That's not all. We've got a look at some amazing looking gaming TVs and AI chips from Nvidia, and an AI-assisted 8K TV from Samsung.
What is CES?
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest high-tech trade shows in the world and focuses entirely on technological innovation in consumer electronics. It takes place every January in Las Vegas and has been running now for over 50 years. This year it is taking place January 9-12.
This event brings together professionals, journalists and individual tech aficionados. CES 2017 was a record-breaker, welcoming more than 4,000 exhibiting companies and over 180,000 industry professionals to Las Vegas to showcase the latest innovations from the global tech industry.
What will be the hot trends of CES 2018?
Obviously, we're excited for the next generation of Android devices that are being revealed: smartphones, tablets and smartwatches. Smartphones aren't the main focus of CES, however, with many manufacturers holding back some big hitters for February's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Having said that consumer tech has moved beyond smartphones, we can expect to see many more interesting devices and technologies based on last year's developments. This means drones, smart home devices and voice assistants, driverless cars, the internet of things, AI making everything that much more smarter and connected, 3D printers, new kinds of wearables, plus new accessories for AR and VR.
Asus: New ZenFone?
Traditionally, Asus presents the new ZenFone at the Las Vegas show. However, that could change this year as Asus has taken advantage of an event in Rome to present the new collection.
Acer: New 11-inch Chromebook
Acer has contributed a lot to the diffusion of the Chromebook platform on a global level. At CES, the company showed off its new Chromebook 11 with a price of just $249 to target low budget users. The laptop has a 1366 x 768 display, an Intel Celeron CPU, 2/4 GB RAM and 16/32GB internal memory. The Chromebook also has a long battery life of up to 10 hours.
During Nvidia's conference slot, the graphics chip giant showed off some novelties from itself and partners. For the first time since the introduction of G-Sync (a technology that synchronizes screen refresh rate to GPU output frames to reduce tearing), the company has announced that some new 65-inch high-frequency TVs will be equipped with this technology.
The monitor/TV will have a of 120Hz refresh rate and will also have smart features thanks to Android TV. In a nutshell, the company has created a platform for manufacturers that can use the features of Nvidia Shield (Android TV), Nvidia G-Sync and the 4K HDR quality at 120Hz on a panel with large dimensions to be placed in front of the sofa. If you're gamer who likes to connect your own high performance PC in the living room for gaming sessions, expect these TVs to arrive in the near future!
Nvidia aren't just about gaming. The company has revealed that its hardware platform for the automotive world (called Xavier) is reaching its first customers. Xavier aims to improve the smart car experience through the use of AI. The company also stated that new variants of its DRIVE AI based on SoC Xavier are coming in.
According to Danny Shapiro (NVIDIA's Senior Director of Automotive) augmented reality has a big part to play of the future of the driving experience. That's why the company has released a new SDK called DRIVE AR to developers. DRIVE IX will help in the development of intelligent digital assistants for driving and the Pegasus platform (already presented on previous occasions) used on self-driving taxis has been improved and reduced in size.
Huawei: Making it in America
Huawei CEO Richard Yu has confirmed that some of Huawei handsets will soon be sold by US wireless carriers, starting sometime in 2018. The first such phone will be in its Mate 10 family of devices. Yu did not state which specific carriers would sell Huawei phones, but he did reveal that more information on those sales plans will be announced in early January during CES 2018.
Huawei could also take advantage of the CES to expand its vision of the smartphone and what the future holds for us. AI-assisted smartphones could be in the spotlight. The brand could also show its interest in the Internet of Things so we can expect to see more and more 'smart' objects arriving on the scene.
HTC: Double down on virtual reality?
With its HTC Vive headset, the Taiwanese manufacturer immersed us (and the company's fortunes) firmly in the virtual reality world. The Taiwanese manufacturer plans to improve the ecosystem so we can expect to see new accessories and other VR-specific content.
While we are unlikely to see a "Vive 2", just yet. The company has teased an image on their Twitter page hinting at 'new resolution'. Perhaps we'll see an improved version of the Vive with a higher quality visual experience shown at CES.
— HTC VIVE (@htcvive)
January 5, 2018
LG has participated in the CES since the beginning, so the South Korean manufacturer will of course be present at the show. As we would expect, LG could introduce new smartphones, especially in the entry-level and mid-range segments.
We already know that a new color variant of the LG V30 will be presented at CES 2018. Dubbed "raspberry rose", the eye-catching color may sway some style-conscious buyers to LG's flagship phablet.
But LG makes much more than just phones. Just as most households are getting used to 4K and HDR displays, LG will be using CES 2018 to showcase their brand new baby: A new 88-inch 8K OLED display. A record-breaker in both size and resolution, this prestige piece will without a doubt support LG display's dominance of large OLED screens.
