Today I visited nearly all of CES Tech East and it is clear to me that the future is full of electric vehicles and Autonomous Shuttles. There were trendy looking Electric Vehicle  Level 2 charging stations (even one bi-directional model), and more LIDAR sensors than humankind will ever need.

I will say the thermal imaging company Flir had surprised me by incorporating their technology as an additional sensor for autonomous driving. I could see some edge cases where knowing what is generating heat would be useful information and would be superior at detecting objects just outside the visible range of vehicle headlights (anybody else live in a neighborhood overrun with deer?). There were a handful of drone-like helicopters (aka flying cars), everyone is certain that this is the year we start getting real 5g wireless, and it seems everything is going to be Artificially Intelligent.

However, there were a couple of things that caught my attention and are probably not items the mainstream tech press has already posted in your news feed. First up, I submit this nomination in the category of most attractive design for street furniture with integrated LIDAR and A.I. object detection, North American Lighting’s Smart Street Light.

CES attendees checking out North American Lighting’s Smart Street Lights.

Next up in the category of “what’s vintage becomes modern” is the 1950’s era Victrola’s vinyl record player with a wireless streaming upgrade. Granted this is not remotely business-relevant but certainly something I did not expect to see making a comeback (like 1970’s fashion).

Victrola’s vinyl record player, lovely.

Although there were lots of Smart Home gadgets in Tech East, the only standout Smart Utility in my mind was a residential air conditioning that uses water as a refrigerant and natural gas as a heat source, needing 10% of the electricity used by a typical A/C unit. If you are interested in following the development of this young company visit

One honorable mention that I learned about while sharing a very small standup table during a convention center lunch is the Doosan M400 Natural Gas Fuel Cell. Some of you Fuel Cell veterans might remember Quantum Technology/ClearEdge Power and Doosan is the company that owns that technology now. Hopefully, fuel cells/combined heat and power systems will add more options to our future energy mix.

Tomorrow I head to Tech West for the Eureka Park startup showcase and innovation awards. This is where the research technologies are shown and might produce a few more surprises (secretly I am hoping for some Perovskite Solar Cells). Speaking of research, check out CES’s 2020 Innovation Scorecard rankings by state/country.