MANILA, Philippines – The world's top tech brands and startups converge at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, USA to announce and show off their newest products guaranteed to tickle the fancy of technophiles and futurists the world over.
This year's big theme? Voice assistants from the likes of Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft, all battling it out to be the digital butler of choice of anyone who's privileged enough to live in the modern connected home.
What is the modern connected home? It's one whose appliances, devices, and even vehicles has some manner of connectivity, which allows it to be operated remotely or, you guessed it, with a virtual assistant.
This connected home is also known as the Internet-of-things (IoT), and at this year's show, we have seen a continued push for these types of devices. Below we round up these high-tech platforms and appliances. But they're not the only stars of the show , so we've also identified other cool gadgets that have surfaced from the show so far.
1) The phone case that's also a drone
Called the Selfly, this upcoming $130 product is a case for your phone that also includes a mini-drone that can take photos with a 13mp camera and videos at 1080p and 60fps. You can set it to hover, so it can take your selfies. It can't fly your phone though!
2) The new thinnest laptop in the world
At 8.98 millimeters thick, Acer claims that their new Swift 7 is the world's thinnest laptop. Has a Core i7 chip, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, a 14-inch 1080p screen and priced at $1,699.
3) The treadmill with a 32-inch screen
Exercise equipment company Peloton has unveiled a $4000 high-tech treadmill with a 32-inch screen. Why a screen? The screen livestreams a training session with an instructor and a leaderboard showing how well you're doing against others.
4) Planet Computers' Gemini a.k.a. the return of the PDA
This retro-looking clamshell device with a QWERTY keyboard has some pretty modern specs. It runs on Android, has a 1080p screen, a 10-core MediaTek processor, and 4GB of RAM. For geeks, the $400 device also boots into Linux for those who want to tinker around more.
5) LG's ThinQ appliances
LG announced a new AI platform, on which their smart appliances for 2018 will operate. By being on the ThinQ platform, appliances will essentially be able to talk to one another, with each appliance being able to collect data about you and learn what you like or not.
Their smart refrigerator for instance can learn the consumption patterns of your family, and possibly make recipe suggestions out of these. Or control the TVs' channel or aircon unit's setting with your voice.
LG has also made it clear that they'll be working with both Google and their Google Assistant, and Amazon and their Alexa assistant for use in their products.
6) LG's Tone wireless headset with Google Assistant button
Some of LG's Bluetooth-enabled Tone headsets, which connect to phones, will now be coming with a dedicated Google Assistant button that allows you to summon the assistant in a more convenient way.
7) The Volocopter air taxi
Not a gadget, but cool nonetheless. Intel showed off this driverless air taxi being developed by a German company, which they hope you'll be able to summon like an Uber, around 5 years from now.
8) Low-cost 18:9 phones
In 2017, phones with the longer 18:9 form factor were exclusive to expensive flagships. Now, the form has trickled down to cheaper phones thanks to Alcatel and their 1-, 3-, and 5-series phones that range from $100 to $300.
9) Huawei's standalone VR headset
The Chinese tech giant prepares to compete with the likes of Oculus and Vive with their own standalone unit, the VR2. The unit, unlike its predecessor and Samsung's Gear VR won't need a phone to be slid inside. It has a 3K resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate.
10) Intel's baby drones
Remember Super Bowl 2017 where Intel drones did a light show with Lady Gaga? The tech giant's introducing a new version of them – now smaller, and can fly indoors safely without GPS. Hundreds of these can be programmed to fly a certain pattern to dazzle the eyes. The bad thing? They're currently not being sold to the public by Intel.
11) Dell's MacBook Pro killer
12) Razer's phone-powered laptop
Called Project Linda, the conceptual device is essentially a laptop keyboard and screen. It doesn't have the usual motherboard, processor and RAM a computer has. To power it, you need the Razer Phone. Slide the phone in, and the phone becomes the device's brains as well as its trackpad.
13) An airbag for people and their hips
From the French company Helite comes this beltbag-looking device called the Hip'Air that senses when you're about to fall, and inflates airbags immediately to prevent injuries. It's primarily designed for seniors, and will launch soon at around $720.
14) A wearable that turns your finger into a speaker
The SGNL wristband, from Samsung spin-off Innomdle Lab, connects to a phone through Bluetooth, and transmits audio vibrations from the band to your finger. You simply press your finger to your ear, and you'll be able to hear the caller talking. Expected to come out in March.
15) A concussion-sensing mouthguard
Slated to come out this year is a smart mouthguard that has sensors that know when a collision strong enough to cause a concussion has occured. It's made by US company Prevent Biometrics, and is designed for athletes in contact sports. It will retail for $200.
16) Samsung's The Wall
No, we're not talking about Game Of Thrones. We're talking about Samsung's new 146-inch TV that features Samsung's new MicroLED technology. MicroLED technology is said to be modular, which means that it can get even bigger by adding more modules to it.
No resolution, price or release date has been specifed.
17) Xiaomi's Oculus headset
The new Oculus headset, the $200 Oculus Go, will be manufactured by Chinese company Xiaomi and it will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor.
18) Corsair's encrypted wireless gaming keyboard
The gaming company released today a wireless gaming keyboard that's also encrypted. This means that not only do you rid yourself of wires, you also rid yourself of worries that someone might hack into your wireless keyboard to steal data. Corsair K63 Wireless retails for around $109.
19) Amazon Alexa in a pair of glasses
The Vuzix Blade takes away Amazon's voice assistant Alexa from the speakers and into a pair of geeky glasses that also have AR functions. Currently incredibly expensive at more than $1000, the implementation may show the potential of voice assistants to find themselves in gadgets other than homebound smart speakers.
20) Foreo's "smart mask treatment"
The beauty device called the Foreo UFO hopes to revolutionize sheet mask treatment with this device that offer 90-second facial treatments that combine LED light therapy, and varial temperature treatment and pulses. These technologies open up the pores, helps even skin tone and boost radiance.
21) A higher resolution HTC Vive headset
HTC announces the HTC Vive Pro headset, which sports a resolution of 2880 x 1660, a 78% improvement from the previous Vive's 2160 x 1200 resolution. It will also now sport built-in headphones, and will have improved weight and balance.
22) A Nokia that tracks your sleeping patterns
The next Nokia product isn't a phone. Instead, it's called the Nokia Sleep, a mattress that has a sensor and WiFi built in that records your sleep patterns. It slides under the mattress, and sends the data to Nokia's Health Mate app. The app analyzes the data to come up with a "sleep score. It comes out this year for $100.
23) A 65-inch TV that rolls into a box
LG shows off the world's first rollable 65-inch 4K OLED TV. The TV rolls into a box if you want to stow it away, which means it'll be easier to transport it compared to all traditional TVs today. The box is a fraction of the size, and looks kind of like a bigger soundbar. The bad thing? It's still in development, and it might not be available this year or the next.
24) Nvidia's "Big Format Gaming Displays"
The graphics giant has unveiled huge displays (65-inches and up) that are designed primarily for gaming. These units, to be built by Asus, Acer and HP, feature G-SYNC technology for smooth, tear-free visuals, 120Hz refresh rates, and extreme brightness and color range – all for the gamer's pleasure.
Now which one of these do you wish you could take home? – Rappler.com