Top 10 IoT Specific Trends from CES 2020: The Smart Home Becomes The Intelligent Home

Undoubtedly the world’s largest consumer electronics show, CES is a great indicator of where the IoT market is heading and what we can expect to see in the coming 2-3 years. Out of about 4500 exhibitors at CES 2020, more than 1000 companies were “internet of things” related, including smart home and city solution providers, wearables vendors, sensors, biometrics, and vehicle automation firms. The DSR team attended the show, and we are excited to share some of our impressions.

1. IoT Will Stand For “Intelligence of Things”

ICON.AI Venus Mirror
Venus Mirror by ICON.AI

The IoT universe is constantly expanding and new types of devices are connecting to the internet. At CES 2020, a smart frying pan was announced. SmartyPans are equipped with weight and temperature sensors and can record recipes as you cook (https://smartypans.io/). An Interactive smart makeup mirror, ICON.AI, is able to diagnose skin diseases, helps to choose makeup, and supports Amazon Alexa (http://icon.ai/). However, the most intelligent device for smart home ecosystem was presented by Samsung. It’s called Ballie and is described as a “life companion”, not just ordinary smart assistant (see video below).

A Rolling ball-shaped robot, unlike Apple’s Siri or the Amazon Echo, doesn’t wait for a voice command, instead, it constantly monitors your actions, behavior, and activities. Ballie is proactive. For example, it can wait and take a photo when the lightning is favorable, or give a command to the smart vacuum cleaner to clean up the dog’s mess without bothering its owner.

Google Assistant now supports a wider range of compatible smart devices and gives an option to turn them on and off on a timer. You can say: “Hey Google, run the coffee machine at 7 a.m.” Moreover, you can now connect compatible smart devices with just a few taps as well as use smart digital sticky notes across smart displays. Google also has enhanced the translation capabilities of Assistant. Now the AI-driven voice assistant is able to translate text from more than 40 languages.

Plume demonstrated a motion detection system which operates without sensors and cameras (https://www.plume.com/). Plume Motion AI analyzes Wi-Fi signal delays between compatible OpenSync nodes and Wi-Fi connected devices to identify moving objects. This AI also helps to eliminate the problem of false home alarms, such as the detection of pets.

Prima Touch from Hogar Controls
Prima Touch from Hogar Controls

As demonstrated at CES 2020, multi-functional smart switches and displays are going to be one of the top home automation market trends, in the coming years. One Example is the Prima Touch Switch from Hogar Controls(https://www.hogarcontrols.com/). Prima Touch allows the user to configure a set of touch-sensitive buttons to control different smart devices and switch between predefined scenes. It supports Z-Wave and Zigbee protocols. More advanced smart displays are able to stream video, help to monitor household energy consumption, and quickly adjust smart home settings for the current occupants’ needs.

CES 2020 has demonstrated that the smart home ecosystem and smart devices themselves are becoming more intelligent. Increased connectivity, along with AI-driven solutions, allow the smart home ecosystem to provide much more utility, without the user’s direct involvement.

2. Power Shift Towards Interoperability

According to Statista estimates (https://www.statista.com/statistics/471264/iot-number-of-connected-devices-worldwide/), there are more than 26 billion connected IoT devices. With this vast quantity, comes complexity. Each IoT solution offers its own IoT infrastructure, APIs, and data formats, which leads to interoperability issues. Several initiatives aimed at enhancing interoperability were announces at CES 2020.

Lots of manufacturers’ smart devices are compatible with the OCF 2.1 standard (https://openconnectivity.org/developer/specifications/). The new version of the standard was released in November by the Open Connectivity Foundation, which boasts more than 300 members (Cisco, LG, Samsung, Intel etc.). OCF 2.1 provides detailed implementations for Bluetooth, EnOcean, Zigbee, and Z-Wave.

In December, Apple, Google, Amazon, the and Zigbee Alliance announced the creation of Connected Home over IP(https://www.connectedhomeip.com/). The goal is to create a working group for the development of a new open standard for smart home products, with a heavy focus on security.

Moreover, just over a month ago, Silicon Labs and the Z-Wave Alliance announced plans to open proprietary Z-Wave standard (https://z-wavealliance.org/z-wave-specification-press-release/). Before the announcement, Silicon Labs was the only manufacturer of MCUs with Z-Wave support. In the near future, other manufacturers will be able to produce Z-Wave chips. This is the first step to make the standard fully open.

