Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

The Wrap – CES Day 4 (Best Of & Trends)

Our fifth and final show for CES 2020, we’re checking out the trends that emerged and the best tech we saw. From new TVs to a smarter home, this is what CES 2020 was all about, all in five.

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For the last day of CES 2020, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and every day this week, we’ve been recording from Las Vegas to check out what is arguably the biggest technology show on the planet.

If you’ve ever been curious about what’s going to happen for the year in tech, this has been the place to be, with trends, insights, and a whole bunch of products getting talked up from the world’s biggest names in electronics, as well as some of the smaller ones you might not be familiar with.

Now CES is big. It’s so big that by the time the show was over, we had walked a good 100,000 steps across Las Vegas. It’s so big, we haven’t been able to see every stand in every hall, though not for a lack of trying. CES covers the Las Vegas Convention Centre and quite a few hotels, and it brings people from all over the world.

They’re all coming to see what’s going to be big that year, and what the trends will be. And this year, CES has made those trends pretty clear: 8K TVs are properly here, and 5G is going to be driving us forward.

In the 8K world, everyone had them. If someone made TVs, you can bet they were showing off new TVs over at CES that supported 8K, and possibly a projector or two. Every brand you know and some you don’t, including Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Hisense, TCL, Sharp, and plenty of others.

We still don’t have an amazing amount of content for these 8K TVs, but we do have upscaling driven by AI, and we have the AV1 codec, which is being served by YouTube to get 8K video to your TV.

The arrival of 8K in 2020 isn’t totally surprising, though. The first 8K TVs rolled onto shelves last year in 2019, and this year, there are more of them. 8K projection is also a thing this year, and the results are massive. Seen on at least one stand, the 8K projection can mean a big picture, and is practically leading to building your own cinema.

The 8K TV trend is just one of the obvious TV trends this year, with improvements to TV all around. While OLED is still the one to beat, Hisense’s Dual Cell LED is a curious play, providing a secondary layer of black and white pixels, which pushes the contrast of the screens that much more. Overall, TVs seem to be getting better on the whole, and while 4K is the minimum you should be considering in the TV world, the good news is that TV technology should be better this year than it’s ever been.

Another trend of CES is the proliferation of 5G, and just how we’re all going to use it. Telstra announced there are a good 100,000 devices on its network for 5G, and while faster speeds for downloading cat videos on your phone aren’t the be-all end-all of what 5G can deliver, and so companies are looking into making 5G more useful in other areas.

This year, you should be able to connect 5G to your home, thanks in part to network gear from Linksys and D-Link, among others, while chip makers are starting to pave the way for rolling out 5G connections in our cars and other places.

The idea is that eventually, you should have connection in more places and everywhere you go.

That’ll be good for being out and about, but it’ll also be great for the home, which saw the continuation and evolution of the smart home this year. You have smart speakers and displays, well now you can prepare for smart frames and smarter appliances, as the whole home steadily comes together to be smarter and more connected.

And as for what was best this year, best of CES 2020, that is, we think there are a few areas that stand out really well. Samsung’s Micro LED TV concept is just a remarkable idea, allowing blocks to make up a TV mounted to a wall, while LG’s massive 88 inch OLED TV is without a doubt one of the nicest TVs we’ve ever seen.

The Hisense TriChroma Laser TV is a spectacular thing, able to project a big screen with such a short throw, great for those home cinema setups you’ve always wanted to do.

We’re fans of the Withings ScanWatch, because it seems like it can do so much in an elegant way, and we’re also delighted by Belkin’s Gallium Nitride chargers. If it seems crazy that we love laptop charging bricks so much, you only need to look at the charger for your laptop and see why we’d love a smaller one.

And we really, really like LG’s Smart Door, because even though it’s clearly a way off, it has so much going for it. If you’re designing a house from scratch, it’s a compelling option.

There are other technologies we loved this week, such as an interactive medical device from Anatomage to teach, the sheer number of foldable computers coming, and the Zero Mass Source water concept that uses thermodynamics to wrench water from air.

There’s a lot coming and a lot that’s good, and some of it should even make it to Australian store shelves in the next few months.

But that’s also it for CES 2020 in Las Vegas. Thanks to the Consumer Tech Association for helping to get us here, and we hope you’ve liked one week straight of CES episodes of The Wrap.

Next week, The Wrap returns to its regularly scheduled program of the weekly tech news and reviews in just five, as opposed to one episode for every day. For now, have a fantastic week, and all that jazz. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care. See you next time, Vegas!

Editor of Pickr and Host of The Wrap, Leigh Stark at CES 2020 in Las Vegas

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