The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show is scheduled to take place January 5th-8th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hosted by the Consumer Technology Association, the conference is an annual opportunity for entrepreneurs, businessmen and gadget aficionados to experience firsthand what innovation in action looks like.

To say this is one of the most anticipated events of the year would be an understatement. Last year, the event was attended by over 177,000 people (almost the entire population of Salt Lake City, Utah; Tallahassee, Florida; or Tempe, Arizona). It’s big.

Exciting. Forward Looking. This event is a glimpse into what the future holds and how technology is going to make our lives better, healthier, more convenient and more engaging.

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To honor this annual event, Y Media Labs reached out to some of the executives who will be launching new consumer electronics products at the CES. Rather than focusing exclusively on the products these companies are about to launch, we wanted to learn more about the technologies they expect will have the biggest impact on their business, and what they believe will be the biggest and most exciting announcement at this year’s conference.

Just as the CES show will lay the path to an exciting 2017 year from a consumer electronics point of view, we hope this article will, more broadly, provide a bird’s-eye view on what’s to come from a technological perspective next year. In particular, we were interested in learning about the latest innovations in healthcare tech, Internet of Things and virtual reality.

Let’s start, shall we?

Leo Griffin

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Linkedin Profile: Leo Griffin Product/ Website: Activ5

The Big Idea:  Fitness gamification

Technological advancements in 2017 will help busy people take care of their health and body through quick, on-the-fly exercises, games and incentives.

85% of Americans want to get more exercise, but most of them can’t find the time to visit a gym regularly. In 2017, we expect to see more devices – just like the Activ5 – that bio-engage with users, actively persuading them to exercise. This is a departure from current-model fitness trackers that provide data about exercises that they’ve performed. The future belongs to consumer devices that can actually act as smart health assistants that convince people to engage, in short sprints, in physical activities that will improve their health and lifestyle. Starting with Activ5, Activbody has a roadmap of wearable devices geared toward empowering short burst-style workouts throughout the day, every day.

Predictions regarding the most exciting announcement at CES 2017: I expect to see a lot of exciting announcements in multiple areas of Automotive Innovation – including drivetrain and energy source, sensing and self-driving artificial intelligence optimizations.   Uber and Zipcar have begun to make it cheaper and more convenient for some people to rent versus to own a car. As vehicles become self driving and can deliver themselves to you or drive someone else while you’re not using them, owning a car may no longer be the norm. Car companies will need to navigate from being providers of a product to providers of a service.

Michael J. Thomas

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Linkedin: Michael J. Thomas Company/ Product: Regear Lice Sciences, Inc  

The Big Idea: Smart treatments

The time has come to develop smart algorithms that will allow tech companies to build affordable devices to diagnose and help treat medical conditions effectively, which will then improve the lives of tens of millions of patients across the US.

We are really excited about the convergence of various forms of artificial intelligence with medical-grade technologies (e.g.,  medical devices, diagnostics).  We are looking forward to the day when we can see FDA-cleared, software-based services that provide direct-to-consumer access to robust algorithms for diagnostic capabilities and therapeutic solutions.

With existing and emerging technologies, we believe these medical aid tools and gadgets will come up at a fraction of the costs of many prescribed diagnostic tests and treatments currently available. Specifically for my company, I believe artificial intelligence will enable us to provide personalized medicine solutions to the masses. We are building scalable but individualized customizations as part of our products, which allow for risk prediction, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of therapy effectiveness over time.

Predictions regarding the most exciting announcement at CES 2017: Artificial intelligence-enabled devices that are FDA cleared for over-the-counter use, which will usher in a new age of lower cost, higher quality healthcare. I cannot stress how important this is  to all of us as healthcare coverage premiums continue to become more and more expensive, year over year.

John  Lynn

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Linkedin: John Lynn Company/ Product: Health Care Scene

The Big Idea: Consumer healthcare revolution

The next few years will play a critical role in democratizing the healthcare industry through automated, connected devices that will help customers make better and more informed decisions about their lifestyle.

The consumer health revolution is going to have an enormous societal impact.  Consumer health devices are going to play a pivotal role in the consumer health revolution, as they will empower consumers with more information about their health and wellness than their doctor.  This shift in power is going to rock healthcare to its core. Just in the last two years we have seen a significant surge in new health sensors launched to market.  There are now sensors measuring the activity and performance of pretty much every part of the body, including skin,  motion, sweat, blood, eye, visual brain waves, blood flow and spit sensors. None of these have been breakout hits yet, but that’s largely because they’re trying to really measure something that’s clinically relevant versus creating a consumer toy. The challenge in the next few years would be to leverage the data collected by these sensors to create health trackers and health recommendations that are appealing and relevant to the public.

Predictions regarding the most exciting announcement at CES 2017: I predict the biggest announcements at CES will be around autonomous drones.   While drones are interesting, I believe the intelligence is there now for autonomous drones to become a reality and I think we’ll see a number of announcements in this regard at CES 2017.

