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2019 Consumer Electronic Show, Day 2

                Today was interesting. I got to the Aria a little bit later than I meant to, but it was ok. There wasn’t much to see. Most of the Aria wasn’t booths, but private parties and meetings. Despite that I met some interesting vendors.

                Right when I walked in, I saw a booth with a bunch of clothing. It was a brand called Flow state that assists companies with branding and marketing including websites and custom clothing. They were friendly and helped me learn a lot about big custom clothing companies, but that could only be helpful if you want unique uniforms or need a higher end website rebuild because they don’t take clients with jobs under $10,000

Amobee is another company I talked to that provides information on target markets and cross channel analytics. They claim to be more effective at identifying target markets than Nielsen and Comscore by around twofold., but what was most interesting was the cross-channel analytics. For those of you who don’t know what cross-channel analytics are, it means they can monitor whether a household has seen an advertisement on the TV and on your laptop. This is important because TV advertising is expensive and for years has been nearly impossible to monitor the results directly. Now they are getting closer to being able to effectively make better decisions because of the ability to monitor tv and internet together

                Another bit of technology I saw today was for sports. Have you ever been watching your favorite team and started cursing out the ref because he is obviously blind, and that player was definitely in the end zone? Hopefully that will change soon because there are now pressure sensitive lines available that can prove whether pressure had touched the line. I’m not going to share much more information on this because sports are supposed to be fun and getting all technical might ruin it for some of you.

                In the last blog, which you can find here[ , I told you I was going to talk about Smart Cities. Now is when I’m going to talk to you about them. For those who don’t know, Smart Cities are automated so that they work based on a set of conditions being met, much like building automation systems. There was a whole section of the Las Vegas Convention Center that focused on Smart Cities. It included vendors that are focused on things like IOT(Internet of Things), autonomous vehicle technology, and even devices that can dedifferentiate between materials to prioritize importance.

                One of the booths, had people shooting nerf darts at targets to win a nerf gun. Unfortunately, I didn’t get one. If I have time tomorrow, I’ll go try again. Anyway, behind the targets was a TV showing how the device could see the dart fly from one place to another. This means eventually police will be able to tell when a gun is shot and where and dispatch the police to the location. Great news for us law abiding citizens, bad news for criminals! The same company had a magician explaining why this was far superior to a human’s perception. His sales pitch was done while playing with a deck of cards and showing that we miss stuff all the time. I knew exactly where the card would be and never caught him.

                Many of the companies were selling devices that could make any device connect to IOT. The gist of how they work is they can connect through LAN connections, wirelessly, or Modbus and connect to the internet or building automation systems (will they be called City Automation Systems when a whole city is connected?). Much of this seems like the early days of computers when everyone questioned whether they’ll catch on. I’m sure it will, but I’m a little concerned about the industry at this point.

The majority of the companies had no understanding of Bacnet and LONworks, meaning they are just making devices without fully considering what communication protocols are already used by building automation. One of them was able to tell me that they were working on Bacnet, but currently had Modbus capability. This concerns me because these protocols have been available in the HVAC field for decades and still have cyber security issues. Until these companies are fully capable of discussing cyber security and protocols, I’d be hesitant of putting everything you own on the internet where a good hacker could turn on your oven and burn your house down all from his comfy computer chair.

 If you decide to become an early adopter of this technology, make sure you have a trusted contractor assist you with these devices. While Maryland Computer Service doesn’t normally work on residential properties, we provide cyber security for businesses and the more connected homes become the more necessary it may be for homeowners to take the same precautions.

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