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Here at CES 2018

By January 23, 2018No Comments

For the last 5 years I’ve been making the pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES. What started as a spin-off of the Chicago Music Show, which at the time was the main event  exhibiting consumer electronics in 1967, is now a full blown time traveling experience.

As an optimist and dreamer, I love CES. It’s like a sneak peak at the future, brought to you by some of the most ambitious entrepreneurs and innovators from around the globe.

This year’s trip was extra special. I was invited to spend a few days with HERE and a group of other influencers in the smart city, mobility and mapping space to learn how the internet of things, mobility and mapping are colliding to power the autonomous world of the future.

And Spoiler alert, HERE is behind almost all of it with unique partnerships and bid data.

If you’re not familiar with HERE, they are a company that provides mapping data and apps to individuals and companies. It’s owned by a consortium of auto makers (namely Audi, BMW, and Mercedes). Here captures location content such as road networks, buildings, parks and traffic patterns. It then sells or licenses that mapping content, along with navigation services and location solutions to other businesses such as Alpine, Garmin, BMW, Oracle and In addition, HERE has indoor maps available for about 49,000 unique buildings in 45 countries.

I was excited for this special access because I’ve been working at the intersection of smart cities, smart buildings, mobility and urban economic development for the last several years. I even started Dogfooding my learnings by giving up my car in a massively spread out city.

What I believe to be true is that autonomous mobility is going to effect the built world and our cities more than anyone can imagine.

What happens when residential real estate developers can build buildings with less or no parking and mobility built in?

Do we get more affordable housing?

How much more time do people get back in their life?

There’s many rabbit holes we can go down here and even more questions of HOW do we do it. But, it’s fun to think about how mobility and the built world are so interconnected.

HERE’s fully autonomous world vision was one of my favorite exhibits because it was a comprehensive vision of what a city of the future might actually look like. An interconnected, platform of platforms that shares data to deliver experiences and efficiency for the users of the city. I’m excited to report that from what I saw and what I’ve learned over the last few years is that the future is here, it’s just not yet evenly distributed.

I’ve recapped some of the best things I saw, with some notes on how I think it might apply to Homebase.

The Autonomous World

The Autonomous world shows a connected vision of the future where cars, drones, buildings, residents, packages, literally everything is connected and leveraging data. Each of these systems is powered by open data, and each shares data back into the system for others to leverage.  Each one informs the other, making each service better and more intelligent. This entire vision is enabled by the Open Location Platform and from what I understand is being developed in a live city.

HERE partners with Hyperloop.

The Hyperloop easily could have been number 2 coolest thing I saw at CES, but the Hyperloop team wouldn’t give an inside scoop that the Hyperloop was officially going from KC to STL.

Hyperloop is potentially world changing for the obvious reasons like getting KC to STL (I’ll keep shamelessly pushing) in less than 30 mins instead of 4 hours by car. This changes the meaning of place and where people could live and work.

What was not obvious in everything I had read about the Hyperloop and it’s benefits was how they thought about moving people. Which is where the HERE and Hyperloop partnership comes in.

It’s not just a super fast pod in a vacuum tube. They want to get you literally from point A to B with their mobility app. If you want to go from “home” to the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (assuming this is the future and the Hyperloop network is built) it will setup TNC transport to portal, schedule you an pod and arrange transport from the Vegas portal to the Cosmopolitan. All in one app powered by HERE.

Read on.

HERE Open Location Platform

An autonomous future requires us to be able to track where all of the “things” in the Internet of Things are at in time and space. The HERE open location platform is a mapping and asset tracking platform that developers can use to build location based applications that can track all of the “things”, overlayed with environmental issues and other data streams to create new solutions.

It was interesting to learn ways Homebase could leverage this platform to improve workflow automation and track service provider arrival times, vehicles in a residential car sharing program or even package deliveries for residents. There’s a lot more to come here, stay tuned.

I’d say one of the biggest takeaways from the entire trip this year was that the future will be created thru partnerships, no one company can do it all, nor should they. There’s a lot of experiences to build and you can’t connect all of the things if you can’t connect all the things.