It’s all systems go at the CES 2018, which kicked off yesterday at the Las Vegas Convention Center – the regular venue for the Consumer Electronics Show since 1998.
Some four thousand companies, including a number of start-ups, will be displaying their technological wares at the four-day event, ranging from the smartest of televisions, laptops and mobile phones to self-driving cars, smart home products and everything else in between.
Historically, the event has been about consumer gadgets with manufacturers showcasing their latest and upcoming products at this increasingly popular global stage, but over time the event has grown into a much larger entity, encompassing the fields of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, automobiles, medicine and even marketing and agriculture.
While the big names in the technology game always pull something new out of their bags of tricks every year, it has become a kind of trend to hold back flagship products for standalone events. Google’s Pixel 2 event in October at the San Francisco Jazz Center is a fine example of that.
Lesser-known entities and start-ups have attracted more attention in recent years, using the CES stage to launch themselves with some exciting innovations.
Here’s a look at some of the newest products you can become the proud owners of in the not too distant future.
Samsung: The Wall – World’s first 146” Modular MicroLED TV
Samsung’s new modular TV technology has the potential to give LG a good run for its money in so far as its OLED screens are concerned. Only time will tell if it can actually pull the rug from under LG’s feet.
It’s a kind of scaled version of the technology used in scoreboards and jumbo screens, involving millions of tiny LEDs to create images instead of a liquid crystal layer and LED backlights, used in regular LED television sets.
Samsung says: “Users can add or remove modules to make their TV bigger or smaller, in any configuration, removing previous limitations on screen size, with zero impact on performance of the display.”
We’ve already had a look at The Wall at last year’s CES but only as a prototype. This time around, however, it’s for real and almost ready to hit the markets.
Samsung: Q9S QLED TV
Launching later this year, Samsung’s first commercial 8K TV, the new 85-inch Q9S QLED, uses AI technology and a proprietary algorithm to upscale 4K and HD content to an incredible 7680×4320 screen resolution.
Not only that, the AI-based technology will also enhance the audio quality of low-resolution contents.
“The Q9S incorporates AI technology to deliver clear and pristine 8K resolution for any type of content. Using a proprietary algorithm, the Q9S continuously learns from itself to intelligently upscale the resolution of the content it shows — no matter the source of that content — to gorgeous 8K.,” says Samsung.
Bixby: Samsung’s own Voice Assistant on its new TVs
With voice assistants becoming increasingly popular, Bixby – Samsung’s answer to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant – will now be made available on the company’s latest television sets. Yes, you will be able to talk to your Samsung screens.
LG: 65-Inch Rolling Screen OLED TV
Although it’s not likely to hit the consumer market soon, LG’s new 65-inch rollable screen prototype is impressive enough to merit a mention.
Although we got to see an 18-inch version last year, the 65-inch 4K OLED screen on display at CES 2018 is something else. The technology allows the TV to be rolled up for convenient storage.
When fully rolled out it’s like any other TV.
The good thing is that the TV works even when partially rolled down, ideal for showing news headlines and weather updates without taking up space when you don’t really need it to.
Lenovo Mirage Solo –Standalone Daydream Headset
Lenovo has combined with Google to produce the Mirage Solo, a standalone version of Google’s Daydream VR headset, which has done away with the need of being powered by a smartphone or a PC.
- Powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage
- Google’s WorldSense allows positional tracking without the need for external cameras or sensors
- 5.5-inch display with QHD resolution
- SD card slot, handy for those with VR cameras. Allows you a quick check of what you have shot.
- 3.5 mm headphone jack on the side of the set
- 110-degree field of view
Lenovo Smart Display
Up until now, it was Amazon that had been monopolizing screen-based Alexa-enabled smart speakers, having released the Amazon Echo Show in 2016 and the Echo Spot in December last year – but not anymore.
Lenovo’s new Smart Display has incorporated Google’s version of Alexa, the Google Assistant, to play your music, videos, read you the news and everything else that Alexa does on voice commands.
And what’s more is that it’s a more streamlined, sleeker design, being made available in two sizes – the 8-inch screen for $150 and the 10-inch version for $250.
The Lenovo Smart Display features a speaker on the front of the device and can be placed horizontally as well as vertically.
It has a volume button, a mic on/off switch, and a camera on/off switch with a red indicator light to let you know if the camera is on or off, a welcome inclusion for the privacy-conscious.
Panasonic Lumix GH5S
A high-end version of the mirrorless Lumix GH5, Panasonic’s new Lumix GH5S promises to deliver the best-ever video quality by any Lumix camera. The GH5S has been designed with the professional videographer in mind.
The Panasonic LUMIX GH5s will be available in the U.S.A. from the end of February and will retail for US $2499 (body only).
- World’s first Cinema 4K 60p video recording
- 10.2-MP Digital Live MOS Sensor with Dual Native ISO allowing a maximum ISO 51200 in high-sensitivity recording with minimal noise
- TimeCode IN/OUT for a seamless workflow
- Designed for low light
- True “Multi-Aspect Ratio” function in both photo & video
- 14-Bit RAW format for stills
- 240 FPS slow motion
- Splashproof, dustproof, freezeproof down to -10 Degrees & More
Here are some of the other major announcements at the CES 2018
Ford will be partnering with Qualcomm to equip its vehicles with V2X technology to assist in identifying potentially dangerous road situations.
Sony unveiled its latest Aibo robot dog with OLED screen eyes, a camera in its nose and one on its back for learning the layout of your home. As of now, it’s available only in Japan costing about $1760.
Sony also showed a 4K projector that resembles a side-table, with an artificial marble top and a wooden shelf below, priced at $30,000.
Honda introduced four robots that are designed to work together as one system under the 3E Concept – the 3E representing Empower, Experience, and Empathy. The four robots are the 3E-A18, 3E-B18, 3E-C18 and the 3E-D18.
Amazon’s Alexa will find its way in some Lexus and Toyota models for the US market later this year, allowing users to play music, get directions, remotely lock and unlock their vehicles and much more using voice commands.
Razer’s Project Linda is a laptop with a dock where you normally have the trackpad, allowing users to slide in their Razer Phone in the space and use it as a touch pad or a second laptop screen