Best The of CES 2018

TVs Au­dio Vir­tual Re­al­ity Aug­mented Re­al­ity Ro­bots Wear­ables and More!

NOVO - - FRONT PAGE - by Suave Ka­jko

The In­ter­na­tional CES is the cen­ter of the uni­verse for the con­sumer elec­tron­ics in­dus­try. Ev­ery Jan­uary, thou­sands of com­pa­nies from around the planet gather in Las Ve­gas to show their pro­to­types and prod­ucts just about ready to hit the mar­ket. Media flock to the event like mi­grat­ing Cana­dian geese, in search of the coolest tech and a glimpse of the fu­ture. While cov­er­ing all of the ex­hibitors is an im­pos­si­ble trick, we do our best to sort through all the noise and seek out the com­pa­nies and prod­ucts that stand apart from the crowd. Here are some of the very best prod­ucts we found on the show floor this year. So feast your eyes and have your credit card on standby.

TVs at CES 2018

Steal­ing this year’s show, in the TV de­part­ment, LG show­cased its re­mark­able look­ing 65-inch rol­lable OLED TV (just look at the pic­tures on this page!) The en­tire TV screen rolls up neatly into a com­pact box, which stores all the elec­tron­ics. Two years ago, LG showed a small 18-inch rol­lable TV and it ap­pears that the com­pany has been able to scale this up all the way up to a UHD (4K) 65-inch TV. At this point it is just a pro­to­type, but a sure in­di­ca­tion of things to come. LG has also said at CES that its fu­ture TVs will add a voice as­sis­tant (such as Google As­sis­tant), and an­nounced an 88inch 8K TV.

LG also un­veiled its full line of LG AI OLED and LG AI SU­PER UHD TVs for re­lease in 2018. The com­pany will add nine new 4K LG AI OLED TVs in dif­fer­ent de­sign con­fig­u­ra­tions and sizes, rang­ing from 55- to 77-inches (se­ries W8, E8, C8 and B8). This year, LG will also in­tro­duce seven brand new 4K LG AI SU­PER UHD TV mod­els, rang­ing in size from 55- to 75-inches (se­ries K9500, K9000 and K8000). All of these new mod­els, from both se­ries, will in­tro­duce a new fea­ture called ThinQ ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, en­abling the im­ple­men­ta­tion of hun­dreds of voice com­mands via we­bOS as well as third-party AI ser­vices. LG ThinQ com­bines the we­bOS Smart TV plat­form with Google As­sis­tant to cre­ate AI ca­pa­bil­ity that al­lows voice com­mands to con­trol TV func­tions, search for con­tent and con­trol

other con­nected IoT de­vices.

The big news from Sam­sung at CES 2018 was “The Wall” TV – the world’s first con­sumer mo­du­lar Mi­croLED 146-inch TV. Sam­sung’s “The Wall,” a 146-inch mo­du­lar TV with Mi­croLED tech­nol­ogy de­liv­ers in­cred­i­ble def­i­ni­tion, with­out re­stric­tions to size, res­o­lu­tion or form. It is a self-emit­ting TV with mi­crom­e­ter ( m) scale LEDs – which are much smaller than cur­rent LEDs, and serve as their own source of light. Mi­croLED tech­nol­ogy elim­i­nates the need for color fil­ters or back­light, yet al­lows the screen to of­fer the ul­ti­mate view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Also, the Mi­croLED screen ex­cels in dura­bil­ity and ef­fec­tive­ness, in­clud­ing lu­mi­nous ef­fi­ciency, light source life­time and power con­sump­tion. Thanks to its mod­ule-based, bezel-less de­sign, The Wall also al­lows con­sumers to cus­tom­ize their tele­vi­sion sizes and shapes to suit their needs. The screen can adapt to serve dif­fer­ent pur­poses, such as creat­ing a wall-size dis­play or a dis­play that cov­ers your en­tire kitchen back­splash. Can you imag­ine?

Sam­sung has also an­nounced that in Q2 of 2018, it will launch the world’s first QLED TV fea­tur­ing 8K AI tech­nol­ogy. This AI tech­nol­ogy will up­scale stan­dard def­i­ni­tion con­tent to 8K res­o­lu­tion. It em­ploys a pro­pri­etary al­go­rithm to ad­just screen res­o­lu­tion based on the pic­ture char­ac­ter­is­tics of each scene, to con­tin­u­ously im­prove pic­ture qual­ity and trans­form any con­tent into high­res­o­lu­tion 8K. To top it all off, Sam­sung also showed its en­hanced 2018 Smart TV plat­form which in­cludes Bixby, SmartThings and Uni­ver­sal Guide. Bixby is an as­sis­tant plat­form de­vel­oped by Sam­sung that en­ables eas­ier in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the TV and its users, thanks to its in­tu­itive UX, and com­pre­hen­sive voice anal­y­sis ca­pa­bil­i­ties. 2018 Sam­sung Smart TVs will also of­fer eas­ier shar­ing and con­nec­tiv­ity, thanks to SmartThings, Sam­sung’s IoT plat­form hub. This hub of­fers a sim­pler way to con­trol the tele­vi­sion and sync with other de­vices. 2018 will also see the launch of Uni­ver­sal Guide – an ad­vanced pro­gram guide which au­to­mat­i­cally rec­om­mends TV pro­grams and con­tent ac­cord­ing to a user’s pref­er­ences.

