The Economic Times

With Flying Taxis And Rolling Robots, CES 2020 Starts On A High Note

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Redefining Tech At CES
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Redefining Tech At CES

If the Apple event is the curtain call that marks the end of the year in tech, it is the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) that kickstarts the year in technology. For the unversed, the CES is an annual trade show which is organized by Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

At CES, the who’s who from the world of technology come together and present breakthrough technologies for the next 50 years. Every year, innovators come up with pathbreaking technologies at CES and this year was no exception.

From flying taxis, toilet paper robots to 8K TVs and 5G laptops, technologies introduced at the four-day trade show that began on January 7, ended up grabbing a lot of eyeballs.

Here are some of the most interesting announcements from CES 2020.

Agencies
Samsung’s Stunning 8K TV
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Samsung’s Stunning 8K TV

How often do you come across a television set that is both bezel-less and has an 8K resolution? The folks at Samsung are all set to take the electronic industry by storm with their new QLED 8K TV which was recently unveiled at CES 2020.

Samsung gave us all a glimpse into the future of television technology with their 8K TV. Samsung Korea spilled all the details about the upcoming television set. A post on their website says that the new television sets come with ‘Adaptive Brightness’ which allows the units to change their brightness depending upon the viewing environment.

What’s more? The television has no screen bezels making it possible to utilize up to 99% of the screen, offering outstanding immersion and elegant design.

The TV sets also combine machine learning and deep learning to convert the original image to 8K, irrespective of the quality of the original image.

The television also has OTS + (Object Tracking Sound Plus), a technology that recognizes moving objects in the video and moves the sound along the speakers mounted on the TV.

Agencies
Meet Ballie, A Rolling Robot
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Meet Ballie, A Rolling Robot

If you thought the folks at Samsung are only experimenting with televisions and phones, you’re wrong. The South Korean electronics brand has come up with a human-centric robot that takes personalised care to the next level.

The robot goes by the name of ‘Ballie’ and can run your smart home for you. A video posted by Samsung shows the robot assistant opening smart curtains in the morning. It also shows Ballie turning on the TV for a dog when the owner is away from home and then, starting a robot vacuum cleaner when there is a spill.

Ballie essentially has the size and shape of a tennis ball. While there is no word on when we can expect to buy Ballie and how much it will cost, it seems like Samsung is pushing the envelope when it comes to making smart home robots.

Agencies
Robot That Gets You Toilet Paper
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Robot That Gets You Toilet Paper

Let’s just all be honest and admit it - all of us have been stranded in the toilet with an empty toilet paper roll at least once in our lives. Charmin has come up with a pooptime companion that will get you the much-needed toilet paper roll when you are stuck in a sticky situation.

For the unversed, Charmin is an American brand of toilet paper manufactured by Procter & Gamble. The robot is 6-inches tall and has a toilet paper roll sitting on top. However, the lifesaving pooptime companion will not be rolling into your toilet anytime soon.

Procter & Gamble clarified that the robot will not be for sale and is meant to show an example of what is possible.

(With inputs from AP)

Agencies
Fly Over The Traffic With Uber Air
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Fly Over The Traffic With Uber Air

All of us love the comfort and ease of going on an Uber ride, but the moment we are stuck in traffic, we often wish our Uber had wings so it could fly over the congestion on the road. Well, guess what? It won’t be long before that happens.

Uber is now introducing four-passenger ‘Uber Air Taxi’, which will initially have a pilot and will then become autonomous, reports AP.

The taxi will essentially be a hybrid between a helicopter and a small airplane. Uber is expected to start flight demonstrations in 2020 and make the vehicles commercially available in 2023.

Rest assured, you can now breeze through the traffic in your Uber ‘Air Taxi’.

(With inputs from AP)

Agencies
A King-Size Dashboard
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A King-Size Dashboard

China-based electric car startup Byton is bringing its M-byte SUV model to the US. What’s its USP, you ask? The SUV comes with a massive 48-inch wraparound digital dashboard screen.

