Sunday, March 8, 2015

Consumer Electronics Show 2015

The International Consumer Electronics Show is a global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow that takes place every January in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. This year it was from 6-9 January.

The CES link:

The show is described as "the ultimate recognition for the design and engineering of consumer technology products. Since 1976, this prestigious program has honored today's ground-breaking technology. The awards span 28 product categories and cover the most influential and innovative fields in the industry, from smart home to wearable technologies. Entries are evaluated on their engineering and design qualities: aesthetics, functionality and uniqueness."

The Product Categories are:
  • 3D printing
  • Accessories
  • Audio
  • Automotive electronics
  • Communications infrastructure
  • Computer hardware/software/services
  • Content creation & distribution
  • Digital imaging/photography
  • Electronic gaming
  • Fitness and sports
  • Health and biotech
  • Internet services
  • Online media
  • Robotics
  • Sensors
  • Smart home
  • Startups
  • Video
  • Wearables
  • Wireless devices / services

The CES website has a review of each of the winning awards, many with a short video. But the background music is a bit distracting. There are short (1-2 sentence) descriptions of the honorees in each category.

The website Tech Crunch has more information on the entries. The descriptions are texts of 1-2 paragraphs, and many descriptions have a video of a few minutes' length.

Tech Crunch:

Gizmag also has a report of the innovations:

The CES site also has a list of other news coverage:

There are, of course, a variety of activities that could be done with engineering students. For example:

1) Students individually, in pairs, or in small groups can choose an innovation and prepare a short description for the rest of the class.
 2) A class or small group negotiation could be set up. Students can imagine that they are in a meeting to propose a new innovation for the group to invest in. Each pair or small group can choose an innovation and in the negotiation with the other pairs/groups, can try to convince the group that their innovation should be chosen for the investment.

3) A similar set-up as in 2 can be done for sales pitches. Students choose an innovation and try to "sell" it to the rest of the group. Or they can decide which kind of audience they would sell it to, and try out that pitch for the rest of the group.

4) Students can look through the list of websites given above for information about the innovations presented, and rank them according to various criteria. They could focus on the criteria used by the competition judges (engineering and design qualities: aesthetics, functionality and uniqueness) or any other type of criteria, such as:
  • most useful
  • most innovative
  • most technologically inspiring
  • most usable by most people
  • most profitable
  • etc.

An interesting alternative is to focus on the "worst" of the show. The following website has chosen the entries it thinks are the worst, and explains why. Students can do the same, and then compare their answers.

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