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Cars and Smart Speakers Are a Safe Bet at CES

These tech trends aren’t going away anytime soon

“The lessons from CES 2018 are more about the integration and interconnectivity of all this technology, powered by the ease of voice, and the growing brains of artificial intelligence,” Fred Jacobs wrote in a blog post summarizing his takeaways from CES 2018.

Connected vehicles (“there are more cars at CES than any other device”) and smart speakers were again buzzy trends, but the larger concepts of “smart cities” and other interactive technologies are emerging as real goals.

Jacobs writes that “cars have become a mega-attraction at CES.” However, it “was less about dashboard touchscreens, and more about the car as a portal,” and he noted that “billions are now being invested in projects, experiments, and initiatives that will change more than just dashboards”

Toyota once again brought its A game to Las Vegas, and Ford’s new chief exec Jim Hackett called Ford a “mobility company” and in his keynote said they are focused on a more expansive idea of what it will mean to go from Point A to Point B.

The Google Assistant was ranked by Buzz Radar as the sixth most “talked about brand” at CES, just behind car company Toyota and above NVIDIA. Jacobs noted that “every other position on the ranker is a company,” which made it a bit of a surprise, especially considering competitor Amazon Alexa’s head start and greater market penetration. And this doesn’t factor in Apple’s soon-to-be-released Homepod, which could shake up the voice assistant market the same way the iPhone changed the smartphone industry a decade ago, according to former CTA chief economist Shawn DuBravac.

Read the full entry here.