Tyler Suiters  0:08 

Hey everybody, I'm Tyler Suiters with the Consumer Technology Association. We are the owners and producers of CES, the largest, the most influential tech event on the planet. We're under way right now in Las Vegas. Our show runs through this Friday, January 11, here.

And we are helping you to be CES ready by taking you right to the show floor. All this week, we are hosting media roundtables. This is a bit of an annual tradition for us at CES. We're talking to the journalists who are covering this year's show and in many cases have covered CES for years and years. And we're talking about how this year's show is framing the year ahead the conversations the trends the innovations will see in the technology sector. So today from the show floor of CES 2019 Day Two Media Roundtable.

 

Sarah Brown  1:04 

Hi, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us today. I'm Sarah Brown from the Consumer Technology Association. I'm thrilled to be joined today by some of our esteemed media here at CES.
So, we have from CNET Connie Guglielmo. We also have from Tom's Guide Mark Spoonauer, from Innovation & Tech Today Charles Warner, and from Investor's Business Daily Patrick Seitz.
So first, I just want to start us off by asking what have you guys been seeing so far as you've been walking across the show floor? What are the big trends?

 

Mark Spoonauer  1:45 

Well, for me, I mean, the good news is that it's very close if you haven't checked it out. The rollable OLED TV from LG is pretty mind blowing. So, LG Display showed it off last year. But when you see it up close, it's awesome tech. So, the fact that an OLED display can roll up out of nothing, in this case, like a big sound bar, right? I think it's going to impress a lot of people in terms of what you can do with the technology. So that's one of the things I really liked so far.
 

Connie Guglielmo  2:11 

I'm going to echo that plus their video wall with all the curves. But I will say the thing that I'm most interested in is Apple's presence here at CES, Apple never has a booth at CES, they used to have Macworld and make all their announcements there. And it's always been tangential. But they had a big billboard coming into Las Vegas with stay with what happens on the iPhone stays on the iPhone to tap their privacy of their phone and how they don't monetize a user data to make money. And that they've actually made announcements here at the show, including licensing or making iTunes available and embedding it in Samsung TV and other devices. Because they need more people using their services as sales of their top selling iPhone start to dip.
 

Charles Warner  2:59 

Yeah, I think Apple did some really good guerilla marketing, because we're talking about them, right? I think for me, it's the uh robots. Robots are here. And there is a lot of robots and a lot of AI. And I've really noticed that pretty much everything is connected, and everything is smart. And I hope we're ready for it.
 

Sarah Brown  3:20 

Number one robot. What's your favorite robot so far?
 

Charles Warner  3:22 

I saw sleep robot and I didn't even know I needed one. But now I need a sleep robot. You just sleep with it. And you cuddle and I was like, that's pretty cool.

Sarah Brown  3:31 

All right, Patrick Seitz.
 

Patrick Seitz  3:35 

The thing that blew me away at this show was really smart, everything. I mean, even things that don't need to be smart, like toothbrushes and beer bottle openers, and things like that are getting smart. So, and it's all connected. You see Amazon, Alexa and Google Assistant really duking it out here to try to, you know, get into these devices, be the voice assistant for all these devices. And it's not a zero-sum game, because these devices are adding support for both of these major voice platforms. So, it's really exciting to see just the just the wide range of devices that we're seeing that are that have smarts and them.

Connie Guglielmo  4:20 

Wait, and I'll add one other thing that Google Amazon war over voice assistance. Let us yesterday to the Google booth where they have this Disneyland kind of ride with the animatronics. It's like “It's a small world” and it's intended to get you really comfortable with how Google Assistant is not this threatening, frightening thing that you should just adopt and embrace it in your life. And, and they say from the get-go of the ride that it's a cool ride, but it's also a marketing pitch. So, they're very self-aware. But it's super fun. And if you haven't gotten and seen it, it's right in the parking lot across the street.

Patrick Seitz  4:50 

So there's no big drops or loop de loops or anything? OK, good.

