Grouvy Today Awards at CES 2019: let's be friends


CES is perhaps best known for its show, the big showcase of products that you will probably never see outside of CES, let alone purchase.

This year, things were a bit different in the CES showroom. Of course, there were a lot of shows and silly stuff – you only have to go to the bathroom with Alexa to say it – but there were also a lot of useful iterations about the ideas we've been seeing at CES since years. Instead of crazy new technologies, complicated buzzwords and concepts that will never materialize, we have seen more real products that people will be able to buy and use in the coming year.

The most significant trend of the year may have been a unique sense of business cooperation, which allowed for greater interoperability of services and devices on a larger scale than we had seen before. Just look at Apple's services showing Samsung, Sony, LG and Vizio TVs or smart gadgets for the home that do not work with a single virtual assistant. Many can be controlled by Alexa, Google Assistant and Amazon's HomeKit.

This means that instead of competing on material exclusivity, companies must compete on the quality and functionality of their services, thus offering better experiences to consumers. It's a victory for us.

Of course, at the time of the next CES or next two editions, new services and exclusive features lock users with specific hardware, and we will return to the origin. But until then, we have a little freedom of choice. -Dan Seifert

Photo by Chris Welch / Grouvy Today

Best in show:

MicroLED was the main theme of TVs at CES this year, even if it's been a few years. The biggest supporter of MicroLED technology is Samsung, which uses it to create a 75-inch 4K TV built from modular panels. You can rearrange these panels as puzzle pieces to create different shapes and sizes of display. You can even stack them on a vertical screen to view Instagram Stories, if you really want to.

All this is possible thanks to the small size of MicroLEDs, which, like OLEDs, do not require separate backlights and can be used in very thin panels. They also have image quality that rivals OLED due to the lack of backlight, but the claim is that they have none of the longevity issues they face.

The 75-inch TV is only the first of Samsung's MicroLED TVs to arrive. But at the same time next year, we will probably see many options invade the high end of the television market. -Dan Seifert

Picture of Vjeran Pavic / Grouvy Today

Best laptop:

What if buying a large, large gaming laptop did not mean that you had to go with a big shutdown once your aging components did not play the latest games? For years, we have dreamed of gaming PCs with processors and scalable graphics processors. Alienware Area-51m is really trying to realize this reality. This 17.3-inch notebook can not only be configured with a Core i9-9900K desktop processor and Nvidia RTX 2080 mobile graphics cards, which are some of the fastest gaming components available, but it is designed for you to can easily disassemble it yourself and upgrade it. from among them as well as storage and RAM. Alienware admits that it does not know if the future chips of Nvidia and AMD will be compatible with its modular cards, but it agrees to adapt if it is physically and electrically possible. It's the closest we've ever seen to the dream come true. -Sean Hollister

Photo of Vlad Savov / Grouvy Today

Best neganotch:

The war of the laptop glasses has reached its zenith. There is almost no room on our screens to even consider the addition of a webcam. Smartphones have solved this problem with the controversial notch, but at CES 2019, we began to see a different approach: the neganotch, which instead of adding a prominent black bar to a screen, s? adds above to host items such as the camera and everything in between. that you would need from there. The 13.9-inch HDR shaped glass display that Lenovo has incorporated into its new Yoga S940 is a stellar upgrade, but it's the neganotch that's the icing on the cake, allowing Lenovo to offer features such as Windows Hello and even advanced eye tracking without ruining the mine. bezel it reaches. –Chaim Gartenberg

Image: Samsung

Best monitor / display:

Monitors occupy a considerable amount of modern workspace, and Samsung is now trying to free up some of this workspace. The company's new space monitors can fold flat against a wall or cabinet, freeing up space when you're not using your PC. Samsung has created 27- and 32-inch models that allow you to cling to the surface of a desk and adjust to be pulled towards you or moved flat against a wall . If you have a small office or a small space, they look great. –Tom Warren

