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Mike Garner

Managing Director at Garner Osborne Circuits Ltd

CES 2018: What types of products will printed circuit boards be appearing in in 2018?

Yes, it’s January once more and you know what that means? 180,000 tech savvy people and 4,000 companies that all want a piece of the technology pie converge in Los Angeles for CES 2018.

Each keen to discover the newest trends within the electronics industry.

As printed circuit board manufacturers, it’s always good to have an indication of where business is likely to be coming from in the years ahead, not least because it’s a great way to work out exactly what our customers will be concerned about.

It’s no surprise that major tech players are making the most of smaller flex and rigid flex PCBs, more tightly packed with sensors and components.
So, what trends have come out of CES 2018 that we can see more of in the coming year?

An increase in products that deliver peace of mind
From sensor tech and security cameras, right to gadgets that measure the air quality or water quality in your home, it seems that products that deliver peace of mind are about to boom.

Several years ago, security cameras in the home were considered an oddity, but just as these have become more mainstream, perhaps smart home cyber security hubs will convince people that it’s worth being concerned about these issues and investing in their peace of mind.

Automotive vehicles
… And automated vehicles.
Roads are getting busier and people are demanding more from their cars. Cue augmented driving gadgets to help improve a driver’s performance. From gadgets that help you to stay alert behind the wheel, to gadgets such as smart sunglasses, at CES 2018 there was a gadget to help improve everyone’s driving.

Anything but reality
Augmented reality that can help train car mechanics and plumbers, to virtual reality, we’ve yet to unleash the power and opportunity that this technology can bring.
CES 2018 did allow us to glimpse into the potential that is on the verge of being tapped into. Maybe, as flex boards increase in popularity and allow greater design freedom, more opportunities for virtual reality and augmented reality will be uncovered - even employed, to reduce carbon footprints and rebuild societies fractured by distance.
Robots

Despite the rather embarrassing experience of one particularly disobedient robot that repeatedly failed on stage at its CES debut they won’t be going away any time soon.

However, CES would lead me to believe that they also won’t be dramatically changing the way we live just yet.

Health improving products
The last few years have seen the advancement of tech engaged to improve health by promoting activity. And, as the health industry is shifting towards a new focus on the importance of sleep, tech seems to be following. From pillows that purportedly wake you up at the perfect point in your sleep cycle, to headsets designed to induce a deeper level of relaxation – I’m already starting to see the market opportunity here.