 

Mark Spoonauer  4:54 

I do think it's great that people have the choice now when they buy a TV or another device or smart speaker that you could just choose which smart assistant that you want. But in terms of like what's impressing me more of the two at this show between Google Assistant and Alexa, I think Google Assistant has a slight edge in terms of just being in more products. And I just feel like their ecosystem is feels a little bit more open, where I saw something at their booth where there was like a plug and play device for cars. That's really easy to use. And then there's like the smart clock alarm clock from a Lenovo. So, I just feel like the ecosystem is growing a little bit faster. Right now. They're getting more aggressive.

 

Patrick Seitz  5:30 

And plus, you see them all over the all over the show. Even in like third-party booths. You see the Google Assistant workers with they're all they're wearing all white with the little splashes of color. The beanie hats, right?

 

Sarah Brown  5:44 

So the war of the assistants, you know, Google versus Amazon, do you think anyone else is even in the game? Do you think that anyone else could pop up? Or really is it just a race to the finish for those two?

 

Patrick Seitz  5:55 

It was, you know, this was Apple’s game to lose, and they just don't show up to the show. And

 

Mark Spoonauer 6:02

They lost.

 

Patrick Seitz 6:03

They lost, you know. I mean it’s too bad.

 

Connie Guglielmo  6:06 

The assistant is in 23% of smart speakers, Alexa’s in 75. If you do the math that does not leave a lot space for the other players. So, Apple is shut out. I'll add that Google made a big announcement yesterday, where they extended the assistant and they added interpreter mode, which lets you talk to their smart device with the screen that's coming out soon in English, translates it into one of 70 something languages, writes the sentence that you've just said in that language. And so, you could be talking to someone else who does not speak that speech language, you don't understand it all. They can speak in that language. And you can hear what they said and read what they said.

 

Patrick Seitz  6:44 

Well no, it speaks it out too and it was amazing. That was a great, great.

 

Mark Spoonauer  6:51 

And you guys, you guys can see it right outside at Google's booth.

 

Connie Guglielmo  6:54 

After you take the Disneyland ride.

 

Charles Warner  6:56 

It's a small world.

 

Sarah Brown  6:59 

So, in terms of what you think, you know, for your readers that are in your new year, the rest of your audience following along at home. What do you think is really exciting the most in terms of what they're reading about, what they're seeing from here at the show?

 

Mark Spoonauer  7:11 

Well, one of those things, it's not something that's really materialized yet. But I think it's 5G. There's a lot of interest in 5G networking and what it's going to do for us. We saw a couple of presentations yesterday; one was from Verizon. And I was actually pretty inspired about the medical side of 5G, where they showed a hologram that there was someone who was doing brain surgery, and instead of like looking over at a screen, and then back to the patient, which actually makes me kind of nervous. They use the hologram of that person's brain was overlaid right on the person's head when the person was doing the surgery and they were wearing a HoloLens. That's incredible. And you cannot do that with 4G or even Wi Fi. Right.

So, it's stuff like that, that really inspires me. And then for consumers, a lot of people are like, Alright, so what is 5G going to do? For me? I think the best way to summarize it is like you get down before you go on a plane home next year, maybe you'll be able to download a 90-minute film in 10 seconds. Wow. So that that is the power of 5G. And so, like our readers want to know like, all right, what is this coming? When is it coming to phones and things like that?

 

Sarah Brown  8:09 

So, do you think that 5G will be disrupt, disrupting other industries in the same way that it has the potential to disrupt health?

 

Mark Spoonauer  8:17 

Home broadband, for sure, especially for people who are not happy with it? In fact, that's how Verizon started. They started with residential and then they're moving to mobile, but I don't know, what do you guys think?

