8 Things to Expect From CES 2019: AI, 5G, 8K, and More

Every January, extra than 150,000 individuals make a pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the annual occasion generally known as CES. Organized by the Consumer Technology Association, CES is likely one of the world’s largest know-how commerce reveals. It’s an exhilarating and nauseating show of gadgetry, a kaleidoscope eye into what’s to return: blinking sensible lights, liquid-looking shows, hovering drones, yogic telephones, driver-free autos, newfangled wi-fi protocols, and intangible applied sciences that every one include the promise of constructing life higher. It’s the Super Bowl for nerds.

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Except the tech being proven at CES actually isn’t only for nerds. Not anymore. Technology is all over the place. We carry it with us on our every day commutes; we discuss to it in our kitchens and dwelling rooms; we take it to mattress at evening. Products are actually outlined much less by their motherboards and circuitry and extra by the circuitous loop of connectedness and data-sharing they permit. (One phrase, child: Platforms.) In 2018, {our relationships} with know-how and its influence on international society got here into sharp focus. Which means any meeting of tech this dimension has the potential to influence all of our tech futures.

Not all the pieces we see at CES could have a huge effect. Not all the pieces we see will even ship. Quite the other: There’s an excellent probability that lots of the wares debuted subsequent week in Las Vegas received’t go on sale in 2019, or ever. But regardless of the hand-waviness of all of it, someway CES retains getting larger. This 12 months, as many as 180,000 persons are anticipated to roam practically three million sq. toes of tech exhibitions. WIRED will probably be there protecting the largest information from the present. Here are the themes we’re anticipating to emerge.

Bot Boom

Just just a few years in the past, including a low-energy Bluetooth chip and a Wi-Fi radio to your dumb gadget was sufficient to earn it a spot within the “sensible tech” class at CES. Now, smarts are outlined by how sentient, how predictive our private know-how might be, whether or not these calculations are taking place on the {hardware} or within the cloud. And at CES greater than wherever else, the time period “AI-powered” is used loosely and is nearly all the time a advertising and marketing ploy, whether or not a product is extensively impacted by AI or not. Expect to see all the pieces from self-driving autos to OLED televisions to energy-saving wall retailers all touting some type of synthetic intelligence, machine studying, or deep studying.

The 5G Shuffle

2019 is meant to be the 12 months that 5G transcends hype and turns into a actuality. So it is smart that wi-fi carriers like AT&T and Verizon, handset makers like Samsung, and cell chip makers like Qualcomm will benefit from the CES stage to make extra proclamations about how the following technology of ultra-fast cell networks will basically change our tech lives. 5G additionally has big implications for the linked auto trade, due to its potential to let autos “discuss” to at least one one other in actual time. Just take into account that, whereas 5G-ready handsets and units will begin transport this 12 months, 5G wi-fi networks received’t be accessible nationwide till 2020, and the primary ones to roll out received’t provide the 10-gigabytes-per-second knowledge speeds that make the know-how so alluring.

Future Transport

Speaking of vehicles, CES continues to be locked in competitors with the North American International Auto Show with regards to auto tech bulletins. This 12 months, 11 main automotive producers are anticipated to point out up in Vegas, up from 9 final 12 months. But whereas there’ll undoubtedly be some idea vehicles (like a automotive that walks on legs from Hyundai), automakers nonetheless don’t actually view CES as a spot to point out off new steel. Instead, anticipate an enormous give attention to self-driving skills (once more) and partnerships with refined chip, sensor, show, and voice know-how distributors—something to persuade customers that legacy automotive producers are rushing forward into the long run. Also, be careful for zippy scooters and different transportation gear that trace at hassle-free, carless commutes.

