CES 2020: technologies and trends you should know about

All tech leaders - Sony, Samsung, Amazon - gather at the Las Vegas Convention Centre for the annual consumer electronics trade fair

Kenichiro Yoshida, president and chief executive officer of Sony Corp., unveils the Sony Vision-S electric concept car during a press event at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. Yoshida unveiled a car prototype that showcases the company’s sensing and 3D audio technologies. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
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The Consumer Electronics Show 2020, one of the world's biggest technology trade fairs, will see global leaders in consumer electronics unveil ground-breaking innovation over the next four days.

The National takes a look at the major trends being featured at the annual extravaganza in Las Vegas this year.

AI-powered vehicles

Sony unveiled a prototype of an autonomous vehicle. The car integrates imaging and sensing technologies for safer and reliable autonomous driving experience.

"It's not an exaggeration to say that mobile has been the mega-trend of the last decade … the next mega-trend will be mobility," said the Japanese tech manufacturer's president and chief executive, Kenichiro Yoshida.

Sony's car has more than 30 sensors to detect people and objects inside and outside, and provides a 360-degree view for safer driving.

5G moving beyond smartphones

China's hardware manufacturer Lenovo launched one of the world's first 5G personal computers – Yoga 5G. Powered by a Qualcomm processor, it delivers high-speed network connectivity, up to 10 times faster than 4G.

Lenovo's competitor, HP, also unveiled a 5G-enabled convertible laptop that will be available to consumers later in the summer, according to the company.

"Qualcomm continues to lead in LTE [4G] connected PCs, allowing users to have blazing fast connectivity while on the go, and we are thrilled to drive 5G-connected PCs in collaboration with HP," said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm's mobile business.

Smart living

South Korean company LG showcased AI innovations to transform daily living for consumers. The company's ThinQ Home experience begins with a "smart door" that verifies visitors with facial recognition and vein authentication.  

There are smart sensors fitted to detect the presence of people in a room and adjust the temperature and airflow of air conditioning . While exiting, a door display will provide information on weather and traffic conditions.

110cm TV for TikTok and Instagram

Samsung – the leader in visual display market for 13 consecutive years – has come up with a new 4K TV designed for millennials, Sero. It can switch from the default landscape mode to a portrait angle by rotating its 109.2-centimetre screen. By linking Samsung smartphones with Sero, users can view Instagram stories, TikTok videos and Snapchat content on a bigger screen.

"It's not only social network platforms that are supporting vertical videos but companies in Australia and China are producing TV content in vertical orientation as well," Abbas Ali, managing editor of TechRadar Middle East, told The National.

The company also announced its soon to launch QLED 8K television line-up that has higher resolution, more realistic audio and interactive experiences designed to usher in a new era of over-the-air transmission broadcasting.

Alexa is coming to your car

Amazon is entering the car market in 2020. Its voice assistant, Alexa, will be available in vehicles manufactured by Rivian and Lamborghini, the car makers announced separately on Monday.

Earlier, the e-commerce giant had said it would offer Alexa in General Motors and Volkswagen vehicles from this year. The company will also roll out Echo Auto – which lets users talk to Alexa and control music – into markets outside of the US this year.

“We’ve seen so many examples of how Alexa can make life easier and more convenient for customers, and now we’re focused on bringing Alexa to places beyond the home – starting with the car,” Amazon wrote in a blog post.

Streaming war heats up

The CES event is going to be a battleground for new streaming services. Companies such as Quibi and NBC Universal are scheduled to announce their content offering, following the recent launch of Disney's streaming service.

Both Quibi and NBC Universal's Peacock service will be launched in April.

There is an intense competition when it comes to pricing, which will play a crucial role in consumers’ subscription decisions. Earlier, Quibi said its service would start from only $5 (Dh18.3) a month.

AT&T's HBO Max, which is aiming for a May launch, will also present at CES.

A pocket-sized flying photographer

US company AirSelfie will introduce its handy aerial drone that makes the process of taking selfies easy and seamless.

The AI-powered drone allows users to take stunning aerial photo and video selfies. Supported by both iOS and Android operating systems, AirSelfie can also work without a smartphone connection.