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A new year, a new decade, and a whole lot of tech to roll out in 2020 – If the recent consumer electronics show in Las Vegas is anything to go by, this year is set to deliver some major innovations and improvements in technology.
Held from January 7 to 10, CES 2020 showcased everything from foldable laptops and phones to improved internet connectivity, health monitoring and of course some wild and wacky applications for robots.
Here’s a quick snapshot of new tech to look out for in 2020.
Wi-Fi 6 was a major centrepiece of CES 2020 and it’s set to be a game changer for both business and home life.
The latest incarnation of wireless internet was showcased in a whole range of routers and connected products like laptops. It will deliver increased bandwidth, faster wireless speed, less latency, and the ability to connect more devices to a single network.
First flagged as a trend in 2019 courtesy of Samsung and Huawei, folding smartphones, tablets and even laptops are set to become more common over the year ahead.
At CES, everyone was keen for a piece of the folding action, with Lenovo unveiling the 13.3-inch ThinkPad X1 Fold, TCL revealing a concept folding smartphone, and Dell showcasing both a folding laptop concept and a dual screen device.
Similar technology also made its way to the smart speaker realm, with Royal Mirage announcing a cylindrical smart speaker which boasts a wraparound AMOLED touchscreen.
Health was a focal point at CES 2020, with a couple of new trends emerging. Health sensors are set to be incorporated into more devices and the technology is to become more subtle.
This year Withings unveiled a watch that monitors your heart rate, blood oxygen levels and sleep pattern in a bid to identify sleep apnoea; HealBe showcased new calorie tracking ability in its smart wrist bands; and Valencell revealed pressure sensing earbuds that can be used to identify hypertension.
Google Assistant is set to get smarter, with the tech giant using CES as an opportunity to unveil a series of upgrades.
Now Google Assistant will work with more smart home products, facilitate easier smart home set-up and will also include new features. Among them are sticky notes, speed dial, scheduled actions, and the ability to read online content.
Sticky notes is effectively a digital version of post-it notes, which compiles notes then displays them on any compatible smart display.
Speed dial allows you to put together all your important contacts and call them easily by saying “hey Google. Call ….”, while the ‘read online content’ feature enables users to command their assistant to read text from web pages.
Meanwhile, scheduled actions brings the smart home and smart office to life. Now you’ll be able to give your Google Assistant routine tasks to complete at set times like turning the coffee machine on at 6am, opening your smart blinds etc.
3D printing is hardly new, but this year it’s set to become more affordable and mainstream. A number of companies used CES to unveil new 3D printers, with many also incorporating engraving and 2D printing into their desktop models.
For example, XYZprinting showcased the da Vinci Color 5D, and Snapmaker introduced a new version of its 3-in-1 printer which combines a 3D printer, laser engraver and CNC milling machine.
Futuristic tech is a crowd favourite at every CES, offering an insight into wild and wacky innovations that could soon make their way into the real world.
Highlights from this year included Uber and Hyundai who, together, revealed their plans for flying taxis.
Known as Uberdai, the prototype showcased is effectively a small plane which can carry a pilot and three passengers up to 100km at 180km/h. Uberdai could be coming to a neighbourhood near you as soon as 2023.
Meanwhile, Samsung showcased robotic arms that can whip up a mean salad. Known as Samsung Bot Chef, it has 35 salad recipes programmed and happily rummages through the kitchen to source the ingredients.
Each year CES offers a glimpse into pending tech rollouts and some concepts which will never quite see the light of day. Either way, there’s no doubting just how fast technology is evolving and how central it’s become to modern life.