ObEN’s back from CES, where every year a whirlwind of tech, gadgets, and business descends upon Las Vegas, offering anyone involved in the consumer electronics industry a glimpse at the innovations that herald the tech trends for the coming year.

ObEN has made a splash every time we’ve come to CES, and this year is no exception. We’ve taken our 3D intelligent avatar technology to the next level, adopting the Project PAI blockchain protocol to enable everyone in the world to create their Personal AI that looks, sounds, and behaves like them.

Not even the torrential rain could deter the throng of visitors at this year’s convention, as attendees were treated to ever thinner, lighter, more connected devices that offer “smart” solutions for nearly every aspect of life — home, work, even commute.

This year, ObEN took our Personal AI (PAI) on a tour of all that is smart, new, and forward thinking in tech. Smarter, more personalized assistants integrating across a wide array of functions were everywhere at CES. Since adopting the Project PAI blockchain last year, ObEN has worked to put our AI technology on the blockchain, allowing everyone in the world to create their own Personal AI — because who could possibly assist you better than you? (You can follow Project PAI’s development by joining their Telegram community at https://t.me/projectpai)

The Year of “Hey”

LG Smart Home assistant CLOi is cute as a button, and will chide you to do your laundry

By now, we’ve all gotten pretty used to summoning a smart assistant with a casual greeting. Though LG’s newest addition to the lineup, CLOi, had a bought of stage fright in her debut, there’s little doubt that 2018 will be the year “Hey” dominates our lexicon.

To understand the great expectations for AI enabled smart assistants, attendees simply had to look at their surroundings, where Google, traditionally quiet at CES, plastered the city with a giant parking lot playground, wrapping the Vegas monorail and promoting Hey Google from seemingly every billboard in town.

As of yet, all of these smart assistants lack the personal touch. The back and forth with these assistants are still carried out in stilted robotic tones (though NLP technology is improving rapidly). But here at ObEN we foresee a future where these assistants can be much more personalized, utilizing ObEN’s Personal AI (PAI) technology. Imagine smart assistants that can speak in your own voice, the voice of a loved one, or even your favorite celebrity — as we put our AI technology on the PAI blockchain, developers can work to make such personalized experiences come to life. In addition, the blockchain would provide a way to authenticate our PAI so they are tied to us, and can only be used by us or with our permission, creating a much more secure smart assistant experience.

Even better is the potential to make smart assistants more personalized to your needs. With PAI, the future of “Hey” could be the future of you — at least your digital replica, catering to your specific needs. Imagine walking into your smart kitchen, where your Personal AI has built a shopping list and found recipes that suit your taste. That’s because unlike the broad-domain AI of current smart assistants, which have a great pool of general knowledge, your PAI is a narrow-domain AI that knows everything about you, and can manage your smart home just as you would!

Everything is Smart, Everything is Connected

Organizers at this year’s CES were seeing beyond smart devices and smart homes, toward the future of fully integrated smart cities. With blockchain based smart city initiatives already underway in Dubai, and San Diegostarting off the New Year installing smart street lights to monitor everything from air pollution to gunshots, smart is expanding in size and scope.

The model smart city in the Google tent envisions the connected metropolises of the soon-to-be future

Commanding dedicated floor space at this year’s CES, smart city technologies look to build greener more sustainable urban infrastructure, tackle traffic congestion, and increase overall convenience for residents. With the addition of a PAI blockchain layer, your PAI could book smart cars that would take you from work to home to play. PAIs can communicate with each other so you can find commuters in your area that you share common interests with, relieving congestion and saving fuel will simultaneously making for interesting car-ride conversation.

Integrating information from a smart city’s various monitoring abilities, your PAI can plan a wardrobe for the day’s weather conditions or warn you when air quality becomes inadvisable for outdoor activity — even finding you alternative activities to do that you would enjoy. Smarter stores inside smart cities would allow PAI to search inventories to find exactly what you are looking for, or offer a personalized guided experience through a shopping center or amusement park specifically engineered to maximize your enjoyment. In fact, ObEN kicked off CES by announcing a $10 million investment from K11 to do just that. The leading developer of luxury shopping centers in Asia including the K11 Art Malls in Shanghai and Hong Kong, K11 is working with ObEN to bring smart PAI technology to retail, creating personalized concierge services and art guides for their spaces.

AR and VR Looking Dandy

Showcasing our 3D Avatars along with new Vive PRO at the ObEN x HTC Party

Rounding out our CES recap, AR and VR technology saw some major upgrades at this year’s CES, with eye tracking, haptics, wireless technology, and improved resolution all culminating in better experiences for consumers. Arguably the biggest reveal is the new HTC Vive Pro, which won top honors from both TechRadar and Engadget. As a graduate of HTC’s accelerator program and as part of their investment portfolio, we could not be more proud. Even beyond gaming, we saw companies developing amazing mental health, education, and rehabilitation programs using VR technology.

AR and VR technology coupled with PAI could potentially allow doctors to demonstrate post discharge care from a users own living room, or allow users to interact with their favorite idol’s PAI in an unique fan experience.

Though the dust has settled on CES 2018, we’ll be looking forward in the year to come to all the advancements in smart cities, integrated smart assistants, and VR and AR technology. We’ll also be working to bring more PAI across all these experiences. Next stop on our PAI world tour, our co-founders Adam and Nikhil will be heading to the Davos One World Blockchain Forum to talk about AI, PAI, and the Blockchain.

PAI is heading off to Davos!


About the Author: Lisa Wang is ObEN Marketing Manager. Helping spread the vision of Personal AI for all. Avid reader, tech enthusiast, spends too much time online for her own good.


ObEN is an artificial intelligence company that creates complete virtual identities for consumers and celebrities in the emerging digital world. ObEN provides Personal AI that simulates a person’s voice, face and personality, enabling never before possible social and virtual interactions. Founded in 2014, ObEN is a Softbank Ventures Korea and HTC Vive X portfolio company and is located at Idealab in Pasadena, California.