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Other innovations 14/01/2020

CES 2020 In Review: Data Privacy, Smart Living And Sustainability Take Center Stage

Sometimes what happens in Vegas should not stay in Vegas. We are of course thinking of the best innovations on display at Consumer Electronic Show (CES), which was hosted last week amid the neon in Nevada. The annual tech showcase has been a rendez-vous for all things cutting-edge for more than 50 years, where today’s tech giants now gather in Las Vegas to unveil new releases while smaller startups get a chance to break out on the big stage.



The 2020 edition, which ran from January 7th to 10th, boasted 2.9 million square feet dedicated to the latest innovations from over 4,400 exhibiting companies. There was literally too much to squeeze into this space, but here are some particularly exciting CES novelties this year: 

Smartphones, one of the convention’s most sought out products, included everything from TLC’s affordable 5G models to OnePlus Concept One’s phone cameras that retreat from view when not in use. 

Televisions are even bigger and pack more pixels, and both Samsung and TCL have developed new versions of LED and OLED screens. 

Laptops are lighter, have better processors and longer battery lives. Lenovo, in particular, announced the sale of a new PC that can be folded into different shapes to accommodate the user’s various needs. 

New smart home products included digital keys, Danby’s smart mailbox and Tenminds’ “Motion Pillow,” which uses a pressure monitoring system to help curb snoring. 

The car industry brought more advanced autonomous and electric vehicles, from Byton’s data-powered car to a Fisker with solar panels on its roof. Segway introduced a curious new vehicle called the S-Pod, a chair on two wheels that uses the company’s self-balancing technology to zoom around.     

There was no lack of quirky robots, including the toilet paper-supplying “Rollbot” from Charmin and a bionic cat from Elephant Robotics.

Within the ocean of CES stands, there were certain categories of innovation that can really make a difference. Many of the most important technologies on display were particularly exciting because they have the potential to permanently change our world for the better for such reasons as efficiency, ecology and security. Here are three themes that caught our eye: 


 1. Renewables: Companies from Panasonic to Siemens sent representatives to participate in a panel on renewable energy. Meanwhile, the tradeshow floor was filled with green inventions such as Living Packets’ reusable packaging that can be utilised up to 1,000 times, and Zero Mass Water’s attempt to make water an infinite resource by generating it through sunlight and air.  

2. Smart Living: Themes of mobility and smart cities found themselves in the spotlight as transport and infrastructure become increasingly connected thanks to advances in AI and IoT. A panel discussion on smart cities placed a clear emphasis on funding, 5G and the underestimated value of the sidewalk. Yet the clear showstopper of this field was Toyota’s Woven City, a prototype for a completely connected urban environment powered by hydrogen fuel cells that will begin construction next year in Japan. 

3. Blockchain: The world’s first blockchain-powered phone, made by Function X, made a splash when it was nominated honoree of the CES Innovation Award. Yet other, equally notable uses of blockchain were present at the tradeshow, and some were specifically designed with ethics in mind. Two of our favorite examples were the app created by IBM and Farmer Connect that promotes fair trade by directly linking coffee drinkers with the farmers who produce the beans, and Max Powers LLC’s Blockchain Router which aspires to give everyone access to decentralized internet, no matter where they live. 


While past CES editions have boasted about big data, this year we registered a kind of “tipping point” on the subject of data privacy. The issue is now so important to consumers and governments that tech leaders must follow. Google announced that it will be using its voice assistant to aid users in adapting their privacy settings. Facebook will be rolling out a new “privacy checkup” tool that will help users better understand the company’s privacy settings and increase the security of their account. Apple did not bring any new product announcements, but instead participated in a heavily-attended conference entitled “Chief Privacy Officer Roundtable: What Do Consumers Want?”



Source: Worldcrunch

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