DSR Corporation also contributed to this shift, as we announced the ZBOSS Open Initiative (ZOI) at CES 2020 (http://dsr-zoi.com/). This is a community of companies with a shared understanding of the necessity to have a common Zigbee PRO software platform to overcome, together, the shared challenges around interoperability, security, testing, and optimization of Zigbee-enabled products and solutions.

3. Wi-Fi 6 to boost smart home

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) will increase the throughput and speed of IoT networks, decrease delays, and make smart homes more secured. Thanks to the support of OFDMA и BSS Coloring technologies, smart home and office solutions based on Wi-Fi 6 will manage network traffic more efficiently, especially in a radio dense environment.

WPA3 will significantly improve the security of IoT networks in comparison to WPA2 thanks to the Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) protocol, which is used in Wi-Fi 6, instead of Pre-Shared Keys (PSK). The new standard will make IoT networks a lot harder to hack.

What’s more, Wi-Fi 6 routers support up to 1024 connected devices simultaneously, whereas current Wi-Fi generation is able to support only 250. This is a great step forward for smart home and office automation, hence just one Wi-Fi 6 enabled router will be able to manage more than thousand smart devices.

D-Link COVR X1872
Two-piece router D-Link COVR X1872 supports Wi-Fi 6 and enables to setup mesh IoT networks

Quite a number of manufacturers announced routers with Wi-Fi 6 support, including D-Link, TP-Link, Linksys, and Netgear. Comcast also revealed the xFi Advanced, an IEEE 802.11ax certified gateway.

4. 5G – the first generation of cellular networks for IoT

According to an Ericsson forecast (https://www.ericsson.com/en/mobility-report/internet-of-things-forecast), over 1.5 billion IoT devices will be connected to cellular networks by 2022. 5G is the first generation of mobile networks designed with IoT industry requirements in mind. Apart from a tenfold speed increase (up to 15-20 Gbit/s) in comparison to 4G, 5G supports 250 times more connected devices — over 1 million devices per 1 square kilometer. The capacity of 4G is limited to a mere 4,000 devices per square kilometer. CTA forecasts that more than 50 mobile network operators throughout the world will launch 5G in 2020 (https://cta.tech/).

Connected devices (billions). Source: https://www.ericsson.com/
Connected devices (billions). Source: https://www.ericsson.com/

For the IoT market, the 5G network deployment means the increased use and efficiency of cloud services, significantly lower latency (down to 1 ms), and greatly increased throughput. All of these improvements will allow for the creation of a robust smart city infrastructure, an industrial IoT solution with hundreds of thousands of smart sensors and devices.

Significantly lower latency in 5G networks will allow for the control of automated vehicles and industrial machinery, remotely, from another part of the world. 5G can also can be used by farmers to oversee massive areas of land with the help of a drone fleet equipped with a variety of sensors. Drones can identify diseased plants or areas than need to be watered. It’s a great example of how 5G based IoT systems will help to solve very real-world problems.

5. Biometrics for smart home and office

blurams-doorbell
Blurams Smart Doorbell with face recognition technology

Face recognition technology is making its way into the smart market. More and more devices are capable of using face recognition for access. Blurams revealed a smart doorbell at CES (https://www.blurams.com/). The doorbell sports AI facial recognition, a 1080p camera, motion detection, and 2-way talk function including hands-free calling. Faces are identified in real-time, with all of the data stored in company’s cloud storage. Blurams’s app allows users to register up to 16 people for identification.

ADT presented a range of smart cameras (https://www.adt.com/). Sophisticated computer vision technology helps to not only identify authorized users, but also distinguish between strangers and burglars. The smart camera system will notify its owner about suspicious strangers around the house via push notifications in the app and voice messages via Amazon Alexa. Cameras are equipped with a microphone and speaker for voice communication, as well as a light sensor.

Additionally, several companies at CES 2020 revealed smart door locks equipped with fingerprint scanners.

