LAS VEGAS: New technology is getting more personal. So personal, it is moving to connect and analyze our movements, our health, our brains and our everyday devices.
Welcome to the so-called Internet of Me.
One of the major themes at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is connecting thousands of objects that people use each day—clothing, cars, light bulbs and home appliances.
But the challenge facing developers is making that information useful, and the CES is increasingly seeing inventions related to digital “coaches” and ways to improve health or fitness, or get better information about our cars or appliances, said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Electronics Association in his outlook for the show.
“The key to all of this is that something happens in the physical space, and we digitize it and feed it back into the physical space,” he said.
“No longer the focus is on what can technologically be done but what is technologically meaningful.”
Some of the new devices on display at a preview Sunday included apps to monitor and improve the quality of sleep, a connected baby bottle to measure infant nutrition intake, and sensors that analyze one’s golf swing to compare it to that of the pros.
Smart clothing, connected smoke detectors and dozens of new smartwatches and fitness devices are also in the mix.
Next phase of Internet
Smartwatches and other wearables are far more prominent at the show than ever before.
These new technologies “continue the trend of deploying the Internet in a personal way,” DuBravac said. “Nothing gets more personal than wearables.”
He said this represents a “third phase of the Internet,” after personal computers and mobile devices, to wearables and other connected objects.
“We are moving the Internet now from two billion smartphones to 50 billion objects,” he said.
“We are taking the Internet to new places, to your wrist. And you are going to see that across the show . . . It’s not just about the distribution and dissemination of information. The way we use the Internet will change.”
CES, which officially opens Tuesday, is one of the world’s biggest trade fairs devoted to technology, with some 36,000 exhibitors and an estimated 160,000 people in attendance.
The show also features new big-screen televisions with “ultra” high-definition displays, and an array of drones for personal and industrial uses. It also includes expanded sections for robotics and automotive technology.
The exhibition opens amid a mixed economic outlook for the global technology industry. The Consumer Electronics Association, which organizes it, said spending on technology rose a mere one percent in 2014 to $1.024 trillion, but that it is too early to know the trend for 2015.