LAS VEGAS – On the second day of the CES electronics fair in Las Vegas, artificial intelligence, interconnected automobiles and 5G technology were in the spotlight at the world’s most important event of its kind.
Firms at this year’s event used the first two days to make big announcements of new developments in technology for personal consumption, and the last two days will be devoted to having users try out the novelties being introduced by their favorite companies.
More than 3,900 tech companies are participating in this year’s fair, which is expected to draw more than 170,000 visitors.
Google presented its new virtual helper – Google Assistant – in Las Vegas, a move to do corporate battle for space on mobile devices in the AI sector with Amazon’s Alexa.
The latest innovation in the area is a line of “Smart Displays” manufactured by JBL, LG, Lenovo and Sony, these assistant devices being similar to Google Home – albeit with screens.
Meanwhile, South Korean tech giant Samsung is pushing “The Internet of Things,” in which all devices for the home, from televisions to electric appliances, will be “smart,” interconnected and able to be operated from a digital assistant.
Another South Korean firm – LG – does not want to be left behind in the AI sphere, and so it took advantage of CES to unveil its own platform, called ThinQ, which will be compatible with the Google and Amazon assistants.
Japan’s Sony showed off its new Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra smartphones, advances in 4K OLED televisions in the Bravia line and wireless earphones with a system to overcome exterior noise at a press conference where the robot dog Aibo captured a heavy portion of photographers’ attention.
And China’s Huawei, which is trying to break into the US mobile phone market, presented its Mate 10 Pro telephone in Las Vegas.
The adoption and development of 5G technology, which promises to be a new step forward for broadband wireless connectivity, was another of the recurring themes at CES 2018.
Automobiles have also been a key feature of this year’s fair, with various firms presenting their innovations regarding connected and smart vehicles that can interact with the user, other vehicles and the environment.
Media attention at CES also focused on Intel CEO Brian Brzanich, who said at a public event that the firm will issue updates before the end of the month to resolve the security lapses recently discovered in microchips installed in millions of devices.
Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Convention Center – the site of the high-tech fair – on Wednesday suffered a mundane power blackout that left the central hall without electricity for about two hours.