The CES trends about to transform your home, your health and your life

Autonomous cars, new frontiers for VR and AR, and a look at technology’s global impact at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show.

By The Garage Staff — January 17, 2019

Amid the sparkle of the slot machines and glittery marquees, something different lit up Las Vegas last week: CES, the annual International Consumer Electronics Show, where almost 200,000 people came to show off and scope out the technology of the future.

“This year was especially interesting because you see the convergence of technology with experience and humanity — from wearables to auto and immersive gaming to healthcare,” says Enrique Lores, president, imaging, printing and solutions at HP.

HP debuted new PC products with innovations in privacy, security and mobile working at this year’s show. HP executives were also onsite, touring the bustling showroom floor and speaking on topics such as personalization, gender equality and how virtual reality is transforming the retail shopping experience.

“It's not always about technology for the sake of technology,” says Karen Kahn, chief communications officer at HP. “I think people are getting on board with the fact that you can show up at a place like this and talk about not just the future, but things that actually make the world better.”

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends that emerged at CES 2019.

HP Chief Communications Officer Karen Kahn and Enrique Lores, HP's president, imaging, printing and solutions, check out Pillo, a home health robot.

Smart home and AI get even smarter

By the end of 2018, more than 40 percent of U.S. consumers owned some kind of voice-activated speaker that can tell them the weather forecast, turn on their lights or even print their boarding pass from a web-enabled printer. (HP debuted voice-integrated home printing at CES last year.) In 2019, smart home technology is poised to take connectivity to the next level, employing artificial intelligence for increased personalization and data tracking integration.

On the floor at CES, there were actual robots, of course — Fellow Robots demonstrated a customer service robot that also provides autonomous inventory management. But tomorrow’s AI is decidedly more invisible, integrating as seamless algorithms into products from TVs to vacuums to pill dispensers. Pillo (shown above) is a friendly-looking, voice-activated mini home health robot that tracks your nutrition intake, dispenses your medications and uses facial-recognition technology to ensure you get the right doses.

A tricycle from NOKIA and ENGIE was among the many car alternatives at CES, including e-bikes and scooters of all types.

A tricycle from NOKIA and ENGIE was among the many car alternatives at CES, including e-bikes and scooters of all types.

The transportation of tomorrow: steering-wheel free

It’s clear that self-driving technology has evolved from its early days, and at CES, autonomous vehicles reigned supreme. Audi showed off an autonomous vehicle tricked out with VR entertainment that syncs with the vehicle’s movement, while Bosch introduced driverless shuttles that transport ridesharers. Visitors to Las Vegas could even hail a self-driving Lyft to transport them between exhibition centers. (Two safety drivers rode in the front seats.)

Electric cars were just as omnipresent at this year’s CES as in recent years, but interestingly, e-bikes and scooters were almost just as prevalent as car demos. Car-free ways to literally scoot around town included plenty of e-bicycles, a new scooter from Lime with mountain bike-style suspension, and a solar-powered tricycle from NOKIA and ENGIE. Harley-Davidson even revealed its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire.

Outfitting the modern worker

With more people working remotely and and in open-plan office spaces, on-the-go computer security has never been more important. At CES, HP debuted the third generation of the HP Sure View integrated electronic privacy screen — perfect for working in a cubicle-free office, co-working space or crowded coffee shop. A touch of a button makes on-screen content go dark for anyone viewing from an angle, while remaining clear for a user right in front of the screen. HP Sure View is available on the 5th-generation HP EliteOne 800 All-in-One and HP EliteBook x360 830, and the HP EliteDisplay E243p.

HP also showed off the new HP Spectre x360 15; it comes with an AMOLED display that lets users see on-screen content clearly and in vivid color even when working outside in bright sunlight, with filters to prevent eye strain as they work.

Unlimited Tomorrow's prosthetic hand on display shows the potential of 3D printing at CES.

Unlimited Tomorrow's prosthetic hand on display shows the potential of 3D printing at CES.

Transforming prosthetics with 3D printing

3D-printing technology has been a CES centerpiece for years now, and new ways to use additive manufacturing show no signs of fading. From upgrades to handheld scanner technology to printers that deliver antibacterial products, makers are innovating in every genre of the 3D space.

