CES: Day One


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3D_printer.JPGA topic we expect to hear a lot about this week and, in fact, one that has the potential to totally change the way we manufacture many things is 3D printing. This is a topic that many of us have begun to follow with great interest. A few years ago, we saw the first small toys and simple plastic parts made using 3D printing, and last year we started to see some products made by 3D printing that were actually useful, including some simple circuit boards. This year at CES Unveiled there was a full-sized bicycle that was apparently totally made with 3D printing by Orbitrec. This technology seems to be accelerating exponentially.

How about a fuel cell-powered drone? This seemed to still be in the prototype phase, but I was told that the flight time could be in hours instead of 15 or 20 minutes. (More about the advance in drones later in the week.)

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There were many more devices: New dash cams, electronic hair brushes designed to help you regrow thinning hair, many connected home security offerings, a number of wearables, some very interesting, and a few that fall into the “Why?” category.

Augmented_Reality.JPGOne very impressive device is a virtual and augmented reality system by uSens, They were showing their advanced 3D hand and head tracking for augmented reality and virtual reality. The company’s 3D hand tracking technology replaces the need for peripheral device support (connected game controllers, cameras, and other input sensor devices) and recognizes, tracks and learns from hand, finger, and head movements in the real world. For example, using their demo unit, you could take a virtual moon walk. VR and AR are true game-changers in many areas, and uSens may be one of those companies that I speculated about last year, a firm that we had not heard much about, but could be a future leader in this emerging arena.

As with so much at CES, it was not possible to see everything at CES Unveiled in the time available, but as we have committed to continue automotive electronics it was time to head to the NVIDIA press event. NVIDIA has become a leading driver in self-driving car technology and we were told to expect a major announcement. We were not disappointed as NVIDIA today shifted its autonomous-driving leadership into high gear.

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