With the world’s biggest consumer electronics show, CES 2019, kicking off on 8 January in Las Vegas, US, it’s time for yet another gadget feast for consumers. Here’s what we can look forward to this year at the Mecca of electronic gadgets.
Faster internet, foldable phones
Telecom companies across the globe are preparing for 5G adoption and CES will provide the first look at some of the gadgets that will leverage the faster internet speeds. Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon confirmed in December 2018 that every Android vendor is working on 5G right now. Phone makers like Huawei, OnePlus and Samsung have already announced their plans to launch 5G phones in 2019.
With the slowdown of smartphone sales worldwide, phone companies are also looking forward to new concepts to get buyers to switch to new phones. Foldable display and phones with multiple cameras are going to be the key factors. Samsung will be launching foldable phones this year and reports suggest that Huawei, LG and Lenovo have also got their flexible phones and concepts lined-up for the event. HMD Global’s Nokia 9 PureView is expected to be the first smartphone with five rear cameras. Images of a Nokia smartphone with five cameras on the back were leaked online early this week.
The year 2019 will see proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT)-driven smart speakers. Samsung is expected to expand its Galaxy Home speakers portfolio with more affordable variants on the lines of Amazon’s Echo Dot, breaking the Google and Amazon monopoly in this segment. The company will, thus, provide buyers with an alternative ecosystem of IoT devices running Samsung’s Bixby assistant. CES 2019 will also see a splurge in headphones with built-in assistants.
Driverless cars with AI assistants
Autonomous cars with advanced infotainment systems will be the talking point this year. Audi is expected to unveil a new car infotainment system for autonomous cars. The infotainment system will work even when the car is stationary and getting charged. BMW is reportedly going to introduce an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual assistant of its own on the lines of Amazon’s Alexa. Intel unit Mobile Eye is also likely to show off new technology in the autonomous driving space. Bosch is going to unveil the concept of an always-connected driverless shuttle with a built-in wireless system and sensors to communicate with other vehicles.
Nissan is also expected to showcase it’s new electric race cars and a new Intelligent Mobility System with advanced driver assistance.
Robots will rule the show again
LG is likely to unveil the next iteration of its wearable CLOi SuitBot, which enhances a user’s muscle power to reduce the risk of injury and fatigue while lifting heavy objects. The updated version will have a more advanced autonomous navigation system and enhanced connectivity, allowing it communicate with elevators and automatic doors. Japanese company Groove X is planning to unveil a companion robot Lovot, which includes built-in retractable wheels and can interact with users with voice and hand movements.
Era of 8K TVs
Already, 8K resolution is the new benchmark in the TV industry. While Samsung was the first company to offer it, LG has already confirmed plans to showcase an 88-inch OLED TV and a 75-inch LED TV with 8K resolution. It will also support the new HDMI 2.1 standard, which is a must for 8k streaming. Sony is reportedly planning to unveil its first line-up of 8k TVs at the event. Lack of 8K content, however, will be a major limitation but options such as 8K scaling will continue to fill the void until then in a limited way.
What to watch out for
• AMD to announce 7 nanometre chipsets
• 8K TVs by LG and Sony
• Samsung’s portfolio of Home speakers
• Autonomous cars with advanced infotainment system
• Updated version of LG’s wearable CLOi robots
• 5G smartphones by Sony, foldable phone by Royole Corp.
• More stand-alone virtual reality headsets running on Google’s Daydream VR