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The Consumer Electronics Show is over for another year – was it a boom or bust year?

If you read Marvin the dour, pessimistic robot, or GPP (Genuine People Personality) view on CES 2018 you would expect evolution, not revolution. To a large degree he was right and many analysts agree.

Some 184,000 visitors and nearly 4,000 exhibitors attended. Here is a wrap- up of some of the revolutionary gems in the rough.

TV – bigger is better

Samsung’s “The Wall” – a 146” modular (you can build it to almost any size), MicroLED, TV has to take poll pole position for two reasons. First, its real technology and will be available for sale this year – not in the distant future. Second, it appears to be a future OLED challenger as, like OLED, MircoLED’s are a self-emitting light source.

GadgetGuy’s take: Revolution but let’s not write off OLED yet.

LG is on a roll – rollable 65” OLED TV is spectacular

Although I cannot see a lot of practical reasons to have a roll up/down 65” TV LG’s flexible OLED display makes that possible. I guess a big TV can interfere with lounge room décor but then the large rectangular case it retracts into is not all that stylish either.

What it does show is that flexible OLED could be useful in so many ways especially in signage, corporate use etc.

Robots are coming

LG’s CLOi has a lot of potential – a cute, short, white robot with a black circular face and blinking blue eyes was hyped as LG’s to make homes smarter in 2018 — allowing you to talk to the robot to control other devices in the home. But CLOi also has commercial uses such as becoming a shopping companion, butler, bag carrier and more.

Sony’s AIBO is perhaps the cutest robot and a reboot of its concept first rolled out in 1999 which sold out the initial batch of 3,000 units in 20 minutes. The new robotic pet will set you back over US$3,000 but savings in dog food and litter bags soon make it a bargain. It leans by adopting a “character” suited to those it interacts with – it is friendly towards those who are kind to it. It can also take photos and has AI so it can ultimately do much more.

Honda showed its 3E (Empower, Experience, Empathy) Robotics Concept, “Demonstrating Honda’s vision of a society where robotics and AI can assist people in a multitude of situations, from disaster recovery and recreation to learning from human interaction to become more helpful and empathetic.”

While useful in certain circumstances all the robots are really more about Anthropomorphising – ascribing human attributes to material objects.

Not another Bluetooth Speaker

I don’t care if they now support Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana etc – all 2018 models using Qualcomm chips inside will do that.

But Sennheiser’s AMBEO 3D sound technology is revolutionary. Keep your eyes peeled for more about 3D binaural sound.