Last week we were at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The largest tech show in the world. And I mean really large! More than 3.900 companies were showing off their latest gadgets and technological inventions on more than 250.000 square meters of conference floor! About 900 (of the 3.900) companies were startups that had their own floor, Eureka Park. Impressive right!
But before we dive into the CES highlights, I want to explain why we were there and with whom. Devoteam organized the DevoGame again. A competition to get students interested in IT, and encourage them to take part in Digital Transformations. Student teams were able to join the DevoGame and beat other teams by competing in digital puzzles and creating a project. The grand prize for the winners: A trip to Las Vegas to visit the CES. Two teams won. The HHS student team and an internal Devoteam team. So they got the opportunity to go to the CES, and I got the chance to join them.
The CES is way too large to fully cover in one blog, so I will not even try to do so. Instead, let’s look at a couple of highlights we experienced at CES.
The famous Hey Google was really everywhere on CES. Not only on the show floor, but all over Las Vegas as well. Even in the monorail that brought us to CES. It overshadowed any other assistant out there. I think I have seen Alexa somewhere and completely missed Cortana. So it is fair to say that Google is pushing its assistant big time. And for the Dutch people, there is still no sign of it being available in The Netherlands.
Robots to relieve us of all sorts of chores
Robots will come to help us, but not quite yet. We saw a robot that played ping pong, there was one to fold your laundry, and for pretty much all other chores that you hate there is a robot available. But as noted in other CES reviews as well, it is not really ready for mainstream usage. Some just do not work (yet), and others are way too impractical to use. There still seems to be some road to cover. For the robot lovers out there: There is hope! I guess all the quirks will be fixed over the next few years.
We also visited a live podcast with a robot enthusiast and a robot hater. I think discussions like “do we want robots”, and “how we will interact with them” are quite interesting.
It was very inspiring to see what all the tech startups were doing. There was a separate floor dedicated to startups. And for me, that was the place to be. You could see all the enthusiasm and passion they put into their products. And there was a huge variety of solutions. Some were looking for problems instead of solutions in my opinion, but some really felt quite mature.
What struck me as a little weird was that the startups were organized by country. I know nationalism is hot nowadays, but I think it might be more useful for the startups themselves to be organized by, for example, category. That would enable them to collaborate easier with each other. This would in my opinion, result in great combinations of very good ideas and extremely smart people. So let’s hope the CES organizers will read this blog as well. On the other hand, thanks to the setup by country, we could get a nice orange hat in the Dutch Pavilion.
There is a lot more to tell. But really, if you have the chance, just go and see it for yourself! And plan an extra day to visit a quieter place as well. We took a day out in nature. And the contrast with the constant noise, light and information bombs in Las Vegas was enormous. Nature around Las Vegas is quite impressive!
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to go this year, and I am truly proud that Devoteam invests in young people, and gives them the opportunity to go to CES to get inspired by everything that is possible and available nowadays. So be sure to look out for the next edition of DevoGame!