Consumer Electronics Show introduces gadgets galore


New technology was unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Find out which companies stood out in their announced software and hardware.

Rudraj Koppikar

Machines that fold your clothes, virtual assistants, 8K Televisions, virtual reality and more were featured in the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) this year.

CES is the world’s largest consumer tech show and is hosted annually in Las Vegas, Nevada in January. This year saw more than 180,000 attendees, 4,000 exhibiting companies and 1,000 speakers.

The FoldiMate and Laundroid were two machines that promised to reduce the slog of doing your laundry by folding your clothes for you. The Laundroid costs a whopping $16,000, but the manufacturers hope to bring the price down to under $2,000 once it enters mass production. It uses artificial intelligence to detect the clothes inserted and uses robotic arms to fold the clothes. The FoldiMate is priced at a relatively modest $980. However, a working prototype was not presented at the show. The FoldiMate is expected to release in 2019, while the Laundroid is expected to conduct a pilot program in the United States later this year.

High Tech Computer Corporation(HTC) announced a successor to the HTC Vive, their virtual reality headset. The HTC Vive Pro boasts a 78% resolution increase from it’s precursor and comes with headphones built-in. HTC also announced an adapter for both their devices that would allow them to work wirelessly. Tobii Technology displayed a modified Vive featuring eye tracking technology.

Google had a conspicuous presence this year with a three-story installment in the convention center. The installment featured various appliances with Google Assistant integrated, ranging from speakers to toasters, including a car featuring the brand new Android Auto app. Amazon was also present, promoting Alexa and partnering with companies such as Anker to try and edge Google out of the smart home market. Anker produces batteries, portable chargers, data hubs, speakers and computer peripherals.

Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz debuted personal assistants similar to Google Assistant that would be integrated in the infotainment system in their cars. Hyundai’s “Intelligent Personal Agent” may be present in models as early as 2019. Ford reiterated their plans to make their cars connected, outfitting cars with Wi-Fi hotspots, remote unlocking and location services. Ford also announced plans to adopt “cellular vehicle-to-everything” technology. The technology would make it possible for its vehicles to communicate with smart traffic signals, other vehicles or even a gas pump to make payments.

LG Electronics Inc. (LG) unveiled the world’s first 88-inch organic light-emitting diode (OLED) 8K television. 8K is four times the resolution of 4K. LG displayed a 98-inch 8K television at CES 2016, but it didn’t feature OLED technology. OLED allows each pixel to be individually controlled and illuminated, allowing for increased consistency and which is imperative for larger displays.

Other noteworthy announcements included Nvidia’s Big Format Gaming Display – a 65-inch 4K monitor designed for gaming, Samsung’s 146-inch modular TV called “The Wall”, and Honda’s robotics concepts that hint at an automated future.