We all love technology. And we most definitely love seeing products and innovations born out of technology. This is why hundreds of technology shows are hosted around the world annually by different brands, bodies, and organizations to showcase the next generation of tech products to expect in the future. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is arguably the biggest of such events.
The CES event was established by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and has been taking place for more than half a century since it was established in 1967. This years edition was no different from previous editions as quite a number (a lot, actually) technological innovations were unveiled by more than 5,000 companies to the over-180,000 people in attendance.
The CES 2019 edition took place Las Vegas, Nevada from January 8 – 11 after a two-day January 6 – 7 pre-event conference. Like every other CES events, the 2019 edition also saw the birth of hundreds of thousands of new tech products that identifying all of them and picking “the best” could become overwhelming — from TVs to robots, smartphones, PCs, smart home gadgets, accessories, 5G network, cars, AR and VR etc. It’s always a lot!
However, we have listed some of the techs that caught the eyes of many at the event.
CES 2019: Highlight Tech
Tech by Google
Out of the 5,000+ companies that grace the CES event every year, Google is always known to standout with a couple of products. Interestingly, this year was no different as Google did have a lot to offer, directly and in conjunction with its partners.
The Lenovo Smart Clock, for example, is a smart alarm clock designed with a touch sensor and 4-inch display that does more than just waking you up from bed every morning. Placed on your bed stand, the Smart Clock can show you feeds from your security camera, play music, give you traffic information, search and surf the web, and even control other Google Home devices.
However, this should not be confused with Google’s Smart Display though, which was also born out of a Google-Lenovo partnership. Unlike the Google Assistant-powered Smart Display, the Smart Clock has no camera, cannot show pictures and play videos etc.
To further push its smart virtual Assistant above that of archrivals like Alexa and Siri, Google introduced an “Interpreter mode” as a new feature to its Smart Home and Smart Display devices. What Interpreter does is to facilitate smooth conversation by translating, real-time, between two people. The Interpreter is more like a refined version of Google’s Translate app.
At the moment, Interpreter can translate 27 languages via voice and on-screen texts. The Interpreter mode will debut on Google’s Smart Display devices after which it will roll out to other Google Assistant devices and smartphones later in the future.
Google Assistant Connect
Google earlier announced that its Google Assistant will be on 1 billion devices (Phones, headphones, tablets, Smart home products Smart displays etc.) by the end of January. With the introduction of Google Assistant Connect, that figure would keep rising and even further skyrocket Google’s Assistant usage and penetration in homes and gadgets.
The Google Assistant Connect is a chipset that would allow developers easily build and incorporate Google Assistants functionalities into their gadgets and devices. The chip is a small and inexpensive tool which would allow gadgets control other smart home products using Google virtual home assistants (Google Home Hub, Google Home, Google Smart Display etc.).
The chip will be small and inexpensive because it doesn’t actually do the computing. Instead, it acts as either a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth bridge to a nearby Google smart device like a Google Home smart speaker.
The Google Assistant Connect would allow developers incorporated Google Assistant features on their device at very little cost but for end users to utilize the features, they would need a Google Assistant-powered product. Win-Win.
Tech-driven Beauty Products
Neutrogena, as a skincare brand, is a regular attendee at the CES event. This year at the CES 2019, Neutrogena showcased something similar to a ‘smart facemask’ which it calls MaskiD.
The MaskiD is a specially customized printed sheet mask designed to be used with its Skin360 product. There’s a MaskiD app that which allows a user take and upload a photo which Neutrogena then uses to create a custom facemask based on measurements of facial detail and other problems or blemishes on the face. The facemask is unique and cannot be found in any retail store. Instead, custom facemask will be created and ordered on neutrogena.com through the MaskiD app.
A company called Comper also showcased a product called “Smarkin”, a handheld device that analyzes your skin to help curb skin irritation and eliminate fatty cells from the skin.
LG: TVs are now ‘rollable’
While there were a lot of TVs showcased at the CES 2019 event from brands like Sony, TCL, HiSense and more, LG easily swept everyone at the showcase off their feet with its Signature OLED TV R. The ‘R’ in the device’s name stands for “Rollable”. Yes, the Signature OLED TV R has 3mm OLED panel that emanates from (and retracts into) a sturdily-built horizontal base at the click of a button.
This is the first time we would be seeing the rollable or foldable display technology manifest in full-form in the TV ecosystem. The LG Signature OLED TV R comes with a 65-inch OLED panel made out of plastic which, of course, produces OLED-standard deep blacks, brilliant image, and true colors.
— David Katzmaier (@dkatzmaier) January 8, 2019
The roll-up TV from LG was only showcased at the event but is expected to go on sale before the end of 2019. There’s no solid pricing and sales information but there are speculations that the TV could cost anywhere between $10,000 – $20,000.
LG aside, Sony also showcased improved and bigger 85- and 95-inch variants of its Z9G Master LCD Series.
Samsung “The Wall” and “The Windows” are another TV duo that stood out at the CES 2019. ‘The Wall” is a ginormous TV with a 219-inch display and a resolution higher than 4K. In addition, the Wall is powered by an unspecified Samsung processor, comes with a peak brightness of 2,000 nits, can be controlled using a tablet, and like the Q9F QLED TV, has the ability to blend with the surrounding wall to mimic the style and decor of your home’s interior — also similar to what Philips did with the 65OLED803 TV Ambilight Lighting Technology.
On the other hand, “The Window” is a 75-inch UHD 4K TV. Although it was only the prototype with a brightness of 1,000 nits that was showcased at the CES 2019, the real deal is expected to launch later with 4,000nits brightness.
From gaming PCs to workstations and regular notebooks, laptops also took the center stage at the CES 2019. Lenovo, HP, and Razer all showcased laptops with OLED and AMOLED displays. Unlike TVs, OLED displays aren’t something you regularly come across on laptops. Razer showcased two prototype models of its 15-inch Blade 15 laptop, one with a 240Hz display.
Acer also stood out among other brands as it announced even slimmer models of some of its already slim laptops. In 2018, the Acer Swift 7 was the world’s thinnest laptop. The new Acer Swift 7 (2019) is even thinner with less body, less bezel and more screen.
There were also a number of interesting gaming laptops. Asus unveiled the ROG Mothership, a 17-inch detachable gaming laptop. Samsung’s Odyssey 2, Acer’s Triton 900, and Alienware Area-15m are other noteworthy gaming PC unveiled at the CES 2019.
A lot of other interesting tech were showcased at the CES 2019: robots, health tech and sensors, chipsets and graphics card, cars, autonomous motorcycles etc. There was also a lot of talks about the upcoming 5G technology but no practical application or tangible application just yet. But overall, the CES 2019 was an interesting and eye-opening event, and we expect many of the tech and products unveiled to manifest in their full form in the coming months.
What is/are your favourite tech/product(s) from the CES 2019?