CES 2014: A Connected World

CES 2014 lived up to expectations as being predictably unpredictable. Disruptive ramblings and teleprompter miscues aside, the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was packed with new product launches, impressive projections and major announcements.

At front and center of it all: wireless. “The Internet of Things,” wearable technology, digital health, education and Mommy Tech emerged as the biggest trends for the year ahead.

Innovation in smart devices suggests that the “The Internet of Things” has arrived and fully-connected homes, cars and more are just around the corner.

Beyond featuring smart watches and fashion-forward fitness wristbands, CES also demonstrated that wearable technology has progressed into other devices like sunglasses equipped with a camera that can continuously record for up to 180 minutes and a dog collar that alerts owners to changes in a pooch’s health. What’s next? Imagine smart clothes, like shirts that can monitor heart rates.

John Nosta of Forbes has called CES the best “cauldron of technology and innovation” happening in the healthcare industry. The conference highlighted the rapid pace of digital health innovation resulting in solutions for diagnosing, monitoring and treating various health ailments from obesity to vision problems. This technology is being put into consumers’ hands to reinforce healthy behaviors as well. For example, consumers can monitor their oral health with the innovative Bluetooth brush.

As market segments, EduTech and Mommy Tech are growing at an exponential pace. Early education apps like iTooch and Math Ninja continue to flood the market. Moms can look forward to a central dashboard that controls home appliances and allows them to check their smartphone from the grocery store to know what is or isn’t inside the fridge.

CES wasn’t just about new gizmos, however. The show also provided a forum for showcasing technology-based solutions. Verizon awarded the first Powerful Answers Award, giving away a total of $10 million in prize money to 15 winners in three categories – healthcare, education and sustainability.

What’s clear from CES is that 2014 is on track to be a year of historic innovation in an increasingly connected world.

Photo Credit: LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 08: Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam speaks on stage during the Verizon Powerful Answers Award winners unveiling at the 2014 International CES at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 8, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Verizon Wireless)