Media Day at CES 2020

lg ces 1020CES 2020 kicked off with some exciting announcements from LG. Last year we were all blown away by LG’s incredible OLED roll-up screens, so this year LG are taking it one step further with a roll-down version that extends from the ceiling, similar to a motorized projection screen.

LG also announced all-new gaming displays and more intelligent household appliances, including washing machines, robot vacuums and fridges that make perfectly round designer ice cubes the size of a baseball!

Bosch had a number of exciting announcements — in particular, its active, motor vehicle sun visor, which only blocks the sunlight affecting your eyes, leaving the rest of the visor transparent for greater visibility. The company also provided details on its pilot project in San Jose where it’s collaborated with Mercedes-Benz, by providing on-demand, app-based, autonomous self-driving vehicle transportation.

Panasonic pulled out the big guns and brought not one, but two Olympic gold medallists on to the stage, including the greatest swimmer of all time, 23-time gold medallist, the legendary Michael Phelps! And if that wasn’t enough, the stage was invaded by four Star Wars Storm Troopers!

Panasonic also had on display, a tiny electric fire fighting vehicle from Tropos Motors, and announced its brand new HZ2000 OLED screen.

panasonic ces 1020Probably the most interesting and entertaining presentation of the day came from Toyota, with its announcement of the incredible Woven City project on the grounds of its former car manufacturing plant at the base of Mt Fuji. Designed by the world-renowned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, Woven City can only be described as futuristic town, where autonomous vehicles fill the streets, and where robots serve the residents, all fuelled by Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology. Once complete, the city of the future will house up to 2,000 people. Toyota call it its field of dreams, adding, “If you build it, they will come.”

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I must admit, I wasn’t expecting Hyundai to announce that it has partnered with Uber Air. In a surprising press conference, Hyundai released details on its electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) passenger drones that Uber Air will use in its fleet. This five-person vehicle will allow the ride sharing company to safely, and quietly, transport passengers locally, across many of the major cities around the world.

And over at Intel, the company displayed the world’s first foldable OLED PC. In 2019, we saw a number of notable failures with folding displays, but this exciting announcement from Lenovo is definitely a sign of things to come. Intel also flexed its computing power muscle by demonstrating volumetric computing. Used by a number of sports broadcasters around the world, volumetric computing provides ‘virtual’ camera angles from anywhere in the arena. This is not only a great tool for the broadcasters, but also a great tool for sporting teams wanting to analyze every play in detail never seen before.

pete coman ces 0120There were some great new technologies on display today, and in what I can only call a confusing turn of events, Panasonic had a car on display, while Toyota and Hyundai did not? What has the world come to?!

The only disappointment was the number of presenters using teleprompters to read pre-rehearsed scripts, sounding like pre-programmed robots. I understand that this is a big event and you want to get your message across, but you also need to connect with people, and that was something that didn’t happen in the majority of press conferences today. #disappointing

Stay tuned for more detailed coverage of CES 2020 from Las Vegas in the coming days!