Flaherry-WoodsAlong with several of her Rockwell Collins’ colleagues, Emily Flaherty-Woods is attending CES®, the global technology event, January 8-12, in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES is one of the world’s premier events to see, hear and feel how technology is reshaping our world … especially how it’s impacting the aviation and aerospace sectors. Emily is sharing her thoughts on this year’s show in a daily blog for Insights followers.



This year I have the fantastic opportunity to attend CES, one of the world’s largest technology showcases. There are more than 4,000 exhibitors ranging from small startups to the biggest technology brands in the business. The technologies showcased at CES cover a wide range of the consumer technology market, including automotive, digital heath, connected home devices, robotics, virtual reality and gaming. However, the focus of my trip, and of my daily summaries, will be on innovative and disruptive technologies that could influence the aviation industry. After just one day scouring the showcase floor, several technology trends have started to emerge: autonomy, artificial intelligence, and augmented (or virtual) reality. It seems wherever you look in the CES exhibition halls there are products addressing the need for future autonomous systems, deep learning techniques, and innovative twists for traditional augmented and virtual reality systems. Discussed below are a few of the most interesting technologies I observed today:

Smart Cockpit Designs
Concept CarOne company features three different concept car cockpits. The first concept car vision is targeted to enter service in 2022. This design features five LED displays, three touch-screen displays in the dashboard, one center touch-infotainment panel, and one rear-view camera display. Perhaps the most interesting feature in this design was the Active Surface Interior Panels, which consists of an OLED, covered by a touch layer, and then finished with a thin wood layer. These panels offer a sleek and clean finish for touch features embedded into the center console.

IMG_1509 car 2The second concept car is designed for a 2025, level 3 autonomous system. This design features a narrow panoramic display across the dashboard, a windshield display, a stow-away dashboard display and a gaze detection system. This design incorporates two operating modes—manual and autonomous—and the vehicle automatically configures the displays and content based on the operational mode.

IMG_1508 car 3The third design is a concept for a level 5 autonomous vehicle. This concept features an innovative vehicle living space using a variety of advanced technologies such as a retinal scanner to unlock the vehicle, biometric monitoring to automatically adjust the temperature for each passenger, and transparent OLED displays for side windows.

Virtual Reality Headset
glasses-1.jpgAnother company is showcasing their latest generation, virtual reality headset, which provides a 210ºx130º field of view and 5K resolution image made using custom, dual, Fresnel lens. The headset is lightweight, offers a three-point head strap, and can support multiple head-tracking solutions. This product is impressive and offers a truly immersive experience. Never have aliens seemed so real as in this demo.

“Brain Sensing”
IMG_1506 glasses 2Multiple startup companies are showcasing unique “brain sensing” technologies. Brain sensing seems like a concept straight out of the movies, but at the root of this technology are small physiological sensors that can monitor brain activity, similar to traditional EEG devices. Most companies feature the brain sensing devices as small sensors integrated into lightweight glasses or virtual reality devices.IMG_1504 glasses 1 The emergence of lightweight, noninvasive, low-cost brain sensing technologies in the consumer market may open up new opportunities in the aviation industry. Specifically, this technology could provide new methods for actively monitoring a pilot’s physiological conditions in the cockpit.

What a day! I can’t wait to discover more technology at CES tomorrow, and look forward to sharing my thoughts with you throughout my trip.

Posted by Rockwell Collins