The Road to CES18 with Cassie Gannis

I recently had the honor of attending the Consumer Electronics Show with ToughTested in Las Vegas, Nevada. After loading up my truck and trailer, packing my race gear, and setting the aux cord and phone charger up to my road trip playlist, we were strapped in and headed east through the desert, marveling at everything from the Joshua Tree Forest to the Hoover Dam. I was bound for a trip like no other!

Rolling into the Las Vegas Convention Center, we were halted by security who told us that it would be impossible to get my race car’s trailer through the building and up to the second floor. Never the less, I was able to drive the race car up a ramp and into the facility, navigating tight corners and on to our carpeted booth. It was quite a spectacle, even stopping workers and technicians to take pictures. The irony is that I was bringing basic mechanics or what I think to be low tech to a high tech show.

CES is the world’s largest consumer electronics show. Over 200,000 people from 150 countries and 4,000 tech companies descended into Las Vegas. Home to the latest and greatest in innovate technology!

This year, CES was all about ‘smart home’ technology. Smart home systems allow you to control appliances, lighting, windows, irrigation, entertainment systems, outdoor Wi-Fi stereo systems and so much more! We will never have to get out of our seats! With that said, I am sure we will all be utilizing gym memberships or innovation exercise equipment to keep us active!

The Artificial Intelligence section of the conference left me feeling rather unsure about how I felt about robots. Seeing life-sized robots doing what humans do, didn’t really seem normal to me. At one booth, I was prepared and served a drink by a mechanical machine that admitted to me it had to be aware of being gentle because it had the ability to crush the glass. That sure made me feel uneasy. However, I was impressed with the smaller robots who were able to assist those seniors and those with disabilities. There was even an artificial therapy cat! I believe AI will allow for more independence for people; I just question the loss of human interaction. For me, no technology could ever replace real human contact and interaction.

Many of you know I love animals, so of course, I hit the animal section of CES. The future for pets will allow their owners to not only see them while they are away but also get their temperatures and heart rates just by having the pet lay on a pet bed. Tracking for pets and wild animals will be less intrusive and more specific to location.

I could go on and on about the innovative technology at CES but the best part of the show were the people! I was overjoyed with the number of racing fans that stopped by the booth to talk about the sport I love with those who share the same enthusiasm. The questions I received were surprisingly specific to automobiles. I was asked about the engine, carburetor, tires, shocks, rear end, race seat and fuel cell. Most people were impressed with how much technology and engineering go into my racecar. Even better, I loved the surprise on people’s faces as they were told I was the driver. That look never gets old. I enjoyed making some new friends and catching up with some old friends at the show. I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended the CES show and thankful to ToughTested for taking me along. I am really looking forward to attending in 2019.