In other OLED news, Sony re­vealed its new 4K OLED BRAVIA A8F TV Se­ries at this year’s show. This se­ries comes equipped with a 4K HDR im­age pro­ces­sor called the X1 Ex­treme to­gether with the Sony’s pro­pri­etary Acous­tic Sur­face tech­nol­ogy that vi­brates the dis­play and en­ables sound to be out­put di­rectly from the TV screen. The Sony A8F se­ries will be avail­able in 55 and 65inch sizes, equipped with 4K res­o­lu­tion, HDR and Dolby Vi­sion tech­nol­ogy. The com­pany also show­cased an 8K dis­play fea­tur­ing the next-gen­er­a­tion X1 Ul­ti­mate pic­ture pro­ces­sor. Com­bined with Sony’s unique back­light tech­nol­ogy, the pro­to­type 8K dis­play demo showed off real-time pro­cess­ing of 8K HDR con­tent as well as a peak bright­ness of 10,000nits, the high­est in the HDR for­mat.

An­other com­pany push­ing hard for adop­tion of OLED TVs is Pana­sonic. The com­pany launched four new OLED TVs at this year’s CES. The 77-inch EZ1000 from 2017 will be joined in 2018 by the FZ950 and FZ800 se­ries, both avail­able in 65-inch and 55-inch screen sizes. Fea­tur­ing new OLED pan­els, com­bined with the new­est gen­er­a­tion of Pana­sonic’s Hol­ly­wood-tuned HCX video pro­ces­sor, the FZ950 and FZ800 pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant un­der-the-hood advancements. The four new mod­els will be the first OLED screens which sup­port HDR10+ dy­namic meta­data tech­nol­ogy and will there­fore be ca­pa­ble of stream­ing sev­eral hun­dred hours of the Ama­zon Prime Video HDR10+ cat­a­logue.

Pana­sonic also ex­panded its line-up of Ul­tra HD Blu-ray play­ers with the ad­di­tion of two new mod­els for 2018 – the DP-UB820 and DP-UB420. Both mod­els sup­port HDR10+ dy­namic meta­data tech­nol­ogy, the next-gen­er­a­tion HDR for­mat. These two mod­els join the ex­ist­ing DP-UB330/DP-UB320 mod­els. At CES 2018, Sharp show­cased room­size dis­plays, tak­ing at­ten­dees on a tour of the fu­ture home dis­play ex­pe­ri­ence. The com­pany is trans­form­ing the old school oneto-one dis­play ex­pe­ri­ence to adapt to a new

world of ubiq­ui­tous screens, multi-win­dow, multi-dis­play en­gage­ment, de­signed to seam­lessly man­age a va­ri­ety of ap­pli­ca­tions and con­tent – entertainment, sports, so­cial media, smart home func­tion­al­ity and new ex­pe­ri­ences – made pos­si­ble through ad­vances in form fac­tor, dis­play res­o­lu­tion, pic­ture qual­ity, pro­cess­ing and band­width. Sharp demon­strated a Multi-Vis­ual 85” 8K LCD Dis­play and the com­pany’s tes­ta­ment to mass pro­duce 8K dis­plays. Equipped with the lat­est, most pow­er­ful gen­er­a­tion Pana­sonic HCX 4K video pro­ces­sor and lat­est gen­er­a­tion HDR OLED pan­els, these new mod­els are said to de­liver the most ac­cu­rate and com­pelling high dy­namic range (HDR) pic­tures ever.

Vir­tual Re­al­ity at CES 2018

HTC took the op­por­tu­nity at this year’s CES to in­tro­duce a brand new HTC Vive Pro VR Head­set, which of­fers sig­nif­i­cant up­grades over the ex­ist­ing HTC Vive. The Vive Pro is equipped with dual-OLED dis­plays of­fer­ing a res­o­lu­tion of 2880 x 1600 pix­els com­bined, a 78% in­crease in res­o­lu­tion over the cur­rent Vive model. This in­creased res­o­lu­tion en­hances im­mer­sion, and the im­proved clar­ity means text, graph­ics and over­all ex­pe­ri­ence all come into sharper view. Vive Pro also fea­tures in­te­grated, high-per­for­mance head­phones with a builtin am­pli­fier to of­fer a height­ened sense of pres­ence and an over­all richer sound. The Vive Pro also fea­tures a re­designed head strap which of­fers in­creased com­fort. Other im­prove­ments in­clude dual mi­cro­phones with ac­tive noise can­cel­la­tion and dual front-fac­ing cam­eras de­signed to em­power de­vel­oper cre­ativ­ity. Avail­abil­ity and pric­ing has not been an­nounced yet.

HTC also re­vealed the Vive Wire­less Adap­tor at CES, which will en­able the use of both the Vive and the Vive Pro VR head­sets in a com­pletely wire­less fash­ion. The Vive Wire­less Adap­tor fea­tures In­tel’s WiGig tech­nol­ogy that op­er­ates in the in­ter­fer­ence-free 60Ghz band, which means lower la­tency and bet­ter per­for­mance. The Vive Wire­less Adap­tor will ship in Q3 of 2018.

The Len­ovo Mi­rage Solo is a first self­con­tained VR head­set based on Google’s Day­dream plat­form that will re­tail for un­der $400 US. In­stead of re­ly­ing on a smart­phone, it con­tains all of its own hard­ware, which in­cludes the Qual­comm Snap­dragon 835 VR plat­form, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of stor­age (ex­pand­able via mi­croSD card) and a bat­tery that lasts 7 hours. Each eye gets a 5.5-inch LCD screen with a res­o­lu­tion of 1280 x 1440 pix­els. The Len­ovo Mi­rage Solo sup­ports the same VR ex­pe­ri­ences as ex­ist­ing Day­dream head­sets. To fur­ther en­hance game­play, you can pair this head­set with the wire­less Day­dream con­troller, turn­ing it into a vir­tual base­ball bat, steer­ing wheel or what­ever fits your cho­sen app. You can also cre­ate your own VR con­tent by pair­ing the head­set with the Len­ovo Mi­rage Cam­era with Day­dream. This pocket-sized point-and-shoot cam­era cap­tures 3D pho­tos and videos with its dual 13 MP fish­eye cam­era and its 180 x 180 de­gree field of view.

