Every January the CES show, held in Las Vegas, gives us a peek view of what technology might have in store.
And it seems TVs, voice assistants and anything autonomous car related has been making the headlines.
Nvidia has moved to centre stage. For so long, this was a video games company. But video games employ pretty advanced programming techniques. That is why DeepMind, the British subsidiary of Alphabet that designed the AI system that beat the best player in the world at Go, is made up of so many former computer games developers.
You might say ditto, for Nvidia. At the CES it announced deals with Volkswagen, Uber, and Baidu – often called the Chinese Google.
There are no less than 320 companies using its products in self-driving related areas.
The deal with Volkswagen and Uber seems pretty significant. Speaking at CES, the Nvidia boss, Jensen Huang talked about how the company’s technology was helping autonomous cars perceive the world around them and make split second decisions.
Meanwhile, Pizza Hut, Amazon, Uber, and Didi (a kind of Chinese Uber) have tied up with Toyota. The Japanese car maker has revealed a concept vehicle called e-Palette. Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda explained: “Today you have to travel to stores, in the future with ePallete, the store will come to you.”
So it’s a kind of shop/takeaway restaurant on wheels, with space freed up thanks to lack of need for a driving area.
A similar idea was explored here yesterday, with the new Byton smart car also revealed at the CES show – a kind of travelling lounge, dining room, board room or study. As was stated here: “We all have smartphones, but making phone calls from these devices may be a secondary purpose. Maybe it will be like that with autonomous cars – they may become mobile lounges, or studies, boardrooms, or even dining rooms. Maybe reaching a destination will become one benefit, another might be that instead of traveling to a meeting, the meeting will travel to you.”
Also big at the CES show have been voice assistants – if 2017 was the year of Amazon’s Alexa, so far at the CES Google and Samsung have been grabbing headlines – both worthy contenders in a market that some predict will be the technology to watch in 2018 – but where is Apple? If the predictions about the rise of voice assistants are right, Apple needs to make its move soon – or maybe it is waiting for the killer app, first.
Finally, LG revealed a 65 inch TV screen that you can roll-up – like wrapping paper.