Everything is getting smarter. We’ll have smart cars, smart homes, smart drones and even smart pets. If you spent any time on the floor at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year, you saw how incredibly smart the consumer electronics industry predicts our lives will become.
"The Internet of things is really starting to integrate into all life experiences, it's such a cool time," said Comcast Cable Chief Network Officer John Schanz, who oversees national engineering for the network infrastructure that will support many of the connected gizmos that debuted at this year’s show.
WiFi is the glue that connects our new Jetson world to everything that the consumer electronics industry dares to dream up. Comcast loves WiFi because it gives these gadgets a platform to communicate. The CES floor was buzzing with flying drones, some insanely cool wearables, health monitoring devices and just about every connected consumer appliance you could imagine (and even some you couldn’t).
Here are a few highlights from the CES hotlist:
Intel unveiled fitness gadgets at their 'Experience Booth' at CES 2015.
Wearables and Health – From watches to health sensors to dog tags, wearables are even hotter this year. "Wearables continue to proliferate, now there is even a smart belt that knows when you are gaining weight as well as a UV bracelet that tells you that you are getting too much sun," said Tony Werner, Chief Technology Officer for Comcast Cable. He’s referring to Belty, the smart belt that not only tracks your movements, but also automatically expands and contracts based on your waistline, and the Netatmo June smart bracelet, designed to help us maintain beautiful skin.
LG Electronics introduced their new TWIN Wash System. (Photo: AP Images)
Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Home – Absolutely everything will be connected – even your washing machine. LG, Samsung and Whirlpool each announced WiFi enabled washing machines. For the kitchen, Bosch introduced a smart oven with a sensor that will let you know when your cake is done – just imagine if you’re also wearing Belty when you dig into that cake.
Cobra Electronics used this display to promote their SPX 7800BT, the world’s smallest radar detector that offers more than double the detection range and performance of previous models.
Smart Cars – Move over KITT … cars are getting smarter and some can even drive themselves. Ford, Audi, Mercedes and Chevrolet had some amazing connected car displays. Apple’s CarPlay is very cool … it auto-syncs iPhone contacts, maps, directions with a simple voice activated display.
Drones, Games and Virtual Reality – Amazing stuff. The videos above speak for themselves.
Polaroid unveiled an assortment of new products, including a tablet, printer and WiFi camera.
Devices – We were thrilled when everything moved to the cloud, but now devices are back … and they’re back in a big way. IoT is all about devices, and who in the consumer electronics industry doesn’t love a new gadget? Polaroid has even reinvented itself with some very cool GoPro-like products with great style.
In order to deliver the many layers of connectivity needed to support this world of tomorrow, Comcast has built the nation’s largest WiFi network that now includes eight million hotspots. On Jan. 7 at a CES keynote panel, Neil Smit, CEO of Comcast Cable, said that our Xfinity WiFi users consume 2.3 GB of data on our WiFi network out of the home … that’s more than the average cellular customer uses per month (2 GB).
"Billions of new devices connecting means more complexity in everyone supporting their own home network, the need for more tools to manage your devices and the need for faster speeds and connection points," said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer, Comcast Cable. "We’re filling this by delivering the fastest broadband and WiFi and creating smart Internet tools that will help them manage their connected life."
Just as important is the work our engineers have done to create the fastest WiFi in the home. CISCO predicts there will be 10 billion connected devices by 2018. That’s huge. We know that in order for the Internet of Things to accelerate at this staggering pace, we need to give customers an unmatched WiFi experience wherever they go.
(Photos and Video: AP Images / Jenn Khoury for Comcast)