6. Wireless Charging for Smart Devices

A few companies announced wireless chargers for smart home devices at CES 2020.

wi-charge-powerpuck-r1
Wi-Charge Powerpuck R1 wireless charger

Wi-Charge revealed the Powerpuck R1 charger with AirCord infrared beam technology (https://wi-charge.com/). It can be plugged into a wall or screwed into a lightbulb socket. The charger is able to charge compatible smart devices from a distance of up to 9 meters, covering almost 2.5 square meters. The receivers measure just 1×1 cm and can be embedded in the charged devices. R1 initiates the charging of compatible devices right after the installation without any additional configuration.

ossia-cota
Ossia’s Cota is able to charge smart devices via Wi-Fi like a radio

Unlike the Powerpuck R1, Ossia’s wireless charger, Cota, doesn’t require direct line of sight to power smart devices (https://www.ossia.com/cota/),. Cota measures 30×30 cm and transmits power via 5.8 GHz radio signal. Just like Wi-Fi, but instead of data, the chargers send power to the connected devices.

Ossia's Cota Home Transmitter
Ossia’s Cota Home Transmitter

Receivers with Cota wireless charging support can be embedded in smart speakers, thermostats, cameras, smoke detectors, and other smart devices. The charger transmits power up to 9 meters, doesn’t require direct line of sight, and is able to charge notebooks, smartphones, remote controls, and other gadgets.

The variety of wireless chargers, demonstrated at CES 2020, will help to solve one of the main smart home ecosystem problems – battery changing and power limitations. However, the solutions currently have some drawbacks, like the need to embed a specific supported receiver in the end-devices and significant power loss during transmission.

7. Enhanced Voice Control

Voice assistants are used in smart home solutions more and more often, and their advancement will allow to for more sophisticated automation scenarios and features. So far, voice control is widely adopted in English-speaking countries, but thanks to significant improvements in speech recognition they’ll be used in other countries in 2020 as well. Juniper Research predicts that more than 8 billion smart devices will support voice commands by 2023 (https://www.juniperresearch.com/press/press-releases/digital-voice-assistants-in-use-to-8-million-2023).

Kohler Numi
Kohler Numi 2.0 — an intelligent toilet with Amazon Alexa for easy voice control

Voice assistants are supported by a wide range of smart devices including fridges, toilets, shower cabins, door locks, and garage gate openers. However, the most recent trend in IoT is not only voice, but sounds recognition.
Audio Analytic, a startup at CES 2020, announced “the second generation” of audio recognition technology for smart devices based on its extensive Alexandria library (https://www.audioanalytic.com/). The library contains more than 15 million labelled sound samples. This technology enables smart devices to identify different sounds and act accordingly. For example, a security system with Alexandria support will be able to identify the sound of shattered window glass in the house and set-off the alarm to notify the owner about a possible break-in. Or, smart home will be able to “hear” child cry and notify parents, play soothing music for him or her, and turn on the lights in the corridor leading to the child’s room.
Audio Analytic’s sound recognition technology uses AI and neural network to accurately identify different sounds. It’s already supported by some smart hubs on the market, including Hive Hub 360.

8. Smart home security and privacy are in the spotlight

CES 2020 showed that in the coming years more and more efforts will be devoted to making smart home systems and IoT devices significantly more secure. The Amazon Ring cameras hack last December sounded the alarm for manufacturers and service providers to pay a lot more attention to the security flaws of current IoT solutions. The number of hackers’ attacks on smart home and office systems will only increase since they are still easy targets.

To address the issue, Comcast revealed the free app, Xfinity xFi, for it’s smart ecosystem. The app monitors and controls traffic, blocks suspicious activities and notifies the user about abnormal data sent from end devices.
Apple attended CES for the first time in 28 years to discuss users’ data privacy issues, while Google Assistant will now erase data if activated accidentally. One just needs to say “Hey Google, that wasn’t meant for you”. Moreover, users can open a new dashboard to see how the service uses recorded data, view privacy settings, and delete any record from the last 18 months.

Amazon also enabled the option to erase records for Alexa with the help of the phrases: “Alexa, delete what I just said” and “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”

9. Office Automation is the Next Big thing

2020 will be the year for wider office automation systems adoption even by mid-sized companies. The systems will help to make office workspace more comfortable, controllable, safe, and energy efficient.

Smart offices will be able to automatically adjust lightning and temperature depending on the weather outside, making the workspace not only more convenient for employees, but also less energy consuming. Smart doorbells, motion sensors, door locks, and cameras will help to identify strangers and grant employees access to the certain areas of the office.

