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科技六趨勢 商機搶先看 (2016-05-03 IEK產業情報網 )

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2016 was centered on the growing popularity and applications of six technology solutions: smart systems, smart cars, Virtual Reality, drones, smart homes and wearables. In sum, Internet-of-Things (IoT) is emerging in all aspects of modern life. It is essential for all technology companies in Taiwan to embrace this trend and maintain their competitiveness.Ubiquity of Smart Devices
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2016 showcased a plethora of smart and integrated applications that promise an immersive and intelligent environment for end users. For example, the telematics system of Ford is able to control drones. Samsung’s Smart Home is connected to BMW’s Internet of Vehicles. Meanwhile, BMW’s i3 electric vehicle can be parked with Samsung’s smartwatch Gear.
Samsung, LG and Intel are all actively developing their own IoT ecosystem and launching integrated solutions, by fostering innovation and enhancing the intelligence of their smart networks.
Meanwhile, component suppliers are integrating sensing, software and service features into Smart Homes and Smart Cities. Chipset providers are using smartphones as the platform to develop innovative products for Internet-of-Things.
Smart systems facilitate information sharing across devices. In fact, knowledge is also shared as machine learning establishes the causal relationship of information. This is a core technology of smart applications.
The lack of a uniform structure across devices will pose a challenge to collaborative working. On the other hand, there is increased R&D spending on enhancing the autonomy of devices. For instance, a smart device sensing its owner is in a bad mood will recommend comedies. Washing machines can determine the optimal washing times according to weather forecasts or leveraging off-peak utility rates.Smarter Cars, Driving Pleasure
Household names in consumer electronics and automobiles are joining the bandwagon of autonomous driving and pilotless planes. The development in sensor technology, human-machine interface and processors continues. Meanwhile, new energy vehicles are also emerging as a popular product.
Ford stands out among the global automakers (which include Toyota, Volkswagen, General Motors, BMW, Benz and AUDI) by focusing on smart mobility and a five-pillar strategy (connectivity, mobility, autonomous driving, consumer experience and Big Data). Ford is making cars smarter by working with SYN for infotainment solutions. It is also cooperating with Amazon to connect homes to cars. Ford is collaborating with DJI to integrate cars and drones. In fact, Ford’s autonomous driving solutions are gradually maturing with new solutions from startups.
Toyota is investing $1 billion on AI (Artificial Intelligence) for autonomous driving. Its KIKAI concept car is the ultimate form of mechanical beauty. FCV Plus and FV2 are concept cars with self-sufficient power supplies. The hydrogen and fuel cell technology powering the FCV Plus exemplifies the core values of environmental protection and energy efficiency.
Volkswagen’s Budd-e comes with a pure electric powertrain and a nostalgic feel. It is expected to be in mass production in 2019. BMW’s iVision Future Interaction demonstrates a strong Internet connectivity. It comes with three modes, manual driving, assisted driving and highly autonomous driving. In the autonomous driving mode, the driver can check the battery status and recommended routes via a smartphone. Navigational information is transmitted to the vehicle and presented on the dashboard. There is no need for the driver to get involved as the car can automatically change direction, switch lanes, accelerate and brake.Versatility of Virtual Reality
The technological advancement of Virtual Reality (VR) is inspiring the imagination. There were a plethora of VR products in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) of 2016. The diversity of VR applications in gaming, education and medical care is driving the growth of the industry. VR vendors are actively working with integrated computing, display and interactive UI (User Interface) technologies to launch high-end and differentiated products.
Different manufacturers have different VR strategies and product positioning. Gaming remains the biggest market. Samsung’s Gear VR uses the same grade of display as its S6. It is targeted at the first-time gamers and does not require additional accessories.
HTC Vive is slightly more expensive, but it promises a brand new experience by breaking through the space constraints. This VR product may be a serious contender to Samsung if the content can be improved.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Oculus showcased a whole new gaming experience by combining motion sensors with its VR offerings. Intel launched an Augmented Reality (AR) device with sensing functionality. Its use in Industry 4.0 is inspiring imaginations for VR and AR.
The mushrooming of VR applications is boosting the industry growth, although heavy gamers remain the key source of profits for VR offerings.
With the development of supporting hardware, VR products will continue to evolve into different fields. The key to the success of VR ultimately lies in attractive content.Smart Homes with Smart Appliances
Smart homes are finally coming of age, as seen throughout the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year. Amazon, Samsung and LG all demonstrated their products and applications, bringing the future of smart living to the next level.
Amazon launched Echo, a hands-free, voice-controlled digital speaker for smart homes in 2014. After opening up Echo’s Alexa API to third-party developers in 2015, many products have adopted the Echo smart-home platform as shown in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year. So, Amazon’s Alexa actually had a stronger presence in the show than most people were aware of.
Samsung presented a TV-centric Smart Hub and a refrigerator-focused Family Hub. The former is the integration of a Samsung TV with SmartThings. The latter allows users to shop for groceries online, manage and integrate the process. It is also possible to check what’s in the refrigerator while the users are out and about.
LG strives to lead in the global smart home market with its SmartThinQ Hub, by working with AllJoynAlliance, NEST, ADT and LOWE’s.Drones as a Life Changer
Drones are finding their way into different aspects of modern life. They have been on the top of R&D lists for leading ICT companies, as well as the focus of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year. In 2015, drones were used as toys or aerial cameras. They are now integrated with other platforms to extend their presence into the fields of navigation, measurement, first aid and rescue.
For example, Intel offers intelligent sensors so that drones can make a judgment on their surroundings. Yuneec’s Typhoon H is equipped with Intel’s RealSense, in order to automatically dodge large obstacles. Parrot offers automatic take-off and landing features, which can be applied to tourism and advertising if used in conjunction with VR accessories. Drones equipped with thermal cameras can assist in the search and rescue missions at fire disaster sites. Going forward, drones will be working with vehicles and VR devices to serve as one of our most important technologies with applications in navigation, measurement, tourism, sports, entertainment and emergency rescue.Precise Segmentation of the Health Wearable Market
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year saw a growing variety of wearable devices, mainly in health applications. IEK analyzed the CES trends in hardware, software, interfaces, platforms and value-added services and concluded that although general health and activity tracking remain the key application for wearables, there is an increasing segmentation of target customers, e.g. children, women and athletes, with a growing diversity of designs and functions in diet, disease management and sleep assistance.
Wearables are offering more features in providing meaningful health information and training suggestions. The software and the interfaces are opening up and integrating with Big Data. By tapping into the analytics, wearables can provide users with health management and recording functions. The openness of the API enables connectivity to different devices and accessibility to Big Data and analytics. This extends the applicability of the devices with value-added services such as feedback and suggestions to users. International leading companies are all doing more efforts on the cross-industry collaboration to develop new business models.
IBM is developing intelligent solutions with Watson as the core to provide features in cognition and prediction. Samsung is constructing an ecosystem for Internet-of-Things (IoTs) by focusing on devices, platforms and data security. By unveiled its Bio-Processor, a single chip to measure various types of bio-data, and S-Patch, a high-end healthcare wearables, Samsung attempted to create all kinds of smart health services in the near future. The efforts of different suppliers in technology and innovation promise to accelerate the development of the smart health industry.
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