CES 2018

Architecture

CES’ sexism problem is about more than booth babes and pink robots

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CES is a place of extremes. Each year, tech companies big and small spare no expense in coming up with bizarre ways to showcase their (often relatively mundane) gadgetry: massive tunnels made of huge OLED displays, home appliances with built-in assistants, and weird concept cars unlikely to make it far beyond the Las Vegas Convention Center floor.

But, peer behind the over-the-top displays of headline-grabbing “innovation,” and there’s a troubling truth that should come as little surprise to anyone in the industry: CES still fuels the sexist narratives so many have worked to change over the last year.  Read more…

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Business

The robots of CES are a joke

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The robots of the future are, well, still figuring things out.

That was the overwhelming takeaway from CES, the world’s largest tech convention, held this past week in Las Vegas. From a laundry-folding bot that couldn’t fold laundry, to an AI-powered helper that refused to help, to an in-home mechanical maid that kept dropping stuff, the dream of robotic friends making our lives easier is clearly a long way off. 

But apparently no one bothered to communicate that fact to the exhibitors and companies showcasing their latest contributions to the technology-fueled utopian delusion that is CES. Both corporate behemoth and niche manufacturer alike demoed a series of robots that, while (for the most part) slickly packaged, failed to deliver on their core promise — whatever it happened to be.  Read more…

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Entertainment

Netflix’s new show about AI is blowing people’s minds – literally

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Altered Carbon, Netflix’s new sci-fi thriller, is set in a futuristic world with limitless potential. Immortality is finally attainable—for the very wealthy, at least—thanks to AI tech that can download a person’s consciousness and memories to a new body. 

Given the show’s hyper techie premise, CES was the perfect venue for Netflix to hold an exclusive pre-screening event. Mashable Brand X was onsite to capture audience reactions to Altered Carbon. We predict the rest of us will be happily binge watching this new sci-fi series when it drops on Feb 2.  Read more…

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Business

Augmented reality windows are here to turn you into a life-sized hologram

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Augmented reality doesn’t need to be confined to your phone screen or a pair of glasses — it can be life-sized.

That’s what one company is proving with its massive augmented reality windows that let you view mixed reality without donning a headset or firing up a special app.

Called DeepFrame, the massive curved displays create life-sized projections that appear as if they are overlaid onto the world around you. 

Created by Danish company RealFiction, the displays are surprisingly simple. Each one consists of a single piece of clear 64-inch glass that’s made with specially designed optics that are able to reflect an image that’s projected from a normal display, like a television or monitor.  Read more…

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Business

Here’s what Uber for the skies might feel like

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Ride-sharing has disrupted transportation in many cities, and not always for the better. Some surveys show services like Uber and Lyft actually add to the congestion in urban areas, with more cars on the road competing for the same amount of road space.

To solve the problem, many are looking to the skies. After Ehang captivated CES two years ago with its passenger drone, Uber put a stake in the clouds by publishing a white paper on airborne mobility solutions — essentially air taxis — in 2017. 

Most famously, Dubai is working with EHang to develop a drone taxi service to take people (and a couple of pieces of luggage) along various fixed routes within the city. Read more…

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Business

Fisker’s luxury electric car hits Tesla where it hurts

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Picture the Distracted Boyfriend internet meme, where the boyfriend is a Tesla owner and the girlfriend is the Model S.

The other woman? That’s gotta be the Fisker EMotion.

The all-new Fisker Inc. debuted its luxury electric car, the EMotion, at CES 2018, and it’s a beauty. Fisker’s sporty sedan would look completely in its element pulling up next to a Corvette or Porsche. But this a car made for the future, with equal attention paid to brains as well as looks: The EMotion will ship with an advanced autonomous driving system, and the battery — planned for a 400-mile range — will allow ultra-fast charging. Read more…

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Architecture

What it’s like to ride in a self-driving Lyft

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Riding in a self-driving Lyft car is way more boring than you’d expect. But that’s really the point.

The ride, which I took on the streets of Las Vegas at the outset of CES 2018, was only remarkable in how mundane it was. Turns, lane changes, braking for red lights, accelerating for green — it was all pretty much the same as if a human were doing the driving. Well, if it weren’t for the display on the dash showing a LiDAR-constructed view of the streets around us, and the robotic female voice that would occasionally chime in with a “lane change checking” or some other status update.

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Tech

Uber taps Nvidia for its self-driving vehicle fleet

 Uber has picked Nvidia as one of its key technology partners in its fleet of self-driving, specifically to provide the AI computing aspects of its autonomous software. The partnership is one that has been in development for a while now, including in its very first test Volvo XC90 SUVs, which followed the introduction of its program using modified Ford sedans. Uber has used Nvidia’s GPUs… Read More

Tech

Google has planted its flag at CES

 Google’s here, and it’s planning something big. The company’s presence is impossible to miss as you drive down Paradise Road toward the Las Vegas Convention Center. Like much the rest of the show, the company’s parking lot booth is still under construction today, but the giant, black and white “Hey Google” sign is already hanging above it, visible from… Read More

Architecture

Faraday Future is the ultimate CES cautionary tale

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It was the “first of a new species.” It was going to change the game. It both was, and maybe was not, a car. It was the talk of CES. But that was then. 

Now, almost a year after Faraday Future unveiled the FF 91 at CES in January 2017, the would-be electric car manufacturer that sought to challenge Tesla has come close to crashing and burning. And while much has been written about the unfulfilled promises and stumbles of the company, its frothy CES showcase speaks to a much larger truth about the biggest consumer tech show in the world: Don’t believe the hype. 

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