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CES 2018

Google Assistant comes to more devices

Smart displays, headphones, and more!

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“Hey, Google!”

Plastered all across Las Vegas in the week leading up to the largest technology show of the year, are the activation hot words from Google Assistant. From an animated billboard in front of the MGM Grand to an entire train on the Las Vegas monorail, Google is intent on dominating the conversation at CES as it has on the Las Vegas strip.

If you aren’t familiar, Google Assistant is your own personal Google. Use it to answer any kind of question, be it about the weather or traffic, or random bit of trivia. Google Assistant can also control smart devices at home, ask it to turn up the thermostat or dim the lights, play your favorite Netflix show on the TV, or the current Spotify soundtrack to your life.

Last year, Google Assistant found a new home in the form of a Bluetooth speaker aptly called Google Home. These devices have been selling like hotcakes; the company claims its sold one every second since the latest model was released last October.

But at CES 2018, Google Assistant is making a play towards becoming the operating system of our lives, finding its way into a wide variety of products.

Smart Displays

First up is a yet another product category called the Smart Display — think Google Home but with a screen. It can do everything Google Home can, but also make video calls, or get information visually when you need it. Last week we spent some time with a Smart Display device and think it will find a home on our kitchen counter. It’s the perfect companion to the struggling cook in need of step-by-step directions or if you’re half asleep planning your day as you wake up to a cup of coffee.   

JBL, Lenovo, LG, and Sony will all launch their own smart displays at the show.

Headphones

Google Assistant will also make its way to Bluetooth headphones. Jaybird, JBL, LG, and Sony have all announced headphones optimized for Google Assistant which you can summon with just the touch of an earbud.

Assistant in your Car

If you have a car that supports Android Auto, Google Assistant support is also coming this week. Apart from the obvious Google Maps and Waze integration, you’ll also be able to send and receive WhatsApp messages, reserve a parking space with SpotHero, and pre-order a Starbucks coffee.

CES 2018

LG’s InstaView ThinQ is one smart fridge

This is the future

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The future of smart appliances is upon us.

LG has not only dared to venture into connected kitchen technology, they’ve taken it a step further with their newest smart appliances. We got to see all this at CES.

The InstaView ThinQ is the fridge of the future. It’s equipped with the smart voice assistant Alexa which means you will be able to talk to it — the better to figure out what you want to eat! Not only that, it will suggest recipes depending on what food items you have stored. The best part is that it can be connected to your phone and all your other smart appliances for a seamless everyday home experience.

SEE ALSO: LG builds a smart kitchen that ‘talks’ to you and your home

SEE ALSO: Lessons from household appliances

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CES 2018

Best of CES 2018: Project Linda, Smart Display, and more!

From prototypes to full-fledged products

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CES 2018 gave us a glance at all the wonderful consumer tech that’s in store for us — not just this year, but for the years to come. The show had tons of products, almost too many to count, so we came up with this video compiling the most interesting gadgets that caught our attention.

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Automotive

The Best Car Tech of CES 2018

Exciting times ahead!

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We recently wrapped up CES 2018 (see our top picks) and even though the trade show originally revolved around consumer electronics, a big chunk of what was introduced was directed towards connected cities with a focus on making driving a lot smarter.

The idea of self-driving cars surely isn’t new and has been around for quite some time now. It’s basically the concept of what the future is like in addition to flying cars. At this year’s CES, brands who participated made us realize that this “future” isn’t too far away.

Here are some of the most promising cars and car technology that we’re excited to see in the near future.

Assistance

Multiple brands showed off their new toys left and right. There’s the announcement of Amazon’s Alexa coming to cars for voice assistance and content consumption. Toyota will be the next to adapt voice assistance in addition to BMW, Ford, and Hyundai. Meanwhile, Waze has also been integrated into select infotainment systems.

Nissan, on the other hand, is taking the user-machine a step further by introducing the brain-to-vehicle (B2V) technology. It basically uses a system that could read your brain patterns and signals to better prepare for what you’re about to do next while driving.

Platforms

In terms of services, Ford is slightly stepping out of the shadow of car-making and plans to be the new platform for autonomous vehicles. It has partnered with Lyft, Domino’s Pizza, and Postmates to create an operating system which small to large businesses can use for their unique services.

Speaking of unique services, Toyota unveiled its e-Palette concept vehicle which has all the potential to go big in the future of mobility. It’s envisioned as a self-driving vehicle running on Toyota’s tech and platform that other brands can use for food deliveries, as a moving boutique, or even a mobile hotel that you can rent.

As far as ride-sharing goes, expect it to join the bandwagon as smart cities are developed. During the trade show, car tech company Aptiv was present and was hand-in-hand with Lyft as they demonstrated their self-driving cars to the participants of CES. The public could just hail a ride from the Las Vegas Convention Center using the app and enjoy the view of the Strip to their destination.

Additionally, NVIDIA has also added Uber and Volkswagen to their growing roster of brands that will run on the company’s self-driving computer platform.

Cars

Apart from the new platforms, there were cars — quite a lot, actually. From concept to actual models on display, we got a peek at these vehicles that probably want to take on Tesla.

Derived from Bytes on Wheels, BYTON wants to blur the line between digital and automotive with their electric intelligent SUV concept. The new-gen smart device communicates with users and pedestrians via lights and patterns on its grille and recognizes the driver and passengers by face.

Kia was also present with its very own Niro electric crossover. This concept is basically an electric version of the Niro Hybrid but gets a new grille design. Like BYTON, it is now an interactive panel with a built-in Active Pedestrian Warning System, but what makes this something to look forward to is its range. It can go as far 383km (238 miles) before needing to charge again — beating what the Tesla Model 3 can offer.

Car designer Henrik Fisker gave another shot at making vehicles; this time in the form of the EMotion luxury sedan. The vehicle is a level 4 autonomous car and is equipped with the world’s first Butterfly Doors. Fisker also wants to set standards for other EVs so they made the vehicle last up to 644km (400 miles) on the road.

Meanwhile, Hyundai is continuing its push to go green and introduced the NEXO fuel cell electric vehicle. It has a more efficient engine, is a lot quieter, and maintenance is kept to a minimum. Although the best thing about it is that it emits nothing but water vapor. Features-wise, it has autonomous driving, self-parking, self-retrieval — the whole shebang.

In-vehicle Networking

Software updates are an important aspect of vehicles relying on digital systems. Tesla has somehow established its system already but for other car brands, updating hundreds, even thousands of vehicles across a country, is still not an easy task.

Hyundai and Cisco addressed this and aims to overhaul the process of in-vehicle networking. With the use of Ethernet connectivity and the Automotive Linux platform, they promise to be able to roll out updates remotely and it’s as simple as pushing a button.

 

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