CES 2019 is in full swing across Las Vegas with vendors large and small competing for attention. There are literally hundreds of announcements made during the show with dozens of press conferences and companies issuing press releases at an inbox-burning rate. We've sifted through the news and reckon these are the biggest things coming up that are likely to make a difference over the next few months.
Micro LED Is Coming Faster Than Expected
Last year, Samsung showed off The Wall - a massive, super-thin display that used an emerging technology called Micro LED.
We all expected that it wouldn't reach consumers from at least another two years or so but the boffins in Samsung's engineering team seem to have conquered some of the challenges and plan to have a consumer-friendly 75-inch display available in the coming months.
Rollable Displays Are Finally A Real Thing
Not to be outdone by their rival, LG also came to the party with new, flexible displays that can be rolled up.
They demonstrated the tech with a stunning display called The Falls where the flexible displays were used to create a virtual landscape with waterfalls and trees.
Smart Assistants Are Gong To Be Everywhere
More and more devices with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support will be appearing. Some, like Sonos, have been promising broader assistant support for a while and are finally delivering a slew of new devices or backfilling support through software updates.
Google, in particular, invested heavily at CES this year tripling their floor space and announced Google Assistant Connect. This is a set of services that simplify device setup help device makers add new features.
But everything from alarm clocks to kitchen appliances are getting the smart home treatment. While it's not a new technology, this year's CES showed it's maturing and gaining broader support.
Processors And GPUs Will Keep Getting More Powerful
Intel, AMD and Nvidia all made announcements this week.
Intel announced a new generation of mobile CPUs, based on a 10nm architecture, as well as Project Athena, an program to deliver a new class of advanced laptops and an expansion of the 9th Generation Intel Core desktop processor family.
Not to be outdone, AMD announced the next generation of the Ryzen desktop processors, that we'll see in the middle of this year, as well as a the new Radeon 7 graphic card. All of this points to a new round of "Who's got the fastest CPU?" As the two companies continue to develop faster systems in different ways.
Nvidia's CEO Jensen Huang claims Moore's Law is dead when unveiling his company's latest salvo in the GPU war, the GeForce RTX 2060. Huang also showed off some high performance chips for laptops called GeForce RTX.
Quantum Computing Has Arrived - Sort Of
IBM might not be considered a highly innovative company but it continues to file thousands of patents each year and push the envelope when it comes to long-term technology shifts. One of the big areas in computing, as the tractional processor development cycle slow, is quantum computing.
IBM unveiled its Q System One a system that will be operated from the company's Q Quantum Computation Center in Poughkeepsie, New York. The centre will be opened later this year according to Bob Sutor, vice president of IBM Q Strategy & Ecosystems.
Given the cost of such as system is likely to be prohibitive for many businesses for now, access to it is likely to fall under an "as a service" model - just like the old days of time sharing IBM mainframes.
Who says history doesn't repeat?
So Many New Laptops And PCs
HP, Lenovo, Dell and all the other major PC makers announced new models at CES.
HP has released what it's calling the world’s first 15-inch laptop with an AMOLED display, as well as a Bordeaux Burgundy version of the Spectre Folio convertible. For the workplace, there's the world’s brightest business convertible and a new models with a 23.8-inch display and integrated privacy screen. They've added the privacy screen to their new all-in-one as well.
For gamers, the OMEN X Emperium 65 with Soundbar offers a 240Hz laptop display.
Lenovo unveiled a smart clock, that works with the Google Assistant, as well as new Android tablets.
For dekstop computing, their new Yoga A940 desktop brings the movable display we've seen on Microsoft's Surface Studio and there are new IdeaPads and Yoga books as well.
Dell announced a bunch of cools stuff. And while there are a few upgraded computers there the scene-stealer was their new Alienware Legend 55-inch gaming display. It's an OLED screen that delivers 4K of viewing goodness.
Bye Bye Dual Screens, Hello Big-Arse Displays
Big displays are officially in. As well as the Alienware 55-inch, Lenovo dropped a a massive 44-inch screen into the mix, LG delivered a 49-inch Ultrawide and there are countless others.
After my experience with a big screen, I can honestly say the hassle associated with a two display system is soon to be a thing of the past. It's now up to operating systems makers to get their act together so we can use these displays more efficiently.
The Future Of Smartphones Will be Foldable
We've already looked at the new folding smartphones that are coming up. China's Royole seems to be ahead of the game with their FlexPai although Samsung is closing in based on a demonstration they gave to some customers.
VR Is Kinda Dead
VR was all the rage a year ago but it seems that they hype outweighed the market's need. Perhaps we're in what Gartner call the "trough of disillusionment" where new products suffer from reality meeting high expectations.
But it seems that VR is waiting for its own "killer app" when it comes to consumers.