From Jan 8 – 12 2019, Las Vegas took centre stage for something far from its usual gambling and entertainment offering, as the annual CES technology exhibition rolled into town to showcase the very best in innovation.
Curated by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the world’s largest and most influential tech event featured some 4,500 exhibiting companies, including a record 1,200-plus start-ups, with more than 20,000 products launching over the week from the show floor. A noticeable absentee from the show, however, was Apple.
Speaking at the event, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA said: “CES showcases the power of innovation to solve global problems and improve lives around the world. The passion, ideas and business connections at CES make this the most significant global tech event – and the most inspirational week of the year.”
Here, CES has noted the highlights from its 2019 edition, and looked at the next generation of innovative products to become part of the everyday norm.
A new era of television
The television set has evolved an unfathomable amount since its first incarnation, and the models on show at CES 2019 couldn’t be further away from its humble beginnings.
Described as being like a cinematic experience, Hisense showcased its 108-inch TriChroma Laser TV, a next-generation television with upgraded colours, contrast, brightness and motion fluidity. Samsung also announced its latest TV, the QLED 8K TV, available in sizes from 65-inch all the way up to 98-inch.
But perhaps the most eye-catching piece of innovation in the TV sector was from LG. The electronics giant showcased its Signature OLED TV R, which features a rollable display that rises out of its soundbar base, so when the TV is not being used it can be retracted away into the unit.
Innovating our transportation
The latest innovation from the car and motor industry was on show throughout CES. Tyre manufacturer Continental debuted its concept Continental Urban Mobility Experience (CUbE), which leverages a driverless vehicle to carry and deploy “cascading robots” to deliver and distribute goods directly to consumers, whilst Toyota unveiled Guardian, an autonomous safety platform which seamlessly works with humans to offer accident avoidance in situations beyond a driver’s capability.
In an era where traditional car ownership is dwindling, Hyundai announced a subscription-based model for those who want to be Hyundai “members” to improve driving experiences, as well as its STYLE SET FREE line, which offers car accessory upgrades to customise vehicles.
Nextbase also showcased its latest innovative, with Series 2 of its Alexa-enabled dash cam technology – a 140-degree, 4K resolution fisheye lens that records to an SD card at the start of the ignition and automatically sends the data to the user’s phone. The ZF Pro AI RoboThink, an automotive supercomputer which enables self-driving vehicles of the SAE category Level 4 and above was also on show.
Other transport-related features included an air taxi from Bell Helicopter and an electric motorcycle from Harley-Davidson.
The best of the rest in innovation
Spanning across a plethora of sectors, CES brings out the best in innovation for all brands. In home and gardening, Bosch unveiled its “Like a Bosch” campaign for Internet of Things (IoT) products and initiatives, such as internal cameras in smart fridges; the PAI Projector that turns a countertop into a touchscreen computer; and the Indego Robot Lawnmower, which can mow lawns by itself.
As at every edition of CES, smartphone technology was a prominent exhibit. Qualcomm brought its Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform, the first commercial 5G mobile platform designed to enable a wave of commercial 5G mobile device, whilst Flexpai, a flexible, foldable smartphone and tablet, with a 7.88mm ultra-thin, lightweight and vivid display, from Royole was also on show.
With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets, culinary pioneer Impossible Foods has taken its offering to the next level. The Impossible Burger 2.0, a plant-based meat substitute that tastes like the real thing, made attendees lick their lips in anticipation to try this latest creation.
In the world of beauty, Procter & Gamble showcased the Opté Precision skincare system, which scans, detects and corrects hyperpigmentation. For eco-friendly enthusiasts, Schaeffler brought its Bio Hybrid, an electric, emission-free reimagination of the bicycle, to Las Vegas.
“Ambitions to create a world of connected technologies”
A common theme across the week’s event was the rise in 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, with the majority of keynote speakers alluding to these innovative ideas within their discussions.
One of the biggest advocates for 5G and AI was Dr I.P. Park, LG Electronics president and CTO, who kicked off the first keynote of 2019 with ambitions to create a world of connected, intuitive AI-powered technologies that will seamlessly work in unison to deliver unparalleled customer experience in all areas of life.
“Our vision in the coming age of AI is to become a lifestyle innovator that serves a truly intelligent way of living,” said Dr Park. He commented that LG’s ThinQ AI platform will drive the future of the company as it sets its sights on self-driving vehicles, the smart home, smart cities and robotics — signposting where one of the industry’s biggest players sees the future of innovation taking technology.
In a first for CES, Dr Park was joined onstage by the LG CLOi Guide Bot – the first ever robotic keynote speaker in the event’s history– used to highlight how far technology can be taken.
CES is also the only show where the entire 5G ecosystem – the backbone for transportation, virtual reality, sports technology and digital health – comes together. “5G will change everything – 5G is the promise of so much more than what we have seen from wireless technology,” said Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon, during his keynote.
The future is now
The best of innovation was on show at CES 2019, and we fully expect to see many of the exhibits make their way into our everyday life. The tech industry is already patiently waiting for the 2020 edition to get an insight into where the future of innovation lies.
Images: CES Press