Best new technology on display at CES

By Matthew Dunn of news.com.au

The LG Hub Robot & Mini are unveiled during an LG news conference before CES International. Photo / AP
The LG Hub Robot & Mini are unveiled during an LG news conference before CES International. Photo / AP

In June 1967, 200 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees packed into the Hilton and Americana hotels in New York for the very first Consumer Electronics Show.

From that moment, the expo has been responsible for unveiling some of the most impressive products for the time including the VCR (1970), Camcorders (1981) the Nintendo Entertainment System (1985), HDTV (1998) and 3D TVs (2010).

Now, in its 50th year, the world's largest consumer technology show boasts more than 3800 companies and attracts over 200,000 visitors.

After a week of gazing into the future of our home, work and play, news.com.au has picked some of the latest and greatest innovations and trends.

TELEVISIONS

As expected, TVs were big business with LG's Signature 4K OLED W series the talk of the showroom floor.

At just 2.57mm thick, the 65-inch "wallpaper" TV is secured onto any flat surface via a magnetic bracket.

Part of the ability to make the razor thin appearance possible is the fact all the input ports have been removed and built into a companion 4.2 channel LG Dolby Atmos soundbar, which is connected with a single cable.

LG's OLED technology, which doesn't require the same backlighting as LCD TVs, also assists in making a television that is thinner than an iPhone.

The LG Signature OLED TV W is unveiled during an LG news conference before CES International. Photo / AP
The LG Signature OLED TV W is unveiled during an LG news conference before CES International. Photo / AP

Samsung also looks to be a real contender with its QLED series, which is available in three models.

Its latest flagship televisions represent the company's best achievement in image quality and overall viewing experience to date, offering better viewing angles, brighter high dynamic range performance, and increased colour production

"The new QLED TV also features truly deep black levels, perfect 100 per cent colour volume when measured with DCI perfect match, and HDR optimal brightness of 1,500 - 2,000 nits," Samsung said in a statement.

Sony also rivals its competitors with the Bravia A1E OLED TV, which is available in 55, 65, and 77-inch sizes.

While not a thin as LG's flagship, Sony's latest offering is very, very thin.

Unlike the competitors' models that have been designed to be wall mounted, the A1E comes with a specially designed stand that contains all of the components removed from the TV to achieve the thin display.

Appearance aside, the television also packs a real punch in terms of picture quality.

"Thanks to OLED's over eight million self-illuminating pixels, the A1E series brings a significantly enriched visual experience with unprecedented black levels, rich and lifelike colour, dynamic contrast, blur-less image and a wide viewing angle," Sony said in a statement.

Another exciting component of the television is the fact two actuators on the back of the panel vibrate, making the display act as the speaker.

Hisense also showcased a massive 100-inch Laser 4K TV, which uses a short-throw projector to deliver 4K HDR picture onto the included screen.

ROBOTS

The LG Hub Robot & Mini. Photo / AP
The LG Hub Robot & Mini. Photo / AP

The world of robotics is quickly improving, with a handful of computerised helpers on show.

LG launched its direct competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home, with a smart home gateway and digital assistant that looks eerily like Wall-E's Eve.

Known as the LG Hub Robot, the bot claims to be able to recognise family members coming and going, and will respond to commands with human-like actions such as nodding.

Powered by Amazon's Alexa operating system, the Hub Robot will be able to check the weather, play music and control home appliances - plus anything else you can do with the Echo.

LG will also release mini versions of the robot, which can be placed throughout the home to build on the range of the larger model.

Panasonic also entered the market with its robot egg - a product the company hopes could function as a desktop companion in the future.

The robot has been designed to mimic human movements and will offer clear, friendly communication.

This is all made possible by a Wi-Fi network function that accesses artificial intelligence-based natural language processing technology.

The robot also comes embedded with a projector, which Panasonic said would help "deliver natural communication that builds a sense of attachment with its human owner".

Created by a group of neuroscientists and machine learning scientists, Emotech's Olly Robot is capable of responding to questions, controlling smart and internet-connected devices and other simple tasks.

While this is standard with most of the similar products on the market, Olly has deep-learning capabilities, which will see the robot becoming more proactive in trying to meet your needs without having to be directed.

Additionally, the robot's 360-degree microphone and sensing algorithms allow it to detect where the user is located and even their mood.

COMPUTERS AND LAPTOPS

Why settle for one monitor when you can have three? Photo / Supplied
Why settle for one monitor when you can have three? Photo / Supplied

Does $6800 sound like too much to pay for a desktop monitor?

Dell certainly doesn't think so, because that's the price tag for its UP3218K.

The product is marketed at professionals working with graphics, design, or photography and the specs show why.

The 32-inch, 8K display has 1.07 billion colours and offers 100 per cent coverage of the AdobeRGB and sRGB colour spectrum.

Additionally, the desktop monitor has been designed to give users the ability pivot, tilt, rotate and adjust the height as needed.

LG used CES to unveil its "Gram" laptops, which are said to be one of the world's lightest products in their class.

Shipping in 13.3, 14 and 15.6-inch models, each laptop weights 940g, 970g and 1,090g, respectively.

In addition to the light weight, the product comes with a 60W battery, which the company claims offers up to 24 hours of battery life.

Other features include a touchscreen display, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C port and a HDMI jack.

Razer has become synonymous with innovation and gaming laptops, and its Project Valerie prototype is no different. Moving away from the slim, minimalistic approach of its other models, Project Valerie is much thicker and bulkier.

This is likely due to the fact the product is "the world's first portable laptop with three built-in monitors."

Yep, this laptop is fitted with three 17-inch displays.

"Project Valerie uses an automatic deployment mechanism designed by Razer. Each display mechanically slides out of the side of the main screen and adjusts into place, making it easy for users to deploy," the company said in a statement.

"With integrated multi-monitor support, users will no longer have to deal with the cable clutter from traditional desktop setups. The result is a clean gaming and working environment that's just as easy to maintain."

Just because Apple seems insistent on not including full touchscreen displays on its laptops doesn't mean it's not possible.

A new product known as AirBar connects a magnetic sensor to the bottom of a MacBook's display and emits an invisible light field, which allows the display to work as a touch screen.

It works by connecting to the laptop via USB, which allows it to transmit gestures into software commands - meaning you can swipe, pinch and zoom.

The product has been designed to work with the 13-in MacBook Air and will cost only $99.

A COUPLE OF OTHER THINGS

Sleek. Photo / Supplied
Sleek. Photo / Supplied

If you don't like the design or fitness bands or smart watches, a company has offered a more discreet option by packing all of that technology into a ring.

Known as Motiv Ring, the product is capable of tracking the activity, heart rate and sleep of the wearer.

The information is then fed to an app, with statistics offered in real-time, although even more impressive is the fact the ring has a battery life of up to five days.

With Bluetooth speakers everywhere these days, a product has to be pretty special to stand out, which is why Lemon's gadget is so impressive.

In addition to offering the standard features of a Bluetooth speaker - such as water resistance and on-board microphone - the start-up has made its "California Roll" speaker able to be charged by solar power.

So this means you no longer need to worry about your music dying on those big adventures outdoors. Well played, Lemon.

- news.com.au

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