Filling the Ok Hole

Just whenever you thought you had been on top of things on 4K—you’ve obtained that candy Vizio, that low cost 4K streaming stick, a strong broadband connection, and precise 4K motion pictures to observe—8K has arrived to spin you into one other seven-year cycle of front room inadequacy. TV producers like Samsung, Sony, LG, Toshiba, and Sharp are extensively anticipated to point out off 8K shows at CES this 12 months. LG has even pre-announced what the corporate claims is the world’s first OLED 8K show. 8K shows have a decision of seven,680 by 4,320 pixels (that’s greater than 33 million pixels whole) which implies they’re actually actually ridiculously handsome. On the draw back, these units will probably be loopy costly and tough to seek out, and there is hardly any 8K content material on the market to observe.

Curves Ahead

There are insanely high-resolution shows, after which there are shows you could fold and tuck into your again pocket, as a result of that’s a factor you have all the time needed to do. For a number of years now, firms like Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, and LG have teased quite a lot of flexible-display prototypes. CES, with all its oddity and aversion to humanity, has all the time been the proper place to showcase such applied sciences. Will we get one other glimpse of Samsung’s folding Galaxy smartphone idea that was first revealed in November? Will Chinese show tech firm Royole convey the FlexPai, its new 7.8-inch folding cellphone, to the large present? Will LG demo its fold-up TV display once more? Maybe; whether or not any of these units ship this 12 months is one other query.

So Much Talk

For the previous couple years Amazon and Google have helped CES preserve its relevance; not solely due to the businesses’ huge bodily installations all through Vegas, however as a result of their voice assistants have been built-in into 1000’s of devices. There are actually over 20,000 sensible units suitable with Alexa, and over 10,000 that work with Google Assistant. CES 2019 will undoubtedly be a loud cacophony of voice-controlled units, starting from fridges to sound programs to sensible lights within the residence, to wearables and vehicles outdoors of the house. (Turns out that should you add one other voice assistant an current product, you may name it “new.”) The query round voice know-how, although, isn’t a lot whether or not it can have a presence; the query is whether or not it can develop extra seamless and fewer awkward this 12 months.


It wouldn’t be the brand new 12 months if we weren’t resolved to enhance ourselves ultimately, and what higher panacea for all our ills than a Bluetooth physique dongle that spits out well being knowledge? The digital well being part has grown lots at CES through the years. Nearly 120 well being tech exhibitors will probably be on the present this 12 months, up from 98 in 2018, the CTA says. Expect the same old GPS working watches, questionable sleep devices, and promising listening to help options. But additionally: shopper packaged items firms are beginning to capitalize on the quantified self. Procter & Gamble’s Olay will probably be exhibiting off a brand new pores and skin gadget, whereas its Pantene model will someway make the most of AI to enhance your hair. L’Oreal will demo new health-related sensors, and an organization known as Lumen says it can aid you hack your metabolism by exhibiting you the way rapidly you are torching carbs and providing you dietary steerage. And you thought all you needed to do to enhance your well-being in 2019 was delete your Facebook account.

All Eyes on Platforms—and Privacy

CES continues to be largely a {hardware} exhibition, a sort of disorganized manifesto on the place the tech trade is headed within the coming months. But this 12 months it’s approaching the heels of a tumultuous 12 months for the software program firms that dictate a lot of the tech experiences in our lives. The present’s programming displays this shift; along with the {hardware} firms that make up the core of the conference, CES additionally hosts all kinds of firms that run platforms, make software program, and produce media. This 12 months’s schedule features a panel of coverage makers discussing American privateness rules in a post-GDPR world, in addition to a Twitter-hosted occasion about how the corporate plans to make its service extra conversational.

Of course, little is more likely to be solved by way of these staged conversations about tech platforms, however the level is that even the enthusiastic commerce group behind CES can now not ignore tech’s issues. And since all the pieces is linked, the autonomous autos and 8K sensible TVs we’re seeing on the present this 12 months will act as data-sharing (and promoting) platforms within the not-so-distant future. That’s all a approach of claiming that {hardware} and software program are all irrevocably intertwined now, which implies all the pieces from a pair of headphones to your new dishwasher comes with questions on data-sharing and safety.

We customers ought to be asking these questions, anyway. Let’s hope CES 2019 factors in direction of a 12 months of extra solutions.

WIRED transportation reporter Jack Stewart contributed to this text.

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