Last year, the fashionable technology seemed to be the intelligent robot that acts as both a personal assistant and manager of home technologies. Amazon has its Amazon Echo, Google has its Google Home. LG seems to be interested in this technology with its robots.
As part of LG's pivot towards AI, the company is preparing to unveil of three more work robots at CES 2018. These will be new concept robots specifically developed for commercial use at hotels, airports and supermarkets.
The robots form part of LG’s new CLOi (pronounced KLOH-ee) robot brand, and consist of the following:
- Serving Robot: Intended for work in hotels and airport lounges, this robot has a built in sliding tray and can deliver and serve food or refreshments to customers around the clock.
- Porter Robot: The hotel experience could be made faster and more convenient with the Porter Robot there to carry luggage and handle check-in and -out service.
- Shopping Cart Robot: This robot carries a barcode reader which customers can use to scan product prices and see their complete shopping list on the face display. It also works with a smartphone app to help shoppers find what they are looking for in the supermarket.
These robots will join the other members of LG's CLOi family which have had trial runs operating as cleaners and guides in a Korean airport and financial institution. Thanks to advances in AI, 2018 could see improvements to the emotional experience of interacting with robots that make their presence more viable in commercial use.
Sony: Three new smartphones revealed
Sony has revealed three new smartphones at CES, including the upper mid-range Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra and the entry-level Xperia L2. The Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra have some exciting changes compared to their predecessors, including a better processor, significantly more battery capacity, a new fingerprint scanner position and other hardware updates. For all the details, check out the full news:
In addition, the entry-level Xperia L2 was revealed, and it has a 13 MP main camera and a 120-degree wide angle selfie camera with 8 MP, as well as 3,200 mAh battery capacity. There may be more to look forward to from Sony, as it will hold its press conference later today, January 8th, at 17:00 on the Sony stand.
While the South Korean manufacturer is unlikely to present its Galaxy S9, the new A8 and A8+ are expected to be at least teased at CES.
Although we won't see the S9 itself, Samsung will showcase the new Exynos 9810 chip that the European version is expected to carry. The chipset boasts 2.9GHz custom CPU, an industry-first 6CA LTE modem and deep learning processing capabilities that should result in improvements to the user experience in terms of multi-tasking, biometric security, and high quality video streaming, among others.
Samsung will present its first QLED monitor,called the CJ791, at CES 2018. The 34-inch Curved Monitor has a Thunderbolt 3 connection capable of transmission speeds four times faster than USB, and can also supply a laptop with up to 85 watts of power at the same time.
But when it comes to displays, the real show-stealer from Samsung is definitely the new 146-inch 4K TV nicknamed "The Wall".
The panel is made with a new technology called MicroLED that guarantees even better contrasts when using HDR10 or HDR10+ content.
— Raymond Wong 📱💾📼 (@raywongy)
January 8, 2018
Even more interesting is the new technology integrated in Samsung's new 8K TVs. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the screen is able to upscale lower-quality content to allow for an improved viewing experience. It's hard to evaluate the results of videos that come from Las Vegas but those who saw the technology in live action were pleasantly surprised.
Hard to see in this video but here's how Samsung is using AI to upscale 480p content to 8K sharpness. Looks good. But I'll have to see how it does with real content pic.twitter.com/XwKXFHFVSG
— Raymond Wong 📱💾📼 (@raywongy)
January 8, 2018
Dell has announced that it will bring to CES the new reboots of its XPS 13's renewed not only in hardware but also in design. The Laptops feature a metal body, 1080p or 4K display with reduced bezels, and the new Intel i5 and i7 series of eighth generation CPUs.
The Chinese company stated that its new 2018 4K TVs will include the Amazon voice assistant in the supported markets. Thanks to this you can use your television as smart home control for all your connected devices. Hisense hasn't said much more than that its 100-inch laser TV will also be updated to support the functionality.
TCL: A new BlackBerry?
BlackBerry has certainly abandoned the manufacturing of smartphones, preferring to turn to software rather than hardware, but this does not mean that we will no longer see phones from this brand. Its partner TCL is taking over. It could take the opportunity to present a new model, or at least a prototype to replace the KeyOne.
Xiaomi: Android TV, routers?
Last year, Xiaomi once again presented us with devices for the Chinese market: Android TV MI TV 4 (65 inches), Mi Router HD and a white Mi Mix.
Xiaomi's Vice President Wang Xiang explained that the CES was an excellent opportunity to become more well known and that it is important to "keep in mind that the CES is not a conference on the US market, it is an international conference at which it makes sense to present products for the Chinese market and other countries." Once again this year, Xiaomi may have some surprises in store for us.
While motor shows are becoming increasingly high-tech, the opposite is also true. The CES will certainly be an opportunity to discover new developments in the field of cars, or at least smart cars. Digital assistants, such as Alexa or Google Assistant, should become more widespread in cars. Dashboards will become increasingly high-tech.
What are you hoping to see from CES 2018?