At CES 2018 in Las Vegas, voice is key.
Forget about buttons or remote controls – this year at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, it’s all about your voice.
Voice controlled gadgets are everywhere! Last year, Amazon’s Alexa was the big buzz, but this year, Google managed to get it’s Google Assistant into dozens of gadgets and on billboards everywhere.
Here are some of the things I saw that were interesting and unique.
We checked out LG’s latest “wallpaper” TV that is super thin and so light it magnetically mounts to your wall. It now has Google Assistant built-in. We saw a demo of how it worked and the TV is now one giant Google Home smart speaker, but with some added extras.
“With Google Assistant built into it, it’s just so much easier so much smarter to do the things that you’re doing now without all the effort,” explained Martin Valdez of LG Electronics.
“Essentially it is a Google home product, with Google Assistant software built into it with your voice you can control the lights, you control air purifier air, conditioner and with the LG stuff built inside of it you can’t even control stuff in the TV,” said Valdez.
You can change channels, search for movies and more. The TV even learns your habits so when you turn it on it might automatically switch to a sports or a kids show.
At the Samsung booth, we saw a lot of cool stuff – the theme is that all of their gadgets and appliances are getting interconnected thanks, in part, to Bixby – their voice assistant.
Samsung has a modular TV on display called “The Wall.” Although you can’t see the seams, it’s actually made up of a bunch of tiny display panels – theoretically, you could build this screen as big as you need it for the wall in your home. The one at CES was 146 inches.
Next, we moved over to their Digital Cockpit – which is the inside of the car of a future. There were screens galore – plus a real working 5G network connection for super fast data transfer speeds and less delay. Bixby puts you in command of it all with just your voice.
“One simple command like “Bixby I’m on my way home,” [and] you’re setting your air conditioner to the right temperature, my garage door is going to open, I turn my lights on to what I want. That’s really the idea we’re trying to showcase at the show and bring it into automotive – less steps for the user but more convenient and more action,” explained Adam Kuhn of Samsung Electronics.
At LG Display, we saw a world’s first: a 65 inch rollable OLED display! It’s pretty remarkable that they were able to get such a big, bright screen to rollup into itself for storage or otherwise. You can adjust the height of the display when you’re not watching TV so that it can display information, music or photos. Of course, there’s always the option to just hide it completely.
Lenovo is showing off two versions of it’s Smart Display screens that are essentially a Google Home with a video screen. You can watch videos, look at recipes, video chat and more on the display. The devices work in portrait or landscape mode. Privacy-minded individuals will like the nice touch of a sliding shutter that hides the camera lens when you’re not actively using it.
Sony is bringing back it’s robotic version of man’s best friend. The device – which made it’s debut back in the 80’s – is totally reinvented for a new generation. It has little OLED displays for its eyes and an internet connection. In demos I saw, the dog was instantly loveable but in the loud setting of the CES show floor, the dog wasn’t properly listening to voice commands. Aibo will be available in Japan for about $2,000 U.S. but so far the company hasn’t said if they are bringing Aibo back to the states.
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