Office automation will help to book meeting rooms more efficiently, control lighting, and manage other key routine activities.

kwikset-halo-touch
The Kwikset Halo Touch smart door lock with Wi-Fi support and fingerprints scanner (https://www.kwikset.com/halo-touch).

A great number of smart devices presented at CES 2020 will be used for office automation, starting with smart touch switches, all the way to wireless chargers for smart devices.

10. AI-Driven Smart Energy

A connected smart home not only makes smart device management a breeze, but also helps to reduce energy consumption. For example, there is no need to heat the house if there’s no one present. With the help of a connected thermostat and smartphone app, the owner of the house can create optimal scenarios or leave it to an AI-powered service which analyzes user’s habits and behavior patterns and can offer the most energy-efficient temperature control scenes without any impact on comfort. Lighting and other variables can also be controlled automatically in a similar way.

The use of AI makes smart home solutions more intelligent. Moreover, the geolocation capabilities of smartphones allow, for example, for the AI to prepare a certain scenario (temp, lights, coffee, music, etc.) when the user is commuting home.

DSR Corporation is participating in Wondrwall intelligent living project(http://en.dsr-corporation.com/news?id=630). Different temperature modes have already been implemented, and in the nearest future users will be able to connect solar panels and automatically buy and sell energy for the most competitive prices.

8 Revolutionary Real-World Blockchain Use Cases

The origin of Blockchain can be traced back to the 90’s, ancient for the world of IT, but the technology only recently gained traction due to the success of Bitcoin. However, a few unique advantages of blockchain make it perfectly suitable for use outside of the crypto- world. In this article, DSR answers the questions: Why is blockchain is so popular nowadays? Which industries are already being impacted by blockchain? Where are we headed with blockchain in the future?

Blockchain’s unique advantages have allowed it to step into industries and areas of life such as banking, supply chain management, refugee registration, digital identity and citizenship, healthcare, land and (intellectual) property registration, and even video games. The technology is security, private, and transparency oriented.

The following are the key benefits of blockchain that make it a unique, emerging technology:
Distributed. The blockchain is a P2P network with equal nodes.
Decentralization. The technology doesn’t rely on any central point of control. Therefore, a blockchain system is reliable, verifiable, and secure from third party tampering.
Consensual. Consensus protocols create agreement between nodes, generating irrefutable and verifiable receipts
Immutability. Information stored on the blockchain is immune to most manipulation and fraud. Guaranteed by hash anchoring and Merkle trees, the blockchain provides a verifiable history of all transactions.

The explosion of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies made the technology more mature and robust. Many of its initial drawbacks were eliminated: consensus protocols have become much more effective, performance is improved (as a pioneer, Bitcoin’s blockchain processes just 4.6 transactions per second, versus Visa’s 1,700 transactions per second), and vulnerabilities to the new types of attacks were identified and fixed.

These key, proven advantages makes blockchain a must for various real-world applications where security, transparency, and fraud protection are paramount.

Smart contracts

If we take a look at any information system, we can identify two main components: data or the information itself, and the way it is managed. In the case of cryptocurrency, the data is the amount of currency on a user’s account, and smart contracts are the way we manage and verify that data. Basic smart contracts (SC) can be found in Bitcoin, where a stack-oriented programming language is used. The concept of smart contracts was initially introduced in 1994 by Nick Szabo, a famous cryptographer, legal scholar, and computer scientist. Szabo’s revolutionary idea finally came to life with the appearance of blockchain.

Smart contracts allow for the creation of various data storage and processing systems based on the decentralized blockchain. All of the operations performed on data are defined by mathematical rules.

Key advantages of blockchain-based smart contracts:
• No server failures, intrinsic to the system’s decentralized nature.
• No censorship or threats of data manipulation/stealing.

With the help of SCs on the blockchain, we can create reliable and secured registers for everything; from the storage of intellectual property, to CryptoKitties (virtual, Etherium-based pets).

Digital identity

Identity management and security are a couple of the massive, crucial issues facing the web today. The global identity and access management market is going to reach a whopping $14.82 billion by 2021 according to KBV Research. Despite massive investment, traditional systems are still suffering from all sorts of vulnerabilities.

