Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 Automation ROUND UP

The Consumer Electronics Show 2018, was in Las Vegas this year with thousands of companies exhibiting every year, and hundreds of thousands in total attendance its no wonder CES is known as – the global stage of innovation. This year there was over a whopping 900 startup companies in Eureka Park (the home for startup exhibitors). 2018 CES was Jan 9th to 12th this year, a while the number of gadgets featured that will go to market did not overshadow the previous years,  we are on the next leap forward in smart technology.

Couldn’t get to Las Vegas this week? That’s ok; we have you covered. Here are all the headlining products and concepts featured at CES this year. With leading electronic companies such and Samsung, Amazon, Google, Apple, LG, Sony and thousands more previewing and launching multiple products or at least attempting to preview those products – gadgets can get a little bit temperamental at the worst times, as LG learnt while showing-off there home assistant CLOi. Cloi might even show up in shopping carts if she ever learns to listen.

With so many TV’s, speakers, Smartphones, Cars, Computers and Gaming rigs, there was also a feature of the extensive integration of smart home gadgets and devices. Here is a summary of exciting and promising items featured at this years CES for your smart home.

Straight off the bat, let’s talk smart assistant integrations. One of the well-known smart home companies Netamo has turned to Facebook to interact with your smart home. The free chatbot available through Facebook Messenger service made to respond to your queries with your home or out and about. The Netamo smart home devices already integrate with Siri, Alexa and Google assistants but have now expanded to Facebook messaging service to allow for greater mobility and privacy. Such as using it in places where you can’t or wouldn’t want to use a voice command instead you can type out questions to the smart home bot.

Favorite lock company Schlage, a manufacturer of Smart Lock, adds extra connectivity to the sense deadbolt. Previously compatible with Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit, the ‘Sense Deadbolt’ is now able to connect with Google assistant on Android devices and IOS with an added adaptor which cost about $90.

The company making the most significant headlines from this years event was of course Samsung. Samsung had a few big ticket items to reveal the most interesting being at a micro LED TV. With 4K TV resolution still big slide for many Aussie households, Samsung has gone up the game.

Of course, it’s far from groundbreaking, with the first TV’s in 8K Revolution being worked on around 2015 Samsung is one of the three major manufacturers to bring 8k tv out to the Western consumer demographic, which is a big turning point, as most Hollywood films still film in 6K. The fact the notable films haven’t caught up yet leaves little content available in 8K as of yet, Only in Korea or Japan which has had a few broadcast in 8K so far, and have also hinted that the Winter Olympics and potentially the Japan 2020 Olympics will be broadcasting in 8K. Call the wall for obvious reasons the 8K TV is an enormous 168-inch bezel-less television- it is basically a jumbotron for your home.

Samsung also provided a first look for other 8K TVs at CES 2018 featuring Q LED display and AI technology. Samsung says the AI technology upscale standard definition content to 8K resolution using an algorithm that adjusts the screen resolution based on picture quality characteristics of each scene. Which reminds me of something Google’s Rick Osterloh explained in October. To simplify, we are at a technological impasse, and AI will be the will be the only way of improving further advancements.

Taking a step up from AI technology, Samsung also announced that their 2018 series of televisions would feature their own smart assistant Bixby.which will integrate with the connected home and Samsung SmartThings even more. This isn’t exactly big news for Australians as Samsung has yet to bring out smart things to Australia – still, no word when or if this will happen.

While we are on the subject of TV’s Samsung has focused on size, and LG focused on user flexibility… sorry TV flexibility.

Yep that’s right LG have featured a flexible display TV that can roll up and be tucked away in the base when not in use sort of like a projector screen. LG’s concept TV has been demo’s at previous CES, and in 2017 released a wallpaper tv (which is thinner than a BIC pen), but this is an impressive feat none the less as it’s still a 65 inch 4K OLED display that is flexible.

Okay, so let’s get to the reason your here.  VOICE ASSISTANTS!! How would you like one in your car?

Byton electric announced at CES 2018 their latest concept SUV at CES and it should be available in Asia in 2019 followed by the USA and Europe. Still, the best news yet is that they’re coming down under with plans to release in Australia in 2021. Byton is aiming to rival the Tesla Model X and contend with established brands such as Audi and BMW. The SUV has smart features like facial recognition instead of keys, and the SUV also features a first in automotive technology. a massive 49-inch stretch display in the dash of the cabin. 

(check out the video to the left to get to low down on some of the more interesting features) Byton said they have been working with voice control technology alongside Amazon, and together they have integrated the well known smart assistant into the car. They plan the SUV will be significantly cheaper than the Tesla model x.

Amazon Alexa on the road seems to be a popular choice lately with Anker releasing their latest device called Roav(pictured left). Similar to the Garmin speak, Roav is a voice commanded automotive Amazon Alexa. Having Alexa in the car will be so helpful. Especially taking into consideration the strict (but necessary) road rules on device usage. hypothetically you could control many aspects of your drive through voice command in a device that is 1/4 the size of the Alexa Echo.  Anker does intend on releasing the Roav globally but are releasing in the states first.

Both Toyota and Lexus confirm that the Amazon Alexa voice assistant will be in the USA cars later this year.

Smart homes are going to be more than just security and media rooms with CES 2018 exhibitors promising Alexa in the bathroom and Bixby and Google in the kitchen.

The star in the Smart Kitchen is the Ovie Smarterware that will let you know when your leftovers I have gone bad with an Amazon Echo or Google assistant you can tell your assistant what is in a container and it will tell you when it’s off. Quite handy if you are a household that seems to never have room in the fridge. Estimated to be about 75 Australian dollars for a pack of 3 and its functionality is similar to that seen in the Samsung family hub fridge but can attach to your pre-existing Tupperware.

Speaking of the Samsung family hub fridge Samsung have brought out the next model with some important updates and the addition of their voice assistant Bixby. The family hub fridge made it’s first appearance at CES 2016 but will now offer a wider range of features including syncing up food storage keeping it family members better connected and organised with a Bigger screen and AKG speakers with Bixby and AI built-in not only can you get your morning briefing you can also have recommended recipes as to what is in your fridge. The family hub will truly become a family hub allowing you to control your smart home from the kitchen.

Samsung made a promise to have its range of Internet of things products ready by 2020. Even demonstrated CES was Samsung’s new quick drive washing machine that is also smart things capable. But instead of displaying each product on stage Kim Hyunsuk spent most of the hour on stage explaining the vision for the future and trying to rename IOT to the ‘intelligence of things’. Claiming it’s one thing to have a connected home but for the future, we need to have an intelligent home.

Moving into the bathroom of the future, companies Moen, Elmer and Kohler have found a way to integrate Amazon Alexa into your bathroom. With Elmer creating a shower that you can control with Alexa commands such as the temperature, playing your morning briefing. And Kohler has been designing an entire bathroom range that can be controlled by Amazon Alexa commands such as running a bath or setting the water to a certain temperature even flushing the toilet for you. Moen’s Products feature a more family-based element with different settings in memory, and even an Amazon Alexa hub built into the mirrors (you can learn more on these products below in the video from Digital Trends)

No mention yet on whether any of the ‘connected bathrooms’ will be available in Australia as is with many of the new CES products, both being a preview/concept show, and the fact that we are still waiting to see how Amazon Alexa takes off in Australia which will dictate how many products I brought down under.

SO, that’s not everything from CES 2018 but that’s as much as we’re going to cover if you would like to read more on these products or any others that we didn’t cover we suggest you check out CNET for a broader look at products and gadgets or you can watch the live streams and videos straight from CES TV. If there is something amazing you have heard about or seen from CES, let us know in the comments below.

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