FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 14, 2019
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas previews amazing, useful, wacky devices heading to stores
Find a science or technology article and tell why it's interesting.
Read about engineering, electronics, design or another job using digital tools. Why do or don't you want to try that field?
Now try to spot coverage that doesn't involve technology, which may be hard.
American and foreign tech companies last week introduced gaming hardware, digital appliances, vehicle accessories and other gee-whiz inventions designed to enrich our families' lives. Some could be available this year. The setting was a four-day Consumer Electronics Show with about 4,400 exhibitors and more than 182,000 visitors, including lots of journalists and bloggers. The world's largest industry event of its kind has been hosted for 51 years by the Consumer Technology Association, first in New York City and now in Las Vegas. New TVs, phones, audio tech, laptops, tablets and smart cars filled row after row of booths, arranged by 24 product categories. A British tech news site calls it "a veritable circus of the latest gadgets."
Attention-getters this time include a 10-inch Chrome tablet, larger videogame displays, new home entertainment center projectors and TV streaming advances. A virtual reality headset integrates a Leap Motion camera with game controllers for a heightened experience. Samsung and LG are among companies working on fold-out phones with larger screens and eventually even fold-out screens to allow gaming alongside texting, streaming or social media checks. Google has already partnered with Samsung to create a version of Android tailored to the new foldable reality. For an advance sample of futuristic real-world gaming, showgoers in Nevada played ping pong against a robot that can add topspin for more of a challenge.
Speakers and headphones from Bose, Sony and Qualcomm have artificial intelligence (AI) compatibility or are getting it so users can sync them with Alexa. We'll see more voice-controlled devices of all kinds in the years ahead, says home electronics industry consultant Jack Wetherill of a U.K. market research firm. "The TV remote control could finally begin its death throes," he predicts. Here's another convenience: A company called Aircharge demonstrated wireless chargers for Apple and Samsung devices. And in the coming-next-decade category, Audi and Disney showed an entertainment system for self-driving vehicles. Lastly, an oddity called GuideWatches — a pair of wrist straps that help you navigate without looking at a screen. Based on an entered destination, the left bracelet vibrates when you need to go left and the right one does for those turns. The French company behind them aims the watch-like devices at cyclists and runners who don't want to look away from the road while navigating new areas.
Stress-relief device: Heat-generating pads in an eyeglass frame from a Canadian firm called Umay Care "help digital device users find stress relief and reset the effects of screen time by resting the mind and restoring the natural function of our eyes."
Market researcher says: "We are expecting to see foldable laptops with OLED screens that extend across the entire keyboard area. This means you could open them up to monitor size, or to book format, or use them as a normal laptop format with the keyboard as half of the touch panel." -- Tom Morrod, senior research director at IHS Markit in London, UK
News site says: "People aren't switching phones as fast as they used to. There aren't too many new features that wow customers." – Business Today
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