Lots of products were showcased at CES 2019, here are some of the highlights:
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LG Signature OLED TV R
The much-anticipated rollable OLED TV is finally here — or will be in the latter half of 2019, for an as-yet-undisclosed sum. Our resident TV ace David Katzmaier says, “It’s incredible. It feels like a finished product, something a wealthy buyer with a huge swath of windows and a million-dollar view would snap up in a heartbeat.”
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic concept
If you’ve ever wanted to be chauffeured around by an invisible driver, pretending you’re in Tron, this is your car. It’s just as cool technologically: an autonomous, modular vehicle, with a mobile platform that you place a specific pod on. For example, you could swap out the passenger section for a cargo pod on moving day. Sadly, it’s still just a concept.
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Pong cocktail table
This is one of those ideas that seems underwhelming on paper, but is absolutely amazing in person. The simple two-paddles-and-a-square-puck game is recreated in 3D by two foam paddles and a foam square puck; they’re controlled by a series of magnets and motors underneath the table, while you spin the control wheel to move your paddle. There’s one-on-one or you-versus-AI modes, with three levels of difficulty.
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Lamborghini Bodyfriend massage chair
If you’re sore from driving around all day in your Lamborghini (you poor thing), then what better way to recover than a massage in your Lamborghini massage chair? This thing uses airbags to target the massage at just the right pressure points and costs a cool $30,000.
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Samsung — literally — rolled out a trio of appealing robots for helping in all sorts of ways. The Bot Air is essentially a roaming air purifier, the Bot Care monitors your health (though the thought of it watching me sleep to monitor my breathing is a bit creepy) and the Bot Retail fetches items like a store clerk.
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Opte Precision Wand
Inkjet printer technology is getting a new life in cosmetics. The Opte Precision Wand scans your skin for darker-than-normal spots and essentially prints over them with makeup, moisturizer and more. It’s from Procter & Gamble Ventures, the company’s venture capital arm, so for now, this spot-stopping tech is still in the future.
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There’s no shortage of cuddly robot-bff wannabes at CES. KIki’s a little needier than most, requiring virutal food, for example; you “feed” it by drawing food items in an accompanying app. In return, though, Kiki recognizes if you’re sad and will sing and dance to cheer you up. Zoetic doesn’t have pricing yet, and it’s still looking for global distributors.
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Customizable light panels are one of the best home decorating trends in recent years, and LaMetric’s Sky system is one of the most customizable we’ve seen. Though we like Nanoleaf’s new hexagons, LaMetric uses triangles, which lend themselves to more complex creations — there’s a reason triangles are 3D graphics’ preferred polygons — and facilitate one-touch programming. The company hasn’t set a price or availability date for them yet.
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Lenovo Smart Clock
When we replaced alarm clocks with cell phones, we sacrificed one of the most satisfying rituals of the day: whacking the snooze button in the morning. Lenovo brings back that joy in 21st-century style: The Lenovo Smart Clock has a touch sensor that you hit when you’re annoyed it’s time to wake up. Once for snooze, twice for “leave me alone, I’m sleeping for the rest of the day.” When you dismiss the alarm, it can trigger your “Good Morning” routine through Google Assistant and turn on your lights, tell you about your day and play the news. It ships this spring for $80.
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It wouldn’t be CES without a flying car demonstration. This year’s concept is Bell’s hybrid electric air taxi, which the company hopes to start testing in early 2020 before coming up with its actual availability. It’s notable because you might eventually get to sit in one — Bell’s on Uber’s short list of aircraft manufacturing partners for its flying taxi program.
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The Hyundai Elevate is just a concept at the moment, but it’s a car. That walks. And climbs. And assaults Echo Base and takes out the shield generators. OK, maybe not that last one. But the Hyundai Elevate is designed to boost the ability of first responders to rescue people in hard-to-accessible areas, and can also be used to enhance mobility options for all sorts of citizens.
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This concept by Japan’s University of Tsukuba is one of the finalists in the Toyota’s Mobility Unlimited Challenge. It stands out not just for its futurist bent as a Transformer-like exoskeleton, but its practicality: It morphs from wheelchair-type transport to an upright mode.
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Another finalist in the Toyota’s Mobility Unlimited Challenge, the Quix concept is also an exoskeleton, but designed to aid walking rather than replace it. It has motors at the hips, knees and ankles, and is said to “deliver the mobility, safety and independence that current exoskeletons cannot.”
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Nubia Red Magic Mars
The competition in gaming phones is heating up, and here’s one that’s not from a big player like Asus or Razer. Like the ROG Phone, the Red Magic Mars has two touch buttons on the shoulders, which adds a nice physical component to gameplay. A big battery plus a liquid-and-air cooling system complete the package. The phone will hit North America and Europe sometime before the end of March for $399 (about £310 or AU$560).
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Razer Turret for Xbox One
Some games are best experienced on a desktop. So to bring them to a console, you need a keyboard and mouse. Now we’ve got a stylish option: The much-anticipated Razer Turret. It’s a keyboard with Chroma lights and built-in mousepad, plus a wireless mouse. The mousepad can slide in and out, hiding itself away completely or providing a decent bit of mouse real estate. It’s now officially available for a pricey $250 (£250).
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Royole flexible QWERTY keyboard
We’re entering the era of flexible electronics where everything from your phone to, who knows, maybe even your fridge will have a bendy screen. Royole launched a flexible screen last November and is getting in on the flexi-act big time, with a QWERTY keyboard that can be laid down on any flat surface and connected via Bluetooth. At the push of a button, it’ll roll up and you can stick in your pocket.
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LG 8K OLED TV
LG’s jumping into the 8K fray with an 88-inch OLED TV that really impressed us — the perfect contrast of OLED combined with such a massive image is a potent combination, and LG makes the best TVs, period. LG didn’t offer a price, but Samsung’s 85-inch 8K LCD is 15 grand, so it’ll surprise us if it costs less than three times as much.
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Sure, robot vacuums are everywhere these days. But Trifo’s is designed to clean floors more efficiently and effectively in less time — and at $299, for less money. Basically, it uses sensors to track its position, but it remembers where it’s been so it doesn’t try to clean the same spots. Plus Ironpie! How great a name is that?
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To get the first product electric motorcycle from American staple Harley-Davidson you’ll have to shell out a lot of greenbacks — almost 30,000 of them. The Livewire has been in development for years but at CES it finally got a price and is now available to preorder.
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Temi Robot (now with Alexa!)
Robotemi’s autonomous navigation assistant robot, Temi, was originally designed to provide home assistance to the elderly using telepresence skills. At CES, Temi got an Alexa upgrade, making it a little more like an Echo Show on wheels — it can even bring you nachos! With Alexa enabling voice-activated controls and a suite of sensors that allows it to perform complex navigation, Temi is like an armless robotic butler. It connects to your home Wi-Fi and a full charge lasts about 8 and a half hours.