Friday, 11 January 2013

3k exhibitors, 20k new products… it could only be the Consumer Electronics Show 2013!

It’s that time of the year again where over four days 3,000 exhibitors, many of which are tech leaders in their respected markets, descend upon the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to showcase this year’s most innovative and inventive tech products.

First held in New York City in 1967 the show has a long history of announcing some of the world’s most influential tech products such as the VCR (1970), CD player and camcorder (1981), DVD (1996, HDTV (1998) and the Microsoft XBOX in 2001.

The turn of Las Vegas this year, the 2013 CES looks set to be one of the most transformative in recent years. The major change that has led to this view is the rise in importance and profile of technology in our everyday lives.

On the agenda this year is a focus on new and disruptive technologies, following the decline in trust in healthcare systems and the growing attention consumers are paying towards taking control of their own health and well-being this has been earmarked as an area of increasing interest.

The rise in domestic use of technology has also meant that there are a growing numbers of “total connectivity” partners demonstrating devices at the event that contribute to smart living. The multi-connective use of smart devices is one such area, presenting new innovations in the use of TVs, tablets and smart phones to control our own surroundings such as thermostat regulation and home security protection systems.

However for most delegates attending the annual Electronics Show, the anticipation this year goes beyond the use of technology to control our external world. For Technical Director, Joseph Caxton at LearnersCloud UK, this year’s show is about the exciting emergence of tech that gives us control over our inner-world. Intuitive gadgets and products that offer “complete connectivity”.

LearnersCloud are not exhibiting this year to the disappointment of many teaching professionals and EdTech specialists. However, their dedication and passion towards enhancing the intuitiveness of e-learning resources may have been lost on this year’s crowds. As many of the new devices such as wearable health indicators centre on biofeedback and the maintenance or improvement of one’s health and well-being.

So why the change in focus this year?

Stress is widely acknowledged as a detrimental risk not only to ourselves, our relationships, our career and feelings of happiness but also and often more visibly on our health. In a recent study conducted by CIPD, the world’s largest Chartered HR and development professional body, stress was identified as the most common reason for long term health-related leave of absence from the workplace. Although unsurprising, levels of stress amongst the labour force have been rising steadily over the past 30 years in both men and women.

The impact of stress has always been an issue for the healthcare systems around the world. But as the cost of stress related illness and absences place increasing financial pressure on economies and their healthcare systems, the need to take action has become ever more pressing.

In most economies our approach to stress is a reactive one with millions of pounds and dollars being spent on treating symptoms. What if the heavy cost of dealing with the onset of symptoms was replaced with cost-efficient preventative measures?

This year’s CES is likely to showcase the investment in R&D by many tech firms into such preventatives. The theme of which is to enable us as individuals to take greater control over our own health.

This new wave of technology looks set to reconnect us to ourselves. From monitoring our physical activity and energy expenditure to calorie intake and the analysis of our own sleep sequences. This year’s show is set to be one of unique interest for us all.

Follow @LearnersCloud or add the LearnersCloud blog to your RSS feed.

GCSE revision resources from LearnersCloud – helping students learn, revise and test themselves on the go!