Blockchain holds the answer. Blockchain’s properties make it the backbone of Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) a secure, reliable system of digital identity management. SSI data cannot be forged by design, and its’ level of security exceeds any conventional identification system.

Below we’ll show some impressive examples of blockchain use in digital identity management systems as well as in the supply chain, healthcare, automotive, banking, property registration, and even state election industries.

8 Revolutionary Blockchain Use Cases

Hyperledger Indy

Hyperledger Indy is an open-source project and one of several, well-established distributed ledgers built exclusively for decentralized identity. It features some evident advantages such as robust interoperability, zero-knowledge proof security, and anonymous credentials support.

The following are potential use cases for Hyperledger Indy:
• Digitization and verification of documents such as driver’s licenses and passports
• Secure, password-less authentication (SPA). On-site authorization with biometric data (like fingerprint scan) via user’s mobile device
• Membership management
• Sophisticated spam filters
• Age or basic credential verification (for online purchasing access, etc.)
• Secure and intuitive document and digital file exchange (purchase orders, invoices, design schemes, etc.)
• Employment verification
• Supply-chain inventory tracking and provenance
• Trusted peer-to-peer communication

Hyperledger Indy provides libraries, necessary components, SDKs, and detailed documentation. The platform can be used to build secure systems based on SSI.

You can learn more information about Hyperledger Indy on the official website or in person by visiting nearest community event or meeting, such as the Hyperledger Bootcamp Moscow which DSR attended in October.

MyClinic, Medicalchain

Medicalchain uses blockchain to create secured, electronic clinical records, monitor patients’ treatments, and share lab tests and other relevant diagnostic data between countries with different legal systems.

This is a great example of securing sensitive information and ensuring interoperability in healthcare systems which differ significantly not only from one another, but also from conventional data storage systems.

Renault

This blockchain-based system was created in collaboration with Microsoft (Azure Blockchain) and Viseo. The Renault system is used to identify a car, track any road traffic accidents related to it, build original spare parts catalogues to fight counterfeit products, and track car maintenance and insurance history.

Barclays

With the help of the startup Wave, Barclays has created a Letter of Credit system based on blockchain. Barclays claims this is a faster, more secured, and easy-to-use way of executing global trade transactions. Trade documentation is handled on the Wave platform and funds sent via Swift.

The bank claims that this is first-ever case of a live trade transaction using blockchain technology.
Barclays is hoping to get other banks on board with supporting the Wave platform in order to improve trade documentation management.

The new blockchain-based system helps to speed up trade transactions, reduce cost for companies around the world, optimize internal processes for banks, and eliminate the risk of documentary fraud.

Cambridge blockchain, CULedger, Masterchain

The emergence of “know your customer” blockchain use cases is going to be a huge disruption in the financial world. Blockchain is being used to make it fast and easy to identify and verify customers.

CULedger, for instance, is a global, distributed ledger with based on self-sovereign, digital-identity, built to reduce cybersecurity and fraud risks, improve the member experience, and reduce costs. The initiative works via a consortium made up of credit unions and trusted industry investors.

In Russia, Masterchain is being utilized by some of the countries biggest banks. Masterchain is a blockchain-based “know your customer” project to establish a secure and fast way to identify clients and access their financial history, without disclosing any personal or sensitive information unless the customer gives their informed consent.

Banks and large corporations are actively seeking ways to use blockchain in their operational activities and they are working together to explore blockchain technology and its applications. One such example is Consortium R3, with more than 300 participants across a variety of industries.

TradeLens

TradeLens is a blockchain platform built by IBM and Maersk which ships freights all over the world. It is used to manage sophisticated supply chains and involves smart contracts. This system is already being deployed around the world.

The supply chain system involves regulatory authorities, international ports, shipping hubs, etc. Sensors installed on ships, trucks, and shipping hubs are used to track freights in real-time with the help of an IoT system view and other relevant data, including shipping container weights and temperatures inside.

The TradeLens blockchain platform and smart contracts are used to establish the fast and secure sharing of shipping data from a single source with different supply chain participants like a cargo receiver, customs controller, delivery company, freight terminal, and other involved parties.

Follow My Vote

This online voting solution utilizes blockchain to ensure transparency and battle fraudulent activities in the voting system. Follow my vote provides the ability to prove the accuracy of election results by mathematical methods. It uses a blind signature approach to eliminate the need for procedural security in traditional election systems.

