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From Passenger Drones to In-Car Technology: Our Take on CES 2016

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The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been running for almost 50 years, and since 1995 it has been held each January in Las Vegas. The CES is where we get to see new lots of exciting new technology announcements, product launches, and some pretty ‘out there’ demonstrations.

We had a healthy discussion on our Yammer site about the items that were being unveiled. Here’s what got our bloggers’ curiosity lit:

Steven Osprey: Car Technology

“The most interesting thing for me was QualComm’s move into in Car Technology which could be a massive change to the current onboard technology we see in cars today. At the moment it’s still a long way behind the technology in the smartphones we have in our pockets.”

QualComm announced at CES that they were introducing a new chip built off its latest mobile phone processors which can be installed in cars. This will mean cars will be able to show 4K graphics, become a WiFi hotspot, and contain smart algorithms which can recognise images, people, and hand gestures. A major step towards autonomous driving.

Read more about the QualComm chip

When I asked Steven his opinion about self-driving cars and whether they will become commercialised in the next five years, he responded:

“I think the price point will be too high initially for a mere mortal to be able to afford it, however if they aim them at businesses they might have more luck. Make them electric / hydrogen fuel cell so the company car tax etc. is very low, and you could have one or two of them for each company. Alternatively a scheme like City Car would let you pay circa £100 per month for X number of miles per month, and you could pre-book it.

TSG could have 1 for each regional office, pre-booked like a meeting room, and it would arrive at my house in the morning, take me to and from my meeting and make its way to the next booked journey! Bliss. The Nissan Murcia is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle now on sale in the UK. £50k though, and not self driving..."

Mark Watson: Galaxy TabPro S

“Being a really Big Samsung fan - phones, tablets, TVs - I must get me one of these! Although it may be a poor man's Surface Pro replacement.”

Mark is talking about the new Samsung Windows 10 device – the Galaxy TabPro S. It’s a premium tablet and another entry into the rapidly growing 2-in-1 device market. It comes with a clip-on keyboard but you will have to purchase the Bluetooth Pen separately.

Fellow blogger Paul Burns, said about the TabPro S:

“It looks like a really great device for light users as it uses the M processor range which is the entry level equivalent to the Microsoft Pro device. I suspect this will be a fair bit cheaper than the entry M Pro 4 though. Samsung have a good reputation for solid build quality and screens, so this should be a decent device for those who need basic computing requirements on the move.”

Read more about the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S here

David Filmer: Panasonic Turntables

“Who would have thought it possible for turntables to feature at CES? I know vinyl is enjoying a bit of a comeback and with it Technics has restarted production of its SL-1200 (any aspiring club DJ knows all about these things, the SL-1210 was legendary)”

This is the news that Panasonic are bringing out two Technics SL-1200 turntable models – 6 years after they stopped production. The company said they were getting back into the swing of things due to a revitalised popularity in vinyl sales.

Read more about the turntable models

“Also of interest was LG once again showing off their bendy/rollable (but not foldable - that will break it) screen. I like this idea and the prospect that one day I can have a 55-inch screen that I can just roll up and take anywhere is brilliant. Who needs projectors and screens?”

Watch a demonstration of LG’s bendy roll-up OLED screen

Paul Burns however had a query on how viable the LG product would be in a few years time:

“You won’t need a portable screen, as we will all have the next generation of augmented reality that will follow HoloLens. This will be a simple contact lens that overlays our real world with the things we want - like a 90" home cinema screen, or the name of the person you are talking to (which with my memory will be great for me!)”

Paul Burns: Passenger Drone

“Top pick for me was the drone car: the EHang 184 (catchy!), which is an autonomous passenger drone with a helicopter design that claims to be able to travel up to 10 miles, as well as folding up to sit in a parking spot. Definitely on the Christmas list.”

Say what? We can all drive our own helicopters now?

The EHang will supposedly fly up to 11,000 feet, at a cruising altitude of 62mph.

This one may find itself tied up in a bit of legislation, given the fact that governments are still trying to work out the regulation of unmanned drones, let alone passenger driven ones. But the pictures are pretty impressive.

Read more about the EHang 184 here

Got an opinion about any of these products, or perhaps something else stood out for you? Let us know in the comments section.

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