GIF by Chris Welch / Grouvy Today

Best TV:

A 65-inch wheel screen prototype that we saw at CES 2018 became a real LG Electronics TV a year later. This is quite impressive compared to the standards of the ETUC. Even more impressive is the TV itself, which puts LG's best-performing OLED technology in its most elegant form to date. after the company has already made a TV "wallpaper". It's an amazing screen that pops up when you're not looking at something and getting back from the base next time. Watching this process can be hypnotic – much like the 4K HDR picture quality of this TV. Just try not to think about the price it will cost once it goes on sale this spring. –Chris Welch

Picture of Chaim Gartenberg / Grouvy Today

Best gadget:

Effortlessly combine a party speaker, a karaoke machine, a snack table and beer cup holders in one device, the Sony Beer Speaker (also called GTK-PG10, if you're a cop) is completely ridiculous. But in one way or another, the design and features defined here manage to turn what should be a joke into something almost elegant: of course, it may be a speaker karaoke dedicated to beer, but it's really a speaker specially designed for holding beer. . And is not that what technology is? –Chaim Gartenberg

Picture of Dan Seifert / Grouvy Today

Best thing that now has a virtual assistant:

Of all the many things that Google has added Assistant to CES, from Sonos speakers to the oven vents, the most important has proven to be the product of Google. Putting Assistant in Google Maps seems like a minor thing, but it's a major Trojan for the iPhone. Millions of people have opened Google Maps when they drive. Surely millions of other people have bothered to install the wizard application on the iPhone. Now they are going to have Google Assistant face to face. I look forward to next year, when Google will finally realize that Google Maps has become too heavy and will come out something. Our vote is the text messaging feature. –Dieter Bohn

Image: Nvidia

Best game:

While many outgoing laptops and gaming computers were unveiled this year at CES, the most significant announcement is that of Nvidia's mobile RTX chips. While not as powerful as its high-end RTX desktop GPUs, the new trio of chips will deliver unprecedented performance to gaming notebooks that begin to ship with the 2060, 2070, or 2080 models later on. month. We are now close to the point where the delta between laptop and desktop gaming is narrowing to a negligible level, and Nvidia's steady growth for the first time delivers performance at 4K / 60 ips on portable machines battery powered. –Nick Statt

Image: Samsung

Best new Apple:

We thought an insolent privacy announcement might be Apple's biggest "presence" at CES, but the ads began. It all started with Samsung: an iTunes Movies and TV series application is coming to the company's TVs, as well as technical support for AirPlay 2. Sony, Vizio and LG have quickly published their own AirPlay 2 news, also adding the HomeKit integration. Sending content from your iPhone, iPad or Mac to the TV screen will be so much easier soon, provided you're ready for a TV upgrade.

The iTunes video application, apparently exclusive to Samsung TVs at the moment, is another telling clue that Apple has great ambitions for original content. –Chris Welch

Picture of Shannon Liao / Grouvy Today

Most CES:

If you dream of smart toilets with mood lighting and ambient sound of bird songs, then CES offers you the solution. The Kohler Intelligent Toilet Numi 2.0 could meet the fantasies of most people. It is compatible with the Alexa, so you can order him to empty or read the news when you are hands free.

Kohler promises a totally "immersive" experience and the bidet contributes to it. You can add a heated seat and, at the base, the swirling colors can match the RGB configuration of any player. CES has often aimed to surpass the competition by adding a voice assistant to an extravagant device and this smart toilet captures this spirit to the nth degree. –Shannon Liao

Image: Air Vinyl

The best thing that has not been at CES

Only an AirPods Fidget Spinner case called the ZenPod could bring The edgeThe press room is stopped. This is not a spinner as we usually think. Instead, it's an AirPod case with an integrated anodized aluminum pan with steel bearings. It costs more than $ 30, but look at this leather! In addition, it offers three color options: black leather with a black head, black leather with a silver head and brown leather with a silver head. We all want this affair as a matter of business and demand that the ETUC present itself next year. –Ashley Carman

