As innovative technology takes over more and more of people’s attention in small ways and large, CES –- formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show –- has steadily grown in importance. This convergence of the entire tech universe –- accepting the perennial no-show, Apple -– will no doubt offer up impressive and headline-grabbing announcements of new products and technology over the course of the convention, which opens on January 8, 2019. With smart devices of all sorts from new smart home technology to new foldable smartphones and 8K televisions and undoubtedly some surprises, CES 2019 will offer up a glimpse of what the next year will look for early adopters and tech enthusiasts.
This article is a distillation of some of the rumors and unofficial word of mouth that has leaked out in the lead up to CES but should present a fair glimpse of the major innovations people can expect from the most important tech players. CES is easily the biggest such convention in the world -- literally thousands of firms will have a presence in various sites across metro Las Vegas from January 8 to the 11th. Simply viewing the exhibitors list can reveal a feel for the range of tech to be displayed –- people should expect announcements on new tech ranging from AR and VR to health, wellness and fitness to robotics, tech accessories and the ever-expanding and evolving list of smart home devices.
In the lead up to CES 2019, a few trends are emerging that could end up being the defining takeaway for the state of consumer tech innovation for the coming year. One of these aligns well with the expanding realm of smart devices, and that is voice control. From TVs to speakers with screens to headphones and smart home devices, voice control is emerging as the primary interface of the future. The second trend is in smart vehicles with advanced and integrated tech features. The third big development is in foldable displays, which could go much further than revolutionize smartphone formats, for instance in the realm of foldable laptops that feature a screen encompassing the entire face and that could finally do away with physical keyboards.
The sleeper tech innovation that hasn’t received as much hype could well be the development of ‘self-evolving’ artificial intelligence from LG. In any case, for tech enthusiasts and others, there will be much to get excited about early next year.
Smart devices are evolving rapidly
CES 2019 is likely to unleash a whole new set of smart -– and smarter -- devices and robotics products upon the public consciousness. These range from new features from the handful of automakers making an appearance to smart home devices from Amazon, Google, Phillips, Netgear, Netatmo and others. The ever-increasing adoption of smart home devices, from better smart thermostat devices to smart security and safety gadgets, is one reason in particular that attendees will come across multiples of fresh offerings in this category.
4K gets better and 8K televisions move beyond the prototype stage
One major tech theme in the recent past has been the development of 8K televisions, and CES 2019 could prove to be a tipping point for popular awareness of this bleeding-edge display format. However, many vendors are still hard at work refining their 4K television offerings, and this should work well in broadening the Ultra HD format. Sony, LG and Samsung are the main players to watch here.
Foldable smartphones with 5G
As mentioned, foldable devices are likely directly ahead, and mobile phones will probably be most people’s first encounter with this tech, with foldable laptops coming later. LG, for one, has trademarked the names Flex, Foldi and Duplus, which may be names for a new line of foldable smartphones.
Sony is also heavily rumored to reveal its Xperia smartphone to the world at CES 2019, and judging by their habit of welcoming the most recent tech, 5G capability is quite likely here. Many experts anticipate a slew of other firms to announce support for the new network capability as well.
The above is only a sampling of the rumors and standard grapevine to be expected this close to the opening of the convention but represents some of the best guesses and intuition of major observers. Consumer technology has never been so closely intertwined into people’s lives, from smart homes to smart phones CES 2019 will show us where tech in 2019 is heading.