CES 2018: Full Review

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And so it all comes to a sad end. CES 2018 has officially ended and I cannot wait until next year (check out the videos and photos below).

Some of the biggest hits were:

1. Robot dogs– pet it, feed it, hug it, pick it up. Do as you wish, as this toy is as dog-like as they come. One little note…it has creepy eyes! (check out the video of it below)

2. Fitness trackers– there were compression socks with monitors to diagnose blood pressure, heart beat, etc. Also, shoes and insoles had monitors on them to help use statistics to help individuals change daily habits.

3. MicroLED screens– these bright LEDs allowed for an amazing picture, in what was titled “The Wall” in the Samsung booth (check out the video if it below)

4. 8K screens– double the amount of pixels as a 4K television. However, can an average consumer tell the difference between a 4K and a 8K? My assumption is no. Therefore, although this is a “wow” product, the reality is that this won’t go to market any time soon…especially at the current price point (tens of thousands of dollars).

5. Robot carriers– these help move trash cans, contaminated waste buckets, boxes, and anything else you need moving. Say goodbye to floor workers? Absolutely! I see this as a viable solution to decreasing a company’s SG&A line, decreasing on-site injuries and disasters, and increasing efficiency in the workplace. Plausible locations might take place at retail and manufacturing sites. (check out video of it below)

6. AR glasses– AR stands for augmented reality. Instead of VR, where the individual is fully immersed in a “new” world, AR allows the current “real” world to be seen, with data and information overlayed via smart glasses. This is a strong product in the manufacturing, health (think surgeries), and construction fields.

7. Smart home everything!- yes, there were hundreds of connected devices, all vying for the title of biggest, badest tech device that pairs with Google Home or Amazon Alexa. These included Wi-Fi light bulbs, smart ACs, smart sprinkler systems, smart shower heads, smart refrigerators, and smart stoves (to name a few). Who will be the next big player to integrate the majority of devices used in homes today? My take would be Google.

8. Robots in general– these robots can hang around the home and help protect those inside. Whether it be if someone is seriously injured and the ambulance needs to be called, or if a person wants to Skype her/his grandchildren in another state. Whatever it may be, these robots are the future and are going to help our generation live longer and feel more comfortable on a daily basis. Yes, these are creepy as well!

9. Autonomous driving– driving without the help of a human is Level 5. Every car company is competing vigorously to be the first-to-market for Level 5. Some of the big players include Intel (yay!), Nvidia, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, and Mercedes Benz. One of the most unique technologies in this space is LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). LIDAR uses light laser pulses to gauge how far away objects are from one another.

10. Smart security– companies like Vivint, Ring, ADT, and others are implementing fingerprint detection, 2-way cameras, sirens, and motion and light detectors in order to help secure homes even more. The benefit of some of the smaller companies like Ring is that these devices can be set up with little to no effort, and don’t require a handsome amount of upfront cash to get started. Also, the consumer can cancel services at any time, without penalties.

11. All-in-One devices– I saw a lot of features that were included within all-in-one products. For example, instead of a simple speaker, the product included a bluetooth speaker, radio, night light, weather station, and accepted voice activated commands. The reason for this consolidation of features is to reduce the amount of products that one consumer needs. These solve the problems of clutter and one device not being able to connect with other devices.

Here are the statistics from this year’s massive event:

*As a side note, CES first kicked off in June of 1967, with 250 exhibitors & 17,500 attendees in NYC*

  • This year there was more than 3,900 exhibitors
  • 2.75M net sq ft of exhibit space
  • Largest show floor in CES’ 51 yr history
  • 860,732 tweets about CES 2018
  • 450,554 uses of the #CES2018 hashtag
  • Eureka Park presented more than 900 startups from across the world
  • 900 speakers, including 240 women, across some 200 conference sessions

Videos:

Pictures:

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Fun Fact of the Day: 2018 Tax Plan

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Fun fact of the day:

Here is an overview of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, introduced Dec 22, 2017 by President Trump:

