CES 2019 Liveblog Day 2: Tuesday’s News and Photos, Live From Las Vegas – WIRED

Looking for live updates from CES? Find our Wednesday liveblog here. Also be sure to check out our photo galleries filled with the best things we’ve seen at the show so far: Day one, day two.

Goodnight, CES!

That’s a wrap for Tuesday’s liveblog. Scroll down to see the full day’s report from the expo floor here in Las Vegas. We’ll be back here tomorrow morning at 7am PST to continue the constant stream of fiery hot gadgets.

Here’s some of the biggest news out of CES 2019 so far:

It Me

When you play one of the videogames from EA Sports (baseball, soccer, UFC … yacht racing?) you’ll notice the players in the game look astonishingly like their real-world counterparts. You’ve probably wondered “How do they do that?” Well, here’s the answer. This hemispherical rig—what the EA folks use in their “capture lab”—features a ridiculous array of Canon cameras. The player (or whoever) sits on the stool, then the system captures their head and face from multiple angles at once. The game developers can then stitch together an accurate portrait of the athlete and drop them into the game.—Michael Calore

Future Fabrics

When you think of the Consumer Electronics Show, innovative textiles may not come to mind. The North Face wants to change that. The company showed us its new Futurelight fabric that was developed in-house. It promises to deliver the holy grail of being waterproof and breathable, and they’re confident enough in it that they’ve given it to climbers on some of the most dangerous mountains on earth, like Everest, to test it. It feels thinner and makes less noise (the dreaded crumple sound) than other waterproof materials, and it’s breathable enough that The North Face was able to get rid of vents in its outer layer jackets that use the material. We haven’t been able to take a hike in it yet, but The North Face is going all in. It will debut in jackets, but could be in gloves, boots, tents, and who knows what else in the coming years.—Jeffrey Van Camp

Kitchen Aid

Amy Lombard

The kitchen is one of the best places for a smart display with Google Assistant built in. It can answer simple questions about measurements and stream videos, or give you hands-free step-by-step recipe directions. Unfortunately, kitchens are a dangerous place for an electronic screen. There’s a lot of water splashing around and our hands are always gunked up with one thing or another. KitchenAid’s Smart Display has a 10-inch screen and most everything else you’d expect, but it’s built durably, with IPX5 water and dust resistance. The company even encourages you to clean it in the sink if you need to. It will be fine (though please, unplug it first). All Google displays will get the Yummly app soon, but since KitchenAid owns it, owners will get premium access to it first, as well. The KitchenAid Smart Display should hit shelves later this year for a “competitive” price around $200 or above, representatives say.—Jeffrey Van Camp

Hey, Alexa

If you don’t want a house full of Echo Dots, Legrand (a French company that now owns Netatmo) is all ears. It’s showing off several smart light switch designs that talk directly to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Just say “Alexa” and they light up just as you’d expect, even if you yell across the room, thanks to far-field microphones. Several versions, like this one, are Europe-bound, but there will be US versions coming soon.—Jeffrey Van Camp

Ahead of the Curve

Baby Maker

The Ava fertility tracking bracelet isn’t new, but the second iteration is much sleeker and easier to wear than the first. People who are trying to conceive no longer have to laboriously pee on sticks to detect the presence of luteinizing hormones. Instead, they can painlessly wear the bracelet while they’re sleeping, to track factors like resting pulse rate and heart rate variability ratio to identify up to five fertile days per cycle with up to nine discreet, silent alarms. The new Ava app will also connect users to a community of women who are also trying to conceive and continues tracking throughout pregnancy. Global brand manager Sonja Lutz tells me that Ava celebrates around 40 pregnancies per day.—Adrienne So

Call the Doctor

Step aside, WebMD (and frantic Googling). Tytocare is a telehealth kit with sensors like a camera, otoscope, tongue depressor, and stethoscope to conduct in-home exams. An app guides the worried parent through the exam, lets them enter symptoms, and record a short video to send to a clinician within the Nationwide telehealth network. Response time varies between 10 to 30 minutes. No more taking a day off work to drag your sick kid to a germ-infested waiting room!—Adrienne So

Target Practice

“Why the Nerf guns?” I thought, while exploring some of the latest sensors for autonomous cars. Turns out perceiving a nerf projectile is a viewed as a great test for the abilities of a lidar system, thanks to WIRED’s Alex Davies and his in-house experiments. Here’s Aeye proving the point.—Jack Stewart

Aww, Bots!

Meet the cute Samsung Bots. These robots are designed to be companions to people to help from everything from tracking sleep, taking your medication to calling 911 if you fall. While Samsung has designed them with features that anyone could use—it plays music, dances with you and can give you a daily rundown of what you have for the day—the company has focused it more on having it be with a family member who may need some extra care. Medical professional and family can program the robot remotely with exercises, reminders to take medication and even take blood pressure and heart rate. So watch out nurses, this blinking robot may be your next competitor.—Meghann Farnsworth

Flex Zone

For years, smartphones have been big slabs of glass—but the future is flexible. Chinese maker Royole is one of the first companies with a fully bendable AMOLED smartphone, called the FlexPai. It starts as an 8-inch tablet of sorts, and works pretty well, but if you fold it back like a piece of paper, you can use it as a phone.

