In this week’s Blast you may notice a bit of a theme. There are a couple of very big things going on the tech world right now we felt were worth discussing.

To start, The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is going on right now in Vegas. Top tech trends in 2018 will include the reveal of 5G, stronger artificial intelligence, companion robots (wait, like my old Tamagotchi?, I doubt it), mixed reality, an increased focus on health, smart cities are coming and tons of other areas that will play a big roll in the global economy for years to come.  The growth of tech devices is expected to see an 8%+ increase with about a 4% revenue increase.  With all of that, the overall top trend will be the pending arrival of 5G.

The real question is as home sellers what products will really stand out to help us make those few extra sales this year?

It just seems appropriate for a Seattle Team to win this one. In an Amazon-sponsored competition, a UW team from the Department of Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering developed a program they call “Sounding Board”.

Without going too far into it, let’s just say it improves the way Alexa functions to create more useful conversations instead of just the preprogrammed commands. The goal was for a 20-minute conversation.

They won $500,000!

You can read more about it all on UW’s website.