The ZEISS VR ONE Con­nect bridges the gap be­tween PC-con­nected VR gam­ing and mo­bile VR by con­nect­ing the smart­phone in the mo­bile VR head­set to your gam­ing PC. The prod­uct gives mo­bile VR users more in­ter­ac­tive gam­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties than ever be­fore by al­low­ing them to play games through SteamVR, an online com­mu­nity that al­lows ac­cess to VR con­tent. It boasts a high-qual­ity VR ex­pe­ri­ence, is com­pat­i­ble with iOS and An­droid phones and costs just $129 US. The ZEISS VR ONE Con­nect comes with two wire­less 3DoF (de­grees of free­dom) con­trollers that are linked to the smart­phone via Low En­ergy (LE) Blue­tooth.

Un­like com­peti­tor head­sets, the ASUS Win­dows Mixed Re­al­ity Head­set doesn’t need ex­ter­nal sen­sors, mak­ing the ini­tial setup very sim­ple. It uti­lizes two built-in front-fac­ing track­ing cam­eras with six-de­grees-of-free­dom po­si­tion track­ing, and

32 LED lights on each con­troller that al­low the head­set to map the user’s en­vi­ron­ment, and track their move­ments and con­trollers seam­lessly. The head­set con­tains mul­ti­ple sen­sors — gy­ro­scope, ac­celerom­e­ter and mag­ne­tome­ter — that de­ter­mine the user’s ori­en­ta­tion, and thanks to its phe­nom­e­nal inside-out track­ing de­sign, vir­tual and phys­i­cal worlds will be per­fectly synced, and free of la­tency or dis­tor­tion. The ASUS Win­dows Mixed Re­al­ity Head­set de­liv­ers crys­tal-clear vi­su­als, thanks to a 3K (2880 x 1440) res­o­lu­tion dis­play and up to a 90Hz re­fresh rate. What’s more, the head­set sup­ports over 20,000 Win­dows apps and more than 2,000 Steam VR ti­tles, so users can watch im­mer­sive 360 de­gree videos and play games like never be­fore. Its “flip-able” de­sign al­lows users to sim­ply lift the vi­sor for a tem­po­rary re­al­ity check, and flip it back down to in­stantly im­merse them­selves in the vir­tual world again. At less than 400g, it is said to be ul­tra­light and very com­fort­able.

Aug­mented Re­al­ity at CES 2018

NAVION is the first True Aug­mented Re­al­ity car nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem. Placed on a dash­board, it shows direc­tions, trip de­tails and dis­plays real-time in­di­ca­tors for things like pedes­tri­ans, POIs or road haz­ards ex­actly where the driver needs them to be — on the road ahead — with no head­gear or eye­wear re­quired. NAVION is able to work in a hands-free mode to get the driver safely to the des­ti­na­tion. It re­sponds to voice com­mands or hand ges­tures.

An­other WayRay’s at­trac­tion at CES 2018 was a mul­ti­col­ored Holo­graphic Aug­mented Re­al­ity dis­play de­vice de­signed to trans­form the car wind­shield into a new medium for in­for­ma­tion. 2018’s ver­sion has the great­est FOV (field of view) on the mar­ket and is ca­pa­ble of mul­ti­col­ored vir­tual ob­ject cre­ation. More­over, the tech­nol­ogy al­lows the so­lu­tion to act like a fully-fea­tured non-wear­able aug­mented re­al­ity in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem. It shows rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion at a com­fort­able dis­tance for users’ eyes — from 3 ft to in­fin­ity. The com­pany also launched a prod­uct named El­e­ment, an in­sight­ful in­ter­ac­tive car tracker for smart driv­ing. It tracks the driver’s ac­tiv­ity at the wheel and over­sees the driv­ing per­for­mance.

Koli­bree, a man­u­fac­turer of con­nected oral care so­lu­tions launched the Magik tooth­brush at CES, a kid’s AR-en­abled tooth­brush that turns any smart­phone into a game con­sole for fight­ing cav­i­ties and plaque. Koli­bree uses Aug­mented Re­al­ity (AR) to gam­ify teeth brush­ing with its in­ter­ac­tive tooth­brush for chil­dren. It uses fun, imag­i­na­tive fil­ters, sticker packs and more to turn a chore into a mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. Magik bridges the gap be­tween oral hy­giene and fun by con­nect­ing kids tooth­brushes to an in-app game through ad­vanced AR tech­nol­ogy. Magik’s app of­fers 15 dif­fer­ent worlds for kids to im­merse them­selves in, turn­ing the chore of get­ting ready for bed into a ‘choose your own ad­ven­ture’.

Ro­bots at CES 2018

Ro­bots where just about ev­ery­where at this year’s CES. Ubtech showed a num­ber of re­ally cool ro­bots in­clud­ing the Ubtech Walker, a biped ro­bot de­signed to serve as your per­sonal but­ler at home or work. Ubtech plans to add arms to the ro­bot some­time this year, along with ad­di­tional in­ter­ac­tive func­tions, in or­der to turn it into a com­plete in­tel­li­gent hu­manoid ro­bot.

The com­pany also showed off the Ubtech Lynx, its first in­tel­li­gent hu­manoid ro­bot to fea­ture Ama­zon’s cloud-based voice ser­vice. The Lynx fea­tures voice, fa­cial and pres­ence recog­ni­tion, with key high­lights that in­clude a Sur­veil­lance Mode and an Avatar Mode. In ad­di­tion to this, Ubtech also demon­strated the Star Wars First Or­der Stormtrooper Ro­bot (an in­ter­ac­tive toy), Cruzr (a cloud­based AI ro­bot de­signed for com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tions) and Jimu Ro­bot (an in­ter­ac­tive robotic build­ing block sys­tem for kids 8-14).

