January 11, 2019Published by: Drew Benvie

Voice dominates the 2019 tech forecast – what’s hot from CES

This week the annual Consumer Electronics Show takes place in Vegas, and its showcase gadgets have dominated the news agenda as we ease into 2019. CES is seen as the barometer for technology trends in the year ahead, so here at Battenhall we've taken a look at what's hot from the main event.

What's clear this year is that there's no one gadget or product, but rather an interface for all your technology: voice control.

Voice has emerged as the dominant trend, with the big tech brands and hot startups alike all infusing voice into their product innovations. Data published by the BBC shows that this is almost entirely done through smart speakers - namely Alexa and Google Assistant.

With voice control forming such a huge part of this year's tech forecast, brands are now looking across the board at how to build foundations for a voice-first future. Ensuring a brand is relevant for a web without websites, and where conversations and vocal prompts take centre stage is the new frontier in tech innovation.

Here are just some of the innovations coming from CES, showing how voice is being integrated into products coming out soon:

  • In-car services - to allow drivers to be fully online, hands-free. A huge topic in the UK.
  • Music services - with smart speakers driving music streaming and also a resurgence in podcasts.
  • Smart home appliances - from help with cooking to smart doors, machines and even sun shades.
  • Voice controlled TVs - could we see the death of the remote?
  • Travel automation - with smart assistants organising boarding passes, routes and even translations.
  • Reading glasses from North that are powered by voice control that show hologram-like content on its lenses.
  • And my favourite - the smart plank of wood. Crazy as it seems, a smart component of a room or a home that just blends in I think has huge opportunity.

The challenge here, is to look beyond the relatively small number of brands innovating with voice control. It's about the other 99% of brands who can tap into voice as a control system and engage a new age of consumer interaction. That's where we are finding some really exciting innovation here in Battenhall already, and we see as a major area of focus for the year ahead.

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