and that the more we talk about these ethical questions today, the better chance we have of getting it right, and sooner than later.

It was fascinating, exciting and a bit disquieting all at the same time. That accurately describes the World of technology we see all around us today, and knowledge and asking these questions really seems to be the best way forward to make this system be the best system for all of us.

Mr. Henry Ford changed the World 115 years ago with the first mass production automobile, and what is happening today sure feels as if the car is once again poised to change the World in a very significant way.

Thanks for listening, I’ll return tomorrow with many of the great things we saw today at the CES show here in Las Vegas!


CES 2018 – Day One

Day One with Ron Fraser

It’s after 11 pm here in Las Vegas and today was a very busy first day! As a Co-host of TechTalk on CFAX radio here in Victoria, I am attending the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas as a reporter. I always have my London Drugs hat on too though, as we always find great products that hopefully we can put into our stores to help our customers get the things that help make their lives easier, better, and of course, more fun!

Today though, was all about the press conferences to get a sneak peek at the amazing new technology that is coming soon to all of us.

LG Electronics was first, and they are talking about all of the products, and I mean ALL 100% of them being connected and communicating at all times. That is certainly a theme that was repeated a few times today. Everything wants to talk to everything else, to help make your electronics work for you better. Robots are again being used to great effect to help check you in at the airport, and then to carry your bags and even take payment from you. We were reminded that there is still some fine-tuning to be done, not every robot wanted to talk as it turned out!

Samsung was next…..Showing off a new ultra-high resolution TV using “microLED” technology, and the TV was called “The Wall””.They are huge. The one we saw measured 149 inches! No end in sight for size growth.

Toyota, and Hyundai were very excited about their new car offerings. One thing is certain, Google and Alexa voice assistants are very firmly embedded with the car manufacturers now, and even more in the future as they may end up becoming the hub in your home to perform so many functions.

The evening ended with a mind blowing presentation by Intel that was, as always, both amazing and nearly impossible to describe adequately. Suffice to say they are very involved in music, sports, entertainment, business applications, and connectivity between everything you can imagine…..and a few…you really cannot! Let’s just say, the cartoon “The Jetsons” and the flying cars they had…..are here, now in a form 🙂

Much more tomorrow!

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