BY FARHAT ZISHAN
Great products revolve around the consumer mindset; as they are on a constant mission to delve deep into the consumer minds and understand what the consumers truly desire and provide them accordingly. And when great products of virtually every technological category congregate under one roof, when big companies from all corners of the globe come to one single place to showcase all their wonders – the consumers are surely about to get the experience of a lifetime. And that is exactly what has happened in this this years CES 2018.
CES (Consumer Electronics Show), formerly known as The International Consumer Electronics Show (International CES), is one of the biggest technology events in the planet. Since 1967, CES continued to be the platform where several game-changing technologies and products were brought in front of the consumer eyes for the very first time, e.g. the Videocassette Recorder (VCR) was introduced in 1970s CES or the Satellite Radio in 2000. This is the platform where companies from all across the globe showcase their innovations and breakthrough technologies in front of the consumers. With more than 3900 exhibiting companies, a conference program with more than 300 sessions and more than 170,000 attendees from 150 countries, this year’s CES has surely been a massive gathering of innovations, ideas and state-of-the-art technology products.
Renowned brands and companies gathered in Las Vegas from 9th to 12th January for this year’s CES. The categories in which all the numerous products showcased were:
CES 18 has been particularly vital for the Big G, especially for its Google Assistant. With Amazon Alexa being on the frontlines of virtual assistants, Google had to orchestrate a strategic plan for its own; with CES being the main showground. “Hey, Google” was plastered on everything ranging from Las Vegas monorails, billboards to booths; ensuring top-of-mind awareness of the consumers. With a successful 2017, Google wanted to put up a good fight against Amazon’s virtual assistant and steal the show in this year’s CES.
LG has successfully managed to create a pre-show hype by an early announcement a few days before CES; revealing that it would be showcasing a “rollable” 65-inch 4K OLED at this year’s show. And they lived up to their promises indeed – with TV enthusiasts amazed in wonder.
Alongside these high-end TV, LG had a lot else in store as well. The company’s new sub-brand ThinQ integrated AI technology into virtually all sorts of gadgets, ranging from TVs, Speakers, Fridges to even Air Conditioners. The LG InstaView ThinQ Refrigerator was one such surreal piece of technology showcased at this year’s CES. This cutting-edge refrigerator features a gorgeous design and a 29-inch touchscreen display and can inform you of the weather, recipes and more. LG even took it a notch further by embedding a new technology in this refrigerator: knock on the screen twice and it instantly becomes transparent to show you what’s in the fridge without having you to open it.
Laptops are indeed common in CES these days but the South Korean technology kingpin did manage to stand out in its own way – thanks to the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen. The sleek notebook computer is made out of a new material which the company calls “Metal 12” – simply a magnesium alloy that makes the whole gadget incredibly light but incredibly strong at the same time. The design follows the usual grandeur aesthetics of Samsung and looks much like an idea combination of a Samsung convertible laptop and a Galaxy note device. With a 8th-generation Intel Core i7 chipset with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD, Samsung Notebook 9 was surely a strong contender in its category.
That was not just all. Samsung had an amazing innovation for the TV-category as well. With the belief that TVs not being restricted to a specific size, Samsung introduced the world’s first “modular TV” this year; a giant 146-inch TV they proudly have named “The Wall”. Being a follow-up to last year’s “The Frame”, this modular TV merges multiple borderless MicroLED TVs and offers 4K resolution. The pricing and availability is yet to be announced for “The Wall”, but the CES attendees have already grasped an idea about the wonders of this next-generation TV set.
SONY surely knows how to play with human desires. Their this year’s display of the SONY 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector (LSPX-A1) is targeted towards the highest of the high-end market, with a price tag of an astounding $30,000. But it’s surely worth every dime; as the 2500-lumen laser projector is capable of beaming a screen that measures up to 120 inches diagonally. Equipped with a Glass Sound Speaker with 360-degree sound, this sleek gadget ensures the best possible home theatre experience.
With a vision of a society where robotics and AI can assist people in a multitude of situations, from disaster recovery and recreation to learning from human interaction, Honda has introduced its new 3E Robotics Concept in this year’s CES. The 3 E’s denote Empower, Experience and Empathy and the robots each have their own distinctive functions:
• 3E-A18 – a companion robotics concept that shows compassion to humans with a variety of facial expressions.
• 3E-B18 – a chair-type mobility concept designed for casual use in indoor or outdoor spaces.
