The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has seen some improvements, changes and limited innovations rather than revolutions – and that’s a good thing. Tech businesses are apparently moving on from creating entirely new product categories and all the glitches and issues that come with them and are instead focusing on taking a core product and making it better.
Unbelievably, two car manufacturers have led the way in terms of innovation during this year’s CES.
Mercedes created a voice assistant that actually works. MBUX isn’t your usual clunky and limited system created as an in-car controlled device; it’s cloud-based, highly intuitive and will learn your preferences and adapt and change as you do. It can control the stereo and make phone calls of course, but it will also make assumptions, let you change the climate within the car using conversational commands and ask you questions if it doesn’t understand.
It really works, and if you’re in the market for a brand new Mercedes, you can expect to meet MBUX.
Toyota (yes, Toyota) meanwhile made two major announcements. Firstly, all new Toyotas will shortly come with Alexa as an in-vehicle assistant (expect a relatively clucky experience as the kinks are worked out) and way more impressive is this –
The e-palette is a mobile everything-bus. More specifically, it’s designed to be a shop on wheels, a ride-sharing tool, a mobile battery-change station…and pretty much anything else.
It’s a shell, and when outfitted by Toyota it can become a mobile movie theatre, a…look we can go on but you get the gist. It’s a way for the virtual to meet the physical and best of all it looks like something out of Minority Report.
CES may not have offered up anything groundbreaking, but as the market matures, we’re seeing some genuine practical solutions and products that will actually be on the shelf soon.
Oh, and the event needs to move out of Las Vegas.