Greetings from Las Vegas!
This week is the Consumer Electronics Show, otherwise known as CES.
It’s the largest event of its kind. Over 170,000 people are expected to attend from all over the world to get a sneak peek at thousands the most innovative products and gadgets BEFORE they’re available to the public.
Just this week I took a test drive in a self-driving car down the Las Vegas Strip, experienced some of the best virtual reality equipment not even on the market and even played a robot in ping-pong — and lost!
But it wasn’t the niche products that lead me to Las Vegas — as these are usually too small to move the needle on a stock price.
Instead, I was on the search for the biggest trends in tech. And I think I’ve found them…
Tech Trend #1: Self-Driving Cars- It’s no secret that most of the world’s major technology companies have thrown their hats into the self-driving car race.
And all of the major players showed up this year to CES. Manufacturers like Ford, Honda, Toyota and Tesla all showed off their newest models while companies that are working hard to create the brains of the vehicles, like Aptiv, Intel, Nvidia and Autoliv, were also on full display.
But after years of parking lot prototypes and simulations, companies this year finally gave the consumers what they wanted — the beginning of the consumer testing phase.
In particular, Lyft and Aptiv partnered up to give CES attendees free rides in a self-driving BMW. And the experience was incredible.
I’ll have more on my ride in a self-driving car down Las Vegas Boulevard tomorrow. But for now, just know that the technology to put these cars on the road is largely there, and these companies weren’t afraid to show off what they’ve got under the hood.
Another major standout was the updated design of the self-driving cars. Whereas the original prototypes had large, clunky LiDAR sensors on top, the newer versions are much sleeker.
Here’s a pic of the car I took a ride in on Wednesday.
Stay tuned for more on my self-driving car experience.
Tech Trend #2: The Internet of Things (IoT)- This is an acronym you’ll be seeing more and more of in the future. The internet of things is described as the network of devices — like cars, appliances, electronics etc. — that are all connected and sharing data.
The expansion of this technology will allow consumers to be better connected with the goal of being more efficient.
Here at CES 2018, the connected home is a major trend on the showroom floors.
Headlining the field are the ever-popular Amazon Alexa and Google Home — which allow users to use voice commands to interact with a digital assistant to do things like play music, send messages and even place orders online.
But it’s the rise in home security that has ballooned this year. After rising to popularity with Ring, the camera-equipped doorbell, a whole host of additional home security companies have sprouted up.
One that stood out to me was Ooma — a publicly traded company which made the jump into smart home security systems with geofencing and facial recognition capabilities.
Tech Trend #3: Entertainment- Behind self-driving cars, this is probably the next most talked-about trend at CES 2018.
The entertainment field includes everything from TV’s and laptops to virtual reality (VR) headsets and augmented reality (AR) software.
The largest aspect of this trend that caught my eye was the rise in competition for Facebook’s once dominant Oculus headset. Just one single row of booths was home to a dozen different companies touting their hardware as the best on the market. The names include ThirdEye, MAD Gaze, Top Sky and Zeiss.
From an investment perspective, the AR and VR spaces look primed to surge after cooling down after the big “hype up” in 2016. Especially after consumers get their hands on some of the incredibly realistic games that I got to try out over the last few days.
Stay tuned to The Daily Edge for some concrete investment recommendations in the coming days.
Here’s to keeping your edge,