In 1986, pop music group Timbuk3 released a song The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades. The message behind the bouncy pop tune was widely misinterpreted from the songwriter’s intention of the fear of a nuclear holocaust, to a positive perspective on our up and coming future.
As I walked throughout the halls of the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week I too had that positive outlook and couldn’t help to rid my mind of the catchy tune.
For me, CES is a happy place. It reminds every attendee of the positive innovations that lie ahead. Some are here now. It gives us hope that the idealized view of humanity Gene Roddenberry created just might happen one day.
This year’s massive technology show showcased more than 4,500 exhibitors, took up more than 2.9 million net square feet, and was attended by more than 188,000 industry professionals. These numbers alone are staggering, but it’s what’s found in the crowded halls and rows throughout the shows 3 locations that’s really worth discussing.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from this year’s show.
Every year at the show TV’s just keep getting better, thinner, and bigger.
Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Hisense, and LG all were showcasing 8K TV’s at CES. That refers to the resolution of the picture (8000 pixels). Currently most people haven’t even bought into “last years advancement”, 4K.
While I’m a big fan of technological advancements in display technology, I had a hard time distinguishing an 8K picture from a 4K picture. Samsung had two of them side by side just so I could decide.
TV’s are getting to be like iPhone cameras. Do we really need a greater resolution? It’s great that display technology is evolving but there’s a point where the human eye can’t even tell a difference anymore.
Going from standard definition TV to HD was huge. HD to 4K/UHD was a noticeable improvement. But for now, and maybe I’m biased because in 2018 I bought my first 4K TV, I’m not rushing out to buy a 8K TV because quite frankly, my eyes don’t care.
Sure, in a few years we’ll all want 8K. But then you’ll find 16K TV’s coming out. Don’t get me wrong, I love our ability to improve, it’s just there’s a point where we just might not be able to tell anymore.
You may have thought that LG stood for Life’s Good, part of their earlier marketing. But this South Korean company formerly known as Lucky-Goldstar always makes a splash at CES. For the longest time they have had the added benefit of being the very first booth you walk into when you enter Central Hall, and this year they did not disappoint with their massive curved OLED screen display.
Just several feet past this ominous display I was introduced to one of the most talked about products of the year. The LG 65” 4K TV’s that roll up like wrapping paper. It’s a TV when you want it, and it disappears when you don’t. While it’s amazing at 65”, it also features what LG dubs as “Line Mode” where you can have the display drop down to show just about ¼ of the panel. You can use this mini display to show things like music controls , time, temperature or weather data. Watching this TV roll up and down had people mesmerized, myself included. Surprisingly, this TV is not just a concept and it should be available in stores this year probably only for those that don’t need to ask how much it costs. Check out the front and side views of this remarkable TV below. More information can be found here.
Each year I like to end my coverage with the silly, ridiculous gems found amongst the innovative tech in the halls of CES. Last year I featured a rocking bed and in 2017 it was a suitcase that drives you through the airport while sitting on it.
This year there were some new contenders to these silly products. The Numi Intelligent Toilet from Kohler is an $8,000 toilet that comes complete with LED lighting, wireless Bluetooth music sync capability and a heated seat and foot warmer. It even has an SD card slot and a remote. Toilet overkill.
J&S Innovations offers windows for your home that you can control from anywhere in the world with their app. That’s right, your windows connect to the Internet. In the unlikely event that you want to open your window from 2,000 miles away, sure. But this begs the question, “does everything have to be smart?”.
The Big Clapper is a robot designed by Japanese startup Bye Bye World and its sole purpose is to “cheer up and spread happiness to anyone, anytime, anywhere.” It claps. Over and Over. It’s pretty darn silly. But I did stop and take a video of it because, well, it made me smile. Mission accomplished Big Clapper.
CES Coverage by Tom Hanberg | Skyhound Internet