Picture: Ikea

Best smart home:

Ikea was not at CES, but he still won a smart home win this week. The company that puts designer furniture within the financial reach of most people does the same for smart blinds. As of April 1st, Americans will be able to install their new Fyrtur blind in their home. With a price between 110 and 180 dollars in Europe, it is a fraction of the cost of the solutions proposed by the incumbents. They are also compatible with Ikea's expanding Tradfri range, including smart lighting, sockets, sensors and inexpensive switches, compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Imagine your blinds automatically lowering at sunset or waking up and you'll begin to understand our excitement, especially after Ikea's launch of its low-cost Sonos speakers this summer. The house of the future will be affordable, and it's almost here. –Thomas Ricker

Best robot:

My favorite thing about Lovot, a childish robot with big expressive eyes that follows you and asks to be kissed, is the pride with which its creators, Groove X, claim that it does nothing. At CES, virtually every gadget promises to be useful, but for a company that comes in and says, "Our robot is not useful. In fact, it will probably embarrass you, "feels revolutionary.

This does not mean that Lovot is not an advanced technology. Fifty sensors on his blurry body react to touch, the three cameras in his case can recognize up to 1,000 people and follow you so adorable, asking to be loved. It is quite possible to create an instant emotional connection with this robot, and that's its only goal.

Last year, the Best Robot Award was awarded to Sony's Aibo dog, which is further proof that we do not really want robots as promising as they can be useful. We just want them to be cute and safe with zero chance of a robot uprising. –Dami Lee

Photo of Vlad Savov / Grouvy Today

Best withdrawal:

Corsair has launched an Apple movement with this one. The gaming equipment manufacturer worked with a supplier to develop tiny RGB LEDs, and then essentially bought the production line. The assembly of a typical decorative LED has the size of a fingernail, but Corsair has reduced the space required to that of a pinhead. A hundred Capellix LEDs can be integrated into the space previously occupied by four conventional lamps. Capellix lamps are brighter, more efficient and easier to use.

LEDs are everywhere around us, from the microwaves timers to the stunning images from the latest Samsung or LG TV. In the world of video games, they have been pretty rudimentary and basic (and inexpensive!), And what Corsair did with its new piece of Capellix is ​​to turn these decorative LEDs into something much more sophisticated and refined. We will first see Capellix on memory sticks, quickly followed by wireless keyboards and mice, whose lighting will be much brighter and more complex than the one known until now. –Vlad Savov

The biggest lie:

The AT & T "5G E" icon is so flagrantly designed to confuse and deceive that it can sum up in three tiny letters all the fears of service operators' cruelty and lack of trust. wireless.

As we enter the 5G era, AT & T has decided to kick-start by tapping a fake 5G sticker on phones only connected to 4G LTE, supposedly to highlight Faster pockets of its wireless network … even though they are not so fast and seem to be overwhelmed by the speeds you will get from LTE on Verizon. This creates a horrible precedent and this means that as actual phones and 5G networks will be launched over the next year, it will be harder than necessary for consumers to determine what they actually get. –Jake Kastrenakes

Image: Byton

Highest screen / wheel ratio:

This was one of the years of slowing news for the CES automotive sector. Instead of a lot of new stuff, we ended up seeing many iterations and improvements. Take Byton, for example, a start-up from VE who made his big debut with an electric SUV at the show last year. The highlight in 2018 was the giant windshield that dominates the interior of the Byton SUV. This year, the company again showed that she had added another touch screen to the center console, bringing the total to at least five. (Who knows if other people could be added before production later this year?)

There are dozens of companies trying to reinvent what a car should look like if and when it becomes fully autonomous. One of the few to try to completely redefine this now. The startup's response involves many new technologies such as AI and facial recognition, but everything rests on a ton of pixels. It may not be your cup of tea. But that's about the most CES idea. –Sean O 'Kane