CES 2018: Everything you need to know about the world’s biggest electronics show

    Brain powered car? An 88-inch TV with 8K resolution? Here’s why you should be excited about CES 2018.
    By: KUL BHUSHAN
    | Updated on: Jan 05 2018, 19:34 IST
    CES 2018: What to expect from the world’s biggest electronics show
    CES 2018: What to expect from the world’s biggest electronics show (AFP)
    CES 2018: What to expect from the world’s biggest electronics show
    CES 2018: What to expect from the world’s biggest electronics show (AFP)

    Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the world's biggest technology conferences in the world which takes place in Las Vegas in January every year. The event sets the tone for the trend in the field of technology for the rest of the year and gives a fair idea about what to expect in the coming years.

    Just like previous years, CES 2018 will see a number of new announcements, product demonstrations and some out-of-the-box solutions that will take your breath away. If last year's CES was any indication, the technology firms are working towards expanding their purview beyond smartphones, tablets or just the hardware. And this year, the trend is unlikely to change.

    That being said, 2017 was a landmark year as futuristic technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality came closer to the mainstream. Now, we call them emerging technologies. These categories were driven by some successful products such as Alexa (Amazon's voice assistant), ARCore and ARKit AR platforms from Google and Apple respectively, and Oculus Go, an affordable stand alone Virtual Reality headset from Facebook.

    But that was last year and what's next? Answer to this question is CES 2018. So, without further ado, let's find out what we already know and what can we expect from the world's biggest tech conference.

    CES 2018: When, where and how to follow

    CES will officially begin on January 9 in Las Vegas, US. It will continue till January 12. But the press events will start from January 7. So, you can expect a flurry of announcements and product unveiling on January 7 and January 8, which are marked as media days.

    The event is said to attract more than 170,000 visitors and 3,900 exhibitors from 150 nations.

    You can also follow the event via the official CES app which is available for both Android and iOS. Google users click here to download the app while iOS users click here. There's also a CES Bot that gives you answer to all your questions about the show.

    CES 2018: What to expect

    Smart Speakers

    Amazon and Google both ruled the smart speakers segment with their follow ups to Echo and Home devices. The two companies expanded their voice assistant platforms to third-party OEMs and a number of companies such as Sony and JBL have announced their own take on the smart speakers. This year we can expect more AI-powered smart speakers from different brands.

    One company that has already announced its smart speaker for CES 2018 is LG. Earlier this week, the company unveiled LG ThinQ which is powered by Google Assistant. The device competes with Amazon's top-end Echo Plus and Google's Home Max. LG ThinQ features almost same features as these two smart speakers.

    Meanwhile, US' Roku is also expected to add voice-controlled digital assistant to its streaming TV players. The company is now licensing out its software to manufacturers of smart speakers, sound bars and other audio devices. So, we shouldn't be surprised to see the first Roku-based smart speaker at the event. ALSO READ: Siri is getting optimised for HomePod as Apple lags behind in smart speakers race

    Smartphones

    Traditionally, CES isn't the hottest conference for smartphone launches like MWC that takes place almost a month later. But it does get a fair share of phone launches. This year, there were rumours that Samsung will be unveiling its latest flagship smartphone, Galaxy S9, at the event. But the Korean company quickly debunked the speculation. Well, brands such as Huawei, Sony and LG are most likely to showcase new devices.

    For now, LG has confirmed it will be unveiling 'raspberry red' variant of its new V30 smartphone. Sony, however, is expected to steal the show with its three new smartphones. According to rumours, Sony is expected to unveil Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra, and a low-end Xperia L2.

    Huawei is also expected to launch a new smartphone but there's no clarity on what it could be.

    TVs

    Probably a lot of you are still stuck to a full HD or HD TV, but over the years TV screen resolutions have amplified by leaps and bounds. 4K TVs, still a niche, have already become synonymous for premium TVs. CES 2018 is going to up the ante with integration of HDR in modern 4K TVs. According to reports, the event will see a slew of new smart TVs boasting HDR 10 resolution along with Dolby Vision integration.

    LG has already confirmed it will be showcasing a ridiculous 88-inch OLED TV with a whopping 8K resolution. And these TVs will be powered by LG's propriety Artificial Intelligence, ThinQ. It's highly unlikely the TV goes mainstream in the near future, but it is most likely to set a new standard for home entertainment category.

    Samsung said it will be showcasing a new CJ791 monitor, touted as the first curved monitor to feature Intel's Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. The monitor has 3440×1440 ultra-wide QHD resolution with 21:9 aspect ratio.

    "The display's QLED presentation technology precisely reflects colours across a 125 percent sRGB spectrum, and creates visual intrigue through deeper blacks, brighter whites and pristine shades. This refinement, coupled with the industry's sharpest 1,500R curvature and ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angle, gives users a complete view of their surroundings, and ensures full immersion in every scene," Samsung said.

    First monitor to feature Intel's Thunderbolt technology.
    First monitor to feature Intel's Thunderbolt technology. (Samsung)
    First monitor to feature Intel's Thunderbolt technology.
    First monitor to feature Intel's Thunderbolt technology. (Samsung)

    Brain powered

    Car maker Nissan is going to unveil a high-tech car that is powered by a "brain-to-vehicle" technology. The car is believed to be the next evolution of smart driver assist technology that is increasingly becoming common in a variety of modern cars.

    According to Nissan, the technology can predict by "catching signs that the driver's brain is about to initiate a movement - such as turning the steering wheel or pushing the accelerator pedal - driver assist technologies can begin the action more quickly. This can improve reaction times and enhance manual driving."

    "Nissan's B2V technology is the world's first system of its kind. The driver wears a device that measures brain wave activity, which is then analyzed by autonomous systems. By anticipating intended movement, the systems can take actions - such as turning the steering wheel or slowing the car - 0.2 to 0.5 seconds faster than the driver, while remaining largely imperceptible," it added.

    If you thought "brain-to-vehicle" technology was unrealistic, here's something on the same lines that you can believe. Gaming startup Neurable will be unveiling a prototype of a device that adds brain controls to Virtual Reality experiences. There's already a game called "Awakening" that users can play using their minds, literally. The company plans to make VR arcades in 2018.

    "We're not really a game company or a hardware company... But this game is the first thing we're looking to provide to VR arcades that are using our technology. The Awakening game is a nice introduction because you're awakening your powers as a child, and we're also awaking people to the potential of next-generation BCIs," Neurable CEO Ramses Alcaide told IEEE Spectrum in August last year.

    Miscellaneous

    From new smart wearables to new laptops and PCs, CES 2018 will be full of new gadgets and technologies across segment. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are also expected to take the center stage at the event.

    You should also be excited about the new announcements in the field of robotics. At least, you can expect some cool concept devices that may or may not become reality in the near future.

    There's also a lot of buzz around 5G technology this year. Just recently, 5G technology got its first standardisation of specifications - a big deal for the groundwork of a cohesive development of 5G. The technology is likely to be the backbone for a set of futuristic devices in the works across segments, including Internet of Things, Medi-Tech, Virtual Reality and Smart Home. Will we see the first functional 5G phone? Well, it's highly unlikely.

    We'll be bringing you a detailed coverage of all major and minor announcements from CES 2018. Stay tuned.

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    First Published Date: 05 Jan, 18:16 IST
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