CES 2020: the roundup | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 17, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 17, 2020

CES 2020: the roundup

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) claims to be the world’s gathering place for next-generation innovators and innovations. It has given the world breakthrough technologies for over 50 years. Held from January 6-9, this year’s CES showcased promising tech like remote health monitoring devices, wearable AR, virtual personal attendants, rolling ball robots, etc. Here’s the roundup.

Laptop: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

This unexpected crossover between Google and Samsung resulted in one of the most good-looking and powerful Chrome OS devices. It has a 13.3-inch 4K AMOLED display (3840 x 2160) on a screen that can be rotated 360-degrees with an Intel 10th Gen Core-i5 processor. The Chromebook will support HDR400 and Ambient EQ technology will help the screen change its colour temperature as the external lighting changes. Revenue from Pixelbook convinced Google that a market for ultra-premium Chromebooks does in fact exist. If not, this will end up being a niche device for a small group of people.

Companion Tech: Samsung Ballie

The demo video titled “A Waltz for Ballie” introduced Samsung’s adorable companion robot that can organise many important aspects of the user’s life. About the size of an apple wrapped around plastic frames, Ballie is a ball of joy that takes care of the household electronics with or without the presence of users. Hesitant to talk details, Samsung is still planning to perfect the software used so that Ballie can interact with existing Samsung AI products like Bixby.

Concept: OnePlus Concept One

Inspired by the electrochromic roof on the McLaren 720S, this concept phone demonstrates an interesting feature where the glass can become opaque to hide the cameras on the back of the phone. Although a concept, many argue that it is an important step in increasing sales and acceptability of phones with multiple cameras on the back.

Startup: Hydraloop

Companies are increasingly trying to convince people to decrease their water consumption. Hydraloop’s attempt at this is a household water recycler. They claim to recycle 85% of the water used at home, which in turn will reduce water consumption by 45%. As a startup, Hydraloop doesn’t need to sell subscriptions or set complicated pricing methods. They mainly need to convince households that a water recycling system is worth the money and many experts think that the business has a shot, especially in our climate-troubled times.

Digital Health and Fitness: Withings Scanwatch

This deceptively simple product looks like an analog watch but has two optical sensors on the back. One is for ECG testing and the other is for detecting sleep apnea. Also, the watch has basic steps and sport monitoring and smartphone notification support with an impressive battery life of 30 days. With the wearables market slowing down recently, a back-to-basics device might be what is needed.

Sports Tech: Insta360 One R

This little piece of standard 4K action camera is capable of shooting 360 degrees. It comes in a modular setup with three components: the lens, the core and the base. Waterproof up to five meters, the One R has better night stabilization and HDR video with a full-color touchscreen that the previous versions didn’t. With quick-charging support, one can get a full day out of it easily. This is a great product for people who want their 360 units to be small and versatile.

Phone or Mobile Device: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 lite

Aiming to make flagship performance and features available for less money, Samsung introduced the Note 10 lite with a 6.7-inch 1080p super amoled display and massive 4500 mAh battery. It has a completely different set of cameras with a main 12 MP sensor, Ultrawide and a 2x Telephoto lens. This new version of widely acclaimed Note 10 left a lot of people puzzled. However, the target group for this might be the business users who value functionality (headphone jack, stylus etc.)  more than the other gimmicky premium features in the note series. This may be Samsung’s way of introducing a new category of phones between its mid-range phones, which sell incredibly well, and the top-tier category. If successful, this will be Samsung’s smartest decision in recent years.

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