Tag Archives: Tech

What Are The Oddest Gadgets Unveiled At CES 2019?

Source: wccftech.com

Staged in January, CES 2019 – the world’s leading new consumer technology exhibition – threw up a number of innovations. Not all of them made headlines because they were so forward thinking, however. Some got a good deal of attention because they were, well, a little weird, such as the Korean firm, Pepe, which showcased its pet drying device. What were the other peculiar ones that attracted the most attention?

Kohler’s Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet

Kohler's Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet
Source: CNBC.com

Available in two colours, this smart toilet will be commercially available later in 2019. It features ambient lighting, Bluetooth connectivity and a sound system. What’s more, users can experience a heated seat and use voice commands to control its various functions. In fact, the intelligent toilet’s Amazon Alexa voice controls even mean you can order more loo roll while you are engaged in other activities, such as watching the latest Netflix release or playing your favourite online casino game. Will this super toilet make a big splash? Only time will tell.

Omron’s Forpheus Ping-Pong Robot

Omron's Forpheus Ping-Pong Robot
Source: Engadget

If you love table tennis but find it hard to get someone to play with you, then this is the gadget announced at CES 2019 for you. The robotic player holds a conventional bat and gets your rally going. Even better, you can use the ping-pong playing robot as a training tool and adjust it to meet your standards. It will even work out weaknesses in your game and come up with ways to help you improve – just like a real life coach.

PurrSong’s LavvieBot Smart Litter Box

PurrSong's LavvieBot Smart Litter Box
Source: TechTheLead

The purr-fect solution for who keeps cats at home but does not like the smell from the litter tray. The box gets rid of the nastier side of keeping pets. The self-cleaning system removes the cats’ waste matter and seals it off so that you don’t have to see it or smell it. A hopper is adding new litter automatically. After a couple of weeks, you only need to empty the LavvieBot.

Foldimate’s Laundry Folding System

Foldimate's Laundry Folding System
Source: Mashable

Another example of machines that are now able to perform tasks which require a great deal of flexibility and dexterity, Foldimate can cope with folding a wide range of clothes. Dresses, skirts, shirts and sweaters are all neatly folded by the system. All you need to do is to put them away in your wardrobe. If only there was a bot for that chore, too!

LG’s Signature Series OLED TV R

LG's Signature Series OLED TV R
Source: LG

The 65R9, to give the correct name of LG’s latest television technology, was also unveiled at CES 2019. What is so unusual about a TV set being launched at a tech show you may ask? Well, in the case of this particular one, it is what it looks like when it is not in use that makes it so novel. The TV screen rolls up on itself, a bit like an old-fashioned projector screen, so it tucks away neatly. When you turn the set one, the TV unfurls, supporting itself, while providing a superb quality of image. It is aimed at places where you don’t want a screen all the time, such as in bedrooms and in front of windows, for example.

Groove X’s Lovot Robot

Groove X's Lovot Robot
Source: Shack News

Robots designed for the home are nothing new, but Groove X’s new design is there for one thing and one thing only – to make its human master happy. Somewhere between a pet and a robot, the cartoon-like design of the Lovot certainly caught the eye of many people who attended CES 2019. The idea is that you can interact with it like a pet, for example, by stroking and cuddling it. The robot is packed with high-quality tech to ensure that its cute behaviour remains up-to-scratch whenever you play with it.

Mui’s Smart Display

Mui's Smart Display
Source: Tech Radar

This smart device looks like it is a short plank of wood when you first see it. This simple design belies the amount of high-tech features it offers, however. The smart display system is touch sensitive and can be used to show information on all sorts of subjects. You can tap on it to get the latest weather forecasts, for instance. Alternatively, it can be used as a thermostat for an office’s heating system. There again, the display might be utilised to dim the lights. Highly configurable with a distinctive look, it also responds to voice commands.

Smartphone Trends for 2019

Augmented reality
Source: Wikipedia

Christmas and the New Year no doubt brought many users a new upgraded smartphone to use. So let’s see what new, or enhanced smartphone features and functions will be on show during 2019.

1. Augmented reality

Given that Apple and Google are keen to promote this technology, it’s hardly surprising AR (augmented reality) has gradually been gaining a foothold in the smartphone market. This feature does have some really practical uses, so it’s extremely likely that phone manufacturers and app developers have got things in the pipeline. Ikea’s AR app which allows users to experience and interact with products in a whole new way (users place 3D objects in their home via their phone camera) is an example of how major brands are keen to get on the AR bandwagon to change the way we shop for goods. There’s also lots of interest from other industries like home energy, construction, healthcare etc. In addition, augmented reality will enable a true 360-degree gambling experience where the use of holograms means players will not be able to tell the difference between the real and digital world. So you could be sat at home around your kitchen table playing roulette against live dealers.

2. Multiple cameras

Smartphone cameras are already very good and many apps and functions now depend on high-quality imaging. So it’s a safe bet that the newest phones will be equipped with more powerful cameras. Indeed it’s now just as likely to be extra cameras that we see – the V40 ThinQ, for instance, has five: two front- and three rear-facing cameras to produce composite images of enhanced quality. Apart from hardware developments, Apple and Google have demonstrated how sophisticated software can also dramatically improve image quality. So expect new phone camera software to make good use of technologies like AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) to deliver great photos.

3. 5G

While it’s true that 2019 will see new phones equipped to exploit new 5G communication networks. The reality is that this will only happen gradually (if it all) in many geographical locations. Expect to hear more about 5G handsets from manufacturers like Samsung (who apparently will introduce two), OnePlus and LG, but there will be no 5G Apple phone until 2020. However, until 5G technology rolls out to many more areas, it will only be a select few who get to enjoy the experience. For the immediate future, that means many of those who are tempted to upgrade to a 5G phone may just be paying a high premium for a feature they may hardly ever get to use.

4. Foldable smartphones

Foldable phones will be available in 2019. However, even though the Royole FlexPai, for example, looks fascinating, it’s not yet clear how many phone users will see it as a must-have. And in addition, glowing reports of its performance are hard to come by. Google are supporting a Samsung foldable, but this phone is not yet much beyond the prototype stage. Early adopters are likely to find foldables an expensive option, but it’s likely manufacturers will be testing the market soon with their own take on the foldable concept.

5. Faster charging

Improved battery technology is presently somewhat restricted by the desirability of slim, sleek designs. However, more reliable, faster recharging is on the way in 2019, but there are a considerable number of alternative fast-charging technologies which will vie for supremacy. Qualcomm, for instance, has developed a new triple charge system which can deliver wired charging at up to 32W, and wireless charging at 15W. For reference, the charger supplied with an iPhone presently outputs 5W – and any kind of faster charging kit costs extra. Generally speaking, the trend is all towards high-speed charging, and this should be apparent as new phones appear.

6. Face unlocking

Though face unlocking itself is not a new technology, Apple’s Face ID has very much brought it right back into focus. It seems highly likely that Android manufacturers too will upgrade their systems in order to have a viable system which is secure enough to sanction payments. The Apple system allows biometric authentication for purposes such as device unlocking, making payments and accessing sensitive data, as well as offering detailed facial expression tracking for other phone features.

7. Embedded Fingerprint Readers

The advantage of an in-display fingerprint reader is that it removes the need for a bulky regular fingerprint reader to be located low down on the front of your phone. Some manufacturers see design benefits they can access by freeing up that space for new uses. Facial recognition is, of course, a competing technology, but this won’t be a feature that suits everyone. So expect in-display fingerprint scanners to be around for a while, though they may have an uncertain future.