 

Connie Guglielmo  8:26 

Yeah, I mean, I went to Magically been August before they announced their AR headset. If anyone hasn't seen it. I don't think it's at the show. But AT&T is a big investor in Magic Leap. Obviously, they're waiting for 5G so that their augmented reality experiences can have that instantaneous high quality, high-bandwidth display, and CNET's over at Tech West, where AT&T has a booth showing the operating table of the future, which is powered with the doctor wearing an AR headset over 5G doing a virtual surgery on a patient who's in another remote location and the doctors, they're following his lead and picking up the operation, you have to have ubiquitous, high-powered, high-quality connection to make that possible. But AT&T obviously invested in Magically but think their headset has a lot of potential from an industrial design perspective. But it's not going to happen without 5G.

 

Sarah Brown 9:23

So, what else is exciting your readers back home?

 

Patrick Seitz  9:24 

Well I wanted to add on 5G, I think the most exciting thing that I saw was basically the explanations, demonstrations of like machine-to-machine internet of things kind of communications and how that's going to impact self-driving cars. I mean, you can have cars on the freeway, as long as they can all can communicate with each other about where they are and how fast they're going. With low latency, which is something that 5G has, you know, you they can be driving at speed, you know, 65 miles an hour, and they really close together. I mean, that's the future that I want.

 

Charles Warner  9:58 

I think one of the things is that, like, there's always been tech and tech is cool, because tech does cool things. But I think it's coming home as far as like practical application, another words, tech, not just to be cool tech, but like it really is making our lives easier. And like I saw a connected bathtub. You know, like if anybody's got kids like little kids, and you worry about them in the bathtub, like it will tell you, you know if something's going wrong in there. And so just a lot of these technologies are making our lives easier, making us more secure, making us I guess, in a way happier. So, I think that's, that's the cool thing is that the tech is coming home and it's and it's easy to use.

 

Sarah Brown 10:40

I have not in the back. [inaudible]

 

Connie Guglielmo  10:44 

I would I would also add picking up on the LG demo of the rollable OLED display 65 inches. It's the precursor to foldable screens, and we're going to start seeing foldable phones Mobile World Congress at the end of next month, Corning has been working on a technology called Willow which is thin as a $1 bill that you can roll up and then shape so that you can make any surface basically a display and wrap it around buildings. But the fact that LG, which we're not going to be able to afford that OLED TV, we were taking bets on what it's going to cost $15,00 - $25,000 dollars.

 

Connie Guglielmo  11:18 

They're putting it in production, which means that it's going to be manufactured, which means that foldable screen technology is coming. So those things are not. And by the way, they're not going to be hard fold, this still has to be a bend, we're still at the beginning, but that now that it's getting into production, that means that will start to see it and devices and and other things in the near future.

 

Mark Spoonauer  11:37 

There's actually there is a foldable phone here at CES. It's called Flex Pi. And it's from a Chinese company and we have a hands-on Tom's Guide, I had a chance to go hands-on with it. And people were like, OK, so what's the point of a foldable phone screen. And this particular case it starts is like a regular phone, think of like a clam shell, but in reverse. And then when you unfold it, it's 7.8 inches. So, it's basically a phone that becomes a tablet and vice versa when you want it, right. So that could be great for watching movies and things like that. I don't know about battery life when you have something that's so huge, and thin and rollable. But the company says that it's rated for 200,000 bends, so it opens and closes. So, they’re the first but Samsung will be next.

 

Sarah Brown  12:19 

So, tell me more about artificial intelligence. We've talked about it a little bit. I'm seeing it everywhere. Where do you think its applications are most useful, most successful?

 

Patrick Seitz  12:34 

Healthcare? I mean, the thing about artificial intelligence is that’s a term that's been branded around a lot and, and what the most important applications are those that really, you know, push the boundaries of what's possible, as opposed to, you know, saying a voice assistant has artificial intelligence, you know, I'm in there. Yeah, you could say that. But, but something like healthcare where artificial intelligence is able to read a X ray more accurately, you know, for possible cancer than the doctor can, I mean that that's great stuff.