Just when it seems like Tesla had put every single control into a touchscreen, Byton is taking it a notch higher by launching a special developer program to come up with apps that will turn the massive dashboard screen into an interactive experience for users.

The automaker has announced a series of partnerships with ViacomCBS, Accuweather, Aiqudo and others to bring their content and services on the road that will allow users to get realtime weather updates, browse hotels as they drive.

The best part? You can now turn the gigantic dashboard screen into an in-car theatre and enjoy your favourite movies and TV shows.

Reuters
Toyota’s Very Own ‘Woven’ City
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Toyota’s Very Own ‘Woven’ City

The Japanese auto giant Toyota announced that it will be creating its very own city at the base of the famous Mount Fuji in Japan. The city will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The basic purpose of the city will be to test various technologies such as autonomous driving.

"Building a complete city from the ground up, even on a small scale like this, is a unique opportunity to develop future technologies, including a digital operating system for the city's infrastructure," said company president Akio Toyoda.

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels will be collaborating on the project. The city can hold a maximum of 2,000 people which will include Toyota employees and visiting researchers.

The city will be fully equipped with in-home robotics, sensor-based AI and sustainable construction materials.

The smart homes "will take advantage of full productivity, using sense of the AI to do things automatically like restocking your fridge or taking out the trash, or even taking care of how healthy you are," Ingels said.

(With inputs from AFP)

Agencies
TCL’s 5G Enabled Smartphones
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TCL’s 5G Enabled Smartphones

Chinese consumer electronics giant TCL offered a glimpse at three new smartphones, one tailored for super-fast 5G networks, and promised all would come in at less than $500 at launch later this year.

TCL also revealed two prototypes, one of them of a phone screen which folds like a book and the other one of a visor headset that gives an experience like looking at a 110-inch television screen.

(With inputs from AFP)

Agencies
LG’s Shoppable Video Experience
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LG’s Shoppable Video Experience

Let’s face it. Every now and then, when we are watching a movie or a TV show, we like something that an actor is wearing and spend hours looking for it online. Thanks to LG, we don’t have to go through that hassle again.

LG’s new smart TVs allow the users to ask real-time questions about the happenings on the TV screen. Wondering who is that player who’s scoring one goal after another? Want to buy the jacket Rachel is wearing in ‘Friends’?

Beginning this year, owners of LG's new webOS Smart TVs will be able to shop on-screen for things they spy on participating networks' shows, according to TheTake.

LG Electronics has partnered with media companies including WarnerMedia, A+E Networks, Crown Media Family Networks, and NBC Universal.

(With inputs from AFP)

Agencies
Artificial Humans That Have Feelings
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Artificial Humans That Have Feelings

If there’s one area where the AI robots fall short, it is their ability to feel and sympathize like humans. They may be ‘know-it-all’ robots and might be able to answer all your questions but cannot feel.

The folks at Star Labs, a subsidiary of Samsung, have come up with NEON project, which involves creating artificial human bots. NEON is a computationally created virtual being that looks and behaves like a real human, with the ability to show emotions and intelligence.

Each NEON is powered by the company’s proprietary technology platform - CORE R3, where R3 stands for Reality, Realtime and Responsive. CORE R3 leapfrogs in the domains of Behavioral Neural Networks, Evolutionary Generative Intelligence and Computational Reality.

Unlike AI assistants, NEONs are not know-it-all bots. Nor are they androids, surrogates, or copies of real humans. They are not an interface to the Internet to ask for weather updates or to play your favourite music. Rather, NEONs converse and sympathize just like real humans, allowing us to bring AI where the world needs it the most.

“NEONs will integrate with our world and serve as new links to a better future, a world where ‘humans are humans’ and ‘machines are humane’”, said Pranav Mistry, the creator of NEON.

Agencies

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