The annual Consumer Electronics Show kicked off 2019 in Vegas this week and welcomed thousands of visitors from around the world and over 4,500 exhibitors. The first CES took place in New York City in 1967 where gadgets like the Video Cassette Recorder and computer mouse were new inventions on the horizon. Fast forward to this year’s Show where we’re being introduced to walking cars, XR technologies (VR, AR, and everything in between), and of course, robots. Please read below on what we found at the first half of this year’s CES.
Hands Free Travel
Forward X’s AI-powered suitcase is a frequent flyer’s new must-have luggage. The Ovis suitcase is TSA approved and speeds through the airport at 6 mph following the wearable smart band tracker tracker. Integrated with computer vision technology, Ovis self drives and avoids obstacles while staying in eyes view, never trailing more than 2 meters. The suitcase also has a removable battery for faster security clearance and charge on-the-go features. Through the Ovis App, you’ll be able to track your Ovis’ whereabouts, measure the weight of your belongings, and monitor battery life. The Ovis will be available early 2019 for $799.
The otherworldly Hyundai walking car made an early (and tiny) showing at CES this year with their model concept. The Elevate is the first vehicle that can drive, walk, and climb and will change how search-and-rescue missions are executed. The technology was demonstrated through the one-fifth scale model where the car went into “reptilian” and “mammalian” modes. In reptilian mode, Elevate can easily navigate through rough terrain caused by earthquakes and tornadoes, while in mammalian mode the vehicle walks smoothly and can even clear a five foot gap or wall.
Roll Up (Or Down)
LG’s Signature OLED TV R made it’s grand entrance at CES with it’s translucent and sharp technology. The 65” television can roll itself up or down in three different viewing modes. When not in use, the TV doesn’t effect the aesthetic of the room in it’s hidden “zero view” state. This mode doubles as a soundbar showing just the necessary playback icons. With the “line view” a quarter of the display is visible and displays picture slideshows, more music controls, or the clock. The TV, like all other 2019 LGs, come integrated with Google assistant and Alexa voice controls. The premium television will be available later this spring and will likely rival their wallpaper thin OLED TV we saw at last year’s CES, priced around $8,000 and coming in at 0.2” thickness.
Over 50 Years of CES + 25 of Beyond Design
As CES celebrates it’s 52nd year, Beyond celebrates our 25th year as a product development firm. We weren’t around for the first Winter CES held in Chicago in ‘73, but our humble beginnings began in the early 1990s as PDA’s, flat screen plasma TVs, and DVD players were exhibited at the Show. Notably, 2 years after Beyond entered the industry, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 passed in Congress. This law created huge opportunities for companies like ours allowing anyone to enter the communications business and resulting in a boom of innovation for new electronics products that would soon swoop through 1990s and early 2000s.
1970: Videocassette Recorder (VCR)
1974: Laserdisc Player
1981: Camcorder and Compact Disc Player
1994: IBM’s Simon PDA (above)
1996: Digital Versatile Disk (DVD)
1998: High Definition Television (HDTV)
2000: Satellite Radio
2001: Microsoft Xbox + PlasmaTV
2003: Blu-Ray DVD and HDTV
Unexpected Must Sees + Connections
Huge companies, like Procter & Gamble , swept into CES looking for start ups to help their innovation efforts and refresh their current product lines. P&G wasn’t just recruiting though, they exhibited 6 new smart products including the Oral-B Genius X Toothbrush. The smart brush uses AI to collect and analyze a user’s brushing techniques and provide feedback for improved oral healthcare through the Oral-B app.
Bar Over Blade
P&G’s GilletteLabs also brought their Heated Razor to CES. The style of the razor is more traditional, but with the touch of a button it heats up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The trickiest part of engineering their new product was finding an evenly distributed and consistent heat without making a bulky appliance. The design game changer is the incorporation of heat into a bar rather than a blade. Within the bar are four sensors that monitors even heat distribution.
It wouldn’t be CES without robots zooming around in between attendees. This year though, a more practical and feasible robot made the rounds. Robotemi introduced their Alexa infused Temi robot slated to be released in early spring. Temi lacks gimmicky wide eyes and a generic smile. Instead, it is simply a rolling tablet. The robot has autonomous navigation capabilities and follows the user around the house making it the first of it’s kind to be a walking, functional virtual assistant. This Amazon collaboration opens the door for how we will interact and use virtual assistants in smart homes in a more useful and applicable way.
CES Wrap Up
We couldn’t include everything we found at CES, but stay tuned for what’s to come on day 3 and 4 later this week!