Tyler Suiters  0:11 

Hey, everybody. We're the Consumer Technology Association, I'm Tyler Suiters. We are the owners and producers of CES, the largest, the most influential tech event on the planet and not coincidentally, it is underway as we speak. The show runs through this Friday, January 11, here in Las Vegas. And we are helping you to be CES Ready all this week. From the show floor, we are bringing you media roundtables. These are conversations with the journalists who cover CES and many of whom have done so for years and years. And they're discussing how the show is framing the year ahead in technology. So today, a wrap up from day one and our media roundtable from the show floor of CES 2019.

 

Rachel Horn  1:00 

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to the first day of the CES 2019, we've made it to the afternoon. Your feet are probably already tired. We are excited to be here with you. I am Rachel Horn on the communications team at the Consumer Technology Association, we produce CES. So excited to be here with you guys. Today, I have three brilliant tech journalists to my left.

 

Right next to me, I have David Kender. He is with Reviewed.com, so if you're looking for products or comparing products, you should go to their website first. Next to him, we have Rachel Rothman from Good Housekeeping Hearst publications.  And in the end, Dieter Bohn from The Verge, they're an amazing source for CES coverage. So thank you guys for joining us.

 

Dieter Bohn  1:50 

Thank you.

 

Rachel Horn  1:52 

So let's start it off, you have like three hours times on the show floor. I want to know everything you've seen. What has delighted you?

 

David Kender  2:00 

I'm going to get this one out of the way because I've already been made fun of several times. But I think LG's rolling TV is still cool. It was cool when I saw it demoed a couple years ago, and then it was a little closer to reality and a little closer to reality saw this year, it's an actual thing. I felt like they could have just had like the SKU sticker on the back and it was ready for sale. And people are actually going to buy it this year. And they're way past the point where they're saying, they're way past focusing on the fact that it can roll they're like, yeah, yeah, I can roll but look at this other thing and can do, where we bring it down to like only 25% of the screen is popping out. And you can play music and make it an entertainment center.

 

Rachel Horn  2:51 

Is it display? Are we going to have smartphones that role?

 

David Kender  2:57 

Probably the one that they have now is just it's just a giant rolling TV.

 

Rachel Rothman  3:06 

I was over at Sands so a lot of the cool stuff that I saw was in the health and wellness arena. And particularly in the parenting and the baby sphere. I think it's a really exciting time. It's still in its nascence. But there's some really smart ideas and products coming to market to help around fertility, around tracking. And then once you have the baby, and it is the scariest time in your entire life. Some products that are designed to help make that time a little calmer, a little simpler, and take a little bit of the fear out of it. So that's a really exciting area for me here. And I have to say, I think once the LG price comes down a little bit more, I'll be a little bit more jazzed about it.

 

Dieter Bohn  3:50 

So we might actually have to fight because I think that the Samsung wall TV is to me personally a little more interesting in the rollable TV, because the idea of being able to, you know, modularize, TV, put it on a wall and just choose your size and fit the size of the TV to the size of the wall you want to just, it's like, it's like Sono speakers like you buy one. And like well, someday I'll be Richard and I'll be able to get to and put third one in another room. And so you can just like start with a small TV. And then when you get a raise, you just makeit a little bigger.

 

David Kender  4:24 

I agree. Super cool. But do you think it's actually going to work? I'm curious.

 

Dieter Bohn  4:31 

Yeah, we we've seen actually a bunch of like micro lead stuff. Coursera is they make like the, you know, gaming PC parts, they are really proud of themselves, because they bought it at 10 production line for making micro lead so your RAM could light up. Because that's an important thing to have is really, really, really tiny. And so there's something happening with micro LEDs that it is going to become legitimate. The question is, you know, when Samsung says you can go out and buy it, how much do they really mean that? And how long will it be until you could actually go out and really buy it? Because I think that saying there's real consumer availability this year. Technically, it's true. But in actuality, I think it's going to be a little bit longer and the role that TV is probably a little bit closer to being achievable for regular the server.

 

David Kender  5:24 

Well, my skepticism, hairs on the back of my neck went up when they said that the TV would have infinite resolution. And I thought well, that that's cool, because maybe you know if he's watching Star Wars, and I always kind of wanted to know, like, what's on the other side of the Millennium Falcon off camera, if I just keep adding? Will they be able to see like around the back?