One of the most compelling demos this year was from Unlimited Tomorrow, which is using HP Jet Fusion 580 printers to empower amputees with 3D-printed prosthetics. According to Unlimited Tomorrow, only 5 percent of the world’s 30 million amputees have access to prosthetics, and the robotic-looking devices can cost as much as $80,000. Founded by Easton LaChappelle when he was only 18 years old — he’s now the ripe old age of 22 — the company’s mission is to change that, making artificial limbs more affordable, accessible and realistic with 3D scanning and printing.

Next-level gaming at home and beyond

Gaming enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to from product rollouts in the next year, including lusher sound, richer graphics and high-speed processing to make their gameplay more realistic and immersive. Imagine seeing your virtual battles on a 120-inch image on your wall — it’s possible with LG’s new short-throw projector that harnesses the power of dual lasers.

For gamers who want an experience that goes beyond stunning visuals and sends all of their senses into overdrive, HP announced the new OMEN X EMPERIUM 65, the world’s first 65-inch gaming display, which comes with 4K HDR and a custom three-way soundbar. Speed demons and on-the-go gamers will love the addition of NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 20-series GPUs to the OMEN 15, along with a 240Hz display option hitting shelves later this year.

VR and AR coming to a mall near you

By now, plenty of consumers have tried virtual reality headsets and played around with augmented reality in Pokémon Go, but those experiences are just a taste of what’s to come. CES featured innovations in both fields: The world’s smallest smart glasses. Top-of-the-line VR headsets. A full-body haptic suit that mimics experiences like bumping into a wall or taking a punch.

“VR and AR have moved from, ‘what's that?’ to being very present,” says Joanna Popper, global head of virtual reality for location-based entertainment at HP. “It's exciting to see how technology has progressed from the year before and what people are focused on each year.”

In a CES panel on high-tech retailing and connected commerce, Popper spoke specifically about how HP tools are providing virtual reality entertainment experiences that are big draws at locations like malls and shopping centers.

“We see data that the majority of people that come [to a mall] to do the VR experience had never shopped there,” she told the crowd. “It’s an important and interesting way to reach new audiences and bring a lot of fun for family and friends.”

“I think people are getting on board with the fact that you can show up at a place like this and talk about not just the future, but things that actually make the world better.”

—Karen Kahn, HP’s chief communications officer

Exploring technology’s social impact

Also notable at this year’s CES was a focus on the issues affecting our larger global community. The onus is on brands to use their positions in the world to elevate social impact, says HP's Kahn.

“As good companies, we exist to do more,” she says. “There is something every brand and organization can do to make the world better. At HP, we put a lot of energy into deciding, ‘What is our purpose?’”

Kahn emphasized this message at a large panel of industry experts that explored how technology can empower women across the world to tell their stories, and the second at The Girls’ Lounge which focused on the value of purpose-driven companies. Kahn says HP was passionate to support The Girls’ Lounge and its discussions because gender equality is vital to the company’s brand and purpose.

“CES has traditionally been a very male-dominated show,” Kahn says. “At CES this year, 40 percent of the keynote speakers are women, which is great progress, but it's still a very male show. I love that we are investing our time and energy into gender equality.”

Inside the Girls' Lounge, where industry HP's Kahn discussed how gender equality is vital to the company’s brand and purpose.

HP and SoulCycle teamed up for an energizing "Reinvention Ride."

HP and SoulCycle teamed up for an energizing "Reinvention Ride."

High-tech health and wellness

HP and SoulCycle teamed up to give CES-goers a fitness break at this year’s event with the Reinvention Ride, visually designed to get keep cyclers super-charged and motivated. The event showcased how print can create the immersive visual experience that helps keep the energy up at SoulCycle studios, with bold signage and wide-format, wall-sized decals that are easy to wipe down between sessions and changeable to keep the vibe interesting.

Health-conscious attendees could also find dozens of high-tech wellness devices on the CES floor, including an AI-powered home boxing bag from BotBoxer, and a smart kettlebell from JaxJox that keeps track of your reps for you. Wellness wearables also continued to be big this year, including everything from kneebands promising pain relief through mild electric shocks to devices from two different companies that purportedly tell you what to eat and why — based on your breath. The devices are a few examples of a broader theme that emerged at this year’s event: As technology moves forward, it’s also moving toward the consumer, becoming integral to every aspect of modern life.

“The rate of change is faster than ever,” says HP’s Lores. “Now, it’s pointed in a direction where people and communities want it to fit into their lives, improve their lives and make them feel better.”


Take a closer look at the PC innovations HP brought to CES this year.