Consumer Electronics have made their way into cars for decades but this year things are getting different as the cars are adapting mobile operating systems like android and IOS to the vehicles for more than just entertainment. We will now be able to operate the vehicle with these devices controlling things like the climate and the different camera views currently. Functionality will spread quickly, as we will see next week at the Detroit Auto Show, I am sure. Expect to be able to do much more with android and ios in the car than just GPS. The Tesla has a large 11" tablet in the dash and more are coming.
We saw some new 2 wheeled vehicles for the IOS system mostly that looked like this (and several variations) but seemed useless for anything but a single level room or office the only one with a defined purpose was medical and allowed the doctor to do rounds remotely. Siri on Wheels!
Many of the manufacturers found themselves with a CES booth the week before Detroit's huge auto show and inviting the tech bloggers to continue on the the auto show after CES
Most of the better tech outlets will have auto show representation and some will even do shows from there.
Ford is going further at CES
While many were taking pictures of the Hybrid racing beast there also were quite a few taking advantage of the little SUV shaped USB drive Audi gave to many of us. The white light everywhere made this a very hard shot.
Today we saw that the infiltration of technology into automobiles has reached the point where it reaches the consumer level. Prior to this time electronics were in cars mostly to help the engine run better and to give more stability and control to the drivers standard controls. These days the functions of in-car electronics are more accessible to the consumer and finally they are helping us control facets of the vehicle and its environment. They are providing less static and more dynamic real-time feedback or displays providing the driver with more information and therefore and better experience overall. Out with the "idiot lights" and in with the touchscreen data display to visually inform you.
I can imagine a few advances you will see in the near future from shows like these. If you take the Vuzix future product which is an eyeglass peripheral for your smart phone and build it into the windshield as a Heads Up Display linking all of your apps and mapping on your phone to your car as a control and viewing platform we would have a really cool way to interface with our data while driving. Adding an augmented reality layer can give us driving vacations that are not boring drives to the destination, but rather an informative educational background on the location as you drive and letting you know when to look or stop on the way to see the important sights you may pass by otherwise. For now we are driving the vehicle ourselves so this limits out ability to utilize some forms of mobile computing in the car. In the future when we are all in self-driving cars then the whole trend will have even more context in our daily lives. Bottom line we will see many more consumer and safety products in our vehicles going forward. Expect the north hall of CES to become more of a car show every year for a while as well.
Friday was also a day to see things other than cars like Nikon's camera display
One other theme I have not touched on this week was the immense amount of waterfalls and aquariums sporting waterproofing for devices.
They all seem to work and many of the ideas like a glorified Ziploc bag are old school while many are new polymer technology...
One final thought for the last day of CES concerns a common question to me this week from my friends.
Where are the videos of all the cool new toys???
I did not take video this trip like last year.
If you want to see videos of many of the devices I saw in person then head over to MobileGeeks where Nicole Scott, Sascha Pallenberg, Carsten Drees and the whole MobileGeeks team made over 100 videos last week. Nicole will show you all the coolest things and give you a hands on look in most cases. Just head over to www.mobilegeeks.com or the German edition www.mobilegeeks.de. This was their first CES as a team and a site and they kicked butt all week long. Judge for your self, but I think these guys are on their way up as a resource for mobile device news and information year round. It looks like Ford and Intel agree as they are sponsors for the site along with a host of other household names in tech.