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5 Tech Trends that will Make Your Life Easier in 2018


Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist and Engineering Director, Good Housekeeping Institute

There are loads of acronyms in the tech world that generate buzz: IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning), VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), and so on. But what really excites me is tech that actually makes your life easier – and 2018 is shaping up to be super-exciting for consumers thanks to vast improvements that will finally deliver on the promise of tech simplifying your life. Here are the trends I’m watching closely:

Innovative & Experiential Retail Destinations

Nothing can mimic the experience of touching, feeling and experiencing a product in a live setting. But to compete with digital, physical stores must really grab a consumer’s interest and attention. That’s why you’re seeing a slew of innovative experiential pop-ups and trials at the retail level. Brands are integrating digital technology into physical stores, using interactive displays for merchandise, incorporating smart mirrors to remember outfits you’ve tried on and offering location-based deals, among other novel concepts. And with the advent of ginormous data sets that can be collected thanks to our ever-present phones, retailers can better understand the wants and needs of their customers and better serve them with mobile-enhanced, in-store experiences.

See the latest in retailing technology at the High-Tech Retailing Marketplace at CES 2018.

The Beauty Industry Gets Personal, Very Personal

Like all industries, beauty is influenced by technological advancements. The key to success in this industry is like any other – brands must find ways to use technology in meaningful, simple to use ways that provide consumers with tangible benefits. One example is companies providing hyper-personalized, bespoke products. Whether it’s getting the exact right shade of foundation or a haircare product for your specific mane, the specificity and accuracy of these products have come a long way in a short time. Another viable example is in serving the wants of more informed consumers who crave better ingredients. Thanks to improvements in manufacturing technologies, better-for-you products can be developed eliminating ingredients that previously were required for formulation success.

You can find beauty technology in the High-Tech Retailing or Health & Wellness Marketplaces at CES 2018.

Voice Assistants that Actually Provide Assistance

Voice services aren’t new, but they are being used more – in more homes – and they continue to do more via new apps (or as Amazon calls them “skills”) and integrations with other smart devices. They’re even getting better at understanding us and being more conversational. While last year’s show was marked by countless Alexa integrations, expect numerous announcements this year for partnerships on the Google Assistant platform.  While voice assistant enabled devices are still best known for playing music or the weather, they are continually adding features to make it more viable to control smart home devices, follow along with recipe instructions, search the Internet, place calls, and so on.  

Voice technology will be on-display on and off the CES show floor. Check out the Revolutionizing Consumer Electronics with Voice conference track at CES 2018.

The Smarter Smart Home

A truly connected home is one that can save you time, money or effort (hopefully all three!) on household tasks. While it brings the promise of more insights, controls and efficiencies, we’re not yet at perfectly streamlined, totally useful scenarios yet. Last year we did see a big push forward in terms of integration across more of these disparate, seemingly disconnected devices. Companies recognized that playing nice with one another would lead to a better ecosystem and happier consumers. This year we’ll see the benefits of that, like connected kitchen setups whereby you can select a recipe you want based on ingredients detected in your fridge, have that info automatically sent to your oven for preheating, and get started slicing and dicing away within moments. Or the ability to use your voice assistant to turn on your television in your bedroom, which will automatically prompt the lights in the living room to go off.    

See the latest in smart home technology at CES 2018. Check out the Smart Home Marketplace, located in Tech West, Sands, Level 2.

Tech-Driven Pregnancy & Fertility Tools

Health-related technology has grown exponentially in recent years, with large shifts toward seamless designs and easy-to-use interfaces. Just like sleep last year, the newer niche to take center stage this year will be tools that help simplify all aspects of pregnancy – before, during and after. For those who want to track their ovulation in the hopes of getting or avoiding pregnant, there are a slew of new tools including wearable bracelets, app-enhanced pee sticks and medical-grade vaginal sensors. For during pregnancy, there are headphones optimized for playing to your belly, trackers for monitoring your contractions and even “insertables” for properly practicing your kegels. And once your newborn arrives, there are smarter breast pumps, easier tools for tracking your baby’s every move, and safer formula-dispensing products.

CES 2018 will have an entire marketplace dedicated to technology solutions for parents of infants. Check out the Baby Tech Marketplace in Tech West, Sands, Level 2.

Rachel is the Chief Technologist and Engineering Director for the Good Housekeeping Institute. Rachel has had the opportunity to evaluate thousands of products during her Good Housekeeping tenure, including toys for the magazine's annual Toy Awards, dozens of cars in conjunction with Car and Driver, and countless innovative, breakthrough products of all kinds. She has appeared as a brand ambassador on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox Business, MSNBC, and Anderson Live, among other live appearances.  She also speaks at public conferences on the subjects of tech trends, innovation, and women in STEM. Rachel holds a BSE in Mechanical Engineering, Applied Mechanics, and Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania, and previously had roles in Public Relations for Sony Pictures Entertainment and its affiliate agency Allied Advertising. As a female engineer, it is Rachel’s goal promote an environment in which men and women of all ages can excel.  

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