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Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and co-produced by Shanghai Intex Exhibition Co., Ltd (Shanghai Intex), CES is the premier event for the consumer technology industry. This serves as the perfect place to network and pitch ideas, as key global businesses converge to grow and reinforce their brand by showcasing the latest products and technologies to consumer tech industry executives, foreign buyers, international media and Chinese consumers (which we reckon already forms a significant slice of the market share!). Attendees gained exclusive access to some of the largest brands from China and around the world.

CES might be better known for the annual event held in Las Vegas, but this is certainly no slouch too. Its popularity in Las Vegas spawned this introduction in Shanghai in 2015. CES forms part of Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the trade association accounting for the $292 billion U.S. consumer technology industry that supports more than 15 million U.S. jobs. More than 2,200 companies – 80 percent are small businesses and startups; others are among the world’s best known brands – enjoy the benefits of CTA membership including policy advocacy, market research, technical education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. We can infer that it does serve a significant economic purpose, other than primarily focusing on building up latest innovations!

This year’s event was held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) and Kerry Hotel. We find it appealling and arguably more engaging than other exhibitions, because CES Asia is uniquely curated to showcase innovation in every booth, both large and small. The halls are conveniently divided by product category. For the second year running, CES Asia incorporates outdoor exhibits to showcase innovations such as autonomous driving and others that requires more room for exposure and demonstration.

Pre-show highlights were primarily focused on Mercedes-Benz, with the automaker showcasing the S Class in a “fit and healthy” form factor”, designed to improve the well-being of driver and passengers. It incorporates a smartphone app and collates data such as driver movement, heartbeat, and also provide fitness information based on the driver’s condition. Yes, massage function is available too, with the app recommending specific techniques based on the ocupants’ health condition.

The AMG GT Concept also stole the limelight with its daring aesthetic cue, allowing consumers to experience Mercedes-Benz’ interprepretation of sportiness for the future.

BMW also turned out in full force, with the HaloActive Concept featuring floating 3D buttons projected into space, with feedback handled by an ultrasonic sound system. Moving on to a less-known, but no less exciting product, NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden) showcased a concept of vehicle sharing with a room-sized vehicle – a gamble the company is willing to take to be the front runner of futuristic car sharing tech. Hyundai displayed the Future Eco (FE) Fuel Cell Concept, a SUV with design cues inspired by water. A production version could arrive as early as next year!

Taking advantage of China’s massive market, Honda took the lead by introducing ways to enhance consumers lives by utilising AI, big data and robotics technologies. Technologies on display included the Honda NeuV concept EV commuter equipped with AI technology and an automated driving function, as well as the Honda Riding Assist – a concept motorcycle that applies Honda’s original balance control technology amassed through robotics research. These are key products, serving to align Honda’s intention to create new, absorbing experiences for consumers.

Although REV focuses on automotive-centric tech, we would be naïve to only share our thoughts about this particular industry. After all, it comes as no surprise that innovations can be shared across platforms, particularly in four new product cateogories we reckon will sky-rocket in terms of interest in the years to come – Augmented Reality (AR), drones, Internet of Things (IoT) and Virtual Reality (VR). You never know – your next car might come optioned with a drone to asisst with traffic, paired to your infotainment system via WIFI! And given the unveiling of the world’s first universal translator at the show, “Travis the Translator” could very well be incorporated in mobile media over cross-country drives! Given the interest in this year’s show, Shanghai could very well form the core of top tech presentations in the near future…

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