 

Dieter Bohn  5:45 

I mean, the question is, can they like increased processing power like that? So that's always probably also our teams. Are you by smart TV? How long will it be good enough to be able to run the apps you want blah, blah, blah. But if the thing is modular in the first place, theoretically, you're one of the panels that whether it's CPU is and you'll just swap that one out.

 

Rachel Rothman  6:03 

Yeah, to that point, I say yes. It's just a matter of how long is it going to be this year? Probably not. Is it going to be a little longer for commercial availability? Yes. But is it going to happen? Yes, that's two yeses. It's happening.

 

Rachel Horn  6:16 

I am kind of amazed. But in this show, that is really a makeover TV. But it is so much more than TV, the two of the three main link first of the TV. I mean, that is probably what CDs, it's like no more right, historically. But there's so many other companies here non-traditional players that are on the show floor. So beyond the sort of traditional, what we think that there's tech, what have you seen that behavior is if you were

 

David Kender  6:43 

You were at Tech West, this one, I always there too, and it's crazy how much stuff is going on over there.

 

Rachel Rothman  6:48 

I love that there is a Tech West now that there's a Tech East now that they're there was such a demand for more space for all these companies. And we were talking before about Eureka Park all these hidden gems down there. And it continues to drone for those of you who haven't been there, its startup land, and you equated it to a science fair, which I think is the perfect equation for it. And that's a really exciting space. And there may not be 1,000 companies that you're going to find that are going to come to fruition, but there are definitely a handful in there that are super exciting.

 

David Kender  7:22 

That's way too many for me to cover.

 

Rachel Horn  7:25 

50 countries.

 

Dieter Bohn  7:31 

I guess the most interesting thing to me, P&G has a little gadget with a display and it can take your picture and like scan your skin. What age?

 

Rachel Rothman  7:43 

It gives you an age. We're not going to discuss my age.

 

Dieter Bohn  7:47 

But the better part about it wasn't the face scanning stuff. Because like I don't know, if I really trust that it was it had a system for logging what makeup you use. And you know, you could also keep notes and track like what the ingredients were. So that when you want to go buy some new skincare product comes out, you'll be able to look back at your history and be like, Oh, this is relatively similar to this thing I tried a year ago and it sucked. I'm not going to do this or it was great. So I'm going to try this new thing. Because it's you know, keeping a log book of you know, all of your beauty products that is huge pain and there's stuff

 

Rachel Rothman  8:19 

I like you're telling me this is a huge pain. Let me tell you it is a huge pain.

 

Dieter Bohn  8:25 

No, I was I was really impressed. I was like it's a real practical problem that like if you just pay a direct your tech in the direction of things that people actually have to worry about that you can sell something smart.

 

David Kender  8:36 

And I've seen that whole space, the beauty and makeup space getting smart. Just between last year and this year. I think last year maybe I saw we saw one product, was it Neutrogena?

 

Rachel Rothman  8:47 

I was making a baby last year.

 

David Kender  8:48 

Yeah, sorry, I'm not. That's what you were manufacturing. But now there's like seven or eight of those products. And similarly, you were talking about the smart babies stuff earlier. I remember when the temp track, little Band-Aid thing that you put on a baby, that was three years ago. And now there's about 25 companies at Tech West. And I'm trying to figure out, which one of these is actually going to be the best, because they're all just slight shades of variation from one to the other.

 

Rachel Rothman  9:19 

I think a lot of them are differentiating themselves with the user interface. And then also from a diagnostic perspective, what they're providing the user. So for me, it's not just knowing, okay, my child has a 98 degree fever, but also being able to track let's say, in the bed, how they're sleeping, and they're breathing and all these things and being able to predict your child's probably going to have a cold in 24 hours. That's useful for me to be able to know that and, you know, figure out my day and my schedule around that and informing me "You should go see the doctor" or something like that. So I think when a lot of them in that ecosystem are starting to play together, and you're getting more of a rich, robust information, and that I can then serve that up to my doctor or something. That's where it's getting interesting to me.

 

David Kender  10:01 

Yet, it's still really I think the biggest challenge is interoperability that, you know, none of the — they're saying this every year, over and over. Yeah. And they all want to develop their own app, which is, you know, it's cool. I'm sure it's fun to develop an app, but this one doesn't talk to this one doesn't talk to this one.