3E stands for Em­power, Ex­pe­ri­ence and Em­pa­thy – 3 ways in which Honda thinks ro­bots can en­hance our lives in the fu­ture. All four of these ro­bots are pro­to­types and al­though their func­tion­al­ity at this point is pretty vague, they are in­tended to work in­de­pen­dently and in teams.

The Honda 3E-A18 is an em­pa­thetic ro­bot de­signed to make an emo­tional con­nec­tion be­tween ma­chines and hu­mans. Its face can show emo­tions, and the ro­bot can rec­og­nize and re­spond to the emo­tions of a per­son. It is driven by an om­ni­di­rec­tional wheel and has a soft ex­te­rior skin that in­vites peo­ple to touch it. The 3E-B18 is a fu­tur­is­tic vi­sion for the wheel­chair, de­signed for in­door and out­door use by the dis­abled or el­derly. It is ca­pa­ble of main­tain­ing an up­right seat po­si­tion even when trav­el­ling up or down­hill. It can also trans­form into a mo­tor­ized lug­gage cart or a stroller thanks to ad­di­tional at­tach­ments. The 3E-C18 looks like a cute cooler on wheels. It is de­signed to carry items, and has a de­ploy­able canopy that re­veals a flat sur­face that can be used as a mo­bile workspace. Thanks to its built-in AI, it can ob­serve peo­ple and move au­tonomously. Lastly, the 3E-D18 is a ro­bot de­signed to be used by con­struc­tion crews, fire­fight­ers, search and res­cue and other pro­fes­sions that re­quire heavy lift­ing. It has a rail sys­tem on the top which can ac­com­mo­date dif­fer­ent types of gear to fit the job. The 3E-D18 is equipped with AI, var­i­ous sen­sors and a GPS, which to­gether al­low it to op­er­ate au­tonomously even in rough en­vi­ron­ments.

Sony didn’t in­tro­duce any­thing par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing at this year’s CES, but it did man­age to steal the hearts of the media with one prod­uct. Sony’s robotic dog Aibo is back for 2018 and it’s cuter than ever! The orig­i­nal Aibo was in­tro­duced some 18 years ago and was pro­hib­i­tively ex­pen­sive, so chances are you’ve prob­a­bly never seen one. The new Aibo fea­tures ad­vanced mecha­tron­ics and AI to cre­ate a cuter, smarter, and more life­like robotic pet com­pan­ion. It’s still not cheap at

ap­prox­i­mately $1,750 US, but at this price point it is cer­tainly more ac­ces­si­ble than its pre­de­ces­sor. The new Aibo is out­fit­ted with tiny 1- and 2-axis ac­tu­a­tors which en­able its body to move along a to­tal of 22 axes. This pro­duces smoother, more nat­u­ral move­ments — such as ear and tail wag­ging, as well as mouth, paw, and body mo­tions. Equipped with two cam­eras and a mul­ti­tude of sen­sors, Aibo is ca­pa­ble of rec­og­niz­ing its own­ers, as well as an­a­lyz­ing sounds and im­ages. All of this tech­nol­ogy al­lows Aibo to an­a­lyze praise, in­ter­pret smiles, and re­spond to pet­ting, which helps to cre­ate a bond with its own­ers, said to grow over time.

LG’s Cloi is a cute lit­tle ro­bot de­signed to help you con­trol your smart home. As­sum­ing its soft­ware can be cor­rected (the ro­bot failed re­peat­edly on the stage dur­ing LG’s press con­fer­ence and quickly be­came mocked on so­cial media), this ro­bot is de­signed to help with var­i­ous tasks around your home, such as con­trol­ling light­ing, se­cu­rity sys­tems, sched­ul­ing, look­ing up recipes and even in­ter­act­ing with LG’s wash­ing ma­chines. The fu­ture of smart homes is very in­ter­est­ing in­deed, al­though a lit­tle glitchy at the same time (at least for now). Think of Cloi as a rolling Google Home. In South Korea, LG al­ready has a range of ro­bots de­signed for ho­tels, air­ports and shop­ping malls.

Kuri is an­other ro­bot we found cruis­ing around the CES show floor this year. In­tro­duced in 2017, this is one of the coolest ro­bots you can ac­tu­ally pur­chase to­day. Pre-or­ders from 2017 have just started ship­ping and the com­pany says that new or­ders will be ship­ping in about 2 months. Of­ten called a so­cial ro­bot, Kuri can rec­og­nize faces, an­swer ques­tions, take pics and videos, play games and roam around your home while smartly avoid­ing ob­sta­cles. Kuri of­fers a friendly dis­po­si­tion, emotive eyes and can be yours for a rea­son­able $799 US. We show­cased KURI, along with other home ro­bots, a few months ago in our “Ro­bots to Rock Your World” fea­ture on www.

Buddy is an­other so­cial home ro­bot that was roam­ing the CES grounds and avail­able for pur­chase to­day. With an 8-inch tablet-like touch­screen it of­fers a wide range of adorable ex­pres­sions that will make your heart melt. It is packed with tech­nol­ogy which in­cludes a cam­era, ul­tra­sound, in­frared and ther­mal sen­sors, a range-fin­der sen­sor, a tem­per­a­ture sen­sor and ground de­tec­tors. Buddy is happy to take pics and videos, rec­om­mend recipes, test kids on home­work, and even al­lows you to make video calls via its screen.

