It is the place where all the companies that dedicate to manufacture technology must be. The CES (by the abbreviations in English of Consumer Electronics Show, or fair of consumer electronics) is celebrated from 1967, and here inventions have been announced like the video recorder VHS, the CD, the television in high definition, the Blu-Ray or 3D printers. This year they have gone through this fair, which was closed in Las Vegas (USA) this Saturday, 180,000 attendees, 4,500 exhibitors and 6,000 journalists. No major announcements have been made, but trends such as the expected arrival of 5G, the omnipresence of televisions with 8K definition or artificial intelligence destined to connect all the devices in our lives, including cars and washing machines, have been confirmed. And the only technology company that allows itself the luxury of being absent every year has been present, Apple: Samsung and LG have announced an agreement for the company's software to be present on their TVs, a more relevant agreement than it seems and that could indicate that the poor sales of the iPhone They are forcing the firm founded by Steve Jobs to end its traditional policy of isolation.
These are the main novelties of CES 2019:
The arrival of 5G
The CES (where EL PAÍS has been invited by Samsung) is not a telephony fair, so most manufacturers keep their announcements in this area for the MWC to be held in a month and a half in Barcelona. However, the new 5G technology has been present in all the presentations that have been made. From transport to virtual reality, through digital health or large-scale manufacturing, the 5G promises to change everything: "We are not yet able to know to what extent will do it," says John Penney, vice president of 20th Century Fox . The 5G promises 100 times more speed than the 4G with lower energy consumption. But, above all, there will be no latency. This will mean a "revolution," in the words of Qualcomm vice president John Smee, in issues such as remote surgery or virtual and augmented reality. The first 5G phone will hit the market this year, Samsung announced.
"We have spent the last 30 years connecting people. We will spend the next 30 connecting things. " The appointment of Brian Modoff, another vice president of Qualcomm, served Ben Arnold, director of innovation of CTA (the association of US technology companies, organized by CES) to present a new generation of devices interconnected with artificial intelligence in the home . From the internal cameras in the Bosch refrigerators to the intelligent assistants from Amazon or Google, everything is connected. The market for smart home devices will grow 17% this year in the US, to 4,600 million dollars, according to the CTA.
The new TVs
The television, as a great agglutinator of leisure at home, is the undisputed protagonist of the CES. The business that will grow most this year in the US is, by far, the content issued in streaming by platforms such as Netflix or HBO, up to 26,000 million dollars (25% more than in 2018). The lighting of the screen, the resolution and, of course, the access to the contents are the keys of the new televisions, according to José Ignacio Monge, director of marketing of the Consumer Electronics division of Samsung Spain. The company, which is the largest manufacturer in the world, presented at CES a new smart screen technology called MicroLED, which contain millions of microscopic chips that emit their own light to produce millions of bright colors on the screen, in a "revolution similar to what was once the plasma, the LCD or the LED", according to Monge. LG, for its part, said that this year it will start selling the roll-up television that he presented last year in this same fair.
Contents in 8K
The 8K technology, which has 16 times more resolution than Full HD, is already present in most of the televisions that were presented at CES. Japanese television NHK has already announced that the broadcast of the 2020 Olympic Games will be in 8K, and most of the producers of films and series already roll to this resolution. The big question is when will this technology reach the bulk of households, many of which have just be updated to 4K. This year will also be, according to Monge, in which we will begin to send the television with the voice, not only to change channels, but to make decisions for us ("what is the next series that you recommend?").
The future of transport
CES has become, for some years now, a great fair for the connected car. 11 automobile manufacturers have presented different products, among which the electric motorcycle Harley-Davidson or the Air taxi from Bell Helicopter. Most companies have introduced technologies that improve the safety and connectivity of vehicles, and this year the automatic vehicles of G, Ford and Daimler will arrive on the streets of some cities in the United States. The 100% autonomous vehicle, however, is not expected until 2030, according to the forecasts of the CTA.
Robots for everything
In CES, all kinds of robots have been seen. Perhaps the most photographed was the Lovot that, according to its manufacturer, the Japanese company Groove X, is designed to eradicate loneliness: it does nothing useful except be adorable. Samsung first introduced its own battery of robots, these yes, thought to take care of the health and to help in the home and in stores or restaurants. And Sony renewed its robot dog Aibo.
Virtual and augmented reality
This is one of these markets in which exaggeration (or hype, as it is said in this business) goes way ahead of reality. While waiting for the 5G can make many of the promises of the products of the major in the sector (such as Microsoft's Hololens mixed reality glasses or the Oculus of Facebook), some interesting things were seen, such as glasses Sun with virtual reality of the Chinese company Nreal Light, which only weigh 85 grams.