 

Dieter Bohn  10:17 

So on the subject of interoperability, that has actually been the best surprise for me at CES this year, which is, it seems like a whole bunch of competitors are willing to work with each other stuff. You are getting devices that have both Alexa, Google Assistant, and the biggest airplay on airplanes on

 

David Kender  10:36 

Samsung and iTunes. That was Yeah, it was amazing. It was really, it seems minor, but I'm sure to be a fly on the wall. And those meetings when they were putting that deal.

 

Rachel Rothman  10:46 

I was just picturing them hugging each other, and they'll raise a nice music in the background.

 

Dieter Bohn  10:51 

Well, not to get too in the weeds, but the deals are interesting. So Samsung has iTunes and big speak and talk to iTunes. But it doesn't have full home kit. And then everybody else has Airplay. But they don't have the iTunes app. And then can we all just pause for a moment and realize that they're calling it the iTunes app for a thing that's on TV, which is really fascinating. Like there's something very, very interesting happening with these companies and the way that they've decided to work together that is different than like the standards wars we've had in the past.

 

David Kender  11:24 

Yeah, last year secret cabal was it was really successful. One in the Cayman Islands.

 

Rachel Horn  11:31 

So I want to take a step back for a minute, think about a lot of the products and technologies you've talked about involve artificial intelligence. And I'm wondering whether it is that the buzzword that would you would say for CES 2019? And how are you seeing it play out? What do you think is going to be most useful for consumers?

 

Rachel Rothman  11:52 

I keep going back to health care. But I really think that is the area that stands to improve the most, we ever really reactionary healthcare system right now. But to create one that is going to be proactive and informing people before they have it so that they can take preventative care, I think that that's a really great example of AI being put to really smart use. AI is definitely a buzzword, it's an umbrella term for a lot of other things that are actually happening, whether it be machine learning, you know, all this processing that's happening on the back end.

 

David Kender  12:21 

It's a synonym for WiFi.

 

Rachel Rothman  12:23 

For everything, exactly, it's an 8K, it's 5G, it's all these things all in line. But again, I think that that's an area that has a lot of growth and a lot of opportunity that you're going to see some real true benefits in. I mean, the second Apple has an ECG monitor on your wrist, and it has fall detection, and it becomes something that's really consumer facing for mass market, it's really going to start changing the needle. So in five years, we're going to have sensors over us that are going to be able to, you know, provide such a rich treasure trove of information, you're gonna have so many more data points outside of the doctor than you are in the doctor. And what does that then mean for creating, you know, a total health persona for who you are.

 

David Kender  13:03 

To that point. At what point is that? Is professional medicine going to start accepting the word of these consumer devices? I mean, you recently did some good reporting on that with the EKG on the on the Apple watch.

 

Dieter Bohn  13:18 

Yeah, so there's, I can tell the best research on what do we think of the this consumer grade stuff like the EKG and the Apple Watch is use it if you really, you know, with in collaboration with your doctor, but don't, don't try and just call your doctor every time it shows you something weird, you know, do the basic stuff of like, take care of your heart, go to the doctor, when you need to

 

David Kender  13:42 

Do the I part of the AI yourself.

 

Dieter Bohn  13:44 

You're exactly right. Yeah. And because there's a concern about too many false positives actually causing a stress on the traditional healthcare system. But nobody is taking the data from these consumer grade things as like a diagnostic tool to immediately go to surgery or prescribe some medicine or something. It's more like a screening tool of, OK, well, this thing indicates that there might be something wrong, I'm going to go and get tested by a professional using more professional equipment. And then we can see what we're going to do with it.

 

Rachel Horn  14:14 

And the amazing thing about that is it's allowing older adults to age in grace and as my parents are getting older, living on their own. And I, I'm really excited about the things that I can install, and also watch the development and they can watch this house or maybe they feel more in control when you're tracking what's going on.

 

David Kender  14:33 

Do you have some stuff that your aging parents like? I don't know, if you're allowed to talk about products that you actually own or if that's only the three of us. Do you have some stuff that for aging parents in their place that you really like?

 

Rachel Horn  14:34 

It's funny, both my parents, my father is prone to falls, so he but they... My mother just got a smart phone and so I'm waiting, for instance, you know, AI where we know that it was truly...

