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CES Report #1: Goodbye Keyboards, Try vs. Buy, Update Culture, Other Trends

Elliott Masie’s Learning TRENDS - January 8, 2018.
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Report #1 from Consumer Electronics Show - Las Vegas - Tech Trends & Impressions: 

Hello from Las Vegas - where over 120,000 people are gathering for a week of immersion in the changing world of Technology.  I arrived from very cold New York City on Sunday and have already been to 6 hours of briefings, demonstrations and conversations.  I will share more as the week progresses, but here are my first impressions: 

* Goodbye Keyboards: Almost every technology exhibited or demonstrated here was saying goodbye to keyboards.  Voice, Gestures, Screen Touches, Biometric ID and other non-typing methods are being focused.  Even a new car from China was featuring five hand motions that drivers would use in addition to steering.  We will need to map how this impacts learner interaction with content, LMS and collaboration tools. 

* Try Before Buy/Act: A less talked about Trend that I sensed was the growing desire of people to use technology to extend their ability to “Try” or simulate in deeper realities a proposed action or purchase.  Retailers are demonstrating how stores might become more “lab” based and allow a customer to play with possible cosmetics or clothing with a simulation mirror - prior to making a final decision.  The growth of technology that will enable high detail simulation has huge impacts for the learning field. 

* Update Culture: Historically, as soon as one bought a piece of technology it would already be out of date.  Our new automobile was made less current by the day - until we traded it in for a newer model.  The conversations here are focused on moving from Replace to Update - with an assumption of real time updating of systems and apps - based on feedback and innovation.  Each change also brings a “Moment of Need”, which will push designers to embed and surround Updates with transparent learning resources. 

* Adding Data and Technology to Medicine/Health: Fascinating conversations about the application of “Hyper-Personalization” - linking bio/gene analysis of a patient with a very different mix of technology, behavioral and pharmaceutical interventions.  Deep dialogue around the use of “Cognitive Health Management” to handle addiction issues.  As learning professionals we will need to bring a behavioral perspective to the application of technology as interventions.  For example, when does coaching need to be from an actual person or could it be as effective from the “system”? 

* “Machine Learning” as THE Buzz Word for Unfinished Innovations: I have been gagging on how often and strangely the phrase “Machine Learning” is invoked by technology innovators to say that the new technologies will work dramatically better as they roll out the “Machine Learning” elements “soon”.  Clearly AI and Machine Learning are advancing - but the use of this term has been out of control.  We are on a pathway to leveraging Big Data and AI and Machine Learning - BUT please don’t use it as a cover story for what we have not created now.  Same advice for our learning suppliers and system developers. 

* Video With Many Formats:  I will spend time with video companies today as they demonstrate the ability to create a video more simply, enhance it with augmented editing and be able to deploy it in many forms and formats - often driven by the users themselves.  Learners are more likely to watch a short video than take a longer eLearning module, so let’s look at our own agility in designing and deploying agile video formats. 

This was just the first day.  And, my brain is rolling and so excited to interact with colleagues from around the world.  I will be shooting video segments and posting them in the days ahead.  If you have questions or are at CES, please send me an email to 

Yours in learning, 

Elliott Masie
Twitter: @emasie 

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