CES 2019 Preview: 5 Trends to Watch

Date:Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Author:Stephen Graves

The world’s largest consumer electronics show kicks off in Las Vegas on Tuesday (January 8). Here are five of the most important trends we expect CES to uncover.

5. Hero Product Launches

Will Google bring something car-related to CES 2019? Well, considering it’s setting up shop on CES’s biggest outdoor stage (usually home to the event’s auto exhibits), quite possibly. It has, after all, been developing self-driving car technology through its Waymo subsidiary.

Meanwhile, Samsung – the recipient of 30 CES 2019 Innovation Awards – could showcase its Galaxy X foldable smartphone prototype, though it may hold off until its own Galaxy Unpacked event later in the year. We’ll have to wait and see.

4. Accessibility

Swiss hearing-aid brand Phonak, whose device supports Bluetooth stereo audio streaming and optimises output for streamed speech and music, is one of several accessibility-focused CES 2019 Innovation Award recipients.

Fellow hearing-aid brand Starkey Hearing Technologies is another. Its Livio AI, which “tracks body and brain health”, is the first hearing aid with Amazon Alexa connectivity.

3. New User Interfaces

User interfaces are no longer just about point-and-click; now, they incorporate everything from voice to gesture control. We expect to see several manufacturers presenting new devices equipped with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, including TVs, headphones and soundbars.

UK hardware developer Ultrahaptics is bringing a new dimension to touch interfaces with its Stratos Inspire haptic feedback device. It enables users to feel textures and shapes in thin air by using ultrasound to project tactile sensations onto the skin.

2. Sustainability

From mess-free, refillable coffee capsules to solar-powered, species-saving smart beehives, the drive for sustainability is affecting every industry – and nowhere will this be showcased more spectacularly than at CES 2019.

Aside from coffee and bees, expect to see Azultec’s Cube 300 crypto-mining PC, which is powered by renewables and recuperates 72% of the heat generated for the user’s home environment system – a positive development for the energy-guzzling cryptocurrency industry.

1. Entertainment Tech

Sony and LG are expected to bring consumer-ready 8K TVs to CES. Audi, meanwhile, will present its Immersive In-Car Entertainment concept, which effectively turns its vehicles into drive-in movie theatres when stationary.

We’re also looking forward to seeing StudyPhones, the first headphones designed specifically for listening to spoken-word audio content. Its creator, Onanoff, was deemed worthy of a CES Innovation Award.

Stylus members can check out our full coverage of CES on January 23. Not a member? Discover the benefits of joining.

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