Wednesday, January 11, 2017

CES 2017 buzzword of the show: Voice

The annual CES consumer electronics show ended Sunday in Las Vegas and, as has become a tradition for me, I’m going to pick the buzzword of the show.
The buzzword must be a term that’s tossed around with great frequency at the show by many companies. It can be an adjective or a noun and should be overused to the point of being a cliche. The best CES buzzwords are those used by marketers who want to appear like they’re hip to the latest trends.
Heading into this year’s show, I was certain that buzzword would be AI or artificial intelligence. I received a ridiculous number of press announcements touting products with artificial intelligence, including cameras, drones, robots, self-driving cars, and even toothbrushes and patio umbrellas.
But once at the show it was obvious that the buzzword was voice.
Every product imaginable had voice controls or a voice-based virtual personal assistant. The clear winner on the technology front was Amazon.com’s Alexa technology, which got the most mentions.
Companies have integrated Alexa voice controls into such products as speakers, watches, refrigerators, ovens, air purifiers and home security systems.

Runners-up for buzzword of CES 2017: AI, virtual reality, augmented reality, and “-ables.” The latter includes wearables, hearables, rideables, embeddables and “treatables” (wearable devices that treat a condition).

CES buzzwords through the years: 

2010: Green
2011: Smart
2012: Ultra
2013: Super
2014: Curved
2015: Wearable
2016: HDR (high dynamic range)
2017: Voice

Photo: Amazon’s Echo smart speaker with Alexa virtual personal assistant.

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