• 3E-C18 – a small-sized electric mobility concept with multi-functional cargo space.
• 3E-D18 – an autonomous off-road vehicle concept with AI designed to support people in a broad range of activities.
At CES 2018, Honda will unveil its new 3E (Empower, Experience, Empathy) Robotics Concept, demonstrating Honda?s vision of a society where robotics and AI can assist people in a multitude of situations, from disaster recovery and recreation to learning from human interaction to become more helpful and empathetic. (PRNewsfoto/Honda)
In addition to the suite of robotic concepts, Honda also showcased its Mobile Power Pack World, which includes a portable, swappable battery pack for electric vehicles and a re-charging system for use at home, recreation or during a natural disaster.
TRENDIEST GADGETS FOR THE ENTERPRISES
CES 2018 has not just been about electronics for consumers; there were plenty of technological innovations waiting to disrupt the businesses themselves as well.
Acer’s affordable new Chromebook 11 is handy for businesses using Google’s G-Suite. The 11-inch display has a 1366×768-pixel resolution, and is available with a touchscreen option. Other features include 4GB of RAM, 16/32 GB of flash storage, an integrated webcam and flash speakers.
Huawei’s Q2 is a Wi-Fi router that can communicate with its peers over Wi-Fi or powerline communications. The latter is useful in buildings with thicker walls found in industrial or office buildings. The device has garnered a significant amount of praise, considering this being Huawei’s first attempt in trying its hand in mesh networking. The interface for configuration is said to be similar to that of D-Link, which you can see more here if you are interested in buying Huawei’s latest product when it hits the market.
For this year’s CES, Lenovo decided to work on its ThinkPad X1 Business Tablet. The 2018 version has 13 inche, 3K display compared to the 12 inches, 2160×1440 display in its predecessor. The battery is also bigger, 42Wh compared to 36.4Wh of the previous model, giving it a 9.5-hour battery life. enterprise security features include a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint reader and an optional Hello-compatible infrared camera for face recognition.
THE WONDER GADGETS – STARTUP PRODUCTS AT CES 2018
It’s not just the established, revered technology companies that leaves their lasting impressions at CES every year. Instead, startups like Dyno and Zeno often snatched the spotlight in this year’s global stage for innovation.
MMOne Project, a Ukrainian startup, is offering a robot arm with a gaming chair on the end. The arm can easily flip the player over and extends up to 12 feet high – clearly a must-have gadget if you’re dogfighting in virtual reality.
Wiral – pronounced “viral” – was promoting their low-cost cable cam for small camcorders and stabilizers. It’s motorized and can go where drones can’t, e,g, through a thick forest.
MODULAR CAMERA SLIDER
San Diego based technology startup Dyno unveiled Trek – the world’s first modular camera slider in this year’s CES. With most of the current camera sliders being robust and difficult to carry; Trek is quite obviously the exception. Equipped with a magnetic Quick Connect System, the device allows you to decrease your camera set-up time and take picture-perfect shots. Trek comes along with a Bluetooth cable and easily enables the photographer to go for long exposure, wide-range and inclined photographs.
THE “TALK OF THE TOWNS” – CES 2018 BUZZWORDS
With panel discussions and sessions undertaken by several CEOs and some of the thought leaders of the technology industry, a few concepts were constantly being talked about:
• Neuromorphic Computing – Computing that mimics the way the human brain learns
• Blockchain – A continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Its holistic purpose is to create a better financial system.
• Cryptocurrency – A digital asset designed as a medium of exchange. Bitcoin was the first and the most renowned cryptocurrency at the moment. Those wanting to trade Bitcoins from any device may want to look into an app like this – De Bitcoin Revolution-app is beschikbaar op elk apparaat.
• Internet of Things (IoT) – Connected devices and anything else that can be assigned an IP address and linked to the internet, or each other, enabling to generate, share and exchange data.
• Phantom Vibration Syndrome – A psychological phenomenon which arouses a certain feeling of your phone vibrating when it actually is not.
And this is almost all what this year’s CES was all about – with top brands coming in and showcasing their newest products and the newcomers showing off their disruptive innovations; ready to take over the whole world. With almost 11 months left for the next edition of CES to take place; all we can hope for is the emergence of a few more disruptive technologies and gadgets that can smoothen our journey through the 4th Industrial Revolution. In this modern age of AI, Big Data and Machine Learning, all we can hope for is the inception of ideas that will redefine the human race and transform our lives once and for all.
*Photos used in this article are collected from the official website of CES