Here’s a brief look at some of the major announcements made at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) at:
Self Driving technology was at the forefront of this year’s CES with various companies showing off automated cars. Nvidia demoed its own self driving car as well as an Audi Q7 equipped with the same software and hardware. The GPU-maker also teamed up with Mercedes Benz for a vehicle with an onboard AI.
Baidu also announced a partnership with Chinese vehicle maker BAIC Motor to work on smart car tech, with road testing expected by the end of this year. Ford demoed an updated version of its Fusion Hybrid vehicle with autonomous driving, while Delphi and Hyundai also demoed their self driving cars. BMW announced a partnership with Intel and Mobileye to develop a fleet of 40 test vehicles, to be deployed in the second half of 2017.
In-car experiences were also a focus for automakers. Volkswagen started integrating Amazon’s Alexa in some of its cars, while Toyota introduced Concept-i, an in-car AI partner that acts as a copilot and a travel guide. Honda’s latest electric concept car the NueV also comes integrated with Honda’s Automated Network Assistant (HANA), built with SoftBank, to personalize driving experiences. Ford and Toyota also partnered up to launch a consortium to help set standards for in-car apps. This consortium currently lists Mazda, PSA Group, Fuji Heavy Industries and Suzuki as its members.
Amazon’s Alexa was a top choice for home automation integration. The LG Hub Robot, which when placed in common areas, will recognize family members coming and going, respond to commands with gestures like nodding and control gadgets, and comes with Amazon’s Alexa on board. Similarly, the company’s new fridge, also comes with Alexa integration. Lenovo also launched its own smart assistant device with Alexa onboard.
Google Assistant was less popular, although nVidia launched a new Shield TV that supports Google’s solution, and said it will updated older devices too. The CES also saw devices like Emotech, a personal home assistant that has a physical personality, and a smart toaster. More practically, Knocki demoed a device that attaches to walls or under a table, which can be tapped to trigger events like turning on a light, muting speakers etc.
Unsurprisingly, smartwatches were not too popular this CES. A couple of smaller startups apart, Garmin was the only company to introduce new smartwatches. Samsung on the other hand only announced an update making its watches compatible with iOS.
However, there were certainly some interesting devices. Among them is Blitab, an Android tablet that comes combined with a smart Braille surface, for enabling the visually impaired to use computers. Other interesting products included Siren Care’s health tracking with fabrics, and a 3D printer for printing real metal parts.
In education, LEGO announced a kit called Move Hub for building and programming robots, to encourage children to build and code. For more advanced users, Chip Pro launched a $16 prototyping chip that can be used to scale to build IoT gadgets.
Blackberry branded TCL phones were demoed at the CES, marking TCL’s entry into enterprise. Samsung meanwhile launched the Chromebook Plus – a Chrome OS-based laptop with 360 degree hinges to convert it to tablet mode, a functionality previously reserved for WIndows laptops. Almost as if to make up for this, Razer demoed its new Windows laptop – Valarie, which sports three 4K screens, for a massive resolution of 11520*2160