JUMP TO THE BOTTOM TO SEE THE CONTEST TO WIN SOME OF THESE 2017 INNOVATIONS

When I last visited CES, drones were just being debuted. Cameras attached to helmets, scuba masks, and flying helicopters were everywhere.

I’ll admit it, I didn’t get it.

While I think it’s really cool to shoot video from unique places, I still think the vast majority of people have no idea what to do with that content once they’ve got it. Do they edit it? Do they publish it? Does it just sit there forever?

CES gear is not always practical, but it does point to the direction where technology is going. 5 years ago the forecast of cameras in ski goggles and helmets may not have connected, but GoPro sure did. And boy was I wrong about drones.

So instead of looking at specific gadgets that will set the world on fire, it’s better to look at trending directions for technology.

TOP TRENDS TO WATCH FROM CES 2017:

1. Tea, Earl Grey, Hot.

Earl Grey Hot

From Siri to Alexa, get ready to start talking to hardware. From cars to fridges to tvs, virtual assistants are going to be everywhere. Apple doesn’t do CES, so it was Amazon’s Alexa who stole the show at CES with announcements from Ford putting Alexa in cars, integrating the voice assistant for owners of select vehicles with more to come. And the Jean Luc Picard inspired future is not far off with Alexa integrated in LG‘s Smart InstaView Refrigerator.

2. Augmented Virtual Reality

pokemon-go

Augmented reality first debuted for consumers with the iPhone 3GS, and then a few years later Aurasma made waves at CES, but this summer’s Pokemon Go craze showed there are real world applications for blending the virtual with reality.

Stir in a little of the explosion that VR saw over the past year and could we be chasing pocket monsters with our phones, but fully immersive headsets? For now, the gear is bulky, but Intel’s Project Alloy seeks to cut the cord entirely, with untethered headsets by year’s end. While Google and Snap try to figure out how to connect glasses, others are offering AR frames. This trend, even at nearly a decade old, is just finding its feet.

3. Internet Of All The Things

internet-of-things

It’s not just your front door lock, your thermostat, or home security system. Not just your car, your watch, and your fridge. Not just your furnace, tv, and home lighting. Go deeper. Go further.

Everything is going to be connected to the internet. Everything. Even “smart jeans” were debuted at CES this year. The pants vibrate to point you in a direction. How about a hairbrush that helps with your styling technique and advises of your hair quality? It’s coming.

In fact, it’s already here. TELUS has recently launched digital life stores featuring innovative products.

telus-store

A TELUS study reveals that Canadians expect smart home technology to become commonplace in their homes within the next two years. These concept stores have more than 1,000 specially curated products to help enhance your increasingly connected lives, ranging from connected home, headphones and speakers, toys and health and wellness. “Your phone is the remote control for everything around you, we show you how life connects,” James at the downtown Calgary store told me.

The stores act almost like petting zoos. The staff will let you play with the gear, and should you how it works with the phone you own. Want to test out the bluetooth speakers? Blast *your* music to see how you like it.

Here’s a closer look at what you can find at the TELUS connected stores:

4. Autonomous Cars

autonomous-car

The technology is there, we just have to get used to it. Electric, self-driving cars are our future, there’s no denying it. Who doesn’t want a sleek, autonomous electric car that doesn’t guzzle fossil fuels and also cuts down on accidents? Chrysler showed off their Portal concept, a self-driving electric minivan for millennials, at CES. Honda offered up NeuV, a two-seater meant to act as a ride-sharing vehicle that comes with emotion-sensing features. AI vehicles – more than just autonomous, they will be thinkers – are on the horizon from Audi in 2020 and a little before we see the BMW iNext.

Like I said, the tech is there – we just have to get used to the idea.

5. Smart Watches Are Dead. Long Live Smart Watches

smart-watch

I think we can give up on the watch as a complete computer. There’s simply not enough real estate for the watch to be a business tool. Yes, it can do some alerts, and maybe if voice really does take off, it could act as a microphone, but there’s a reason our smart phone screens are getting bigger instead of smaller – we need the real estate to effectively work.

While the smart watch is fading, wrist worn computers are still trending. Pebble, an early pioneer in the watch space, was recently acquired by Fitbit. Fitness trackers are picking up momentum and even looking beyond the wrist as was shown by the Motiv Ring.

CONTEST

To celebrate this all-connected trend, TELUS has asked me to give away the Tangram Smart Rope (An LED embedded jump rope that works with your smartphone to display your active fitness data in mid-air as you work out) and the Drop Connected Kitchen scale (Together, the Drop Scale and Recipe App are an unbeatable combination that helps anyone make beautiful and delicious food, regardless of experience).

contest-telus

You can enter either of the draws, or both of them, below. One winner will be chosen for each item, you can’t win both. I’m giving you the choice in case you’re more of a skipper and less of a chef, or more of a foodie and less of a fitness nut, or frankly don’t care which part of life gets connected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions: Contest open to eligible Canadians only. No purchase necessary. Please use legitimate, personal social media accounts, not contest only accounts. Winners must reply to notification within 72 hours of contest ending with their mailing address for prize fulfillment. Prize must be accepted as awarded. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

Disclosure: I’m a brand ambassador with TELUS and Team TELUS.

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