LAS VEGAS — Voice, connectivity and AI took center stage at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. If this year’s CES is any indication, these three building blocks will compose the holy trinity of consumer electronics devices that will drive the market in 2018 and further into the future.
Voice assistants are now poised to move into wearables, headphones, baby monitors, lamps, TV remotes and vehicles. Paul Beckmann, founder and chief technology officer of DSP Concepts, told EE Times, “We are witnessing a Cambrian explosion around voice.”
At CES, Baidu, known as “China’s Google,” shouted out most loudly for voice by unveiling and opening to developers its Duer OS-based platform. Neither its voice-enabled lamp, ceiling-mounted projector nor screen need Alexa or Google Assist. A growing number of vendors are gravitating toward voice, as Baidu loves to say, at “China speed.”
Connectivity in consumer devices is already a given. The next necessity is the ability to “mix and match” different wireless networks, stressed Silicon Labs CEO Tyson Tuttle. Casually slapping onto IoT devices a connectivity chip originally designed for smartphones will no longer suffice, he explained. Systems need dynamic multi-protocol software and the ability to time-slice different wireless networks.
While AI dominates attention as a key enabler for highly automated vehicles, Gideon Wertheizer, CEO of Ceva, told us, “I see AI getting out of the fantasy world.” Vendors are now trying to “set up parameters to use AI to solve specific problems in a random environment,” he explained.