 

Rachel Rothman  14:54 

How's her emoji game?

 

Rachel Horn  14:56 

It's not, but fall detection [inaudible]

 

David Kender  15:11 

Yeah, I've seen a lot of stuff for the aging in place. But I didn't see much that was new this year, I saw that the shoes that detect if you fall and there was a belt detected if you fall, but I think I saw those last year too.

 

Rachel Horn  15:22 

Last year there was [inaudible]

 

David Kender  15:27 

Yes. Yeah.
 

Rachel Rothman  15:29 

I think to the point, though, that we still have several people, you need to do the research they needed then compare it to other sensors that are, you know, commercial and hospital grade, and see how they're doing and react to that we're not even remotely close to that. But asking about an area that has, you know, the potential to be huge, and to be really influential. That's a space that I think, you know, all of us can unanimously say it's ripe for innovation, and there will be changes happening. It's not today.

 

Dieter Bohn  15:56 

Yeah, and my hope is that, I mean, regulation, or at least like standards that companies will agree on, on ensuring privacy for all that data that's being collected about your health, ensuring that it is staying in a place where you expect it to that it's not leaking out, you know, to get sold to, you know, random advertiser, you know, 10 down the list, I think that the technology is moving faster than our understanding of what that data is, what people could use it for, and where it could go. So that really needs to catch up to where these gadgets are.

 

Rachel Rothman  16:30 

And I was just gonna say to that point, a lot of the startups that if they wind up going belly up, then what happens? They're selling a tab or, you know, we don't know. And I think that that's one of the biggest causes of concern. It's not know what they're doing in this moment. But what's going to happen in a year from now, two years from now, five years from now gonna affect my insurance, is that going to affect where I get a job and all those things? So I do that does seem in

 

David Kender  16:51 

inevitable to a certain point, though, because even though the technology is moving very quickly, the ability to create revenue from it, that's not moving all  that quickly, you know, you're either selling flat pieces of plastic with micro chips in it, or you're selling data and or IP. And if I guess we go belly up, you can sell to it. That's right. Yeah.

 

Rachel Rothman  17:11 

I think as consumers, we have given this general opt in that as long as you're providing a utility for me, and you're giving me real value, I'm willing to give you information over and I'm willing to give up my privacy to an extent. But when it comes to healthcare, I think that that's an area where it's a red flag for people that they're not as willing, they're not as open and it is more of the Wild West,

 

David Kender  17:30 

you'll give up your Netflix viewing history. But

 

Rachel Rothman  17:33 

easily, half like I mean, I'm saying this, but I've also donated blood, urine, saliva, I have my like genomic code, everything's laid out for me. So I've opted into quite a bit. It's out there in the ether. So we'll see I did my biome to find out potential makeups that would be better suited for me, given the climate and given the conditions I'm in right now. So it's interesting where it's going within health and also within beauty, which we were talking about before releasing it all back to the environment, to your actual body and the things that are going on inside of it. It's a really fascinating space to me.

 

Rachel Horn  18:10 

I want to note that this year, the first time, there will be medical professionals and doctors at CES [inaudible] that can receive an education credit. It's just a really incredible thing. It shows the medical community wants to learn about these technologies and taking the series that's going to make them do their jobs better.

 

And other technologies that are using and others are VR and AR they're using it in surgery, there is a good practice for surgery. I'm wondering if you've seen anything in AR, VR, or mixed reality? You know, share with?

 

David Kender  18:44 

Throwing it over. Yeah, I don't, yeah.

 

Dieter Bohn  18:46 

I haven't had a chance to check out the new HTC Vive headset. But I'm really excited to go and look at that. I think that both HTC and Oculus disclosure, my wife works for Oculus are moving really fast this year to have fully inside out tracking and get more processing power in a VR headset. So you don't have to be tethered to a computer. But the question was VR this year, I think is the question that has there has been for VR for the past four years is, you know, get it out of the I'll use it for 15 minutes for a demo into like a utility that exists for like 20 minutes, 40 minutes now. And I think like medical things might be interesting for that. Gaming is clearly a place for that.

