Connecting Life’s Dots, the organization Living in Digital Times partners with CES to deliver conference content during the show. At CES 2018, LIDT is connecting a lot of dots to help make health streamline into daily living.

Robin Raskin, founder, kicked off LIDT’s press conference setting the context for how technology is changing lifestyles. Her Holy Grail is to help make tech fun for everybody, inclusive for everybody, and loved by everybody, she enthused.

LIDT has been a presence at CES for many years, conceiving the contest the Last Gadget Standing, hosting  tech-fashion shows with robots, and supporting a young innovators awards foundation to bring young, entrepreneurial people to CES to experience the unfolding tech world, partnered with Lenovo.

Raskin covered some key trends across all areas, including the Internet-of-Things world of machines in conversation, AI machine learning leading to actionable advice, augmented reality for immersive experiences, migrating from keyboarads to voice control and haptic gestures, the ‘digital diet’ (how to balance tech and life), and the digitization of ‘everything.’

A key sector that’s an elephant in this virtual CES room is retail — and LIDT has a new summit track on high-tech retailing recognizing this hot topic. “A retail apocalypse?” Raskin asked. “Bah humbug!” she asserted, noting that while we may all see “for lease” signs at our local shopping malls and strips, there are 3,000-some new products getting featured at CES 2018 all looking for a retail channel home. These goods want and need a way to get “sold and known,” Raskin rationalized.

A success factor for re-imagining retail will be experiential shopping. One tech-baked product example that can leverage high-tech retail is L’Oreal’s Perfect, which enables people shopping for cosmetics to experience products in a personalized way. Target, Walmart and Bata are all attending CES trying out new retail techy concepts, recognizing that, as Raskin advised, “Shopping has to be an experience if it’s going to work.”

There’s lots of individuals’ data generataed by retail transactions, mashing up to Big Data. Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers know what you bought a month ago, and if they leverage that data wisely and with respect for the consumer, they can recommend a lovely table to go with that rug you purchased, or a complementary lipstick to accompany your new blush or hair color.

There’s a retail ecosystem evolving across retailers, suppliers and manufacturers, and service providers, all seeking to get a share of every consumers’ dollar and loyalty. That ecosystem also enables a more efficient value chain, from tracking where an item is made, when it is packed on a boat, the date it lands in a store’s inventory, and when it ends up in a consumer’s closet.

A resilient, tech-enabled retail ecosystem can benefit stakeholder participants, including consumers if they perceive they’re getting value-for-money, have privacy respected on an opt-in basis, and return-on-shared-information — which may be in the form of convenience, lower prices, social networks for peer support, and access to useful information (say, for replacement reminders in the case of a perishable product, or goods-that-go-with a purchase, like that table with a rug or blazer to accompany that great pair of black trousers you bought two weeks ago).

With the consumers’ growing demand for service and personalization in mind, this week at CES 2018, LIDT is convening several conferences covering the gamut of consumer lifestyles…

Health, wellness and fitness, will be featuring personalization (such as Firstbeat), connected coaching (like Asensei), livestreaming (with Peloton, Life Fitness, and Intelivideo), and weight loss (with Modus and DNA Fit).

Digital health, looking to hyper-personalization, precision medicine, AI and machine learning for diagnostics and treatment, growth in telehealth platforms that are reinventing the house call, digital therapeutics, and all sorts of sleep-tech, from quantified beds to headbands. (I’ll be moderating a panel at the Digital Health Summit tomorrow on consumers’ taking healthcare into their hands, featuring innovators from J&J, Nokia, and Teladoc – come see us at 1 pm in Lando 4304 in the Venetian).

Beauty tech is migrating beyond purely cosmetic DIY color mixing at home, to lasers for both eliminating hair growth and for fostering it, along with science-backed skin diagnostic technology from Neutrogena, bringing dermatologist-office grade devices to the consumer’s vanity.

Family tech and connected baby products will incorporate biometric sensors woven into onesies, market smart feeding breast pumps and bottles, and connect nurseries leveraging Alexa-type platforms to command-and-control baby’s room.

Kids@Play is where children and technology continue to converge amid controversies surrounding the connected toy business, kids’ privacy, and growing questions about mental health impacts arising from kids’ constant connectivity. The industry is responding with ASTRA and toy companies, like Mattel, sharing insights about how to assess good tech for kids. Google, too, has an effort, “Be Internet Awesome,” which is a kind of digital citizenship program for parents and kids. With innovations like immersive AR, the area of Kids@Play is a complex dynamic combining connected home, safety, and convenience.

Wearable tech, beyond fitness wearables, is proliferating at CES 2018, with smartwatches that incorporate more functionality – payments, messaging, and the stuff of Dick Tracy and Night Rider.

Finally, LIDT has a new forum addressing Digital Money. As a Bitcoin hit $10,000 in late 2017, the world of digital money is bifurcating in two ways: evolutionary, with new methods such as Samsung Pay and mobile payments that know about us; and revolutionary, via the world of cryptocurrencies — a growing portfolio of forms like Dogecoin, Waves, Ethererum, Dash, Gulden — along with Bitcoin, among many others growing by the week. At CES, there is much talk about big companies all having a view on digital money, both from a corporate standpoint and through the lens of consumers, many of whom don’t carry around cash anymore.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Increasingly, patients and people are spending hard-earned dollars, out-of-pocket, on health care services and supplies that lack transparency of prices, quality, and accessibility. Yes these patients, now taking on the role of consumer, are trying as best as they can to do the right thing for their own care and that for the people for whom they care.

When motivated to health-shop, these health consumers are looking for convenient, accessible, and clearly-priced health-things. In MakerHealth mode, many people finds ways to hack their healthcare: some make things to help track conditions like diabetes, some create methods to help track the many medications in their prescription drug regimens, others meditate to help manage high blood pressure, and most health-engaged people enter the grocery store (whether IRL bricks-and-mortar grocers or online) seeking healthy foodstuffs to project-manage nutrition at home.

CES 2018 offers a lot of tools, some backed by science evidence and others not-so-much, that is a kind of market research testing ground at the start of the year. By the second, third, and fourth quarters, we’ll be able to see which products made the cut — that is, in terms of stores’ orders, available in our Big Box retailers, consumer electronics stores, and on Amazon and other e-tailers.

The emerging tech-enabled retail ecosystem will help enable our health/care to move where it could appropriate go, at lower cost and ensured level of patient safety based on our risks. Amazon, to be sure; CVS/Aetna (if the merger proceeds with regulatory approval); and as-yet-to-be-named collaborations and mergers, will build on platforms, including these retail ecosystems, to deliver health in cost-effective, convenient ways. When designed and implemented with consumers and clinicians life- and work-flows in mind, people can benefit from these new formats of care in terms of quality, cost, convenience, and outcomes.

I spent time with Samsung and Faurecia yesterday, expanding my knowledge about new-new automotive trends and Internet-of-Things at home and via mobile. As I’ve previously reported, Samsung intends to have 100% of its products connected by 2020. They told us yesterday that this year, 90% of their products will be connected, so the company is on-target to meet their everything-IoT objective on-time. What we will see from Samsung, and undoubtedly across the connected home ecosystem, are our home goods and appliances connecting with our cars and everyday living.

The implications for health-at-home are huge — allowing the home not just to be Samsung’s Family Hub, but to be our Health Hub at some point. It won’t happen for us by 2020, but Samsung and others are laying the foundation for us to move health/care where we live. Hospitals, clinicians, and medical supply companies — the new front door for health/care will be the patient’s home front door.