Each year, the biggest tech companies in the world convene in Las Vegas to showcase their latest and greatest inventions. The technology displayed at CES is the bleeding edge of what’s possible and gives us a glimpse into the future of consumer tech. This year, CES 2020 took place between 7th January and 10th January in the Las Vegas Convention Center and hosted a familiar and eclectic line-up. Makers of cars, video games, smartphones, toys, TVs, and robots unveiled exciting prototypes that we’re likely to own in the coming year. Here’s our rundown of the biggest announcements from CES 2020.
Perhaps the most interesting and revolutionary announcements were from the world of automobiles. Driverless cars have felt like the stuff of science fiction until very recently, and we saw another huge leap forward at CES. Sony surprised everyone when they unveiled their very own concept car, the Vision-S. It’s full of sensor technology which helps it detect hazards – both external and internal. For example, if the car notices the driver beginning to fall asleep or simply not concentrate enough, it will alert you, keep you on course, and may even take over driving completely. It may also find the nearest safe place to pull over and do so automatically, allowing you to rest a little before continuing your journey.
Ironically, we move from car safety from Sony to entertainment from BMW. They showcased their vision for a future where cars are fully autonomous – all we have to do as passengers is sit back and relax. Their cabin, named the BMW i Interaction Ease, is a pod which replicates the inside of a driverless car, complete with recliners for a luxury passenger experience. It can even recognise where you’re looking and the smart assistant will react accordingly. For example, it can give you information about a restaurant you’re driving past, or adjust the tint of the windows in response to your hand gestures. It’s designed for seamless interaction between you and your car.
The biggest hurdle facing self-driving cars is navigating the roads with other cars and drivers. HERE Technologies unveiled their solutions – HERE Navigation on Demand. It’s already installed in millions of cars and provides a real-time mapping solution which can be integrated with other driverless cars. You can control the mapping system using your voice, and the size of the network means it will be able to safely manoeuvre all cars around each other, finding the best route for each individual all while preventing collisions with other cars. It’s an incredibly exciting prospect, and proof that driverless cars are coming, and coming fast.
As always, smartphones created a lot of buzz. As the piece of tech that most of us use every single day, any improvements to smartphones never fail to grab our attention. There were two major technologies that were showcased, and they came from OnePlus and TCL.
OnePlus displayed their Concept One phone, an interesting device with a clever kind of glass on the back. The glass becomes opaque when the cameras aren’t in use, leaving a solid black back with no unsightly camera bumps and lenses on show. It’s far more aesthetically pleasing that the backs of most smartphones today which have 3 or 4 camera bumps on each. Then, once you open the camera app, the glass becomes transparent and allows you to take a picture as you would normally. You can even change the transparency of the glass, giving you control over the light entering the lens to create a natural filter on your pictures.
Foldable phones were also a highlight and seem to be taking significant steps forward since last year’s Samsung Galaxy Fold. You might be thinking that folding phones are a blast from the past, but the big draw here is being able to fold the touchscreen display, essentially giving you a tablet you can fold and put into your pocket. Chinese company TCL made a splash with its own prototype foldable smartphone – which is currently nameless and rumoured to be significantly cheaper than the almost $2000 Samsung. Its big selling point will be its trademarked ‘DragonHinge’ folding mechanism, a revolutionary new take on folding screens. The bottom line for foldable phones: watch this space!
You may think that, by now, TVs are all pretty much the same – and have been for some time. In fact, since the first TVs were invented, the basic form of the TV is pretty much the same. They’re now larger, have thinner bezels, have better displays, and are slimmer – but they are still the same recognisable shape. However this year at CES, TVs took a step forward as we saw perhaps the biggest upgrade to a TV’s functionality in years. The Samsung Sero TV can rotate 90 degrees to go from landscape to portrait. That’s right, a rotating TV. The recent surge in people recording videos with their phones in portrait mode has inspired the tech giant to make a TV that’s compatible with current usage trends. This may be the future of TVs, or it may just be a gimmick like 3D TVs or curved TVs from a few years ago – only time will tell.
Aside from this headline-grabber, an array of 4K and 8K TVs were on display. Samsung revealed an astonishing 8K TV (named the QN50TS) with virtually no bezel (just 2.3mm thick!) – literally 99% of the TV’s front surface is the screen. It’s a remarkable achievement and another step towards futuristic edgeless displays. If CES 2020 is anything to go by, the future of TVs could belong to Samsung.
Here at SLYK, we’re huge fans of Smart home tech – devices that help make life at home that much easier. However, this being CES and showcase of future tech, some of the items on display were rather outlandish. None more so than Samsung’s Bot Chef. The Bot Chef is a pair of robotic arms that prepares food. It can open and close cupboard doors, pour and mix ingredients, cook things using a stove, and even make coffee – and you can give it commands using your voice.
No pricing or release date was given, and it’s unlikely to be ready for sale anytime soon, but it’s certainly an exciting prospect for the future. Imagine the possibilities, those physically unable to cook can have freshly prepared, healthy meals. With our lives becoming increasingly busy, we could one day have our own robot chef prepare our food so it’s ready to serve when we arrive home from work.
Another interesting piece of smart home tech was the Kohler Moxie. Put simply, it’s a Bluetooth speaker in your showerhead, so you can play your favourite tunes in the shower without worrying about your phone or speakers getting wet. You can even connect Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, giving you complete control with your voice. Now, while you’re showering each morning you can check your schedule for the day and catch up on the latest news. It may feel a little gimmicky, but it could one day be a staple in every smart home.
While all these prototypes and glimpses into the future are exciting, we have products that you can fill your home with right now. Our device stands make for the perfect smart tech accessories, compatible with virtually any smartphone and tablet. Ergonomically designed for comfort and to aesthetically blend in with your home, our stands are sleek and premium-quality. Be sure to check out our full product range to find the right item for you. For all things newsworthy in the tech world, stay up to date with our blog.