With the most recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) coming to an end in Las Vegas recently we can take a quick look at some of the latest presentations.  The CES is the largest electronics trade show. It points us towards the next tech trends that may become the norm in our homes in months or years to come. No new revolutionary presentations, maybe, but some of the announcements made showed just how far we have come in the tech world.

Artificial intelligence, (AI) machine learning, smart cities using the Internet of things, health tech and 5G were just some of the areas covered.

The CES is not really the place to announce the latest computers or smartphones but more a showcase for future technologies.

There is a huge buzz globally about AI, so it is no surprise that it was dominating conversation at the CES. This technology will bring an advance in smart cities, with everything from our devices to our cars becoming more intelligent and automated.

AI and machine learning is allowing devices to think for themselves and adapting to environments they were not specifically programmed for.  Digital assistants are great examples of this, and are implemented into many everyday objects

Everyone is talking about machine learning but what is it? In the war between Google and Amazon, it appears that Alexa has won the first battle as more and more devices were integrating Amazon’s assistant. Light bulbs, speakers, vacuum cleaners, surveillance systems, coffee machines, you name it. And Google was not far behind this competition. Apple however, arrive a little late with their HomePod,  which will be launched on 9th February. For now, Amazon dominates the market, and the figures confirm it. According to Strategy Analytics, an audit firm, 68% of connected speakers sold last year are compatible with Alexa.

As AI develops, devices will require faster bandwidths as more smart features are implemented. The next generation of devices will need huge amounts of transmitted data and a lot of simultaneous connections.  They will need to consume less power and be more efficient. Autonomous cars, for example, will have to communicate in real time to avoid accidents.

This is where 5G comes in. For many high tech companies the thought of having 5G everywhere is heaven. Now it is becoming a reality. It has been reported that the first large scale deployments of 5G will begin in 2020.  5G will be 10 to 20 times faster than 4G. Some mobile operators such as the South Korean operator KT and the US AT&T were on hand to reveal their progress in infrastructure development.   KT are hoping to deploy the 5G network in some areas this month in order to prepare for the 2018 Winter Olympics. AT&T have announced that they hope to deploy 5G networks in several US cities by the end of 2018

Health was a topic that also played an important role at CES. Technologies are constantly developing to help improve care. Virtual reality, for example, could be helpful for training and preparation procedures before surgeries, and we are seeing developments of digital applications to help connect patients and healthcare professionals.

Smart cities and cars also played a large role at CES giving us a taste of the future of mobility.  Big car manufacturers, Kia, Hyundai, Ford and Nissan to name a few, along with pioneering tech companies such as Goggle, Qualcomm, Nvidia, etc., presented their visions of the future. In cities of the future where everyday objects will be connected and able to communicate, cars will be autonomous and most likely electric.

No one is certain what future smart cities will look like but according to some analysts’ predictions, 88 cities will be considered smart cities by 2025 with interconnecting networks using the Internet of Things.