This year’s CES seems to show that the future from “Wall-E” is not far off. If tech companies are right, then in a few years, we’re all going to be talking to our fridges and servant robots more than other people.
We’re at a point where technology has made our lives so easy, the only thing left for our devices to do is actually live our lives for us.
You know how pizza delivery is a total pain in? Well, it isn’t, but Pizza Hut and Toyota are teaming up to eliminate the “hassle” of exchanging 2 to 3 sentences with your delivery driver by unveiling their state-of-the-art Driverless Delivery Vehicle. I mean, credit to Pizza Hut for looking at ways to improve their service, but instead of saying: “What if we made our food less disgusting," they went with: “What if we removed souls from delivery?”
If this sounds like a Black Mirror episode to you — you’re not alone.The Netflix tech-horror show retweeted PizzaHut’s announcement with: “We know how this goes.”
Finding the right balance between “helpful” and “completely unnecessary” seems to be the predominant theme at CES 2018. For example, FoldiMate is a $1000 robot that can kind of fold your laundry for you. I say “kind of” because, by most reports, it doesn’t work for most laundry items besides shirts and towels.
Meanwhile, Samsung and LG are both really leaning into their Smart Refrigerators, adding more AI and voice controls to their products. Samsung wants your fridge to act as the centralized hub for all of your smart devices — you’d be able to use voice commands to, say, dim the lights in your home without the hassle of touching a light switch. And, LG’s smart fridge wants to communicate with your smart oven, and other smart appliances, to make your life that much easier. The idea is that the devices would eventually learn your habits and anticipate your needs.
CES also revealed that companion robots are almost here. CLOi, for example, is a small robot that companies like LG want to become an integral part of your home routine. The only issue right now is… they don't work.
During the tech demonstration, CLOi was almost entirely uncooperative. LG speaker David VanderWaal repeatedly attempted to show off the CLOi’s voice recognition — but the robot ignored every one of his commands.
LG also said they hope to develop robots to eventually have the capacity for “emotional interaction," which again just makes me feel like the engineers working on these things just need, like… a friend.
So what do you think? Are you excited for the future of technology? Will smart fridges and robot assistants make your life easier? Let us know in the comments.
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