Blockchain technology brings a variety of advantages to the online election solution:
Security. Ballots are securely stored and cannot be altered by any party.
Privacy. Sophisticated and independently tested cryptographic algorithms ensure the privacy of voters’ data.
Voter Intent Verification. A voter can verify they casted their vote as intended.
Transparency. Any voter or party can audit each registered ballot to verify the legitimacy of results and the credibility of elections.

Georgia Land Registry

This is the first-ever nationwide land-registry system. Built in collaboration with the government of Georgia and launched in 2016, more than 1.5 million land registry entries have been made so far.

Immutable by design, blockchain technology guarantees citizens’ records are safe and cannot be forged by any party.

The Exonum platform greatly increases the speed of the registration process (less than 3 minutes) and a timestamping feature ensures independent validation of the land property title deed using cryptographic proof (hash). published on the Bitcoin Blockchain. In case of any doubt, a citizen can prove their ownership by providing the timestamp.

Key blockchain platforms
• Hyperledger (Indy, Fabric, Sawtooth, Iroha)
• R3 Corda
• Exonum
• Tendermint
• Verify

There are even more exciting and revolutionary blockchain use cases coming in the near future like access control and management solutions. Stay tuned on DSR Corporation’s blog to read more insights into cutting-edge technologies of M2M, IoT, machine learning, computer vision and other IT industries.

Nordic Chooses DSR & Wins

Nordic Chooses DSR & Wins

DSR Corporation announces its partnership with Nordic Semiconductor. DSR’s ZBOSS 3.0 Zigbee 3.0 software stack is part of the Nordic offering for the multiprotocol nRF53840 SoC.  ZBOSS software was formally certificated by the Zigbee Alliance in September of 2018 as a Zigbee 3.0 compliant platform.

Satisfied Clients

“We are very satisfied with the choice of the Zigbee 3.0 solution vendor for our nRF52840 multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC),” says Nordic’s Pär Håkansson, Strategic Marketing Manager. “DSR Corporation has proven itself as a highly reliable partner, working closely with Nordic to make joint production quality software. We appreciate DSR’s professionalism, teamwork and extensive experience in software engineering and Zigbee to help us deliver a new solution to the market that will broaden Zigbee reach around the world.”

What`s Inside

nRF52840 is designed around an Arm® Cortex-M4 CPU with floating Point unit (FPU) and provides the ability to support complex and demanding applications as a single chip solution. Implementation of Zigbee in the nRF52840 SoC expands Nordic’s already broad portfolio of mesh networking solutions for smart home, industrial, and enterprise industry.

DSR’s ZBOSS 3.0 is a cross-platform, high-performance Zigbee 3.0 software protocol stack implementing Zigbee 3.0. ZBOSS 3.0 is highly interoperable and has been used as a Zigbee Pro compliant platform for several chipset solutions. ZBOSS 3.0 is a market-proven product that is used to provide interoperability between 200+ products at more than 40 companies.  ZBOSS 3.0 allows all devices roles and provides extensive support for various cluster libraries.  User-friendly, high-level APIs support fast creation of applications on a predictable budget.  Built with a fixed memory footprint, ZBOSS does not use dynamic memory allocation, which leads to predictable memory budgeting.  Lastly, an important stack feature is optimized power consumption: ZBOSS interrupt-driven I/O improves battery consumption and excludes polling. Additionally, ZBOSS utilizes low RAM capacity on the target device with a special technique in handling data structures.

Worldwide Acceptance

Following the launch of this product, we are happy to announce that Nordic’s advanced Bluetooth® 5/Thread 1.1/Zigbee PRO solution won “2018 Product of the Year”. The nRF52840 chip was named winner of the “RF/Microwave” category by Electronic Products Magazine, which has been an industry icon for more than 40 years. We are both excited for Nordic and honored that they selected us as a trusted technology partner.

Thoughts After CES 2019

CES 2019 at a Glance

Every year we make our way to CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas for the annual consumer electronics exhibition. Imagine over 4,500 vendors presenting new ideas and technological developments spread across an entire week — it really does give a whole new meaning to the city of lights. CES presents a great opportunity to meet like-minded individuals in similar fields, or different, helping catch new ideas, contacts, and ideas – it’s wonderful here.

