I get to Las Vegas for this conference for many reasons. by@sbolhack

I get to Las Vegas for this conference for many reasons.

The entire older population is heading for a wonderful future of independence. The assisted living market will be overbuilt very shortly. The implications of the virtual reality googles are endless. 3D printers will disappear, but the brick and mortar will disappear over the next five years. The system(s) that allow each other to talk to each other will win, he says. The ‘wearable fitness’ thing is fashion trumps any new functionability, but there are 30–50 companies with various forms of these things.
Scott Bolhack Hacker Noon profile picture

Scott Bolhack


I get to Las Vegas for this conference for many reasons. This is a random list of thoughts of my experience over the past week.

  1. Very inspiring to see all of the small projects from entrepreneurs at the Sands Venetian that people are doing because they are inspired to solve a goal. You walk away many times from talking with them knowing that their chance of a successful product is so small but never do you walk away from them knowing that they believe what they have accomplished is so satisfying to them individually. As with this forum, it’s great to share information and ideas with them. Challenge and be challenged.

2. You can learn more in one day walking around the conference about pricing a successful product or service than you would earning an MBA degree (been there, done that).

3. The entire older population is heading for a wonderful future of independence, where they will be able to stay in their own homes longer and live independently for a longer time period. My estimate is that the assisted living market will be overbuilt very shortly. As homes become more automated and driving becomes automated, even the most frail will be able to remain in their homes longer, safer, easier. So many products — electric cars; push notification via TV, easy to work tablets (push a couple of buttons); automated pill boxes, etc. New businesses will arise just putting together packages of electronics that will be individually integrated for the elderly person in the home. The Geeks at Best Buy will be installing these rather than audio-visual systems within five years.

4. Really big this year: 3D printers. Really big. Three times the space compared to last year. There will be a wave over the next five years. The brick and mortar will disappear. Need a screw: order online, enter the number, they get printed, dropped off at your house. Now think about all that is not needed: no huge store but a 3d printer factory, no middlemen, no storage facilities. Total game changer.

5. Really big this year: the virtual reality googles. Don’t understand why. I get too dizzy.

6. Really big this year: drones: six times the space compared to last year including the one for humans. I fly stunt kites for hobby and things break: its part of the hobby knowing what supplies you need to keep with you. These things are plastic and will break. No clear winners here. Now that your thingamabobba broke, who are you going to send it to in China? But the implications of the drones are endless.

7. Really incredible: home automation. Unable to have an opinion who will be the winner here. Nope, that isn’t correct. The system(s) that allow each other to talk to each other will win. I like Insteon(r) for that reason since you can get their stuff to work with Amazon’s Echo. I will begin to try to increase the automation this year in my house. There are two things to consider on this journey: ease of integration among different companies AND the quality of the actual product (the switch, the lightbulb, etc.).

8. I don’t get the whole ‘wearable fitness thing but there are 30–50 companies with various forms of these things. This year, fashion trumps any new functionability. I work out and I am a physician but these all look alike after awhile. Not clear where this is heading. Studies show that after several months, people stop wearing these things. I know that once this are able to send better information in an interpretable manner to a medical reviewer, they may become more useful.

9. Telemedicine is somewhat of a misnomer. Telemedicine is performing medicine over the internet. If you have a cold and the doctor on the other side of the screen does not have a stethoscope to listen to your lungs to determine if you have pneumonia, then you really have Telemediliability NOT Telemedicine. Yep, insurance companies are paying for it because it is cheaper for them to pay the Telemedicine companies that they contract with for this fake encounter rather than you going to the urgent care, where after testing, costs them a lot more. As the consumer, it is more convenient if the encounter can be done without an examination.

10. Last year I said that if you have the energy and 10K and you want to hustle to make a buck, there are dozens of vendors from China that will sell you very able and beautiful and cheap products that you could resell at flea markets, dormitories, ebay. I have personally listened to speakers that are of great quality that have similar products selling here in America for a whole lot more. But you got to buy 500 of them, or a thousand.Think: bluetooth small speakers for five bucks, turntables that sell on Amazon for $75 for $18 dollars.

That’s my list of ten thoughts for the day. And there was a really cool turntable there that I really want, but absolutely don’t need.

A healthy and happy new year to everyone!

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