The 2018 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show — CES 2018 — is under way in Las Vegas.
Monday was media day. Many of the tech industry companies held their keynotes, and already some big themes are becoming evident. Chances are, these will be reflected in the products rolled out to consumers this year.
Here are some of the key highlights of CES 2018 so far.
Virtual reality is cool, but for most people, it would be a nightmare to use. PC hardware requirements are high, and there are wires everywhere — the HTC Vive I tested a few weeks ago came with five different power adapters.
At CES 2018, VR addressed these concerns and took a big step toward going mainstream.
Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ:FB) Oculus, showed off the Oculus Go, a $199 standalone VR headset built by China’s Xiaomi. No wires and no computer needed.
Meanwhile HTC, revealed the Vive Pro — which gets a big boost in capabilities. This headset doesn’t cut the wires, but HTC is also offering a new wireless adapter that works with the Vive Pro and the existing Vive VR. So problem solved — at an additional cost.
Smart Speakers and Assistants Everywhere
As expected, smart speakers are a big deal at CES 2018.
A parade of premium audio manufacturers have been showing off wireless speakers with Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa or Alphabet, Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Assistant integration.
Google was also making a big deal about a collection of display-equipped smart speakers — designed with partners like Lenovo Group Limited (ADR) (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) — that are designed to take on Amazon’s Echo Show.
Digital assistants are also making the jump into other devices. Samsung, for example, was showing off TVs and refrigerators equipped with its Bixby assistant.
Based on what’s been displayed so far at the Consumer Electronics show, expect to see voice controlled appliances, ceiling fans and even smart locks in 2018.
As in the past few years, CES 2018 prominently features automotive technology.
One of the noteworthy developments: Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has a new competitor in the Byton, a $45,000 electric car equipped with the sensors needed for level 4 autonomy.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) also announced a series of partnerships for its Mobileye autonomous technology, including BMW (OTCMKTS:BMWYY), Volkswagen AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:VLKAY) and Nissan Motor Co Ltd (ADR)(OTCMKTS:NSANY).
Intel gave one of the big keynotes yesterday. And while the company wanted to spread the news about its autonomous driving partnerships, 8th generation Intel Core CPUS with integrated Radeon graphics and other technology, the company also used the CES 2018 stage to address the elephant in the room: Meltdown and Spectre.
Meltdown and Spectre are recently discovered vulnerabilities that affect virtually every PC and mobile device in use. Meltdown in particular affects almost every Intel processor released since 1995.
Intel’s CEO told attendees the company is on top of the vulnerabilities in its CPUs that have rocked the computer industry this week, saying:
“For our processors, products introduced in the past five years, Intel expects to issue updates for more than 90 percent of them within a week and the remaining by the end of January.”
And finally, it wouldn’t be the Consumer Electronics Show without ridiculous TVs touting car-sized prices.
So far, CES 2018 is more than living up to expectations.
Samsung comes out on top with a 146-inch MicroLED TV called “The Wall.” Yup, a 12-foot TV. Samsung says The Wall will be available this year, but declined to mention the price.
If any display is too thick, Sony Corp. (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) showed up at CES with a projector featuring 4K resolution and a $30,000 price tag.
CES 2018 is just getting started and more announcements are expected. Stay tuned for our wrap at the end of the week.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.