Ces2019 Crowd Openingee

Mike's Blog: Some of the coolest tech from CES 2019

Jan. 14, 2019

The biggest news in the electronics world last week undoubtedly was the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association, CES is essentially the world's biggest and most-anticipated electronics event of the year, and many publications hail it as the world's biggest annual trade show.

Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association, CES has been held every year since 1967—and biannually from 1973-1993. The 2019 rendition appears to be the largest in the show's history, with an estimated 182,000+ total attendees, more than 4,400 exhibiting companies, and around 1,000 speakers across 11 official venues. According to CES' event website, the show spans more than 2.5 million net square feet of exhibit space and features 24 product categories and more than 20 marketplaces.

Per its name, CES is a massive gathering for the consumer electronics industry. It's a chance for developers and manufacturers to show off their latest products and innovations in consumer technologies, network with peers, do business, and a great opportunity for tech-loving enthusiasts to be one of the first people to see what's about to hit the market.

Sadly, I didn't attend CES and haven't before. I certainly hope to one of these years. But while I wasn't there in person, I can help share some of the most interesting products unveiled at the show this year, thanks to thorough event coverage from a seemingly endless number of consumer electronics publications.

Here are some products shown at CES that I find particularly interesting:

Smart airbag vest for cyclists

French company Helite recently launched a couple of new products designed to provide protection during falls. One of them—B'Safe—is a vest that incorporates two sensors—one mounted on your bike's saddle post and the other inside the vest. The saddle sensor detects surface shocks from your ride, and its proximity to the vest sensor, which detects driver position and speed. It takes only 60 milliseconds for the sensors to detect a fall, and 80 milliseconds for the airbags to deflate. Along with the applications for biking and motorcycling, B'Safe would be a safety device for horseback riders. The company previously launched Hip'Safe—a wearable airbag designed to protect seniors' hips during a fall.

Samsung 5G smartphone prototype

It's rumored Samsung won't officially announce its first 5G smartphone for at least a couple months, but reports said the company had a prototype version of such a device on display at CES, tucked in a protective case to keep its details at a minimum. Hardly any details are known besides that the phone is expected to be a variant of Samsung's Galaxy S10, but given that Samsung and Verizon combined to say Dec. 3 that they will release a 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019, one can expect that the CES prototype is quite close to what the final product will be.

Automatic laundry folder

Folding laundry sucks. It's the last step in the laundry process, at which point you just want it to be over with. Now, technology is being put to use to try and make laundry less of a chore. At CES 2018, Foldimate was first unveiled as a laundry-folding prototype, but it wasn't yet functional. It returned at CES 2019 as a fully-working prototype. Foldimate says its product can fold an entire load of laundry in about five minutes, having the ability to fold collared shirts, long-sleeve shirts, T-shirts, pants, and medium-sized towels. 

Atmospheric water generator

Watergen USA unveiled the first automotive-based atmospheric water generator, providing the driver and passengers with clean drinking water from the outside air. It used Watergen's in-vehicle filtration and dispensing system, ensuring that purified water is available on-the-go.

LG OLED Rollable TV

TVs have become increasingly higher-resolution, thinner, and more energy-efficient over the years, but LG has taken things a step further. What if your TV could roll up like a poster? LG debuted the prototype of its 65-inch rollable 4K TV prototype at CES 2018, but brought the finished product to the 2019 show. It's a TV that is there when you want it and rolls away into its base when you don't, providing even more flexibility for those who put a premium on aesthetics.

These are just some of favorites from what's reported to have been shown at CES. I could go on and on. To get a broader view of what was shown at CES, check out this video recap from the Wall Street Journal.

Upcoming events

EE attends a number of events each year that are tied to the electronic test & measurement field, and while none of them are as big or flashy as CES—almost nothing is—I'm very much looking forward to seeing T&M vendors and speakers again following this typical lull that spans November-January.

Up next for EE is DesignCon, held Jan. 29-31 in Santa Clara, CA. I'll be there for the full days of that Wednesday and Thursday, so if you'd like to chat or have me stop by your booth, just shoot me an email at [email protected]. Sadly, I'll have to miss out on attending IPC Apex Expo in San Diego, which is the same dates as DesignCon. After that, I'll be at the APEC Conference in Anaheim, CA for the days of March 19 & 20.

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