CES 2017 - a look at the future III - Robots

The Las Vegas CES (Consumer Electronics Show) unveiled the emergence of a pluridisciplinary and decentralised ecosystem enabling physical interaction with the Internet.

'Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?' There were so many virtual assistants on display at the Las Vegas CES, that this famous question was not left long unanswered. From the robot to the entire home, capable of centralising all connected devices, from the connected refrigerator to the dressing room ready and willing to prepare an entire outfit for you - depending on your mood and on the day's weather, we have irrefutably entered the era of infinitely exploitable artificial intelligence.

In the vanguard, Amazon Alexa and its open system capable of transforming any electric iron into a genuine HAL 9000 for the home. For any object that integrates Alexa can talk, read music, compile task lists, set alarms, launch podcasts and audio books, forecast the weather, traffic and provide a range of other information in real time, whilst controlling intelligent devices. It is open, easy to programme, compatible: Alexa offers a genuine ecosystem that can bring the most inert of objects to life.

Behind Alexa, Google, Microsoft and Apple are also doing their utmost to join the bandwagon with Google Assistant, Cortana and Siri.

Their aim is to integrate data drawn from the Internet, from clouds, from the object itself and from its environment. Speech recognition is but the tip of the iceberg and virtual assistants are popping up everywhere, anywhere, like modern-day Gremlins.

Samsung refrigerator capable of proposing a recipe based on its contents

Educational robot to help teach your children

Robotic vacuum cleaner you can abandon in any airport

Panasonic personal coach

LG's 'Rolling Bot' golf ball robot can beat you at 100 m

LG's Hub Bot, the perfect butler for any connected home

Yet let's not allow all these rather bling bling innovations to distract us from the crux of the question: the birth of a pluridisciplinary and decentralised ecosystem that allows physical interaction with the Internet, as if the network were coming out of the screen to invade the real physical world!

If you combine the augmented power and the faster calculation capacity of electronic chips, amplified telecommunication bandwidth, advances in artificial intelligence algorithms and the ever-increasing standardisation of communication protocols, you obtain the brand new and explosive robotised ecosystem within which you are sure to navigate over the coming 10 years.