The Ae­o­lus ro­bot looks like a char­ac­ter straight out of The Jet­sons and may be the bot we’ve all been wait­ing for. This home ro­bot is pow­ered by ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) and ma­chine learn­ing, and comes equipped with an ag­ile arm able to dy­nam­i­cally han­dle house­hold ob­jects. It can adapt to chang­ing en­vi­ron­ments and in­de­pen­dently learn, nav­i­gate and com­plete house­hold tasks. The Ae­o­lus ro­bot’s ad­vanced sen­sory and bio­met­ric tech­nolo­gies rec­og­nize and dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween fam­ily mem­bers, the phys­i­cal liv­ing space and house­hold items. It will even lookout for emer­gen­cies such as fire or a need to call for as­sis­tance. Just some of the tasks it can do in­clude rec­og­niz­ing thou­sands of items and putting them away (es­sen­tially clean­ing your home),

lo­cat­ing lost items, and vac­u­um­ing or dry mop­ping floors. It also of­fers in­te­gra­tion with Ama­zon Alexa and Google Home. Per­haps the best news is that it will ac­tu­ally be avail­able for pur­chase by the end of 2018!

Sophia is an ad­vanced hu­manoid ro­bot that was show­cased at CES in­ter­act­ing with vis­i­tors. She’s not a ro­bot you can buy but rather a fan­tas­tic demo of where robotics and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence are head­ing. Sophia has been toured around the world for a cou­ple of years now but she con­tin­ues to show off new en­hance­ments and fea­tures each time she is shown. Partly pow­ered by Google, she is ca­pa­ble of hold­ing con­ver­sa­tions al­most like a real per­son. One of her lat­est up­grades are legs so she can move around freely. It’s just a mat­ter of time be­fore this kind of tech trick­les down into home bots.

You might be won­der­ing how a suit­case made it on to our ro­bot list but the For­wardX CX-1 is no or­di­nary suit­case. Haul­ing lug­gage with your hands is so 2017! The CX-1 is a hands-free, fully au­ton­o­mous carry-on suit­case that is happy to fol­low you around the air­port and wher­ever your trav­els may take you.

Wear­ables at CES 2018

It might be hard to be­lieve that such a prod­uct ex­ists but it does in­deed! The MARS ear­buds are ca­pa­ble of in-ear trans­la­tion in real-time and sup­port 10 lan­guages, in­clud­ing Korean, English, Ja­panese, Chi­nese, Span­ish, French, Viet­namese, Thai and In­done­sian. Only one pair of ear­buds is re­quired, with each per­son wear­ing just a sin­gle ear­bud. MARS also fea­tures au­to­matic noise-block­ing to re­duce am­bi­ent noise and en­sure clear voice recog­ni­tion even in dis­rup­tive en­vi­ron­ments. With mi­cro­phones placed “inside” the ear­piece, MARS picks up a user’s voice di­rectly through the ear canal, block­ing out­side sounds and pro­vid­ing clear phone calls. Even when used at a noisy lo­ca­tion, like a rock con­cert or on a busy street, the user’s voice can be heard cleanly by the ear­bud mi­cro­phones.

The lat­est gen­er­a­tion of Kopin Cor­po­ra­tion’s SOLOS Smart Glasses builds on the orig­i­nal fea­tures for cy­clists by ex­pand­ing the ecosys­tem to em­power per­for­mance sup­port for run­ners. SOLOS in­cludes the most ad­vanced Pupil dis­play op­tics, which en­able a ‘heads-up’ see-through ex­pe­ri­ence with a larger eye box, en­abling ath­letes to safely ac­cess their data in real-time. These new smart glasses of­fer new au­dio fea­tures in­clud­ing voice con­trol, phone calls, lis­ten­ing to mu­sic and group chat com­mu­ni­ca­tion. For run­ners, the en­hanced soft­ware fa­cil­i­tates run­ning met­rics such as elapsed time, speed, power, pace, ca­dence, heart rate and more. Ath­letes can lever­age wear­able sen­sors to mea­sure their run per­for­mance, set tar­gets and use the SOLOS plat­form to track progress. In ad­di­tion to per­for­mance fea­tures, run­ners can also lis­ten to mu­sic, view mo­bile no­ti­fi­ca­tions and even re­ceive au­dio and vis­ual turn-by-turn in­struc­tions. SOLOS will also con­nect to a va­ri­ety of train­ing plat­forms to fa­cil­i­tate re­al­time work­out goal progress prompts and feed­back based on ath­letes’ per­for­mance tar­gets. Au­dio and vis­ual cues of­fer live guid­ance prompts dur­ing train­ing ses­sions, not only help­ing ath­letes train safer, but also en­abling them to reach their max­i­mum per­for­mance.

Kopin also demon­strated the Elf VR ref­er­ence de­sign, the world’s most com­pact and light­weight vir­tual re­al­ity head­set that boasts stereo 4K res­o­lu­tion and a 120Hz re­fresh rate. Elf is made pos­si­ble by Kopin’s Light­ning OLED mi­crodis­plays that boast an im­pres­sive pixel den­sity of 2,940 PPI – ap­prox­i­mately 400% higher than con­ven­tional TFT-LCD, OLED and AMOLED dis­plays at 20% of the size. These dis­play ca­pa­bil­i­ties en­able the Elf VR to elim­i­nate the bar­ri­ers and lim­i­ta­tions that have long stood in the way of de­liv­er­ing an ef­fec­tive VR ex­pe­ri­ence – un­com­fort­ably bulky and heavy head­set de­signs, the an­noy­ing pix­e­lated “screen-door ef­fect” due to in­suf­fi­cient dis­play res­o­lu­tion, and frame rates that are too slow for fast ac­tion games, movies or sports.

