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Through the eyes of a CIO

Central Hall has Power!! Bye CES!

After yesterday's power debocle in Central Hal, I revisited today.  So did most of the attendees, apparently.  Shows you the impact of a 2-3 hour power outage at the most attended trade show in the world.  

Samsung had a huge area set up in the middle of Central Hall, as usual.  One of the section that caught my eye was called "Shape Your Health." 

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I waited in a short line to join a small tour group.  We were told that we were "Leigh" (or some name that made me a 29-year-old petite woman).  Leigh wants to stick to a regimen of healthy eating and good exercise.  The tourguide hovered her Bixby-enabled Samsung phone over a choice of foods and Leigh saw the calorie count and other pertinent nutritional information.  She chose some waffles and Bixby (Bill? That's the Hulk, right?) told her she needed to work out to burn off that nastiness.  Using her Samsung Smartwatch, Bixby knew that Leigh did 30 minutes on the treadmill.  This, synced with the food info and made some magic determination of her general health for the day. 

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Then Leigh, the tourguide, our buddy Bixby, and our tour group went over to the Samsung refrigerator and a screen showed us what we should probably eat tonight.  It apparently knows what's in the fridge (although no insight on how the fridge knew what was inside) and where Leigh wanted to be with her daily health goals, and suggested a couple of recipes.  It also allowed recipes for the week, using that magical inventory.  Okay, conceptually...cool.  I think we are going to see some real personalization and data aggregation in the restaurant ordering space soon.  I just hope I don't get the Hulk mad at me for saying it probably won't be Samsung that first delivers it.

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One of Samsung's neighbors in the massive hall was LG.  My buddy from a very cool hospitality-technology-related magazine texted me that I should probably check out LG's "hospitality robots," that were featured in a recent CNN article, while I was at CES.  I was pretty jazzed to see what was in store for our industry.  Let me tell you, when I have my nightmares about robots rebelling against their makers, these are the machine I see.  The first I saw was a concierge type robot with a large screen for showing wayfinding or agendas or something.  It was a lot like the Beam device I wrote about earlier, except instead of a real person blinking at me, it was creepy screen eyes that were blinking.  Think Wall-E's girlfriend.  This one, apparently, was mainly designed to be an airport concierge, but I could see this being used in a hotel or as a host in a restaurant.

The second robot was designed to be a bellhop. It had the same creepy eyes, but instead of a large screen on the front, it had an area on the back to hold luggage.  It didn't seem like it had a huge capacity, or a place to hold that big cooler I like to bring with me to hotels, but it looked cool. 

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The third robot was designed to deliver room service.  Besides the creepy eyes, it had a platform on the top and two compartments below to hold trays of food.  I asked the attendant (human...I think) if it had a hot and a cold section and she didn't think so.  Ha! I was expecting her to say "yeah, great idea!  You are so smart...oh, wait, we already did this" like the guy yesterday, but she didn't.  She must not be programmed to say that yet. 

I could see this type of bot being use as food runners or even servers if they upgrade the creepy eyes to be more endearing.  All of these bots rely on a geo-mapped area of the buildings they operate in so they can remain goal-driven-autonomous (I think I just made that up).

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The last robot was a repeat from last year.  A cleaning robot.  It was a huge Roomba with just one creepy eye.  I swear I saw the little rotating brooms pushing me toward the grinder in my dream.   Anyway, this one is SO 2017. 

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That wraps up my trip to CES for 2018.  I hope this was somewhat helpful to you all.  I welcome your comments and how I might improve for next year's show.  For stats sake, I walked 8.75 miles on Wednesday and 6.9 miles on Thursday.  The trick is to stay hydrated, get in the food lines before 11:30am or you won't eat, and wear REALLY comfortable shoes.  Rock on!  - Joe

Joe TenczarComment