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CES 2018: A look back at the companies on show

CES 2018: A look back at the companies on show

For 50 years CES has been setting the bar when it comes to innovation in technology. Once again, this year, we saw  companies exhibiting some of the most exciting products on the market at the moment, technology that will shape the industry in 2018, and visions of what’s to come in the next ten years. But with nearly 4,000 companies exhibiting, which companies managed to cut through the noise? Here’s our look back at some of the ‘best in show’.

Tech for Good

The ‘tech for good’ sector is growing exponentially every year, and there were some great applications of new technology on show at CES this year. However, the most noteworthy and heat warming was ‘My Special Aflac Duck’, a robotic smart toy designed to help children diagnosed with cancer cope through their treatments. With calming heartbeat-like pulses, and disks which children can tap against the toys chest to mirror and express their emotions, this is one special smart toy. What’s more – the companies behind the project have committed to providing the duck to cancer programmes for free.


Even though there were a number of new headset reveals at CES this year, the most exciting VR announcement at CES this year didn’t come from a household name in the industry. Start-up Black Box VR is building the gym of the future, using motion-tracking controllers and specially designed workout equipment. Leading the way in the VR Fitness market, the company plan to set up boutique high-tech gyms in San Francisco this year.


There were an endless number of transport announcements at CES this year, and one of the companies attracting the most attention was Toyota. In a move that signalled their moved to a mobility service company Toyota unveiled its new e-Palette vehicle. With a modular interior and different length and sizes depending on its needs. The concept video featured the vehicle in a variety of different capacities, including transport trucks, ridesharing, a mobile office and even a pizza delivery vehicle.

Wearables (sort of)

The wearables sector is another sector which has grown at a phenomenal rate in recent years. One of the beet pieces of wearable tech on show at CES this year came from an unexpected company – L’Oréal. It’s new UV Sense, which is about the size of a drop of water, sticks to any part of your body or clothing, and tells you when you’re exposing yourself to too much UVA and UVB light. At just £30, this piece of tech could save lives.

Voice Assistants

Google caught up in the voice assistant race with a significant push for its smart ‘assistant’ – its answer to Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. In a staggering display of its vision for the future, Google exhibited more than 350 voice-controlled devises in its exhibition space. According to google Assistant is now capable of completing over one million different actions.

#HouseofWonder: Our five favourite innovators

It’s hard to imagine a world without Uber, Airbnb or Deliveroo, and yet surprisingly, not one of these global pioneers existed eight years ago. In fact, in less than ten years, consumer awareness has grown at such an incredible pace that new start-ups are no longer just seen as ‘the Uber for X’ but as innovative companies within the wider sharing economy!

One of those companies, Wonder, held their own ‘app’-tly #HouseofWonder event this week to showcase some ground-breaking new technology, and as sharing economy enthusiasts, naturally we had to attend. Here, we’ve chosen our five favourite brands who showcased their tech on the night.

Pepper – Created by Softbank Robotics

According to his creators, Pepper is a kindly, endearing, and surprising human-shaped robot – this is certainly the case! Designed to be a day-to-day companion, Pepper is the first humanoid robot that can recognise the principal human emotions and adapt his behaviour to the mood of whoever is interacting with him. To date, more than 140 Softbank Mobile stores in Japan use Pepper as a welcoming face when customers enter stores and he is also the first humanoid robot to be brought to Japanese homes. As Pepper grows and becomes more advanced, it’s likely that we’ll start to see him as a regular in our shops and homes.


The first consumer health solution devoted to lowering stress and anxiety, Thync uses safe, low-level electrical stimulation to activate specific nerve pathways on the head and neck. It’s these pathways which communicate with areas in the brain that help control stress levels, mood and sleep quality. The ‘pod’ which attaches to the user’s temples, delivers carefully constructed stimulation patterns that tap into your body’s own mechanisms to relax, improve mood and sleep better. With a team made up of neurobiologists, neuroscientists, and consumer electronic specialists from MIT, Stanford, and Harvard, Thync is a unique product which combines cutting-edge science, with accessible tech.

Generic Robotics

Generic Robotics is taking Virtual Reality to the next level. Through their innovative interactive computer-based simulation which combines VR and haptics – the science of simulating the sensation of touch with machines – the company is bringing true immersion to VR simulations. Focused on real-world applications, the team have applied their haptic technology to training and education, specifically developing simulators to train clinical students in medicine and dentistry. Using the VR and haptic simulation, students can practice procedures in a safe environment, gaining the confidence necessary to move on to real patients when they are experienced enough to do so. As the technology becomes more widely adopted, we will definitely see more real-world applications like this take off.

Micro drone 3.0

The Micro drone 3.0 is just that, micro. At 50mm x 145mm x 55mm, this tiny drone can fly up to 45mph and has a range of up to 500ft. Gimbal equipped and with an upgraded camera, the third iteration of the micro drone can shoot up to 720p HD, perfect for livestreaming and social content. Users can also view live streaming drone footage in 3D with a VR headset. The drone’s FPV (first person view) puts users in the pilot’s seat, providing an immersive flying experience.


Wonder, the night’s hosts, are also more than deserving for a place in our top five. The company, who are aiming to make ‘trying things really easy’, is a sharing economy platform for anyone who owns or makes new and hot tech products. Users can explore the platform for inspiration, experiments or just for fun and rent products for a couple of days from like-minded people at a fraction of the cost of purchasing the product. The innovative platform already has some ground-breaking tech listed on its website, from the brand new DJI Spark, to the world’s first roast-grind-brew coffee maker from Bonaverde.