The Free­dom Guardian claims to be the in­dus­try’s most ad­vanced med­i­cal alert de­vice. This so­phis­ti­cated wear­able tech­nol­ogy is de­signed to chal­lenge in­dus­try stereo­types and rev­o­lu­tion­ize how older Amer­i­cans age in place – or on the go. The Free­dom Guardian is a dis­crete, cus­tom­iz­a­ble watch de­signed to blend in while pro­vid­ing round the clock mon­i­tor­ing, sup­port and con­nec­tiv­ity. The watch is light­weight and com­fort­able to wear, and it has a hi-res color touch­screen and over­sized icons for ease of use. The de­vice is audi­ble, which is es­pe­cially im­por­tant for users whose eye­sight may not be as good as it once was. It has the ca­pa­bil­ity to read out the date, time and text mes­sages sent through the Free­dom Guardian app by mem­bers of the user’s care cir­cle. Users can also dic­tate text mes­sages in re­turn. The Free­dom Guardian’s safety fea­tures in­clude: SOS with Two-Way Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, GPS and Wi-Fi Lo­ca­tion Fin­der, Voice Mes­sag­ing and Safe Move­ment Zones.

Af­ter a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign that raised over $6 mil­lion last year, MyKronoz showed both the ZeTime Petite (39mm) and Reg­u­lar (44mm) hy­brid smart­watches at CES 2018. The world’s first hy­brid smart­watch with me­chan­i­cal hands com­bined with a color touch­screen, ZeTime of­fers the clas­sic de­sign of a Swiss time­piece with the most ad­vanced fea­tures of a smart­watch. MyKronoz’s pro­pri­etary ‘Smart Move­ment’ tech­nol­ogy en­ables ZeTime’s al­ways-on hands to func­tion for up to 30 days with a sin­gle charge, en­sur­ing the pri­mary func­tion of the watch – to tell time – is al­ways run­ning. Prices start at $199 US.

The Len­ovo New Glass C220 An­droid­based sys­tem con­sists of a Glass Unit and Pocket Unit and works by rec­og­niz­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing real-life ob­jects us­ing AI tech­nolo­gies. You ex­pe­ri­ence AR through one eye, while keep­ing the other eye on the real world. Just down­load the app and then plug the Pocket Unit into the phone. The New Glass C220 is de­signed to work

in a va­ri­ety of work and learn­ing sce­nar­ios, from gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion in your field of view, to giv­ing step-by-step direc­tions and in­struc­tions for re­pair, iden­ti­fy­ing dis­abled equip­ment and trou­ble-shoot­ing is­sues with a re­mote col­league all while keep­ing your hands free.

Au­dio at CES 2018

Al­though tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts get the big­gest spotlight at CES, ev­ery year, lots of new home au­dio prod­ucts are launched at the show and this year was ab­so­lutely no dif­fer­ent. One of the big trends we no­ticed this year was the in­te­gra­tion of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence sys­tems like Ama­zon Alexa and Google As­sis­tant into por­ta­ble and home au­dio prod­ucts.

De­bussy is a startup led by ex­pe­ri­enced au­dio en­gi­neers and de­sign­ers that pro­duces head­phones like no other. Its line-up of head­phones con­sists of three mod­els called the Nathaniel, Clair de lune and Pre­lude (rang­ing from $590 to $4990 US; avail­able for pre-or­der March 2018; to be re­leased in 2019). At the heart of all the mod­els is Iris, a “smart sound sys­tem” that con­sists of an OLED touch­screen dis­play, a pow­er­ful pro­ces­sor, voice and ges­ture con­trol and USB-C charg­ing. The head­phones of­fer 32 GB of on-board stor­age, but can also stream mu­sic wire­lessly from online ser­vices such as Tidal, Spo­tify and Qobuz over 4G, Wi-fi and Blue­tooth. Each model is said to of­fer ex­cep­tional sound qual­ity, 20 hours of run time and comes in a va­ri­ety of high-end fin­ishes. We can’t wait to try these head­phones out!

JBL’s Ever­est head­phone / ear­phone line-up is among the first in the mar­ket to of­fer an on-board Google As­sis­tant, which al­lows voice con­trol and lets users re­ceive no­ti­fi­ca­tions with­out need­ing to look at their smart­phone or tablet. The Ever­est range con­sists of three mod­els called the 710GA, 310GA and 110GA (priced from $99 US to $249 US). To ac­cess the Google As­sis­tant, down­load the As­sis­tant on your phone, con­nect the head­phone and then sim­ply touch the sen­sors lo­cated on the ear cup. Once ac­ti­vated, lis­ten­ers can con­trol vol­ume, get ac­cess to meet­ings and events, and en­joy tracks on-the-go by say­ing sim­ple phrases like, “vol­ume up/down,” “tell me about my day” or “play pop mu­sic.” The head­phone bat­tery of­fers be­tween 8 and 25 hours of lis­ten­ing, de­pend­ing on the model.

Ar­cam in­tro­duced a brand new HDA prod­uct line at this year’s show. This prod­uct line in­cludes the SA10 and SA20 in­te­grated am­pli­fiers, as well as the CDS50 SACD/CD player (which of­fers net­work stream­ing). Ar­cam says it will be the com­pany’s best per­form­ing range of prod­ucts to date. The SA10 sports class A/B am­pli­fiers and of­fers 50 wpc of power, while the SA20 is equipped with class G am­pli­fiers and pro­duces 50 wpc. Both mod­els of­fer five RCA in­puts, two coax in­puts and a sin­gle op­ti­cal in­put. Ex­pect to see them in stores this spring.