But the you know, I hate to use the cliche, but is there a quote unquote, killer app for VR we've been asking that since the outset? And we still don't have an obvious answer? There's lots of potential answers. There's lots of pretty good answers. But there's no like obvious answer that everybody knows, you know,

 

David Kender  19:53 

I'm still in the 15-minute demo mode. And I was over at the Sony booth yesterday playing around with the game and was fine. And you know, I could see, like, I have a four-year-old and I could see him enjoying it for a couple minutes. Although I think he's too young.

 

Man, I really want him to because it's fun. Yeah. But yeah, that's kind of... I would watch a VR movie, but they can't just be a VR movie has to be a good movie with an interesting story. And that hasn't happened yet.

 

Dieter Bohn  20:25 

On the AR side, I guess the most interesting thing is this year North is here, they do AR glasses, it puts a puts just a single pretty static display in front of your eye and they look relatively normal. They've got a showcase store in Toronto and Brooklyn. And so they should be shipping I think pretty soon based on the suitcase of glasses are carrying around people to try

 

David Kender  20:48 

Are they here in LVCC or over in?

 

Dieter Bohn  20:51 

Might be the LVCC they were at the [inaudible] show last night for sure. So they're out there around they've been they've been wandering around. And that's to me is more compelling than the full-on VR experience. Because it, it doesn't interfere with your life, you could just if the battery dies on the thing, you still have classes so that's useful.

 

Rachel Rothman  21:11 

I have to say, I think VR for us, we're spoiled. We live in a really amazing environment where really cool things in real life, that virtual reality is probably not as enticing to us as somebody who let's say, lives in the middle of the country and doesn't have access to all the amazing things that we do. So I think that the potential is really there for VR. But it's harder for people like us to see who get access to this world. where they are, I think has a lot of really interesting applications, it's clear to see the potential for that, whether it be a heads up display or kind of screens, just being able to do so much more these days that I think that the like you're saying the killer app is so much clearer in that space. Whereas for VR, we haven't yet seen that.

 

Rachel Horn  21:54 

So we only have a couple minutes left, which is a bummer because I'm enjoying us, we're having fun. I want to know where you're going after this stage and what you're going to check out. And you'll have a group of people following you.

 

David Kender  22:09 

We can just do a field trip, everybody can follow all of us. Where do you want to get?

 

Rachel Rothman  22:14 

I actually did show floor tours for a while. So I'm a professional, I'm licensed I can walk you guys around both the Convention Center and Sands, Aria with my eyes closed.

 

Dieter Bohn  22:24 

I gotta go. I gotta go write some stuff. So that'll that'll be the very next thing. And then, yeah, well,

 

Rachel Rothman  22:30 

I felt like we were all gonna say work and it was going to be boring.

 

Dieter Bohn  22:33 

No, I'm gonna head back out to the show floor. And I'm gonna I'm going to see if I can look at the Auto section because I haven't had enough chance to really engage with the Auto side of the show yet. And so that's my next thing.

 

David Kender  22:42 

I am probably going to go over to the wall of TV's over there. And then Garmin had a new had a new fitness watch with LTE in it, which I want to check out.

 

Rachel Rothman  22:55 

Also has fall detection, I think.

 

David Kender  22:56 

Oh, cool. And then maybe go back to Tech West because I'm trying to find if there's is there one really great STEM learning toy. There's a bunch of them. They all seem kind of the same. Yeah, I'm looking for the standout one.

 

Rachel Rothman  23:10 

Okay, you have a four-year-old and a four-year-olds will talk later.

 

David Kender  23:14 

Yeah, a four-year-old and a headache.

 

Rachel Horn  23:18 

Thank you guys for joining us today on stage. I hope you have an amazing rest of your show. And I hope our paths cross and so

 

Dieter Bohn  23:25 

Thank you so much.

 

Tyler Suiters  23:31 

OK, now you still have time to be CS ready and we're here to help. You can download the CES app, you can build your personal agenda, highlight your favorite exhibitors and speakers, you can also sync in time across all your devices. And new this year, you can connect to your LinkedIn account and see which connections of yours are also in Las Vegas at CES. The show runs through this Friday, January 11. Here in Las Vegas. The information you need is at CES.tech.

As always, none of this is possible without our podcasting stars: producer Tina Anthony, and engineer John Lindsey. You all are the best in the business. Thanks so much for being with us here at CES. I'm Tyler Suiters. Let's talk tech again soon. 

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