Big Takeaways from CES, Part 3

Ed Wenck | Jan 30, 2019

Here’s part three of the CEDIA Tech Council’s thoughts on CES 2019 in Las Vegas. We’ve distilled a series of takeaways from the podcasts from the show for several quick reads, as well as a “recap” show that was taped a week after the Consumer Electronic Show wrapped up. 

Look for control panels to take on new, aesthetically-pleasing forms. Rich Green (Rich Green Designs, Palo Alto, CA), is taken by a device from a company called MUI. They’ve introduced a control panel that looks like nothing more advanced than a block of wood. “It looks like a two by four that's sanded down really nice and stained pretty,” says Green. “But when it activates, there's a glow that comes from behind the surface, which makes it a touch-panel interface. It's a soft and appealing kind of an interface. You're touching a piece of wood.” Think of the various form factors here that could really blend into a room’s décor.

Adaptable TV screens will deliver multiple streams of content. Bigger screens, flexible screens, modular screens, screens that can cover an entire wall with panels that are doing different things at once, taking on different aspect ratios, name it. They’re all here. Kris Hogg, one of the folks at Samsung who’s intimately involved with developing that firm’s large-format screen technology (dubbed “The Wall”), notes, “We’re able to play with the form factor. A TV screen doesn’t have to have an aspect ratio of 16:9, It can be 23:1 if you’d like. Additionally, you can have a TV playing in one part, a ‘newspaper’ appearing in another part, shopping lists, weather reports, the feed from your doorbell – all arranged to fit the space at hand.”

Your brain will soon control devices on its own. Rich Green describes a demo from a firm called Brain Robotics (a subsidiary of Brainco): “They had a calligraphy demonstration going on with these big beautiful Japanese brushes and Japanese inks on paper and there was this gentleman there who was doing these beautiful calligraphy drawings. He's an amputee. What he was doing was through his brain; he was controlling a prosthetic arm that was manipulating a calligraphy brush.” The impact here for outfitting a home to help anyone with health or mobility challenges live independently is remarkable.