CES 2019 took place in Las Vegas last week, and as usual the Consumer Electronics Show had a collection of weird and wonderful products that push the boundaries of what we think is possible.
Here are five of the best, and strangest.
1. The new Impossible Burger
It’s vegetables Jim, but not as we know it. The new Impossible offerings were grossing out vegetarians and impressing meat-eaters in equal numbers at CES. The buzz around the vegan, gluten-free, plant based patty is so big that Impossible Foods just announced it’s ramping up the roll out, making Impossible 2.0 available at around 200 restaurants across the US, ASAP.
But is it good? Grub Street’s critic Adam Platt says the burger tasted like it contained “2-5 percent cat food” which isn’t… great. But, he also said the burger “had the salty char and filling qualities you’d hope for from a beef burger, and it mostly tasted like the real thing.” What’s more, this new Impossible product is “ground beef” style, not a patty, so it can be used in other meat-appropriate settings, like nachos.
2. Audi & Disney’s VR Car Collaboration
It’s a car, it’s a video game…it’s a virtual reality simulation! Audi and Disney got together to create a new VR passenger experience that tailors your drive to a video game, making every stop, turn and acceleration a part of the playing experience. The two companies partnered up and brought Marvel along for the ride, working with a German startup called Holoride, which was spun out of Audi.
Basically you get in the car, and the game is tailored to the duration of your ride. At CES, passengers were trying out ‘Rocket’s Rescue Run’, a Marvel game. Your Uber ride will never be the same.
3. Robot dog Abio and friends
Sony’s blank-slate robot dog Abio isn’t new for CES 2019, but boy is it popular, and at this year’s CES there were a host of other robot companions up for grabs. These robots derive their personalities from the way their owners interact with them, and in Abio’s case require all the same care and attention a pup would. The robots are companions, but they’re also amazing examples of the power of AI to learn and adapt to its environment.
4. Google’s quest to make its Assistant invaluable
Hey Google, is there anything your assistant isn’t trying to get in on? No, seems to be the answer, as a suite of products across CES 2019 came with increasing assistant capability, and Google was keen to emphasise its assistant’s inescapability with the Google Assistant Playground. There are too many new possibilities to list them here, but Google has a handy guide.
5. TVs that roll up. Literally.
Have you ever wanted to roll your TV up and tuck it away somewhere, so it’s not constantly the focal point of your lounge room? Well, now it’s possible. LG debuted a rollable TV at CES, and it was the talk of the show. The TV comes with a 65-inch OLED panel and is powered by a 2nd-generation Alpha a9 processor and runs on WebOS 4.5 with Alexa. At the press of a button it will roll up into a box or unfurl when you need it.
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