If you’re a tech fiend and weren’t able to get to Las Vegas for this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show, The Verge has you covered.
Although the crowd is allegedly dwindling every year as more companies use their own developer shows to announce products (much like Apple’s annual foray), some products this year proved more interesting than most:
We saw Google, for the first time, make a spectacle out on the convention floors, fighting back against Amazon’s Alexa takeover.
Let’s geek out together as we go through The Verge’s best picks:
MOST IN SHOW (FORMERLY BEST HYPE)
How do you beat a voice assistant that’s absolutely everywhere at CES? By being even more everywhere. After two years of Alexa being the dominant voice assistant at the show, Google came out in full force, making sure the Google Assistant was inside more gadgets — and more types of gadgets — than its opponent.
You really couldn’t go more than a few minutes this year without hearing about a new Google Assistant integration. While Alexa may be integrated in more things (roughly 4,000 products to Google’s 1,500 compatible devices), more people paid attention to Google Assistant this year than ever.
SAMSUNG’S THE WALL
In its quest to come up with a better TV than LG’s OLEDs, Samsung took a major leap forward at CES 2018 by introducing The Wall. The Wall is a modular TV that uses MicroLED technology — with many of the same perks as OLED, but fewer drawbacks — to create its incredibly bright, splashy picture. The Wall’s modularity allows it to be customized to any practical size.
SENNHEISER HD 820
The headphones industry is in a state of major flux, so it’s fitting that its best exemplar at CES was an unfinished but gorgeous pair of audiophile cans. Sennheiser brought only four demo units of its brand-new HD 820 closed-back headphones, each of them handmade especially for the big show.
MY SPECIAL AFLAC DUCK
A heartwarming robot toy that has no camera, no voice assistant, and no games. It does, however, have the capability of comforting children battling cancer to help them feel less alone in their fight, and take control of their emotions in a situation that’s very uncontrollable. The toy won’t be sold, but instead given to children at care centers nationally for free.
Razer is shoving a smartphone into a laptop, using it simultaneously as the brains and the trackpad, and forcing you to challenge what you thought the line between a phone and a laptop could be.
Project Linda feels like a product that was pulled out of a future that might never be, yet somehow it’s here in the real world to see and touch and use today years ahead of schedule. And even if that vision will be shattered when everyone leaves Vegas and Linda ends up shelved alongside dozens of other CES prototypes, at least for one week we all could dream.
Okay, okay, I see where we’re going – to the future!
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