CES 2018 bets on artificial intellect
Thousands of cool new products were presented at the Las Vegas expo
13 January, 2018
The SureFly drone is designed to carry two people up to 113 km.
Planet Computers displays new Gemini mini computer.
An exhibitor demonstrates the Virtual Reality headset and foot rudder by 3dRudder.
Google VP of Engineering, Scott Huffman, presented Google Assistant.
A wide range of cool new products was presented last week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 in Las Vegas, which ran from 9 to 12 January, in attempt to provide a taste of the future, news wires reported. About 4,000 companies, many of them start-ups, revealed their inventions and secured orders, but the show itself conquered new territories by penetrating into previously less touched territories of artificial intelligence, automobiles, medicine and agriculture.
Expectedly, a strong accent fell on advancing artificial intelligence with Amazon and Google battling for the market. While Amazon's Alexa was the star of the last year's show, Google's Assistant was trying to somehow answer to its challenge. As device-makers fell over themselves to support or build in the Alexa smart helper in almost everything, from fridges and cars to watches and robots, Google promised to continue the fight.
Last week, LG revealed its latest top-end TVs featuring the Assistant, and at the show the search giant aimed at showing off its AI advancements. Among them is a GE ceiling light that supports both Amazon and Google virtual assistants, while HTC already sells a smartphone that answers to both AIs' wake words. “We believe customer choice is important, and that multiple AIs can be complementary of each other,” an Amazon spokesman told the BBC.
Separately, the so-called wellness market proved to be CES' most vibrant sector this year. As a recent forecast suggested the world's annual healthcare spending will be nearly $9tn by the end of the decade, both big brands and start-ups believe there's an opportunity to disrupt a sector currently dominated by specialists. For example, Israel's ICI Vision is in town to promote a pair of prototype glasses designed to tackle blind spots caused by retinal diseases. At the same time, Samsung is taking a different approach to visual impairments with Relumino - glasses that use a smartphone to process the wearer's view.
There were many participants seeking to break out from the crowd by taking a different approach. Crownstone was promoting a system in which a home's lights and plug sockets automatically react to a resident's presence based on them having a Bluetooth-broadcasting wearable or smartphone on them, rather than waiting to be given a command. Miliboo showed off a smart sofa that not only wirelessly charges your handset or tablet but also keeps track of how long you've been sat in front of the TV while monitoring your posture.
The rise of electric-powered cars and self-driving technologies have seen automobiles take on a greater role at CES. Ford's new CEO, Jim Hackett, delivered one of the event's high-profile keynote presentations. Hyundai debuted a hydrogen fuel cell-powered sports utility vehicle (SUV), while Nissan demonstrated a bonkers-sounding brain-to-vehicle interface. It involves using a brainwave-reading headset to anticipate when steering wheel turns or accelerator pedal presses are about to be made.
There were also plenty of drones at CES with Nuaviation's Hyperlift 200E designed to carry objects weighing up to 200lb (91kg) at high speeds, while Sirius CX-180 features powerful LED lamps and is designed for use in night-time search-and-rescue missions.