All Posts Tagged: robots

CES 2019 wrap up: Technology evolution, not revolution

Andreas Bubenzer-Paim
Technology Banking

Flying cars, bread bots, drones, smart planter boxes. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a yearly showcase for thousands of companies demoing cool concepts and futuristic designs.Sunset time high-angle view of the Las Vegas strip featuring the Eiffel tower replica and the fountains of Bellagio as well as the resort hotels Bellagio, Paris-Las Vegas, Ballys and Caesars Palace.

Attending CES is a great way to preview emerging technologies with the potential to impact our personal lives and workplaces. Having just returned from this year’s show, I wanted to share some takeaways for business leaders to keep in mind.

The mobility and transportation sector continued last year’s trends in keeping with what I consider to be the #CES2019 theme: Evolutionary, not revolutionary.

  • Advanced prototypes of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) passenger-carrying vehicles –could really be straight out of the Jetsons.
  • Modular carriers that can switch between transporting people and goods are a multi-use technology with broad applications.
  • The first 5G devices are going to hit the market in early 2019, and will allow you to stream a high-quality, live, mixed reality (MR) video feed from anywhere you have 5G reception. At such lightning fast download speeds, mobile will continue to become a serious threat to cable and could further enable mobile reliant, distributed, and remote workforces.
Further advances in AR, VR, and MR. A great example of MR that I saw at the show was a commercially-ready smart projector that projects a computing interface onto any surface (e.g. a table or even the floor), allowing you to work without a keyboard, monitor, etc. It’s mindboggling when you realize that this advance is the latest in the evolution that started with the mainframe, before the development of the PC and later the mobile device.

Smart home and AI progress. Every day, new connected devices, like smart sofas, smart planting pots, smart mirrors (where you can virtually try on make-up) are appearing on the scene. Sometimes it seems we’ll run out of things to make smart! And as more devices become smart ones, the potential to gain insight from the accompanying data is exciting to consider.

(Almost) everything is available with Alexa connectivity. Amazon now offers AR smart glasses. They are already showing up in Toronto and Brooklyn Amazon shops, at a retail price of $1,000 and will also be available with prescription lenses by end of 2019. Basic, minimalist graphics and text follow Alexa commands given to the glasses, which require phone connection via Bluetooth. Voice enabled computing is really maturing, helped along by the Amazon ecosystem.

3D printing expands. I noticed that 3D printing has moved into new materials like ceramics, which can be used, for example, for temporary bone implants. These temporary implants hold broken bones together until a person’s natural bone regrowth replaces the temporary ceramic implant. This alternative could be an improvement on the current method of inserting and later taking out metal plates that hold the broken bones together.

Other notable advances that caught my attention: the five-minute fast charging for all electric vehicles or anything that uses standard Lithium ion batteries; and an in-ear instant translator from Chinese company Timekettle. The famous “Babelfish” from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is becoming real!

Blockchain emerges
This is the first year I’ve seen blockchain exhibitors at CES. I also saw cybersecurity offerings for your connected IoT devices at home.

Rise of the robots and drones
UBTech demoed its prototype “Walker” robot, an intelligent humanoid service robot made for the home. It’s still three years away from a potential market launch, but already very impressive.

Robomart is a self-driving mini-grocery store. Last year, the company only showed off the concept, but at #CES2019 they introduced a fully functioning prototype. The company reportedly signed a deal with a leading grocery chain and plans to have the first six vehicles on the road later this year. Three cities are in the process of permitting these autonomous vehicles on their streets.

A handful of companies showcased “hover bikes” – basically drones that can carry one person. This new mode of transportation is still in its early days but it looks like a recreational/sporty alternative to flying taxis.

It’s always an eye-opener to visit this annual mega tech event, as well as catching-up with my BNP Paribas colleagues. With a 30+ year track record of working with innovative technology companies from early stage startups to global giants, CES always offers me and my team a preview into the companies, sectors and technologies we may be working with to help shape how we live and work in the future.

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From drones to robots: How digital technology is revolutionizing the wine industry

Adam Beak
Posted by Adam Beak
Agribusiness Banking
Aerial view of vineyards in hilly terrain on a cloudy day.

Wine makers are increasingly looking toward disruptive technologies to make the industry more efficient and profitable.

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