Smart Cities showcase their value and growth at CES

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CES 2018 introduced full smart city tracks for the first time, and the CIVIQ team found real value in the conversations—cities that understand how technology enables innovation are leading all of us to a better quality of life.

Here are some of the key themes we heard in the exhibits and throughout the Smart City tracks.

The exhibit floor was an immersive, digital experience where everything was moving, mobile, interactive and included technologies such as geo-location, VR, AR. Everywhere you turned, you could see demonstrations on how these technologies are seeping into our every day lives. More and more, technology is demonstrable—riding the “skeleton” at the Samsung Galaxy exhibit was the perfect way to “see, feel and experience” augmented reality.  It was also great to hear the vision of smart city leaders like Hardik Bhatt, AWS, Stephen Goldsmith, Harvard Kennedy School, Jeff Cassis, Philips, Jack Dangermond, ESRI, and many more.

Partnerships continue to be the way technology companies will prosper. Rarely does a company in the smart city space succeed without strong partnerships and symbiotic relationships. Seeing how companies are collaborating together to bring ideas to market was truly inspiring. CIVIQ will expand its partnerships in 2018—quality companies like Flextronics, MasterCard, Intel, Clear Channel, AWS, Black & Veatch, ATT, and many more are on our radar.

More and more, enterprises at CES are using technology to measure engagement—through cameras and facial recognition, companies can know how many individuals actually visit their booth. This is critical information for assessing the value of exhibiting at a show. And of course, the extension to retail advertising is huge. Measuring the number, the individuals, the gender and age of your customers provides useful information like never before. Barry Frey, from DPAA hosted some great sessions and tours to help us really understand the evolution of digital signage and the opportunities to help cities see the value of new connections to communities.

The pure traffic that the over 180,000 visitors generate in Las Vegas is remarkable. Good news that Vegas has the ability to host an event of this magnitude. But on a rainy opening day, we were all impressed with the standstill of traffic and the opportunity for every city to better utilize technology to control, manage and mobilize surges in congestion. Kudos to Mayor Carolyn Goodman for her launch of a driverless electric shuttle which hit the streets on Wednesday, capable of “talking” to traffic signals, sharing the road with other vehicles and stopping for pedestrians. 

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