CES 2019 — Preview of some of the expo’s hottest new gadgets

Just like in past years, visitors to CES 2019 will probably see voice-activated smart speakers that can tell you where your pet or car keys are hiding, as well as Alexa/Google Assistant-controlled pianos, heart rate monitors, lawnmowers, motorcycle helmets, and meditation lamps.

The automotive industry will also be well represented with an array of flashy, and sometimes, tricked-out cars. But there are some amazingly serious tech innovations to see, too. One such innovative technology is being showcased this year by the startup company uBeam.

It’s an ultrasonic wireless power technology that can be used in consumer products, like portable electronics and smart home devices; as well as larger industrial applications, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors together with digital asset trackers, according to Digital Journal.

5G gets real at CES

While Verizon and AT&T both have limited 5G networks, we are still weeks or even months away from our smartphones taking advantage of them. And even when it is available, there is going to be more to the transition than just turning on the 5G modem.

According to Mashable, they are very optimistic that 2019 will become the “Year of 5G.” One thing is for sure – CES 2019 will show consumers what 5G will do for us besides just giving us faster smartphones.

The list includes more secure smart-home devices, battery-operated remote sensors, and reliable telehealth apps, just to name a few innovations. But 5G also has huge implications for the connected auto industry, because of its potential to let vehicles “talk” to one another in real time. Just keep in mind that 5G wireless networks won’t be available nationwide until 2020.

 

Hyundai elevates expectations for CES 2019

Hyundai “elevates” expectations for CES 2019

Hyundai

 

Future transport technology

Besides Hyundai’s Elevate, an SUV with robotic wheels that allow it to go where vehicles have never gone before, there are a number of advancements in self-driving technology.

Using 5G technology, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication systems are getting better every day. There is also a renewed focus on how self-driving cars will disrupt delivery vehicles and even tractors used in farming.

To be fair, it’s not just cars and trucks that benefit from technology. CES will see a huge cloud of air-taxi companies descend on Los Vegas, hoping to get in on the nascent self-flying passenger drone industry. We can look closer at the ride-sharing companies, Uber and Lyft.

 

Seen for the first time at CES 2016 the Ehang 184 electric passenger drone.

Seen for the first time at CES 2016, the Ehang 184 electric passenger drone.

Alex Butterfield

 

One of the disadvantages to these companies is that they add to the congestion already being experienced in many of our cities. The answer has many people looking to the skies, or in other words, a flying taxi passenger drone. At CES 2018, Bell Helicopter became the first helicopter company to exhibit at CES, debuting its concept of an air taxi.

Uber is very interested in partnering with Bell to make their concept a reality, but even so, there will be a lot of problems to work out first. The biggest problem is the noise level associated with heliports and the vehicles, themselves. Bell says it is working on that problem.

Second problem? It’s the safety factor. Think about it this way, says Mashable – Every one of those drone taxis would be a disaster waiting to happen – and all it would take is one crash to kill the whole concept. Even still, hopping across the town in just a few minutes may be too good a chance to ignore.

 

Yomee takes six hours to turn milk and a fruit flavour pod into yoghurt

Yomee takes six hours to turn milk and a fruit flavour pod into yoghurt

Yomee

 

From the kitchen to televisions

Keurig’s pod-based coffee machines have inspired several startups wanting to take advantage of the pod technology – moving it to other kitchen appliances. As an example, Lecker Labs has come up with Yomee, an appliance that takes just six hours to turn milk and a fruit flavor pod of your choice into yogurt.

For all those beer drinkers that think “craft brewing” can be accomplished by the push of a button, LG has just the machine it is debuting this year at CES 2019. HomeBrew is a product that makes beer from single-use capsules containing malt, yeast, and hop oil.

For those who hate having to use the remote control to switch channels on the television, far-field microphones – the tech found in smart speakers that let them be commanded from across a room will now be featured in televisions. Toshiba has already announced one such model for Europe featuring Alexa. A wider roll-out could give Amazon and Google’s smart assistants another gateway into people’s homes.