It’s always fun to see what new technology and products are introduced at the massive CES event, which is going on this week in Las Vegas. Although the show has a consumer focus, much of what comes out of it has or will have an impact on business. Here’s what we think are some of the most interesting CES announcements that are relevant to business.
Should I sit or should I stand? A lot has been made of the health risks associated with sitting for long periods of time. Ergonomic product designer Humanscale and connectivity product developer Tome jointly announced their OfficeIQ device. OfficeIQ sits on or under a work surface and gathers data on time spent sitting or standing, and it sends users alerts when they have sat too long. This could be an interesting value-add item for managed IT services providers or dealers who also sell ergonomic office furniture.
Virtual Reality (VR) is finally becoming real. Tech industry giants and new players made a slew of announcements around VR and its cousin merged reality. Press attending Intel’s news conference were treated to a virtual wingsuit flight over Utah. Dirac Research of Sweden showed its Dirac VR platform, which features innovations, which improves sound localization in a VR environment. Broadband provider Zyxel demonstrated the types of immersive experiences VR can provide to consumers.
This is significant for dealers who sell digital signage or offer web development or marketing services. In the not too distant future, clients will start asking for solutions built around VR, especially as 5G wireless services (see below) come online.
Flash drives get bigger. Kingston introduced what it claims to be the world’s largest USB flash drive at 2 terabytes: the DataTraveler Ultimate GT. This is enough to back up any PC and most small-business servers. Looks like a handy item for IT techs to have in their toolkits.
5G wireless services are coming faster than you might think. The 5G wireless technology is not just an incremental upgrade over 4G. It’s about 100 times faster. Think about what that means for businesses that deliver digital services or content or perform remote monitoring and repair. In a press release separate from CES, AT&T said it would test a 5G wireless service to deliver DirecTV Now in the Austin, Texas, area within six months. At CES, Nokia released a video to show what’s possible with 5G. Telecom leaders including Huawei, Sprint, Verizon, Samsung, LG, and ZTE Blackberry all made announcements regarding 5G.
What I want the most from CES: HP’s Envy 34 Curved AIO PC. You can never have too much screen real estate, and the Envy 34’s monitor has more going for it than just size. It’s curved, which makes for better viewing. It also uses an Ultra WGHD panel, which has about 40 percent more pixels than a full HD display. I also like its minimal desk footprint.