New decade, new tech: Innovations to watch at CES 2020

Get ready for faster connections, more immersive experiences, and a new era of planet-friendly devices.

By Garage Staff — January 6, 2020

This week, the technology world gathers in the desert at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the first of the new decade. The world’s largest showcase of its kind, CES attracts over 175,000 attendees who descend on Las Vegas to get the most comprehensive look at the newest tech trends and a peek into what the future will look like. 

Major innovations and conceptual prototypes across all industries will be on view, from transportation to entertainment to healthcare. Among the more than 4,500 exhibitors, HP will take part with new technology that sets the stage for a future with a reduced impact on the planet and more freedom and security to work and create on the go.

The products showcased at CES offer clues into everything from how we’ll do our jobs to how we’ll entertain ourselves in the coming decade. Here’s a look at the biggest trends at the start of the decade and how HP is leading the way.

“This year, our theme across everything we’re talking about is freedom.”

—Mike Nash, chief technologist and VP of customer experience and portfolio strategy, HP Inc.

Sustainability at the heart of tech design

As the clock ticks on the global climate crisis over the next decade, sustainable design will become table stakes for new tech products. CES features nearly 200 exhibitors in the category of sustainability this year, along with presentations from industry leaders on topics including energy efficiency and revolutionizing package design. 

“Recycled materials play a huge role in consumer tech sustainability,” says Marc Palatucci, a researcher at The Future Today Institute, an advisory firm that helps organizations plan for future risks and opportunities. “A big part of that is whether there is a system in place for a device to live out its life cycle and then be repurposed in some form or have materials broken down, redistributed, and put into other technologies in the future.”

HP — which recently topped Newsweek’s list of America’s most responsible companies — is approaching sustainability from a number of different angles, including ramping up its use of recycled plastic materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill, or worse, in the ocean. “We've used 35 million plastic bottles to date in this process, going into a variety of products,” says Ellen Jackowski, global head of sustainability strategy and innovation at HP.  

The HP Elite Dragonfly debuting at CES is the world’s first notebook containing ocean-bound plastic material. From its chassis to its bezel to its keyboard caps, inside and out, the designers behind these devices have transformed waste into beautifully made features — over 82% of the laptop’s mechanical parts are made from recycled material. 

And it’s not just hardware — soft accessories are also getting an eco-friendly makeover. “We’re thinking holistically about everything we're making,” says Jackowski. HP’s Renew Series, a variety of bags, totes, and protective sleeves designed to make carrying laptops and other gadgets both comfortable and stylish, uses recycled materials, including single-use plastic water bottles. The largest bag is crafted from up to 10 of them, while the HP Renew Sleeve is a laptop protector made from material that uses two plastic bottles and knit in a way that minimizes the amount of manufacturing waste it produces. Plus, its industrial-chic packaging is 100% compostable.

HP Renew laptop sleeve, backpack and tote bag against a colorful background of vibrant blue, green and yellow geometric shapes

courtesy of hp

HP’s Renew bags, totes, and protective sleeves are both comfortable and stylish, and made with recycled materials, including single-use plastic water bottles.

The long-awaited rise of 5G 

The much-anticipated rollout of 5G, the fifth and fastest generation of wireless cellular service, is becoming a reality this year for consumers. In the past two decades, each new advance in network connectivity has set in motion transformation across economies, industries, and in people’s everyday lives. For example, without the reliability and speed of the current generation of 4G and LTE connectivity, we wouldn’t be able to get around using rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, watch live streaming TV on the go, or connect to the internet from remote locations. 

With 5G, we’re on the precipice of major change, with speeds more than 600 times faster than 4G and the capacity to keep the ever-growing number of connected devices in our lives online without interruption and no lag time. Potential benefits span from remote surgery conducted from thousands of miles away to more realistic gaming experiences and movies that let viewers become characters within a scene. One of the first areas the exponentially enhanced speeds could make a difference: more accessible, sophisticated, and lifelike virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

“5G is going to make those sorts of features better,” says Jason Leigh, the research manager for mobility at the International Data Corporation. “Early on, it's going to be a lot of the immersive stuff, AR and VR and high-definition streaming, that are probably going to touch consumers first.” 

The technology also has the potential to revolutionize remote and mobile work — delivering powerful, high-speed connectivity without the unpredictability of Wi-Fi. At CES, HP will be rolling out its second-generation HP Elite Dragonfly, the world’s lightest compact business convertible and the first with 5G connectivity. You’ll be able to connect and download content at warp speed, no matter where you are. “You can download Netflix in a heartbeat if you’re going to catch a plane and realize you don’t have any movies to watch,” says Andy Rhodes, HP’s global head of commercial PCs. 

Plus the new laptop acts as a hotspot for the user as well as families or friends traveling together, which eliminates the headaches of unreliable Wi-Fi at hotel and airports, while for remote workers and business travelers can avoid unsecured public Wi-Fi connections at restaurants, lounges, and cafés.

courtesy of hp

HP is rolling out its second-gen HP Elite Dragonfly, the world’s lightest compact business convertible and the first to contain oceanbound plastics and with 5G connectivity.

Built-in security makes mobility safer 

Making sure your devices are secure is ever-more critical as new tech and features create a more connected world. And as mobile and remote work becomes the new normal, businesses need reliable ways to protect their data and devices. According to the 2019 Future Workforce report from Upwork, by 2028, 73% of all workplace departments will include remote workers. One of the security features HP is rolling out at CES is HP Sure View Reflect, the fourth generation of a screen filter that discourages shoulder surfers by obscuring on-screen information and allows you to work discreetly in a variety of lighting conditions. The integrated Sure View tech makes your screen look opaque to anyone viewing from the side, so it’s safer to review professional documents or write sensitive emails from a busy coffee shop or airplane.

HP also announced a collaboration with Tile, which specializes in Bluetooth-enabled tracking products that you can attach to your keys, smartphone, or anything important to you, and then use an app to track it down. The HP Elite Dragonfly will be the first laptop with Tile technology built in, making it easy to find if it’s lost or stolen. 

“It solves real problems our customers have every day,” says Rhodes. “It’s the only laptop — full stop — that is findable when it is online or off.”

courtesy of hp

The HP ENVY 32 All-in-One is geared toward everyday users and professionals alike who want to work, create, and consume content on a central hub.

Devices that work together

Digital technology will make the gadgets you use more accessible and easy to use. HP’s ENVY 32 All-in-One is a new desktop with a multi-device keyboard that can connect and sync seamlessly to your smartphone, making it easy to multitask with different devices from one central hub. The HP ENVY’s 32-inch screen — the world’s widest display for an all-in-one product — features edge-to-edge glass, an anti-reflection screen, and 10-bit color for intricate detail and immersive, lifelike visuals. The ENVY All-in-One also allows users to stream music directly from a smartphone to the audio system even if the PC is turned off, with sound accuracy and a deep bass designed for both everyday users and professionals.

All of the products and features HP is unveiling at CES share a common thread, according to Mike Nash, HP's chief technologist and VP of customer experience and portfolio strategy. “Our theme across everything we’re talking about is freedom,” he says. “We’re designing products to make our customers more free to do what they want to do.”