 

Connie Guglielmo  13:12 

And you're seeing a lot of AI in this new generation of health tech. I don't know the mentioned that. There's a lot of devices that are incorporating blood pressure monitors, and EKG is following the Apple Watch Series 4. There's one on, Whiting's has one for $130 bucks that has an analog clock display, but it's actually an EKG. And they're collecting data to do predictive analytics for you, right, so that they can start collecting data about you pump it into an app, then you might be sending it to the doctor. So, the if this the that, predictive technologies of the data that they're collecting, and so I mean, AI is the underpinnings of a lot of this technology, smart speakers, I mean, voice assistants are all about collecting data, and doing predictive analytics. But that's it's application in the health tech stuff, which we're seeing, you know, really just ramping up as people start experimenting with form factors, which device are you going to want, but it's all about data. That's what's underpinning all of these devices,

 

Patrick Seitz  14:11 

Right, and large amounts of data. I mean, healthcare, and particularly, I mean, with the device of wearable devices, were able to generate a lot of data by what's going on with your body, and AI is able to figure out kind of what it all means.

 

Mark Spoonauer  14:25 

Well one of the big trends at the show when it comes to AI is 8K televisions, right? So certainly, you know, four times the resolution to 4k, even though there is no 4k content out there. That's native and there's no AK either, right? So, but the idea …

 

Sarah Brown  14:37 

Not yet, not yet!

 

Mark Spoonauer  14:38 

But the idea with here's where AI comes into play, a lot of these TVs have AI chips, and they can upscale 4k content to 8k. I saw one demo where there was a picture of a cat that came on the screen. And I actually jumped back. I was like, “Is this in the room with me?” That that's how sharp it is when you walk up close to an AK TV. But it's also in other devices that we use every day like so like the Google Pixel to phone uses AI in the night site mode when you're taking a picture in the dark. And it actually knows what that object is. So Oh, that stop sign is red. So I got much better picture from the Pixel 3 this Christmas in low light because of AI.

 

Connie Guglielmo  15:18 

And we're seeing it in smart home devices, like the cameras at your front door, where you can have photos of the people that are allowed to come to your door, the door automatically unlocks, facial recognition technology because the cameras have gotten so better coupled with AI. I know that you're friendly, I’ll unlock the door and let you into my house. I mean, that's all AI underpinnings taking advantage of evolving tech.

 

Charles Warner  15:43 

Yeah, I really like the predictive like what you mentioned right there, like it's getting easier and easier. And so now things are suggesting stuff. And I'm like, Yeah, that's a good idea. You know, OK, and I don't know, at what point we jumped the shark. But for now, it's kind of fun, you know?

 

Sarah Brown  15:58 

You know, I think it is scary though.

 

Connie Guglielmo  16:01 

Duplex, which is the technology that Google introduced, or announced last year that they were going to test where their AI would make phone calls on your behalf and like call up your doctor, your hairdresser, a restaurant, and make appointments for you raised all sorts of ethical issues about whether they should let the person on the other end know that they were talking to an AI. And that, you know, that starts a whole conversation about where this stuff is going on.

Terminator land, but I think that's why the backlash against duplex which they announced in March or April, you guys can fact check me on that led to them doing a Disneyland demonstration about Oh, how happy it is when you talk to the Google Assistant. And it can make a phone call and order your grandma's birthday cake for you or tell you Oh, you seem to be a little low on this or that or it's raining today might want to take an umbrella, right to try to make it less scary and less, you know, invasive and intrusive. So, you don't go to surveillance, you know, society Big Brother, but to, Oh helpful, friendly, you know, assistant.

 

Sarah Brown  17:05 

So, one of the things that we've been talking a lot this year at CES 2019 is that every company kind of has to become a tech company. So that being said, what's the most unexpected product launch that you've seen this year?

 

Patrick Seitz  17:20 

That's an easy one for me, and it's unconventional for CES, but the Impossible Burger to 2.0. That was incredible. Yeah, got it got the sample that and it really does taste like meat. But that's, uh, yeah, along with like Procter and Gamble, and some other kind of unconventional tech companies that we're seeing at CES, it makes things more interesting.