The history of CES began over 52 years ago with organizers showing more progress each and every year. With the main theme being innovation and information technology, the width of coverage is vast:

  • Robotics,
  • Artificial Intelligence,
  • Three-dimensional Printing,
  • Design,
  • Drones,
  • Sport Technologies,
  • Smart Home,
  • Family & Lifestyle,
  • Virtual Reality (VR),
  • Games,
  • Unmanned Vehicles,
  • Music,
  • Entertainment & Content,
  • Cryptocurrency,
  • Internet of Things (IoT),
  • and Machine Intelligence.

 

All About IoT

The beginning of the year confirmed that IoT is coming to the mass market.  Focus has shifted from smartphones to other smart devices — and manufactures are taking notice.  Improved air quality sensors, door positions, windows, just to provide a few quick examples.  There are even smart window systems being developed that can inform the home when a window is opened wider than an indicated gap, for example.

Consumers can now choose between a wide variety of smart devices and systems, putting real pressure on manufactures and companies to advance smart home ecosystems. But the problem doesn’t just end there. Consumers need a way to connect many different smart devices to a single system – easy management.  This is where Zigbee and other wireless technologies flex their strength; gateways with multiantenna and customization service suggestions come to the rescue.

Hi Computer, Talk to Me

Voice automation control becomes more the norm than the rarity.  It falls into many devices and almost everyone has them now. People want to have a voice assistant in their home, in the office, and in the car, like Jarvis from Iron Man. Project recipes from the Internet to the kitchen door by voice request?  Yes, please!  Yet, even Alexa from Amazon or Google-assistant do not always suit as a compromising option.  Artificial intelligence is poised to grow wiser and communicate with people better and faster.  Companies that once winced at the idea of software in their products are now flocking to CES.  For example, Procter and Gamble – L’Oreal, are developing mirrors that can look at your face to determine if your skin needs support or treatment.  Maybe just a care cream?  Cameras take pictures of the users face and follow changes of the face in real time.  Maybe they’ll even notice skin cancer in due time.

It is interesting that companies that are seemingly far from “software” come into the sphere of technology.  These companies expand the development zone to such wide branches like automation for pets, children, sleep, and beauty.  There are even smart leashes and collars!  People even get interested in buying devices that can distribute pleasant smells throughout their homes.  And what if you could connect a device that could command three-dimensional TV? Cars? Batteries? Spotify on your steering wheel?  The ideas and possibilities are endless.

Robotics help businesses change their models.  It is especially gratifying that companies competing in the past are starting to cooperate.  To denote such activity, the new term ‘coopetition’ has appeared.  ‘Coopetition’ should bring even greater breakthroughs in overall development.  Teamwork gives rise to new achievements.  SDKs help bring the product to market.  Quick starts are real.

Meet & Talk

DSR had a lot of productive meetings with existing and prospective clients and it was the most successful CES to date. DSR was also a proud  sponsor of the Zigbee Alliance Social – an invitation only event that was a great opportunity to bring all of the members together in one location and celebrate Zigbee successes from 2018. During this event, Zigbee Alliance announced several of the new developments and expansions of the standard and also unveil the location of the next member meeting. The atmosphere for the event was very warm and inviting and perfect for conversations and celebration.

In Closing

Here are seven key CES 2019 takeaways that caught our attention:

  • IoT is finally an emerging mass market (and the data it gathers has lots of financial implications)
  • Amazon and Google are in “hand-to-hand combat” driving voice technology into the Smart Home and beyond
  • 5G, NB-IOT and Cat-M1 are expanding battery-powered WAN connectivity in amazing ways
  • Drones—from airborne to underwater to John Deere—are becoming platforms
  • Robotics are creating business change
  • Artificial Intelligence is getting smarter
  • “Coopetition” is happening in lots of places

IoT is moving capabilities out of smart phones and into different smart things. People want their homes, cars and offices to have a voice like Jarvis (see the Ironman movie franchise). And not everyone wants Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant as the go-between. Battery-powered WAN connectivity in a variety of speeds is making the cloud easier by “losing the gateway.” Drones and robotics platforms are giving new capabilities to businesses and consumers. Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) is changing the way products and services interact with humans. And if Apple and Samsung are teaming up, is it time to evaluate how “coopetition” might help your 2019 business goals?