CES 2020: Samsung unveils rotating TV, meet the new artificial humans, and more product news | Product Perspectives #5

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Happy New Year to you all, Product People! Welcome back to your weekly news. We hope you’re feeling revived, refreshed, and ready to take on 2020.

The show floor of CES 2020 officially opens today in Las Vegas. The conference, by the Consumer Technology Association, officially runs from January 7th to 10th, but press conferences and media previews began on Sunday January 5th. With so much news coming out of the conference already, we might as well call this Product Perspectives: CES Edition!

Let’s dive into it…

Samsung Unveils Rotating TV and More

Samsung never fails to disappoint at CES.

The headline act for 2020 is the new Q950TS, a bezel-free 8K QLED. The buzz started early, as the Korean branch of the company unveiled the product early, accidentally spoiling the surprise. But now that the show floor is open, the curious will be able to get a closer look.

This year also brings us a rotating TV called The Samsung Sero TV which will eventually be available in the west after being shipped in South Korea. Western watchers will just have to wait a little longer for a TV which changes from landscape to portrait depending on the aspect ratio of the video. (We’re already intrigued!)

Samsung - Galaxy Book Flex α
Image Credit: Samsung – Galaxy Book Flex α

Computing fans were also treated to the Galaxy Book Flex α. Reminiscent of Google’s Pixelbook in design, the device boasts a high-quality design for a competitive price. $829.99 will buy you a long-lasting battery and a 13.3 inch QLED display. The hinge lets users flip between laptop and tablet with ease. For all the spec, check out TechRadar’s assessment.

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Star Labs Birth Artificial Humans

‘Have you ever met an ARTIFICIAL?’ So asks Neon’s official website.

Neon, part of Samsung’s Technology and Advanced Research Labs (STAR Labs) released their ultra-realistic artificial human avatars into the world as part of CES on Monday 6th of January.

Just as society seems to have become comfortable with AI which straddles the line between human and tech, but still firmly comes across as a machine, we’re given these…

Video Credit: TechTalkTV

Neons are designed to stand apart from Siri and Alexa by being as human as possible. Rather than being ‘an interface to the Internet’, the company stresses that a Neon is a ‘computationally created virtual being that looks and behaves like a real human, with the ability to show emotions and intelligence.’

Pranav Mistry, head of STAR Labs and Neon CEO said in a press release, “there are millions of species on our planet, and we hope to add one more?” The company states its mission as bringing science fiction to reality.

If these avatars live up to the hype, we’ll say: mission accomplished! However, many online are dubious about the unveiling, as we have yet to be shown the avatars in action, and all images used by Neon have so far been ‘fictionalized for illustrative purposes only.’

What do you think? Tweet us @ProductSchool!

LG Rollable TV Launching This Year

When LG unveiled it’s rollable OLED TV in 2019, the hype was big but consumers were disappointed when it seemed to mysteriously disappear.

While the exact release date is still yet to be determined, it has been confirmed that fans will be able to get their hands on the 65-inch screen in 2020. However, it won’t come cheap! CNET reports that it’s likely to cost $60,000.

So what does that sizable chunk of change get you?

According to LG’s tests it’s good for 50,000 unfurlings, with OLED picture performance, 2nd-Gen Alpha a9 Processor, and WebOS 4.5 with Alexa. For that money, many are saying that although the machine is impressive they would want more. The engineering team has stated that although last year’s version wasn’t able to unfurl from the ceiling, they have fixed that for a 2020 release.

For official, updated images and demos, we’ll have to wait and see what the rest of CES brings…

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Innovating for Climate Change

Tech people love a challenge, just like Product Managers love having a problem to solve. With Australia still ravaged by bush fires, and concerns over humanity’s impact on the planet continuing to dominate headlines, it’s no wonder that climate change is a key theme for CES 2020.

One product which made its way to the show floor is OxiCool, described as the world’s first air conditioning system which uses pure water as a refrigerant. According to OxiCool, traditional air conditioning units ‘account for half the electricity used in homes during the summer’. By utilising only natural elements, OxiCool produces zero-emissions. If successful, the technology could relieve a portion of the serious burden placed on power grids.

Every part of the device is recyclable, and the water which comes out at the end is so clean you could drink it. Ravikant Barot, CEO of OxiCool, says “I think we are a tenant on this planet. We need to leave it in a good shape.”

landfill climate change

If climate change tech is something you’re particularly interested in, keep an eye out for news coming out of these panels:

  • Tech’s Support in Natural Disaster Recovery
  • Disruptive Tech for Disrupting Climate Change
  • Renewable Energy Takes Center State

If you work in consumer tech, you can register for the livestreams here.

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