From longer battery life to more details on Hyperloop's future, CES showed how business travel may improve in 2018.
Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
- CES 2018 showed the latest technology that will prove helpful for business travel, from ultrathin laptops to increased on-the-go charging options.
- TSA-friendly smart luggage with removable battery packs was one missing trend from the show, despite multiple airline banning some smart luggage beginning Jan. 15.
Artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and healthcare technology were deemed the CES 2018 trends to watch, but multiple announcements showcased the latest technologies impacting business travel as well.
From lighter, thinner devices to longer lasting charges for the ones you already have, technology coming in 2018 may take some of the headache out of business travel. Here are the top five business travel trends from CES 2018.
SEE: CES 2018: The Big Trends for Business (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature)
1. Improved laptop form factors
CES 2018 was all about ultrathin devices, especially convertible options that perform double-duty as a laptop and tablet like the ASUS ZenBook Flip 14. On top of being lightweight and easy to transport, enhancements like LTE and Alexa help business professionals get more done while on-the-go.
2. Better on-the-go charging
The show was full of new chargers and power banks-it is, after all, focused on consumers. But better charging solutions are crucial for business travelers, especially when trying to stay connected during delays.
Thanks to Apple bringing Qi wireless charging to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, wireless charging pads are receiving more attention. Business professionals now have a wider selection of form factors and styles, plus more competition in the market may mean a race to even faster charging.
Hyperloop, which would travel faster than an airplane but would cost less, could someday get people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in an hour. While it didn't launch at CES, we did learn more about it and its potential future impact on business travel.
Virgin Hyperloop One, the only company that claims to have a full-scale prototype of the technology, showed a trip planning app and a hyperloop pod at CES. While Hyperloop trains aren't running yet, Virgin plans to release the app in 2018, so the transport system might be here soon.
4. Longer lasting batteries
Longer battery life appeared in nearly every category of tech a business traveler would need. For example, Lenovo's Miix 630 tablet has a 20 hour battery life on a single charge. The Misfit Path, the newest wearable from Misfit, has a six month battery life.
5. Better connectivity through 5G
Travel apps and companies will be able to provide more personalized services to business travelers as 5G rolls out over the next few years. Faster speeds mean more connected devices to tailor hotel rooms to feel like home, and easier access to augmented reality (AR). Travel companies could use AR to give directions and suggest things to do in the area, making business travel easier.
A noteworthy missing trend: Updated smart luggage.
Despite multiple airlines beginning bans of smart luggage with lithium ion batteries that can't be removed this month, TSA-friendly suitcases and carry ons didn't make headlines at CES. Need some luggage for an upcoming trip? Check out some options, and other travel gadgets, here.