 

Mark Spoonauer  17:42 

One of the cooler things that I saw that I didn't try out, but one of my colleagues did, they're seeing a lot more beauty tech at the show. So, I think it was L'Oreal, where they had a face scanner, where so imagine you go into a Sephora, there's a face scanner that they scan your face and then it gives you all these attributes for your skin. And it says based on your skin and the profile that we just pulled up on you, here are the products that are here in our store right now that are good for your for your face. And that that takes …

 

Sarah Brown  18:08 

Really make make my life easier.

 

Connie Guglielmo  18:11 

I think about these connected devices; the beauty tech is a trigger. Somebody's going to look at that and say yeah, that's the thing that's going to get me to want a smart mirror or smart device. But other people will say no, I don't care. And so, then when you start looking at devices in the context of our is that the device going to be the trigger that convinces you to buy into this tab? So that's why you're seeing this year, a lot of snoring technology, masks and belts that that you know wake you up or not wake you up, give you a little nudge and vibration to stop you from storing. Because maybe you're not interested in what your pores look like or wrinkles. But oh my gosh, you want somebody to stop your partner to stop snoring or maybe your partner wants you to stop snoring. And that might be the trigger that gets you to buy.

We saw the Full Domain, which was here last year, it's a laundry folding machine. And I was doing tours. And I was like oh yeah, want $1,000 to fold your laundry, you still have to put it in. I don't think I want it my house. But maybe in the future laundry services, Gap. You know that sort of their retail exacts folding shirts and putting them back. Maybe they're in changing rooms, at you know, clothing stores, you take off the thing and you put it in the machine and folders. So, the clerks can put it away, but it's machines doing automated tests, what's the trigger? That's going to get you to say, I'm not concerned about the data and analytics, because I really want you to solve that problem for me.

 

Charles Warner  19:30 

I think I think you hit the nail on the head, like every company now has to consider themselves a tech company. You know, whether they're whether they're here or not, like you hear like Dominos Pizza when I don't think they're here. But they say they're a tech company, right? I mean, they're not a pizza company, their tech company. And like you mentioned, you know, Procter and Gamble, I saw John Deere. And I think that I think that it's not just tech, but a big thing that I'm starting to see all over, especially in smart home is sustainability.

Sustainability is starting to come to the forefront for a lot of these brands were before. I don't think they really cared about it or it wasn't important, but you're starting to see it on their branding, you're starting to see it in their, you know, their displays, like sustainability is starting to become something that matters to consumers. And I think it matters to the to the companies as well.

 

Connie Guglielmo  20:15 

Yeah, Procter and Gamble's 163-year-old company. It's the first time ever at CES.

 

Sarah Brown  20:20 

Yep, yes, it is. So, I think we're just about to run out of time. So, I'd love to go through and everyone say the one word that they think has described this year CES 2019.

 

Mark Spoonauer  20:31 

For me, it's 5G.

 

Connie Guglielmo  20:35 

Smart.

 

Charles Warner  20:36 

Robots.

 

Patrick Seitz  20:38 

I'd say 5G.

 

Sarah Brown  20:40 

Thank you guys so much. I appreciate you being here with us.

 

Charles Warner  20:44 

Thank you.

 

Tyler Suiters  20:48 

OK, now you still have time to be CES ready, and we're here to help. You can download the CES app, you can build your personal agenda, highlight your favorite exhibitors and speakers. You can also say sink in time across all your devices, and new this year, you can connect to your LinkedIn accounts and see which connections of yours are also in Las Vegas at CES.

The show runs through this Friday, January 11. Here in Las Vegas, the information you need is at CES.tech.
As always, none of this is possible without our podcasting stars: producer Tina Anthony and engineer John Lindsey. You all are the best in the business. Thanks so much for being with us here at CES. I'm Tyler Suiters. Let's talk tech again soon.

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