The screens on the front and back work like any Android phone (mostly), and Royole has chosen to put some notifications and other features on the bendy part. The models I tried were already a bit beat up from the hoard of greasy CES hands that have been folding them all day, and the interface had some had some trouble quickly transitioning between screens, depending how you hold it, but the idea here is fun. Royole says it will try to launch the phone in Europe and the United States this year, though it’s easier said than done for a manufacturer new to the country. Either way, flexible AMOLED displays are finally getting more real, and that’s exciting.—Jeffrey Van Camp

Rain or Shine

At the intersection of weather and AI sits IBM, which at CES announced that it would use crowdsourced sensor data and in-flight readings from aircraft to create the most accurate forecasts yet. The gains should apply especially to currently underserved areas, where weather models can take up to 12 hours to update and cover as much as 10 square miles of ground. By contrast, IBM’s Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting System will use supercomputer data-crunching to give hourly updates to areas that span less than two square miles. The timing is auspicious; the IBM-owned Weather Company faces a lawsuit for allegedly sharing user location data with advertisers. But for people who live in remote locations without reliable weather information, it could be a boon.—Brian Barrett

Throwing Shades

Amy Lombard

What does a former Magic Leap engineer do after he’s left the company? Produce a competing pair of AR glasses, natch. (And ship it a lot more quickly.) Nreal is a Beijing-based company that showed off its new pair of lightweight AR glasses last night. The colorful shades have a top-down projection system that’s built into the bridge of the nose. The display has a 52-degree field of view and the projected graphics are surprisingly crisp. The imagery is also volumetric, not just a 2D, “flat” overlay projected into space. And of course: Nreal works with an Android-based hip pack, which powers the graphics.

Nreal CEO Chi Xu, the former Magic Leap engineer, declined to share how exactly much these glasses will cost when they ship in the third quarter of this year, but he likened the probable price point to that of a high-end smartphone. Xu also said he believes that in general, AR glasses will be “much more promising compared to virtual reality. It’s the same benefits of VR, without losing control of your life.”—Lauren Goode

Follow Along

¿Lo Entiendes?

Google

Google is trying to outsource another human-to-human interaction to its AI-powered Assistant: the kind that occurs between a person who works in hospitality and a guest who speaks a different language. A new feature in Google Assistant, called Interpreter Mode, turns the virtual assistant into a real-time language translator between two people who are trying to chat in the same physical space. It starts rolling out today on Google-powered smart displays and smart speakers.

I saw a demo here in Las Vegas. A concierge at Caesar’s Palace, one of the early beta testers of the feature, was approached by a German “tourist” (really, a German-speaking Google employee) and asked about show tickets. The concierge turned to a Google Home Hub and, using voice, prompted the Assistant to go into German interpreter mode. The concierge and guest had a back-and-forth conversation, with the Assistant translating, and tickets were procured. Read the full story.—Lauren Goode

Beat Reporter

Amy Lombard

EKG biometrics company B-Secur just announced the launch of HeartKey, its suite of identification and wellness algorithms. One of the more interesting applications is a steering wheel technology, which could be used to detect when drivers are too tired or stressed out to be on the road and warn them to take a rest.—Adrienne So

Gas Gauge

Amy Lombard

Weight loss can be frustrating, especially since a menu that got results one week might not work the next. The Lumen is a small device that you breathe into every morning. It measures your metabolic fuel usage after yesterday’s meals, sleep, and activities, and gives you recommendations for meals and snacks. Have doubts? Multiple validation studies, including one at San Francisco State University, have verified Lumen’s method. If you preorder on Indiegogo, you’ll be able to try it for yourself by mid-2019.—Adrienne So

Stream Dream

Vizio is showing off a lot of televisions at CES this year, as expected. The displays look lovely but I really like that they’re also compatible with Google Home, Alexa, and Apple AirPlay 2. All three methods of tossing content to the set appear to work as expected, which makes Vizio one of the most flexible TVs for cord cutters.—Jeffrey Van Camp

Punching Up

Ride On

Amy Lombard

We’ve seen a lot of products aimed at the differently-abled, but none were more surprising than the Onewheel. Their latest iteration, with updated Gemini firmware, allows users to customize their ride completely. At a press preview, we met Derrick Ross, who got his updated Onewheel XR+ through the Adaptive Training Foundation (ATF). Derrick lost his leg during a roadside bombing in Afghanistan and now rides a Onewheel to help him maneuver, pain-free, through his house; barrel down massive mountains; and recapture some of the freedom and exhilaration of movement that he had before he was injured.—Adrienne So

Feel the Burn

Toying Around

Amy Lombard

There are plenty of toys that purport to teach younger children to code with markers, cubes or blocks. But the Hack computer is aimed at entertaining and educating the older and more sophisticated tween set. It’s a safe, ad-free, virus-resistant, and most importantly, real ASUS laptop that uses the Linux-based Endless Operating System to let kids learn about coding in a playful and friendly way, with a subscription service that gives kids access to colorful, hackable games and stories.—Adrienne So


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