It wasn’t just gadgets on display in Las Vegas last week at CES, the event formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show. Grand plans for entire cities were part of the innovative ideas unveiled at the annual tech event. Bigger, faster, thinner — all seem within reach in the not-too-distant future. Here is a recap through photos.
Toyota Woven City
Automaker Toyota is planning to build something a lot bigger than a Prius. The company’s president, Akio Toyoda, shown speaking during a news conference in Las Vegas, announced that Toyota Motor Corp. plans to construct what it calls the Woven City, a fully connected “living laboratory” powered by hydrogen fuel cells and home to full-time residents and researchers who will test and develop products such as robots, self-driving vehicles, and smart homes.
Valerann smart road studs
Smart road studs created by Valerann, a company founded in 2016, can monitor vehicle traffic and road conditions. The wireless, solar-powered sensors can collect and share data that is integrated into Valerann’s traffic management platform, which has been deployed in four countries. The sensors also can change colour to send signals to drivers.
Byton all-electric SUV
The Byton M-Byte is an all-electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) scheduled to go into mass production this year. The centrepiece of the vehicle’s interior is the Byton Stage, a 48-inch, high-resolution display that takes up the whole of the dashboard below the windshield. The M-Byte also features a flat antenna that blends into the SUV’s sloping roof line. The vehicle uses the driver’s face recognition and provides touch, voice, and gesture controls.
HeartWise healthcare mobile app
Tadashi Ted Funahashi, chief innovation and transformation officer at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, speaks about the features of the Samsung HeartWise healthcare mobile app. The HeartWise app is designed for patients who are following a home-based heart wellness programme recommended by their doctor. The app is intended to be used with the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch.
Walker the robot
The personal assistant robot, Walker, demonstrates its skills in UBTECH’s booth. Powered by more than 30 servers and artificial intelligence, Walker can carry a grocery basket, write and draw with a pen or marker on paper, do several yoga poses, and also take the cap off a bottled drink, pour the drink into a glass, and hand the glass to a human. It also blinks and even winks while wearing a perpetual smile.
Qualcomm Snapdragon Ride autonomous driving computing system
Superconductor giant Qualcomm, best known as a leading maker of chipsets for mobile phones, is making a push into the autonomous car market with the Snapdragon Ride autonomous driving computing system, shown in the trunk of a demo car at CES. The system features multicore computer processing units with energy-efficient artificial intelligence and computer vision engines that can support autonomous vehicle operations, up to and including fully driverless cars. Snapdragon Ride is expected to be available to automakers and some suppliers later this year, and Qualcomm estimates that the platform will be enabled in production of vehicles in 2023.
Evo II drone
Autel Robotics’ Evo II drones can be controlled from as far as 9 kilometres away. High dynamic range video capabilities make it a potential asset for inventory auditing over a large area, and 12 computer vision sensors work with machine learning algorithms to detect and avoid obstacles automatically. The Evo II also features foldable wings, making it much easier to carry.
Samsung TV (the Wall)
Samsung’s 150-inch (3.81-metre) TV is aptly named The Wall. It uses micro-LED technology and features a screen with 8K resolution. Oh, and there’s a bigger model out there, as well as some smaller sizes, but not all that small. A Samsung representative said in a news release that screens that are 75 inches and larger “are the fastest-growing segment in the market.” The TV offers a range of new features and apps, including voice-command capability.