outerspace trends overview – CES 2020 Las Vegas

outerspace designers and engineers attended CES this year, to see what new consumer electronic technologies are influencing product design, engineering and product development. This a snapshot of the most relevant new consumer electronic ideas and technologies on show across mobility, agritech, health and wellness, and consumer product development.


Standout products featured widespread integration of AI and 5G connectivity. Consumer products had more interconnectivity with big data and the cloud. With faster wireless speeds available for small electronic devices, consumer products had more overall interconnectivity with big data and the cloud.


Connected cars, self-driving vehicles and concept cars, including the Mercedes Vision AVTR concept car, Audi’s AI:ME and the Sony Vision S, featured heavily across more than 150 vehicle tech exhibitors including Audi, BMW, Daimler, FCA, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota.

New electric vehicle brands, Rivera and Bityo, are featuring autonomous systems with LIDAR detection, with widespread prediction that autonomous vehicles will be on the road and fully viable in the next 12-18 months. To showcase how far this technology has progressed, CES gave Lyft and Uber users the option to select a self-driving vehicle when booking a ride between the convention venues.

VR vision systems and advancements in LIDAR technology are showing advances in active environment mapping and how it can be combined with VR to create virtual environments where smart vehicles can move and maneuver safely.

Delta Airlines was the first airline to give a keynote at CES. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian described the future of travel through tech, including AI, AR, biometric security, smart incentive programs, and their new Parallel Reality experience, as air travel becomes more customized.


Smaller robotic tech companies are taking advantage of more open source software, lower costs, standardized components and wireless connectivity, reducing the need for bulky, on-board computing components. The majority of robotic products at CES were cleaning robots, game-playing robotic arms and toys.

5G connectivity

Strategic innovations and advancements in the 5G IOT were everywhere. An innovation that caught the design team’s eye was a tracking module that’s easily molded into a shoe. Developed by ECCO shoes, in partnership with Dassault Systems, the module utilizes 5G connectivity to track a person’s movements and interact with multiple digital environments, without the need for a personal device in close proximity.

While this technology is not ground breaking, the design thinking and strategy behind the product was impressive. ECCO have considered a wide array of use cases, including child tracking; industrial efficiency; safety; locating people; health and wellness; sports science and training. It showed great understanding and sensitivity to economic and environmental design plus great use of AI networks.

universal interconnectivity

Overall there was less about the latest hero products and more about building on existing product families and companion products.

The Ring video doorbell range was a good example of this. Ring are building on their partnership with Amazon to introduce new security products that integrate seamlessly with their hero doorbell product.

Consumers can buy into their product system including smart plugs, indoor and outdoor security sensors. Again, this trend of product families is not new, but the prevalence at CES shows it’s not slowing down.


John Deere’s partnership with BlueRiver technologies to develop Smart Boom showcased smart sensing and automation to improve agricultural productivity and efficiency. In the case of Smart Boom it’s applied to a self-driving tractor or harvester.

As the boom arm passes over a field, on-board sensors scan every plant, looking for weeds, out of position plants and disease indicators. It applies pesticide, herbicide or fertilizer strategically as required. This process is in opposition to traditional methods of blanketing fields universally to treat crops.

Smart Boom’s scanning and sensing tech syncs in real time with software (Capterra, FarmLogic and Grannular) to track efficiency and yield, so farmers can better utilize their time and improve efficiency.

By combining this smart sensing tech with other solid-state sensors (moisture detection, CO2 levels, solar absorption) even smaller operators can improve efficiency making it easier for them to be successful in the market.

health and wellness

Technologies supporting the advancement in digital therapeutics, wearables and remote patient monitoring were popular as digital health addresses real world issues like opioid dependence, mental illness and chronic disease. Health and wellness was represented by more than 135 exhibiting companies including Humetrix and InBody.


CES 2020 claimed to be the world’s largest start up event, with more than 1200 companies from 46 countries featuring at the Eureka Park site. New technologies included Oval Home smart sensor that analyzes temperature, light, humidity and movement in the home; Yoganotch, applies motion capture technology to help users improve yoga poses; and Caregiver Smart Solutions has sensors to track movement and patterns, to give caregivers reassurance and patients more independence at home.


Visiting CES to see what technology trends, ideas and applications are being integrated into products, informs the way we design now and into the near future. If you’d like to hear more about applying AI and other technologies to your products please give us a call or email

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