1. Top individual tax rate decrease to 37% (previously 39.6%)
2. Still 7 income tax brackets (changes back to previous rates starting in 2026)
3. Those 7 income tax brackets are as follows: 1- 10%; 2- 12%; 3- 22%; 4- 24%; 5- 32%; 6- 35%; 7- 37%
4. Standard deduction is doubled (single increased from $6,350 to $12K; married/joint increased from $12.7K to $24K) (changes back to previous rates starting in 2026)
5. Personal exemptions are eliminated ($4,150 could be subtracted for each person before)
6. Most itemized deductions are eliminated (i.e., moving expenses (except military), alimony (paying))
7. Deductions for charitable contributions, retirement savings, & student loan interest are KEPT
8. Deduction on mortgage interest is limited to the 1st $750K of the loan; interest on home equity lines of credit can no longer be deducted; however, current mortgage holders aren’t affected
9. Taxpayers can deduct up to $10K in state & local taxes
10. Medical expenses are expanded in ’17 & ’18 (deduction of medical expenses 7.5% or more of income; previously it was 10% for those born after 1952, while seniors had 7.5%)
11. Obamacare tax is repealed for those w/o health insurance in 2019
12. Estate tax exemption doubled to $11.2M singles and $22.4M couples (changes back to previous levels starting in 2026)
13. Alternative minimum tax increased from $54,300 to $70,300 singles & $84,500 to $109,400 joint; exemptions phase out @ $500K singles & $1M joint (changes back to previous rates starting in 2026)
14. Child tax credit increased from $1K to $2K; parents who don’t meet threshold to pay taxes can still claim credit up to $1.4K; income level is increased from $110K to $400K for married tax filers
15. Parents can use 529 savings plans for tuition @ private & religious K-12 schools & home-schooled students’ expenses; $500 credit for each non-child dependent
16. Corp tax rate decrease from 35% to 21%
17. Standard deduction for pass-through businesses is raised to 20% (ends in 2025)
18. Pass-through businesses include: sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, S corporations, real estate companies, hedge funds, & private equity funds
19. Deductions phase out for service professionals once their income reaches $157,500 singles & $315K joint filers
20. Interest expense deduction is limited to 30% of income
21. 1st 4 yrs is EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation & Amortizations); then goes back to EBIT (Earnings Before Interest & Taxes)
22. Depreciable assets can be deducted in 1 yr instead of amortizing them over several yrs (equipment has to be purchased from Sept 27, 17 to Jan 1, 23)
23. Carried interest is taxed at $23.8% instead of 39.6% before; firms must hold assets for 1 yr to qualify for lower rate (going to last 3 yrs)
24. Corporate AMT of 20% tax rate is eliminated; companies could not deduct R&D spending or investments in low-income neighborhood
25. System changing from worldwide to territorial system (corporations will not be taxed on foreign profit)
26. Companies can repatriate the $2.6T they hold in foreign cash stockpiles; they pay a 1-time tax rate of 15.5% on cash & 8% on equipment
27. Oil drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is now allowed
28. Tax credits for electric vehicles & wind farms are maintained
29. Orphan drug research deduction is decreased from 50% to 25% (orphan drugs target rare diseases)
30. Taxes on beer, wine, & liquor is cut
31. Business cuts are permanent; individual cuts expire in 2025 (unless stated otherwise above)

Any questions? :)

Oh and…those in the 20-80% income range will receive a 1.7% increase in after-tax income and those in the 95-99% range will receive a 2.2% increase. The rich get richer!

CES 2018: What to Expect from LV

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CES is just around the corner. It takes place from Jan 9 – 12. My father and I will be attending the 11th & 12th. I cannot wait to take the drive up to LV!

I am now an experienced “CES-er”, having attended this large event the past 2 consecutive years.

Sony will be the biggest surprise when it comes to smartphones during the conference. The Japanese firm is expected to launch several new phones in 2018.

Some of the largest players are Google, Samsung, LG, and Sony.

Last year, Samsung had Virtual Reality “rides” that participants could join in on. These rides flipped, turned, and spun participants in every direction imaginable. It will be interesting to see what Samsung has in store this year. I believe it will be their rumored Galaxy X, which can bend and fold.

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Google might feature products such as the Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL phones, Google Home Mini smart speaker, Google PixelBook, and Daydream View VR headset. They have reserved the outdoor Central Plaza of the LVCC (Las Vegas Convention Center), plus 8 suites at the Aria hotel.

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Sony will most likely reveal it’s new headphones, 4K projectors, Bravia TVs, and Xperia smartphones.

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LG will be displaying its lineup of smart TVs, with OLED and FHD technology. Their 88in 8K OLED TV might pop-in with an amazing resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels (record breaker for sure). The LG G7 smartphone and ThinQ speaker could take launch at this year’s conference as well.

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This year, the conference will feature smart fridges, 8K televisions, self-driving cars, VR (Virtual Reality), 5G, and AI (Artificial Intelligence).

How many of you will be attending this year’s CES?

 

Fun Fact of the Day: What are Polarized Glasses?

polarized-lenses

Fun fact of the day:

Polarized lenses mitigate glare by using a chemical film either applied to or embedded in the lenses. The chemical filter on polarized sunglasses removes glare by absorbing the incoming horizontal light, while still allowing vertical light. What we perceived as glare is usually reflected horizontal light. The horizontal light that creates the effect of glare is absorbed and nullified by the chemical film on polarized lenses. The lenses only allow vertical light, acting as a chemical Venetian blind.