Looking back on CES 2020

The Consumer Electronic Show (CES), the must-attend event in technological innovation and high-tech consumer gadgets, took place from January 7 to 10.

Overkiz was there as a guest at Somfy’s booth and is here with an overview of the show’s 53rd annual run.

Innovation has made room for maturity

While Chinese companies were ever more present to unveil objects sometimes of little interest, French companies were not to be undone, even with a notable drop in the number of exhibiting companies. Legrand, Somfy, Delta Dore, Fibaro, and Philips attended the event not only to reaffirm their presence in the United States, but also to rub shoulders with industry players to boost visibility, demonstrate to everyone what they can do, and promote their Made in France expertise.

At Eureka Park, an exhibit hall just for startups, a quarter of the companies represented French Tech, all under the Business France banner, creating a cohesive delegation of exhibitors and lifting the quality level of the companies’ positioning. Most IoT startups have disappeared, replaced by a consolidation of large industrial groups.

The most highly represented sector (25% more exhibitors compared to CES 2019), reflecting a major trend for the coming months and years, is health and e-health for predictive care. In addition to HealthTech and MedTech, CES held a Digital Health Summit—a show within the show—to highlight innovations in the medical world and to discuss topics like e-health regulation, artificial intelligence within the sector, and fears surrounding big data.

e-health CES

It goes without saying that tomorrow’s key players in the health sector will likely be tech firms and major insurance companies that rely on third-party companies so they can focus on prediction, rather than curation. Also, 5G and IoT are moving closer together, with major investments in the beauty sector (smart mirrors), sleep sector (sleep apnea detection helmets and sleep assistance devices), tracking (electronic health record), and AI-driven diagnostics and health screenings. There’s no escaping technological innovation in health!

Connected homes: a continuously smarter and simpler experience

When it comes to smart homes, new applications were the star of the show, through players capable of creating new consumption habits, including smart toilets and showers, security, lighting, and especially air quality, with a plethora of smart sensors and solutions. Not truly innovative or revolutionary, but reassuring in terms of production capacity and company support. There was a lot on display, even some complete product lines. Yet there was no real construction of an interoperable ecosystem on par with the Overkiz ecosystem, which wowed visitors with its quality and compatibility.

Overkiz platform and ecosystem

The trend in home comfort is decidedly fixed on voice control and mobile apps that manage and optimize the use of connected objects, while also moving toward products that offer even more security, like smart locks in doors and windows, connected to cameras and alarms. There are also personalized smart keys that are impossible to duplicate, as well as Netatmo’s smart lock, which offers a phygital approach to this type of product.

Somfy’s Smart Shading solution introduces a new experience to the inside of homes with smart blinds and shutters. Improving comfort and convenience while keeping the right balance between natural and artificial light keeps occupants happy and adds daily convenience.  

This innovation is based on the Overkiz IoT platform and on the Zigbee 3.0 standard protocol for two-way communication, which expands choices and adds flexibility for users while guaranteeing interoperability among products and services. With this unprecedented openness, scalability, and flexibility in the building of smart homes, consumers can enjoy peace of mind in knowing that their investment is future-proof, thanks to automatic updates.

Somfy box for smart shading
somfy booth on CES 2020

Delta Dore offers optimized water heater management with Onsen, which guards against cold showers (quite literally) by optimizing the water circuit in sharing and accounting for hot water consumption and energy consumption (electricity and water volume).

The battle over voice control technology wages on with Google and Amazon competing for the most attention-grabbing advertising. Yet their market positions don’t seem to change much from year to year. Amazon Alexa still dominates the market ahead of Google Assistant, despite Google’s omnipresence especially in Android devices. Like last year, the two giants enticed visitors to their respective booths inside (Amazon) and outside (Google) with the use of voice controls in all corners of the home.

For more information on announcements made at CES 2020 about smart technology:

CES 2020 Key Figures

4,500 exhibitors

60,000 visitors

2.5 million sq m of exhibit space

300 French companies represented in 2020 (vs. 420 in 2019)

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