Sennheiser of­fered CES vis­i­tors a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence its AMBEO 3D im­mer­sive au­dio tech­nol­ogy fea­tured in the AMBEO smart head­set and a pro­to­type AMBEO 3D sound­bar. The head­set lets users cap­ture and lis­ten to bin­au­ral au­dio record­ings on their smart­phones with un­prece­dented sim­plic­ity. The sound­bar lets you place the AMBEO ex­pe­ri­ence right in your liv­ing room by creat­ing an im­mer­sive sound ex­pe­ri­ence and a true as-if-there feel­ing with­out any ad­di­tional com­po­nents such as an ex­ter­nal sub­woofer. The Sennheiser HD 820 closed-back dy­namic stereo head­phones de­liver as­ton­ish­ingly trans­par­ent sound, thanks to a unique glass trans­ducer cover that min­i­mizes res­o­nances. This in­no­va­tion en­sures an in­cred­i­bly re­al­is­tic and nat­u­ral sound field. While au­dio­phile head­phones

usu­ally re­quire an open-back de­sign, the HD 820 changes the game by de­liv­er­ing ex­cep­tional, au­dio­phile sound while in­su­lat­ing the lis­tener from am­bi­ent noise.

Sennheiser ‘s new CX 6.00BT prom­ises to de­liver ev­ery­thing you need to en­joy bril­liant sound on the go. This new in-ear wire­less model fea­tures ear-canal ear­buds joined by a ca­ble around the neck – a light­weight de­sign that is com­pact yet ro­bust and pro­vides su­pe­rior fit and com­fort. The CX 6.00BT de­liv­ers clear, de­tailed sound with an en­hanced bass re­sponse and ad­vanced wire­less tech­nol­ogy that in­cludes Blue­tooth 4.2 and Qual­comm apt-X. Sup­port for apt-X Low La­tency en­hances gam­ing or video view­ing by keep­ing vi­su­als and sound in per­fect sync.

The Denon AVR-X8500H is the in­dus­try’s first true 13.2 chan­nel AV re­ceiver (rated at 150 wpc @ 8 ohms) and will be Denon’s flag­ship prod­uct. As you might ex­pect, it sup­ports all the lat­est sound for­mats in­clud­ing Dolby At­mos, DTS:X, Auro 3D, Ap­ple Air­Play, Blue­tooth and HEOS multi-room, just to men­tion a few. What’s more is that it also of­fers Ama­zon Alexa voice con­trol. The AVRX8500H is also happy to play high-res au­dio such as DSD, WAV, ALAC and FLAC among oth­ers. On the video side, this re­ceiver of­fers 8 HDMI in­puts and 3 HDMI out­puts (HDCP 2.2). 4K 60 Hz video is sup­ported, and the re­ceiver of­fers pass-through of Dolby Vi­sion and HDR video. It will be up­grade­able to HDMI 2.1 in the near fu­ture, which will al­low it to pass-through 8K video. Of course, the lat­est and great­est is go­ing to cost you a pretty penny – $3,799 US to be pre­cise.

Retro prod­ucts are in high fash­ion these days. At CES, JBL in­tro­duced a mod­ern take on the clas­sic JBL L100 loud­speaker, a leg­endary 3-way book­shelf loud­speaker re­leased back in 1970. Fea­tur­ing a cool retro de­sign, the L100 is avail­able with an iconic Quadrex foam grille in black, or­ange, or blue (at $4,000 US). The en­clo­sures are fin­ished in a gen­uine, satin wal­nut wood ve­neer with black front and rear pan­els. The new L100 fea­tures the fun­da­men­tal com­pact 12-inch 3-way de­sign of its clas­sic pre­de­ces­sor with im­prove­ments made to the trans­duc­ers, en­clo­sure tun­ing, and cross­over net­work de­sign. De­signed by the same acous­tic en­gi­neer that cre­ated the L100T3 in 1988, this new model uses a new 1-inch Ti­ta­nium dome tweeter mated to a wave­guide with an acous­tic lens for op­ti­mal in­te­gra­tion to a 5-inch cast-frame, pure-pulp cone midrange driver. The ver­ti­cal HF and MF trans­ducer ar­range­ment is slightly off­set to the right of the woofer be­low, with HF and MF at­ten­u­a­tors lo­cated on the up­per left of the front baf­fle. Low fre­quen­cies are de­liv­ered by a 12-inch cast-frame, white pure-pulp cone woofer oper­at­ing in a bass-re­flex en­clo­sure sys­tem. Avail­able this spring.

At CES 2018, Mon­ster re­vealed with the com­pany calls “True Wire­less” head­phone tech­nol­ogy with the in­tro­duc­tion of its AirLinks El­e­ments, fea­tur­ing a high-end jew­elry themed de­sign, and the sweat and wa­ter-re­sis­tant AirLinks iS­port head­phones. Both mod­els fea­ture AirLinks’ TrueWire­less RF cir­cuitry and unique an­tenna de­sign to en­sure a rock-solid, re­li­able sig­nal, solv­ing the com­mon prob­lem of au­dio drop-outs and poor Blue­tooth per­for­mance. The AirLinks sys­tem’s two in­de­pen­dent high qual­ity driv­ers on each side, de­liver per­fectly bal­anced, out­stand­ing au­dio per­for­mance. The right ear­bud may be worn in­di­vid­u­ally and used for crys­tal-clear, hands free phone calls. Mon­ster is of­fer­ing a spe­cial in­sur­ance pol­icy with both mod­els – if you lose one of your ear­buds, Mon­ster will re­place it for $20 (within one year of pur­chase).

