The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas unveiled groundbreaking technologies from today’s most innovative product makers — and they weren’t all about taking “selfies.” While many of the technologies at CES are indeed geared toward consumers, many will surely spill into the business world and significantly change how employees conduct business and interact.
Here’s a look at four trends that can be gleaned from this year’s CES and how they could change business:
iWallet® is a trademark of iWallet Corporation.
1. Drones go mainstream
Remember when drones seemed so sci-fi? Now they’re apparently very down-to-earth. Several drone makers touted drones’ many real-world applications at CES. Parrot, Hexo+ and DJI all showed how drones equipped with cameras could be used to survey areas, capture video footage and other tasks potentially useful to many different types businesses. Already in Europe, companies are using drones to inspect power lines and railroads, map farmland and evaluate real estate, according to the Boston Globe. However, drones won’t take off — literally — in the United States until the federal government draws up airspace regulations that govern their commercial use.
2. Privacy and data security concerns get recognition
As concerns over online and smartphone security grow, more companies are touting gadgets that protect devices. For the first time, CES included a “Personal Privacy Marketplace,” featuring technologies like GoldKey’s Secure Communicator®, a fully functioning secure android watch that can make encrypted phone calls, and iWallet®, which protects payment information. These technologies are being targeted primarily at consumers for now, but they certainly could play a bigger role in the business world, especially as more companies integrate consumer devices into their IT departments. Edith Ramirez, the Federal Trade Commission’s chairwoman, gave a speech at CES calling on product makers to integrate more security features into their designs. “They should use smart defaults, such as requiring consumers to change default passwords in the setup process,” Ramirez said, according to NPR.
3. “Personal cloud” technology seems ripe for growth
Many businesses now store much of their data on the cloud — thanks to the convenience and accessibility it provides. But it also raises data security concerns, particularly in the wake of some high-profile recent data breaches. Seagate demonstrated its Seagate Personal Cloud for consumers and businesses at CES this year. It’s essentially a product that combines the convenience of the cloud with the security of storing data more securely on a business’s network. Small businesses, in particular, could use a personal cloud to keep data securely on their network but still be able to access it anywhere they have Internet.
4. 3D cameras bring computing to life
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich demonstrated its RealSense® 3D camera technology, showing how someone can play a virtual piano projected from a screen. The technology could allow users to interact with objects after scanning them. While the real-world applications of such technology is still hard to envision, an era of immersive computing — an experience where not all computer work needs to happen at a keyboard — seems to be approaching quickly.
RealSense is a trademark of Intel Corporation.
Kelly Spors is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering small business and entrepreneurship.