Ben Kempster, Head of Direct Sales, TalkTalk Business
The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is always an exciting time for technology lovers. The global consumer electronics and tech tradeshow takes place every January in Las Vegas, and is a great way to find out about the latest gadgets and tech entering the market.
While primarily a consumer-focused show, businesses should also keep an eye on what happens at trade shows like CES, as the announcements could have profound effects on future IT.
So, what are the key trends from this year’s CES that your business should be aware of and start early preparations for?
1. Voice assistants will be your new recruits
At CES this year voice assistants were everywhere. Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant has proven to be a hit, with Home, Google’s competing offering, not far behind. As a result, tech companies are increasingly launching exciting new services that integrate with products like Alexa.
As we all get used to the idea of dictating to personal assistants instead of being tied to keyboards, businesses will look to benefit from installing voice controlled assistants in our offices. Particularly for small businesses, voice assistants can pick up simple, yet time consuming jobs and let employees get on with more important tasks.
2. The Internet of Things will continue to expand
The range of devices on show at CES expands every year as more and more products which connect with other devices are launched, while the cost of doing so continues to decrease. For example, you can now start pre-heating your oven while still on your commute home.
Looking to the business world, particularly manufacturing and logistics, connected machines can improve efficiency – for example, by alerting when parts need to be replaced. Better interaction across the production line, from raw material shipment to final delivery, can mean that less time and fewer resources are wasted. The wider business applications of IoT are only just beginning to be explored, and a robust network will be crucial to ensuring future success.
3. Virtual Reality is now a reality
The steady march of virtual reality (VR) continued at this year’s CES, and the technology is now well and truly in the hands of consumers. Oculus and Playstation VR have given the general public an idea of the remarkable experience high quality VR can deliver.
As we get used to operating in VR, consumers may begin to expect the technology in their workplaces – such as the possibility that VR could replace video conferencing to create a more efficient and immersive way of connecting global teams and remote workers. The technology may be in its infancy, but the bandwidth demands it will put on your business’ network could be huge, so organisations need to prepare as early as possible.
CES is a fantastic opportunity for both consumers and businesses to get an early look at the future and start thinking about how new technologies will be useful to us. Businesses should consider future working practices now so that we can be at the forefront of adopting the most exciting new technologies and get ahead of the competition.