Jon Weston

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LinkedIn Profile: Jon Weston Product/Website: LumiWave

The Big Idea: Smart sensors will help consumers treat their medical conditions

We are excited about the latest innovations in the healthcare system that will really help consumers cope with and treat their medical conditions.

Improvements in sensors and medical diagnostic technologies for consumers will have a big impact on our business. Our R&D program is aimed at demonstrating the ability of the LumiWave near-infrared light therapy to accelerate tissue healing throughout the body. Wearable sensors, made widely available, will allow people to quickly zero in on the source of their pain and will help them understand how to apply the LumiWave to treat the underlying condition. Inexpensive and easily available diagnostic tests for concussion, for example, will have a big impact. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, some 85% of the 3.8 million sports-related concussions go undiagnosed. And that does not include non-sport concussions from car accidents and falls. Our research program is demonstrating the effectiveness of near-infrared therapy to actually heal concussions. A consumer diagnostic as easy to use as commonly available home pregnancy tests or drug tests will direct people to treatment and help them monitor progress of treatment.

Predictions regarding the most exciting announcement at CES 2017: As Yogi Berra said, “Prediction is hard; especially when it is about the future.” I expect there will be some groundbreaking advances in electric car technologies that will drive them more into the mainstream market for average consumers. This may be in the form of better and more efficient battery technology or smarter operating systems for the cars.

Sherry Liu

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Linkedin profile: Sherry Liu Product / Website: Easy Home

The Big Idea: More, cooler, better Internet of Things innovations

Innovations in bluetooth smart devices will redefine how consumers monitor their health and well being.

The technology that will have the biggest impact on our business is definitely IoT, specifically Bluetooth smart devices. With Bluetooth smart devices becoming more commonplace in the home, consumers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of using a Bluetooth smart device to monitor their health instead of having to rely on medical professionals.

After the successful launch of our Bluetooth body fat smart scale two years ago, we’ve decided to launch a new smart Bluetooth fertility tracker for women with an accompanying app. It intelligently predicts a woman’s fertility cycle based on her basal body temperature and gets more accurate over time. It does this with a state-of-the-art algorithm which compares an individual’s data to a large set of women’s fertility cycle data.

This technology hasn’t been available on the market yet, and the demand from women trying to conceive or avoid unwanted pregnancies is huge. We believe it’ll be a market leader and that because of its ease of use our customers will continue to use it every time they try to conceive.

Predictions regarding the most exciting announcement at the 2017 CES. From what I can gather, it seems like a lot of traditional car manufacturers like BMW or Toyota may be debuting some form of electric or self-driving car. It just seems as if this year’s CES will be a great time to reveal offerings that can compete with Tesla and other innovative automotive startups.

Jonathan Chaupin

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Linkedin profile:   Jonathan Chaupin Product / Website:  Agency 2.0

The Big Idea: Better, more personalized ads and digital experiences

Since the beginning of digital advertisements, the challenge has always been to connect the right customer with the right ad. To connect customers with the desired product. The digital advertising space is changing, allowing companies to serve the best ads to the best audience.

Companies like Facebook and Google make a tremendous amount of revenue from paid digital advertising and are innovating their platforms to make the experience better for users. With our company’s growth and audience data acquisition, we’re getting smarter and more efficient as a company to serve ads to specific audiences that will most likely click on our ads or be interested in our messaging. As these companies build more tools for marketers, our costs will get lower and our performance will be enhanced.

Predictions regarding the most exciting announcement at CES 2017: It’s tough to say as rumors start to bubble just days or hours before CES begins. For me, I’m always excited what Sony, Samsung, LG, and others have to reveal at CES. In addition, with the release of Google’s Home, a competitor to Amazon’s Echo, I’m anxious to see Facebook’s new smart home device.  We’ll see if it’s ready in time…

Micha Risling

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Linkedin profile: Micha Risling Product / Website: Valens

The Big Idea: Smart solutions for smart cars

In an increasingly interconnected world, autonomous cars are the natural progression towards a new and exciting driving experience. But whereas the cars themselves are getting smarter and smarter every year, the in-car experience is still falling short of other innovations. Until now!

As autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) make huge strides, it is imperative that suppliers and OEMs find a solution that can support several high-throughput video and data streams simultaneously while advancing the quality and performance of in-vehicle technology. HDBaseT, powered by Valens, is the only in-vehicle connectivity solution that provides a combination of high-bandwidth, top-performance and feature-rich capabilities in a simple, cost-effective package. Our system can process and transfer uncompressed video feeds between important sensors in a vehicle, meaning more sophisticated, robust autonomous driving capabilities can be developed and brought to life with our technology.

Predictions regarding the most exciting announcement at CES 2017: We don’t like to speculate, but we do expect to see some exciting announcements about in-vehicle technology and autonomous driving. We also heard a rumor that the HDBaseT Alliance will be exhibiting two demo systems developed with top automotive OEMs and suppliers and we think that will be big news at the event.

