The Wrap – CES 2019 (January 11, 2019)

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Tech news came thick and fast this week, as CES 2019 revealed the big stories and products of the new year. Get a preview of the year’s hottest tech, joined by Geoff Quattromani. This is the CES Wrap.

Transcript

For the week ending January 11, this is The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and we’ve got so much news, let’s waste no time and get stuck in, because this week was CES, the world’s biggest technology show, wrapping some of the year’s biggest tech announcements into one massive event.

And one that’s impossible to cover everything. Seriously, we’ve tried. If you’ve never been, CES covers hotels, plural, with Las Vegas filled with pretty much every geek out there, waiting to see what’s new and exciting.

Much of the focus in 2019 is on returning the TV to the focal point of the home, something you can do with the biggest TVs, and indeed a new resolution. It won’t be for everyone, but 8K TVs are properly here, delivering more pixels than their 4K siblings, and a bigger price tag, too. This year at CES, we’ve seen 8K talk from Sony, Samsung, LG, and TCL, and while 8K is big, it’s not even the biggest of the TV announcements.

If you feel like the 55 inch mark isn’t big enough for you, then you may have a bigger home than most. And good news, because you’ll easily find big TVs this year.

From what was announced at CES, you’ll have plenty of options this year, with TCL offering 75 inches, Sony offering an 85 inch, and Hisense dishing out a 100 inch laser TV that could just be a wall in your home. Laser TV isn’t the same as a conventional TV; it’s more like a projector with a really, really short throw, but it’s a 100 inch 4K screen all the same.

There’s also another option if you want your TV to just be the wall. As in cut the middleman out entirely, just do the digital wall. Samsung will have a 219 inch TV made up of little blocks of LEDs it calls “Micro LED”, which can also be adapted to walls of other sizes.
LG’s OLED TV R also grabbed attention because of its design, as it’s the first flexible TV that you’ll be able to buy. An unusual TV, the OLED TV R rolls up when it’s not in use. That means the TV doesn’t have to be the focal point of the home.

TVs like these are seriously big deals, and so 8K and the big TVs that go with it were one of the more obvious themes of CES this year. But tech commentator Geoff Quattromani, who was at CES this week, told us that it wasn’t the only one.

Geoff Quattromani: So for me the underlying themes of CES this year is three main things: 8K televisions and massive televisions, 5G, but then voice. I think voice is probably the biggest discussion point because voice — talking to things and things talking to themselves and each other — I think that’s where CES is in 2019.

The continuation of voice stretches over from last year, where the smart home really kicked off. In 2019, that continues, with more smart home connectivity.

For instance, Arlo’s security cameras will this year talk to smart devices including those made by Sonos and Philips, while smart assistants are being rolled onto pretty much every TV, speaker, and headphone. And that smart technology may even be on its way to cars.

5G, however, may not be something every country will see. Australia will, so we’re all a bit lucky. We don’t know of any real phones yet, but Telstra chimed in from the show floor to say that it would have exclusive 5G smartphones before any other telco this year.

Overall, there were lots of things to see. Jabra has new adaptive noise cancelling headphones. Lenovo has new smart displays that double as tablets, and joins computer makers Alienware, Dell, HP, and Acer with new machines. Even Tech21 popped up with a cute little keyboard case for the Google Pixel 3.

But as to the favourite products? Those you might not expect.

Geoff Quattromani: So for me this year, I’m giving it to the Impossible Foods burger, their version two. I got to taste it: this is food technology on a totally different scale where they’ve taken down the molecules of beef, identified exactly what it takes to make a product that tastes like beef. I tried the burger, I could be completely fooled, I could completely go vegetarian based on this one meal, and to me that is real innovation, because it could change the way things go for people.

Geoff told us that the makers of Impossible’s burger are trying to bring it to Australia and New Zealand, but given that it’s food, it may take some time. Food tech also saw other CES announcements, including LG’s homebrew beer system brewing and a Whirlpool smart oven that will let you watch your food cook via a camera.

CES is home to all sorts of technology, some of which we’ll see, and others we may not. At least you won’t have to get lost trying to work out what’s coming this year, because we’ll let you know if any of these things make it out to stores.

That’s it for this week, so you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap can be found every Friday at Podcast One and Apple Podcasts, and will be back next week for more tech in the space of five. Until then, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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