Astell & Kern made its name by de­sign­ing some of the finest por­ta­ble mu­sic play­ers in the world. And this year at CES, the com­pany re­vealed a new desk­top au­dio range of prod­ucts branded as ACRO. The ACRO L1000 is a beau­ti­fully de­signed desk­top am­pli­fier, head­phone amp and DAC. It is out­fit­ted with 2.5mm, 3.5mm, 6.5mm and XLR au­dio out­puts, as well as speaker ter­mi­nals. A USB port lets you con­nect it to a PC or Mac. The L1000 uti­lizes two AK4490 DACs that are ca­pa­ble of play­ing hi-res au­dio files up to 32bit/384kHz with­out down-sam­pling. It also of­fers DSD play­back (up to 11.2 MHz). The case and vol­ume dial are de­signed out of alu­minium and the vol­ume dial has col­ored LEDs around it to in­di­cate the lis­ten­ing level.

What is the ap­peal of di­rect drive tech­nol­ogy in turnta­bles? It’s the abil­ity to elim­i­nate sound degra­da­tion caused by ro­ta­tion fluc­tu­a­tion and minute vi­bra­tions be­tween the mo­tor and the trans­mis­sion mech­a­nism. The Tech­nics SP10-R is

cen­tered around a dou­ble coil twin ro­tor-type core­less di­rect-drive mo­tor with coils on both sides for 12-pole, 18-coil drive, and high enough torque to drive the heavy-weight-class plat­ter with ul­ti­mate sovereignty. The re­sult is a sta­ble ro­ta­tion, with nearly zero wow & flut­ter. The plat­ter fea­tures a 10-mmthick brass weight, en­hanced with tung­sten weights on the outer pe­riph­ery. The brass weight is lam­i­nated onto the alu­minum diecast, giv­ing the plat­ter a to­tal weight of 7.9 kg. A dead­en­ing rub­ber for elim­i­nat­ing un­wanted vi­bra­tion is at­tached to the rear sur­face to form a three-layer con­struc­tion to achieve an even higher rigid­ity and pro­vide ex­cel­lent vi­bra­tion-damp­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics. For fur­ther noise re­duc­tion, the con­trol unit is sep­a­rated from the main unit and its switch­ing power sup­ply is equipped with unique tech­nol­ogy that pro­vides a volt­age sup­ply with min­i­mal noise.

The Tech­nics SL-1000R sys­tem fea­tures an S-type uni­ver­sal ton­earm with a light­weight, high damp­ing mag­ne­sium ton­earm pipe and gim­bal sus­pen­sion. To fur­ther en­sure the pro­duc­tion of highly-vivid sounds, OFC is used for in­ter­nal wiring, so that the mu­sic sig­nal re­layed from the car­tridge is not damp­ened and the mu­si­cal en­ergy cut into the record is not lost.

The new Mark Levin­son No. 585.5 in­te­grated amp prom­ises to de­liver au­dio per­for­mance equal to the finest sep­a­rates in a sin­gle com­po­nent. Its Pure Phono stage fea­tures fully dis­crete, ex­tremely low noise gain stages, with RIAA equal­iza­tion im­ple­mented us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of ac­tive and pas­sive fil­ter cir­cuits. Four gain set­tings, mul­ti­ple re­sis­tive- and ca­pac­i­tive-load­ing set­tings, and an in­fra­sonic fil­ter are con­ve­niently ad­justable via the front panel or the re­mote con­trol. The No. 585.5 pro­vides four ana­log in­puts, and six digital in­puts, in­clud­ing asyn­chro­nous USB, op­ti­cal, coax­ial, and AES/EBU (XLR), to ac­com­mo­date a wide va­ri­ety of digital mu­sic sources, in­clud­ing 32-bit/192kHz PCM, as well as na­tive DSD and DSD over PCM via USB. A sub­woofer out­put is also pro­vided with a se­lectable 80Hz high-pass fil­ter for use in a 2.1-chan­nel sys­tem.

Are you into gam­ing? The new Sennheiser GSP 600 de­liv­ers a truly ex­cel­lent sound per­for­mance that shat­ters ex­pec­ta­tions of what a gam­ing head­set can do. It fea­tures a new and im­proved speaker sys­tem de­signed and man­u­fac­tured by Sennheiser, with im­proved alu­minum voice coil speak­ers that en­sure an ex­cep­tional au­dio ex­pe­ri­ence with an in­creased sub-bass range that adds pow­er­ful im­pact to games and movies.

That’s it for this year’s CES cov­er­age - hope you en­joyed it and if you like to read about up­com­ing hi-fi and tech prod­ucts, tune in to for a daily dose of news.

LG’s 65-inch rol­lable OLED TV - wow!

LG’s 65-inch rol­lable OLED TV - rolling into its cab­i­net

Sam­sung’s “The Wall” mo­du­lar TV

Pana­sonic’s FZ800 OLED TV Se­ries

Sony’s A8F Bravia OLED TV Se­ries

Len­ovo Mi­rage Solo with Day­dream VR Head­set

HTC Vive Pro VR Head­set

ZEISS VR ONE Con­nect Head­set

ASUS Win­dows Mixed Re­al­ity Head­set

WayRay NAVION AR Car Nav­i­ga­tion Sys­tem

Koli­bree Magik AR Tooth­brush

Honda 3E Con­cepts

Ubtech Walker

Sony Aibo Ro­bot Dog

Kuri Home Ro­bot

Buddy Ro­bot (from Blue Frog)

Ae­o­lus Ro­bot

LG Cloi Home Ro­bot

Mars Ear­buds – Ear­buds That Trans­late Con­ver­sa­tions in Real-time

Sennheiser AMBEO Tech­nol­ogy

De­bussy Head­phones

JBL L100 Clas­sic Loud­speak­ers

Astell & Kern ACRO L1000 Hi-res Desk­top Amp and DAC

Tech­nics SP-10R and Tech­nics SL-1000R Di­rect Drive Turnta­bles

Mark Levin­son No. 585.5 In­te­grated Am­pli­fier with Pure Phono Mod­ule

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