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Matt Rose
Entrepreneur

Matt Rose is a creative technologist and Co-Founder of Sipple, the app that lets you savour every drop of wine.

Matt Rose
Entrepreneur

Matt Rose is a creative technologist and Co-Founder of Sipple, the app that lets you savour every drop of wine.

We round up the best up-and-coming technologies from The Consumer Electronics Show, and look at how these revolutionary ideas can be applied directly to your business.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 was big this year, breaking records with 170,000 attendees, 3,600 exhibitors and more than 2.47 million square feet of exhibited space.

The show offered up a large showcase of new devices, designed to make our lives easier, connect us, make us more secure, deliver richer content and unlock the emerging on-demand economy. For business in Australia, the show demonstrated up-and-coming technological innovations that are set to simultaneously streamline and optimise our working lives.

An opening panel of experts for CES 2016

Connected technology

A network of items embedded with data-gathering technology, the Internet of Things (IoT) was a dominant theme this year at CES 2016, and we’re set to see thousands of new devices emerge from now until 2020. 

This technology will enable us to connect everything from our fridge to our thermostat to our lights and TV, allowing us to control them from wherever we are, with the use of our smart phone or through automated settings.  For our business, IoT offers a new, intelligent way to utilise our tech – rolling all the separate technologies and apps that we use in our business into one, streamlined system.

What this means for your business

An IoT business, IFTTT (If This, Then That), is one example of connected technology that could effectively streamline our work processes. IFTT allows us to connect our products and technologies in order to create workflows, or ‘recipes’, for how our appliances and devices operate. For instance, it can catalogue important emails from your inbox in an Evernote notebook to go over later. Or use location services to log how much time you spend in the office or at home in a Google spreadsheet.

Universal IoT platforms were spruiked at CES to connect all these emerging devices, with Samsung unveiling their own, named SmartThings. These technologies are all designed to help connect devices from the countless manufacturers in order to monitor, control and secure our businesses (along with our homes).

The effect of this is that business will need to become even more adept at managing their cyber security, so that devices can’t be hacked or sensitive commercial information stolen. 

A move to automotive

Fully autonomous vehicles are set to help transport people and goods in a more safe and efficient manner. It was revealed that General Motors have bought a $500 million stake in Lyft, Uber’s competitor in the United States, with the idea that in the future we will no longer own cars but just subscribe to a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles.  This development has the power to change the way companies manage fleets of cars and how businesses transport their employees around.

What this means for your business

Cars are our business’ most expensive mobile devices, and at CES 2016 there was a large contingent of manufacturers showcasing how they are making them smarter. New developments will mean our vehicles will become more connected to our daily lives, as well as becoming more autonomous. There will be a predicted slow ramp from current technology – such as adaptive cruise control, lane assist and autonomous parking – to full autonomy. It means a more productive commute and a vehicle that knows as much about your workday as your smartphone does. 

Creating virtual reality

VR was a big talking point at CES 2016, with Sony, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive demoing their new consumer versions. The experience whet the appetite of new adaptors, and there was much hype around what the future holds for virtual reality in terms of gaming but also the broader experiences it can offer. It seems the best platform will be judged on best content, experiences and games and this will drive sales and contribute to the success of the respective headsets.

For smartphone-driven headsets, Samsung and Intel had some impressive demos.  One in particular (featuring the Intel RealSense) allowed for the ability to walk around an environment in VR, translating the movement from the real world. Another had the ability to track hand motion to manipulate objects.

What this means for your business

VR can work to simulate environments and provide training in controlled scenarios, especially in mining and construction. Real estate and property development companies now provide home inspection for unbuilt apartments, and for overseas investors who cannot travel to see their potential investment, all using VR. And those are only the applications in vogue at the moment – the true potential will be explored by innovative businesses that can think outside the box when it comes to VR.

It’s clear from the devices showcased at CES 2016 that the coming years will see businesses adopting connected and intelligent technologies in order to enhance our methods of working, along with our home lives. 

Violet Roumeliotis, 2017 Telstra Business Woman of the Year.
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