Lisa Furuland

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Linkedin: Lisa Furuland Product / Website: DockATot

The Big Idea: More, cooler, better Internet of Things innovations

The Internet of Things industry will continue to thrive and launch creative solutions to real-life problems consumers did not even know they needed a solution for.

Solar Power is great energy source for IoT devices. We are preparing high efficiency premium solar modules for the IoT devices. With the explosive growth of the IoT market, solar modules will be used very casually in near future.

Predictions regarding the most exciting announcement at CES 2017: If we had to guess what the biggest announcement would be at CES, we’d probably say new advancements in self-driving cars. That seems to be where the industry is heading thanks to companies like Tesla. It’s pretty amazing to sit back and think what technology meant 40-50 years ago and what it means today. Think about it: back then, there weren’t color TVs  and now we’re talking about cars that literally drive themselves.

Nimish Adhvaryu

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Linkedin profile: Nimish Adhvaryu Product / Website: Occly

Big idea: Personal safety devices will help keep us protected and feel confident.

The advancement in MEMS and sensor fusion will likely be the largest impact to our business (safety wearable technologies). The advancement in nanotech has helped make these sensors smaller, but the new wave of sensors will incorporate cognitive computing technologies, including voice and content recognition as well as optical electromagnetic functions that gather input from the human nervous system. Incorporating these capabilities into our solution is something our technology team is heavily invested in.

Occly™  is a wearable personal safety device, specifically designed as a deterrent, that can be worn on the body or clipped to an accessory. Connected via Bluetooth, it’s capable of recording nearly 360° of video and audio, and in the case of an emergency will send an alert to our alarm monitoring center. It features a panic button, 4-way camera, alarm system, 24 hour monitoring, crowdsourced security features, Bluetooth connectivity, LED area lighting, location-based crime data, customizable user preferences and more.

Predictions regarding the most exciting announcement at CES 2017: I’m excited about this year’s CES, and anticipate several big announcements. Technology advancement in the connected car space will be big this year. I believe AI and predictive analytics will play a large role in automation advancement in the automotive space. Companies like Nvidia, Tesla, or Faraday have declined to make any significant announcements at the 2016 show, so it will be interesting to see what they have in store in January. In addition, I anticipate the likes of Samsung, Sony, and LG to be introducing the latest in television screen technology, including 8k rez and HDR.

Andre Bouwer

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LinkedIn Profile: Andre Bouwer Website: Analogix Semiconductor Inc.

The Big Idea: Virtual reality is here to stay

The overall increase in video resolutions driving the need for DisplayPort transmitters and receivers will have the biggest impact on our business. Legacy video interfaces such as HDMI and others are no longer meeting the needs of devices in consumer and corporate environments. Smartphones and tablets are moving to UHD/4K. TVs are moving to FUHD/8K and High-Dynamic Range (HDR). VR requires resolutions and color performance that go beyond this. Only DisplayPort has the ability to give users of mobile devices, TVs, monitors, and VR headsets the resolutions they want going forward. Analogix offers a wide range of video transmitter and receiver IP cores supporting DisplayPort, HDMI, MIPI standards, as well as comprehensive USB-C Power Delivery/Port Controller, VESA Display Stream Compression (DSC), and Video DRM security solutions.  Compatible with a variety of silicon geometries and processes down to 16nm FinFet, our IP are used in over 1 billion system-on-chip (SoC) products in mobile, consumer, and computing applications.

Predictions regarding the most exciting announcement at CES 2017: The biggest announcement at CES 2017 will be the next generation of VR headsets from companies like Vive, Oculus, Samsung, Sony and others.

David McCall

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Linkedin Profile: David McCall Website: Open Connectivity Foundation

The Big Idea: Smart assistants are the future

Chatbot technologies are powering smart assistants, paving the way for better, more connected instant answers to people’s daily questions.

Intelligent personal assistants – Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri and all their competitors and associated services thrive on the flood of data, and opportunities for automated control, that the Internet of Things delivers. But to reach their full potential they need standard ways to interact with IoT devices…which is exactly what OCF delivers.

Predictions regarding the most exciting announcement at CES 2017: With the largest tech companies now making their big announcements at dedicated events rather than CES or other trade shows, it’s hard to see any single announcement dominating the conference. But CES still provides an excellent indicator for what technology areas will shine the brightest during the coming year. Over the last couple of years at CES it’s been smaller, more innovative companies with booths at the Sands Expo that have grabbed the most attention.

Summary

As we see from these 11 examples of creative electronics that are hitting the shelves in 2017, the future is really bright for all of us as consumers and for the tech industry overall.

In particular, we are really excited (and impressed!) to see true innovation in the healthcare space where smart sensors, smart treatment options and proactive diagnostics stand to improve our quality of life and overall longevity.

Fertility trackers and smart scales are also likely to improve our image of ourselves and taking care of our bodies. Improvements in the virtual reality space, even the ones we don’t often pay attention to (like HDMI ports and VR sensors), are going to define a better and more engaging overall experience in our vehicles and at home.