CES

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - Con­tact Christo­pher Lawrence at [email protected]­viewjour­nal.com or 702-380-4567. Fol­low @life_ on­the­couch on Twit­ter.

The whole thing is ba­si­cally “Bri­gadoon” with less singing and more $30,000 mas­sage chairs.

And with around 180,000 at­ten­dees, it’s roughly the size of Fort Laud­erdale, Florida.

Now that it’s dis-

CES

ap­peared into the ether for an­other year, here’s a look back at some of what stood out.

Least sur­pris­ing trend:

the ma­chines

Skynet jokes were fly­ing fast and easy, thanks to ro­bots of ev­ery shape, size and pur­pose imag­in­able. De­liv­ery ro­bots. Laun­dry-fold­ing ro­bots. Box­ing ro­bots. Ping pong-play­ing ro­bots. Ro­bots to help you sleep. Ro­bots to pu­rify your air. Ro­bots that just want to be hugged. Ro­bots to play with your pets. Com­ing to CES 2022: ro­bots to play with your ro­bots.

Ama­zon’s Alexa vs.

Big­gest bat­tle:

Google As­sis­tant

In a trend that could spell even greater doom should the world of “A Quiet Place” ever come to pass, these two are wag­ing a war to make any­thing and ev­ery­thing voice-ac­ti­vated. Based on the tech avail­able at CES, soon you’ll be talk­ing to your shower, toi­let, oven, re­frig­er­a­tor, pres­sure cooker, bi­cy­cle, lawn mower and eye­glasses. And to think, just a few short years ago, that same be­hav­ior would have landed you in an in­sti­tu­tion.

Least in­tim­i­dat­ing tech:

Mui You can get news and weather up­dates, send and re­ceive mes­sages, and run other smart de­vices from this home con­trol hub. What’s so spe­cial about that? It’s lit­er­ally a block of wood with a swipe-to-ac­ti­vate dig­i­tal dis­play.

Most ter­ri­fy­ing devel­op­ment, non-ro­bot divi­sion:

fly­ing Uber The com­pany whose busi­ness model is built upon one of the three things your mother al­ways nagged you about — along with not run­ning with scis­sors and al­ways wear­ing clean un­der­pants — is ready­ing cus­tomers to make the leap from get­ting into a car with a stranger to get­ting into a fly­ing car with a stranger.

Ap­ple plays

Big­gest about-face:

the rise of nice (sort of )

Ap­ple not only never at­tends the con­ven­tion but also of­ten tries to steal its thun­der. Still, CES 2019 kicked off with a large sign on the side of the SpringHill Suites near the Las Ve­gas Con­ven­tion Cen­ter that touted the iPhone’s pri­vacy fea­tures. Ap­ple’s vir­tual pres­ence grew to in­clude sur­pris­ing an­nounce­ments that con­sumers could ac­cess iTunes via up­com­ing TVs from Sam­sung, Sony, LG and Vizio with­out the need for Ap­ple TV. The tech gi­ant wasn’t nice enough to ac­tu­ally show up — but baby steps.

Least ex­pected ben­e­fi­ciary of new tech­nol­ogy:

bees

You can be an­gry at an in­di­vid­ual bee or two, but the rapid de­cline in their world­wide pop­u­la­tion could prove cat­a­strophic. Win­ner of a CES In­no­va­tion Award, BeeLife’s self-pow­ered CoCoon bee­hive com­bats cli­mate change in­side the hive while pro­vid­ing a de­fense against bees’ great­est preda­tor, the Var­roa mite. If you save the bees, you save ev­ery plant they pol­li­nate and you save the world. Also, more honey bar­be­cue wings for ev­ery­one.

vis­i­tors

Most trust­ing at­ten­dees:

to the Orig3n booth

The ge­netic in­sight busi­ness of­fered free life­style tests that had crowds stream­ing by to drop vials full of their DNA in­side large bins. Have any of these peo­ple ever seen “CSI”? You guard those DNA sam­ples with your life un­til you’re slapped with a court or­der.

Most promis­ing sign that we might avoid the seem­ingly in­evitable sub­ju­ga­tion by ro­bot over­lords:

La Crosse Tech­nol­ogy

The Wis­con­sin-based com­pany show­cased some of its wares above a ban­ner that sim­ply and suc­cinctly stated what they were: ana­log clocks.

Chase Stevens Las Ve­gas Re­view-Jour­nal @cssteven­sphoto

CES vis­i­tors en­counter prod­ucts in­te­grated with Ama­zon’s Alexa at the Sands Expo and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter on Thurs­day.

Ben­jamin Hager Las Ve­gas Re­view-Jour­nal

Con­ven­tion­eers watch a huge LG vis­ual dis­play Wed­nes­day.

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