Wrapping up on Friday 11 January, CES 2019 felt very much like the dawn of a new and thoroughly exciting era for tech.
So much we’ve been waiting for like 5G and rollable TVs came fully to the fore. The usual self-driving cars proliferated. TVs got even bigger and rollable while the usual glut of robots abounded.
Last month, we looked ahead at what we thought would crop up in the Vegas trade show held by the CTA (Consumer Technology Association). Many of these predictions came to the fore with 160,000 visitors and exhibit halls across 2.7 million square feet bursting with bleeding edge tech.
So, what stood out at CES 2019? We could go on all day about this so we’ve limited ourselves to just 10 standout elements from arguably the best CES in over fifty years of innovation…
1) 5G Is Upon Us
CES 2019 saw the whole 5G ecosystem finally come together in one place with a glimpse at how this will be a far greater leap forward than the move from 3G to LTE.
5G will act as the foundation for VR, transportation, and digital health care so it’s moving far beyond quicker data on your cellphone with 5G showing the potential to power driverless cars and even fully automated cities in the not too distant future.
A full rollout will take place between now and 2021, and 5G will be harnessed not just by smartphone manufacturers and wireless networks but also across pretty much every industry.
2) LG: 140 Awards and The First Rollable TV
The colossus LG carried off no fewer than 140 honors and awards at CES 2019 with 17 Innovation Awards across a range of categories and the Engadget Best of CES Award for the television category thanks to the Signature OLED TV R.
This ultra-thin 65-inch rollable set unfurls from a metal base and packs an immersive 100-watt sound system. Alexa and Google Assistant are both supported and you can use the Dashboard screen to control your smart home devices.
The best thing? It’s coming later this year so get ready to roll!
3) Internet of Things: From Smart Mirrors to Smart Displays to Even Smarter Robotic Vacuums
The smart home is set to keep getting smarter as it’s predicted 26 billion IoT devices will be installed this coming year.
After the roaring success of its smart display, Lenovo is building out its Smart Home Essentials range with a Google Assistant-enabled smart alarm clock featured at CES 2019, a device that can wake you with light not a piercing alarm. With a touch display, the ability to charge your devices and smart home control built in, Lenovo is bringing giving the traditional alarm clock a serious injection of smarts.
Mui’s take on the smart display, also featuring Google Assistant, looks like a plank of wood but there’s a touch-sensitive interface inside that allows you to do everything from accessing your voicemail to dimming your lights. This was another Kickstarter campaign made good and a delightful blend of the retro and futuristic due to start shipping in September.
Capstone’s Smart Mirror has both voice capability and a touch screen and lets you combine using social media while you get ready for work with firing off an email to get a jump start on your day.
Soundbars were out in force and getting ever more intelligent while Evovacs featured an AI-powered robotic vacuum that embraces machine learning to keep your smart home absolutely spotless without accidentally sucking up any clothes or cables that get in the way.
Philips Hue demonstrated some neat additions to its outdoor lighting range while Ring unveiled fully 13 new products.
CES 2019, then, was a true treat for smart home enthusiasts and a teaser for the excitement set to unfold over the course of this coming year.
4) Alexa In The Bathroom
You might think the last place you need your digital assistant is in the smallest, most private room in the house but Kohler thinks differently.
At CES 2019, they showed off the Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet with personalized cleaning features and voice control so you can hit up your virtual butler while you’re going about your business.
Ruthlessly priced at $7000-8000, expect this speaking toilet to come onto the market in the first quarter of this year.
5) Google Interpreter
If you frequently have friends over from different countries and sometimes find communication an issue, Google showcased Interpreter at CES 2019.
Interpreter allows you to talk into any Google Home device and have your words translated almost instantaneously into 27 languages. When the other person speaks into the Home device, you’ll hear what they’re saying in your native language making Interpreter a must for any multicultural smart home dinner party.
6) Supersized Monitors
TVs just keep getting bigger and, at CES 2019, it was made abundantly clear that the same is happening with computer monitors.
Everything from 65-inchers through to RGB-lit behemoths were on display showing that if you work from home and need some serious hardware to make your life easier, you’ll be spoiled for choice this coming year with far more than a basic, small flatscreen at your disposal.
7) Let's Get Physical: Blu-Ray and Record Players
While digital obviously dominated at CES 2019, there was no shortage of turntables either. Vinyl never really died and record players were out in numbers in Vegas.
Cambridge Audio demonstrated the first record deck with HD Bluetooth support giving you full hi-res playback while Sony neatly mixed analog and digital with the LX310BT boasting an intelligent tonearm.
If you’re still not fully sold on Netflix and you’ve got stacks of Blu-Ray discs laid around at home, CES 2019 surprisingly showed that Blu-Ray players have not completely died a death.
8) Headphones Redone
From true wireless headphones to waterproof earbuds, from wired in-ears to the show-stopping Creative SXFI Air giving you near-surround sound, CES was a playground for anyone looking to invest in some new cans this year.
While the sound quality is certainly on the up, it was the true wireless earbuds from the sportswear brand Under Armour that particularly impressed us. IPX7 water resistant and with fully 5 hours of battery life, whether you’re hitting the weights with a vengeance or running in the rain, these wireless buds are a must.
9) Virtual Reality
Not exactly a new concept, CES 2019 nevertheless featured a few exciting advances for virtual reality.
HTC’s Vive Cosmos headset can be powered by more than just your PC but the company didn’t actually reveal too many details about this tantalizingly glance at gaming headsets of the near-future.
Pimax, on the other hand, brought an 8K ultra-wide headset out to play which will ship in February. This will give you peripheral vision through a pair of 4K lenses so the 8K label is slightly misleading but the concept is a showstopper and the 200-degree field of view unbeatable.
10) Temi The Robot
Robots, as expected, were everywhere at CES 2019.
The one that caught our eye to the exclusion of all others was Temi. This personal assistant robot comes with Alexa integration and the head is a 10-inch Android tablet acting as a smart display.
If you imagine an Echo Show on wheels that can navigate around your house and help you with mundane chores, that’s Temi the Robot!
Drop us a line and let us know what your favorites were from CES 2019 and come back soon as we're constantly updating our home automation blog.
Look out later this week for the best smart home tech for keeping an eye on your beloved babies and also a glimpse at 21st-century walkie-talkies!