A folding phone, drones, electric beasts, Star Wars car: The best of CES Las Vegas 2019 - Part 1
The Consumer Electronics Show, touted as the world’s biggest technology showcase, offers some really futuristic products.brunch Updated: Jan 19, 2019 20:25 IST
People keep describing CES (Consumer Electronics Show) as the world’s biggest technology showcase. But just how big is it? Let me describe it this way. It’s held in multiple locations all over Las Vegas. Each location can have multiple football stadium- sized halls full of gadgets crammed into every inch. Traffic is brutal, thus moving from location to location is near impossible, and if you went to CES with the objective of seeing it all, you would be a very tired, broken and disappointed human being. Which is why you have me, as I bring you the absolute best of CES 2019.
A folding phone
Nope, not by Samsung (even though that is around the corner). This was the Royole FlexPai (yes, I know – what a terrible name) and it folds quite brilliantly. Opens up to a mouth-smacking 7.8 inches and has serious horsepower hardware within. The problem is that it’s quite chunky, doesn’t lie flat at the fold area and weighs a meaty 320 grams. Still, the era of the foldable screen is unfolding quite nicely this year.
Sound army in one
You know them for their headphones, now Sennheiser wants to own your Soundbar budget too. The Ambeo Soundbar is a very serious attempt at disrupting this category completely. A 5.1 surround system with true separation, room-filling soundstage, thumping bass and an army of 13 drivers all encased in a pretty slim silhouette bar. Audiophile level Soundbar redefines single source sound, but gets its pound of flesh at $2,500.
Drone, come pick me up
The media is awash with reports that passenger trials are on all over the world in which drones pick you up from your rooftop and deposit you to your destination’s rooftop. But who is actually making those sci-fi level drones? Bell Nexus is the most serious contender. Top speeds of 250 kmph, six tilting ducted fans, hybrid-electric system, wings for vertical and horizontal flight, space for four passengers and one pilot – and it’s completely real and landing on your rooftop soon.
Ahead of the curve
Undoubtedly the show stealer, the LG Signature OLED TV R has curved its way into history. It’s the first commercially-ready roll-up 65-inch screen TV that appears and disappears at the press of a button. It’s encased in a thin little stand that looks very high tech. Prices currently may make your mouth curve into a scowl – but the future is now and it’s very curvy.
Over the air charging
Be honest. The first time you heard of the term ‘wireless charging’ – what picture did your mind conjure up? You thought your phone would be in your pocket and wherever you would go, it would be charged wirelessly over the air. Right? Well, that dream died a quick death! But now with – it’s turned to reality. This is the first true over-the-air wireless charger for distance charging. It’ll start with smaller devices like headphones and phones, and eventually be able to charge laptops too. Think. Your phone’s in your pocket and “wherever you go, it’ll be charging you”.
The electric beast
Using the name Harley Davidson in the same sentence as tech would usually be dismissed as an oxymoron. But not when it’s the LiveWire – Harley’s first fully electric bike. It may not roar, but it’s still a true beast as it can go from 0 to 100 kmph in just 3.5 seconds. With a serious range and the fact that it’s not a prototype and is going to be available soon, the LiveWire charges up a whole new category!
The dream machine
Throw in a whole load of laundry. Shirts, tees, trousers, jeans, towels. Come back five minutes later and the FoldiMate AI laundry-folding machine will have neatly folded each of them and kept them ready for you. I dream of a world where this gets directly attached to a washing machine. Wash, dry and fold – all in one shot.
Star Wars car
It’s sci-fi from books and movies taking a literal giant leap in front of your very eyes. The Hyundai Elevate is a vehicle with serious legs. Elevated legs! The vehicle can move in all four directions, climb stairs, handle rocky terrain with ease, step over huge gaps, climb walls and then retract back into a being a normal car – all while keeping the passengers level at all times. Finally, there may be a solution to traffic in India! Just step over the offending cars in front of you.
That’s just the warm-up round. More coming up next time including the game changers for the year, quirky tech and the absolutely ridiculous gimmicky stuff that is literally littered all over CES. Until then.
Lots more coming up in part 2!
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
Techilicious appears every fortnight
From HT Brunch, January 20, 2019
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First Published: Jan 19, 2019 20:07 IST