CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show, is an annual demonstration of the latest and greatest consumer technologies on the market. First hosted back in 1967, in New York City, the show returns every year now in January at the Las Vegas Convention center, and is organized by the Consumer Technologies Association.
The 2010s brought considerable advancements in all sorts of fields, from social media supergiants to powerful pocket smartphones. Just ten years ago, flip phones were the norm, and now we think of them as outdated bricks.
I mean, we can load up jackpot casinos on our smart toasters. Imagine what we’ll be saying about today’s technology by 2030? At CES 2020, we may just have gotten a sneak peek at what the future has to offer, no time machine required!
Flying Cars, finally!
Back to the Future promised us flying cars and hoverboards by 2015, and when 2015 finally rolled around, we got neither of those things (I mean, hoverboards technically exist, but they have wheels, so they don’t count in my opinion).
Flying cars, on the other hand, may now be a realistic possibility. It’s just come around a bit late. No, nobody has invented anti-gravity machines or anything like that.
However, at CES 2020, Uber and Hyundai have partnered up and are currently working on a flying vehicle that they claim will take passengers soaring over congested streets as early as 2023. The Uberdai, as it’s called, is designed to carry three passengers and a pilot (and eventually, automatically) at speeds of 180mph, which will help both travel times and the number of cars on the road.
The Uberdai is more like a cross between a drone and a small plane. It features rotors for vertical take-off, propellers to move, and wings to glide and conserve power. Tech Radar quotes Mark Moore, Uber’s head of Engineering, saying, “It’s called a compound aircraft, and what it’s really doing is trying to get the best of both worlds of hover and high-speed, efficient flight.”
Kiss the Chef-Bot
Speaking of science fiction, do you know what has been a staple of the genre almost since its inception? Robots. In pop-culture, we’ve seen a whole slew of robots ranging from B9 (Lost in Space), the adorable K9 (Doctor Who), and, more often than not, hunter-killer death machines (Terminator).
Like almost everything, Robots in fiction have had a “Fantastical” phase, a “hard-realism” phase, an “Emo Murdery” phase, and a “Cute” phase. Weirdly enough though, real-life practical robots seem to have (thankfully) skipped those first three phases, such as Boston Dynamics unstoppable robot, the actual working BB8 toys you can buy, and the newly revealed Samsung Bot Chef.
Bot Chef is a slick pair of robot arms that can be installed over your kitchen counter, which can prepare meals for you on voice command. Simply tell it to make a salad, and it’ll grab the ingredients from all around it and will immediately get started. At a live demo, the robot arms were tasked with doing exactly that, with some impressive curveballs thrown at it.
The presenter/assistant changed the recipe he requested halfway through, and the robot’s reach flipped 180 degrees around to open a closed cabinet to pull out the required ingredient, used it, and they replaced it and closed the door.
In addition, the robot can download new abilities on the fly to handle unknown situations, such as how to prepare coffee. It can even use nearby non-smart appliances such as coffee-machines.
The price is currently unknown, but Samsung intends the product to be priced closer to the level of consumer appliances than luxury gimmicks.
Next-Gen Laptop for the New Decade
CES 2020 has lots of cool stuff to thrill the nerd in me, but here’s just some good new hardware to showcase the new age. Lenovo’s new laptop, called the Lenovo Yoga 5G, boasts some pretty good stats, and it is also the first 5G laptop ever.
Your phone probably has either 3G or 4G data coverage (the G standing for Generation and not Gigabyte, by the way), which refers to the generation of data coverage your phone can utilize. 4G service can, under optimal service, have a theoretical 300 Megabyte per second download speed, although, in reality, your speed is probably a lot lower than that.
However, back in April 2019, Verizon launched 5G service for the first time, and it’s slowly becoming available worldwide. This 5G network boats of a 1.4 GIGABYTE download speed, with Tech Radar reporting that they were able to consistently get about a 1 Gigabyte download speed (Which is NUTS, by the way!). All this just to explain what’s so significant about the Lenovo Yoga 5G, which is a surprisingly restrained title all things considered.
In addition, the laptop also has a touch screen, Windows 10, a twenty-four hour(!) battery life, 8 Gigabytes of RAM, and a fourteen-inch screen. This thing is light, portable, powerful, and will only cost you $1,499. It’s a hefty price tag, but it may just be worth it.