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Michigan tech ideas turn heads at Vegas electronics show

The Consumer Electronics Show, an annual display of the world's most fantastical gadgets, starts tomorrow in Las Vegas.

Traditionally, the show has been devoted to gizmos that belong in your house or your hand: video game systems, televisions, home appliances, cell phones, and so on. Michigan’s largest manufacturing and engineering firms – the auto-makers and their suppliers – haven’t had much to contribute.

But with the growing role of technology in the automotive industry, particularly as it relates to mobility, Michigan companies are taking a bigger role at the CES.

Erin Marquis is covering the CES media preview days for autoblog.com. She told us that Chrysler’s Portal concept vehicle was particularly impressive – and not only because it can drive itself. It also has voice-biometric and facial recognition technologies, which allows drivers to start the car with their face and voice alone.

“This kind of technology is already filtering into cars,” Marquis said. “We’re seeing it kind of trickle down where it seems like a high-tech concept now but in five years you’re going to see it popping up in higher-end vehicles so it will come down slowly to more moderate vehicles. So in 15 or 20 years this a car everyone’s going to be driving.”

Other Michigan products on display at the show include litter boxes that clean themselves and headphones made with sustainable resources. Listen above to the full interview with Erin Marquis to hear more about Michigan’s most cutting-edge tech ideas.

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