2019

#zfexperts

Scouting New Technologies at CES 2019

Min Reading Time

As expected, CES 2019 was overwhelmed with cool new technologies. As trend scouts from ZF’s IT Innovation we were able to get a first-hand look at some of the technologies.
January 25, 2019
author_image
Nastasja Rittling, Codie Sondesky and Marc Dohm work in IT Innovation. As trend scouts, they identify IT technologies to spark new ideas within ZF by embracing emerging innovations.
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is known for its out-of-this-world, futuristic gadgets that attract thousands of people to the event. This year, the trends to dominate the news were Artificial Intelligence, 5G, and 8K. One of the booths that received a lot of attention was LG’s breathtaking display, which featured rollable OLED screens and a massive curved installation made up of more than 250 TV’s.

New Mobility Concepts

New Mobility Concepts

Interested in owning a flying motorbike? Hoversurf presented a flying motorbike that they will sell for $150,000. It can fly 10-25 minutes with a single rider or up to 40 minutes with remote control in the drone mode. Even the Dubai police force has integrated this device into their fleet; however, they will need to extend the range for successful chases and commercial use.

Bell Flight showed their 'Nexus Air Taxi' which looks futuristic and quite similar to helicopters in the movie 'Avatar'. Bell expects the device to be available for commercial use in 2025.

Electrafly presented their 'Personal Flight Vehicle’, which looks pretty awesome, if only the legal prerequisites weren’t missing. The range is an impressive 20-30 miles but with a price tag of $400,000 it probably will not become the new way to commute between work and home anytime soon.

Voice Processing and Translation

Voice Processing and Translation

Augmented Humanity is a mega-trend that aims to aid or enhance human behavior. Translating technology falls within this category and several companies at CES have promising solutions.
When two people talk to each other without a common language, another device coupled with a smartphone provides translation to one person via earphone and to the other via transcript (text on display). WT2 Plus is an AI-powered translation system using voice algorithms and machine learning technology. The WT2 Plus device allows for "real-time" natural communication, regardless of language barriers and supports up to 36+ languages with 95% translation accuracy. The device uses a combination of a mobile app and two earphones, with battery life lasting up to 15 hours.
Codie sees the WT2 Plus as the most impressive product in this field: “During the demo the device was connected to a crowded WiFi network and even with the noise from the convention, there was minimal latency. I also had a very accurate conversation with the other person speaking Chinese, while I responded in English.”

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality

What would CES 2019 be without augmented, virtual, and mixed reality wearables? Nreal showcased mixed reality glasses weighing only 85g with an external processing pack using Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and running Android, with SDK available on Unity and Unreal engine. Vivid optics and SLAM-based environmental AI are used for a more immersive experience. Nreal also has a 52-degree field of view and 3 hours of battery life.
Teslasuit offers suits with haptic feedback, motion capture, climate control and biometric systems in order to complete the missing senses in virtual reality. The suit can read body data and simulate predefined conditions that can be used for many applications such as more cost-efficient training in hazardous environments or to simulate living in space for astronauts.

Blockchain

Blockchain

In the realm of blockchain, CTO of French company Neurochain explained their use of 'smart applications' instead of 'smart contracts'. These smart applications use an algorithm for AI based transaction analysis (to get content awareness), that recommends further action. A human can confirm, adapt or deny these recommendations before they are added to the blockchain. This allows flexibility and users do not have to describe every possible circumstance in advance like you have to do with 'smart contracts'. In contrary to other blockchain technologies they claim performance is limited only by network speed!

5G

5G

Companies like Qualcomm recognize the inevitable arrival of 5G. Qualcomm presented their 5G Snapdragon chip for carmakers plus their integration platform. As AT&T rolls out 5G in major US cities, Ford will continue their 5G based test drives in the city of Las Vegas for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication. At CES, Ford announced that all of their car models will have the Snapdragon chip by 2020.
As these new products and concepts become more of an everyday reality, big changes and new opportunities can be expected in the way humans work, live, and interact with the environment. Brace yourselves for 2019!