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Las Vegas, the high-tech brands imagine a flexible future

The latest innovations in consumer electronics at Ces 2019 with televisions, keyboards and smartphones in variable shapes

From TVs that “roll up” to microphones for YouTubers, from waterproof earbuds to the pair of robot babysitters and the first truly “foldable” smartphone. There are many hi-tech innovations, many of which are already on the market and others soon to be launched, uncovered during the 2019 edition of Ces in Las Vegas, the greatest fair-event in the world dedicated to consumer electronics. A litmus test for future trends, or even near-future trends, the overseas trade fair served, as it traditionally does, as a springboard for the major high-tech brands.

©LG Signature Oled TV R9

The “video” category is without a doubt the one that revealed the greatest innovations, starting with the disappearing televisions by LG: so ultra-thin that the display rolls up and “disappears” into the base of the device. These futuristic Oled television sets should come onto the market in the second half of this year. Or at least, that is what the company envisions, though it has yet to say a word about the price of the new Signature Oled Tv R9 based on 4K technology. LG was undoubtedly one of the stars of the Show in Las Vegas this year: in addition to the new products the company made headlines with the Oled Falls, an “ultra-immersive” scenographic installation that exploits the flexibility of the LG display and transformed the entrance to the Ces 2019 exhibition area into an extraordinary scenario of forms and colours. All made possible by installing 260 Oled “Open Frames” arranged in concave, convex and flat configurations, to simulate the flow of water relying on the various radii of curvature.

Also in the realm of ultra-slim proportions, the transparent roll-up keyboard by Royole also made headlines. This is a Qwerty keyboard equipped with Bluetooth technology to connect easily with any display or device. The keyboard appears and disappears by pressing a key and will come onto the market in the second half of 2019.

Dedicated to hard-core videomakers, are the new Elmec microphones by Blue designed especially for YouTubers and live-streaming professionals, and sold at 100 dollars and up. For people who want to listen to music under water too, AfterShokz, specialized in high-tech devices for sportsmen, has developed a special line of earbud-headphones for swimmers, called Xtrainerz. Completely waterproof, the new headphones, like the Mp3 players, can memorize up to a hundred songs with their 4Gb of memory. The new Xtrainerz will be sold at 150 dollars starting next spring. And of course, it wouldn’t be Las Vegas without robot manufacturers: among the most innovative “creatures” presented at Ces were the Lovot (love+robot) twin “babysitter” robots equipped with cams and tactile temperature sensors. Sporting large expressive eyes, they move on two wheels, their head traces the movement and language of the body, and they can broadcast live film through the video-cameras. They look like tech-stuffed animals but function as surveillance devices and baby monitors even during sleep. The little robots may be pre-ordered on the Groove-X websites, and will be available in coming weeks. The only blemish is the price: about 5300 dollars for the pair, 3900 dollars each.

The innovation of innovations for the 2019 edition of the Ces is the folding smartphone

The Chinese manufacturer Royole, specialized in ultra-slim displays, even beat Samsung on timing. It opens in two ways: in the “full” version it becomes a tablet, otherwise just close the “cover” and the format is reduced to that of a smartphone. The FlexPai Developer Model may be pre-ordered on the Royole website at 1388 euro in the 128 Gb version.


translation by Olga Barmine

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