Key announcements from CES so far
7 January 2020, 09:44
From concept cars to foldable screen laptops and home assistance robots, there are plenty of notable gadgets already on show at CES.
The world’s largest technology show opens its doors on Tuesday, but a number of eye-catching new gadget announcements have already been confirmed.
From concept cars to home assistance robots and foldable devices, here is a look at some of the key announcements from CES so far.
– Samsung’s plans for an “age of experience”
The Korean company used its pre-CES keynote to outline its plans for the coming decade, which includes lots of new robots to assist with everyday life.
Samsung’s most striking, and also most bizarre, product unveiling was Ballie – a tennis ball-like rolling robot which serves as a home assistance device to control smart home gadgets among other things.
There was also a fleeting look at a pair of augmented reality smartglasses as part of a fitness and mobility demo, but little was revealed about them or Samsung’s plans specifically for that product.
– Sony enters the car market
In the most surprising reveal of the day, Sony unveiled a concept connected car loaded with sensors and technology from its audio/visual business as part of its own push into mobility.
Named the Vision-S, few substantial details about Sony’s plans for the car are known – at its event the company appeared to suggest it was more a way of showing off its technology than a vehicle about to go into production.
But smart, connected and autonomous vehicles are likely to become increasingly common over the next 10 years, so Sony’s tentative entrance into the market could soon become something more substantial.
– Panasonic’s miniature fire engine
In another unusual announcement, Panasonic had as part of its CES showcase a miniature, battery-powered prototype fire engine.
The vehicle is the result of a collaboration with electric vehicle firm Tropos Motors to create a cart-sized vehicle which can transport the same level of equipment as a full-sized fire engine but at a fraction of the cost and using far less energy.
The company also argues that the reduced size of the truck could help with emergency response because of its ability to fit into small spaces.
– Lenovo’s foldable PC
Foldable phones arrived for the first time in 2019 and, to start 2020, PC-maker Lenovo is bringing the technology to a new laptop.
The ThinkPad X1 Fold has a 13.3-inch folding OLED screen and comes with a wireless Bluetooth keyboard.
It can be used like a tablet when flat or be folded to create different viewing angles for working or watching video.
Lenovo plans to start selling the Fold later in 2020, starting at around 2,500 US dollars (£1,900).
– Royole returns with another foldable
Start-up Royole made headlines at CES last year when it beat big-name brands Samsung and Huawei by being the first to announce a foldable smartphone.
Now the firm is back at CES with a new folding device – a smart speaker which includes a flexible screen wrapped around it.
The Mirage Smart Speaker works with Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, but stands out from other speakers thanks to the eight-inch flexible touchscreen wrapped around it which can be used to control the device.