CES 2019: here’s what you can expect from the annual tech-stravaganza

All the foldables, rollables and 4K-ables we anticipate seeing at the big tech show

CES 2019: here's what you can expect from the annual tech-stravaganza
CES 2019: here's what you can expect from the annual tech-stravaganza

CES 2019 is almost here – and while we’re sure to see some surprises, we’ve also had a flurry of announcements from LG, Samsung and others about what they’re planning or not planning to showcase at the huge Las Vegas convention. 

We’ve been keeping up with all the new announcements as they happen and our team has been working hard to prepare for this year’s event. What we’re expecting is an absolute deluge of news on January 8, followed by a non-stop scavenger hunt trying to find the best products of the show. It’s exhausting work, but there’s no place like Vegas during CES.

Each year, Sin City plays host to the gadget extravanganza that is the Consumer Electronics Show, now officially shortened to its acronym, CES. It’s the time of year where tech innovators from all over the world gather to announce the latest and greatest in smartphones, wearables, TV and audio tech. New laptops, tablets and smart cars fill row after row of booths at the Las Vegas Convention Center with all the tech coming in the next few years. 

Last January we saw innovation in droves at CES 2018, from Samsung’s 146-inch modular MicroLED TV, The Wall, and the incredible HTC Vive Pro to LG’s rollable 65-inch OLED TV and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. It’s the world’s biggest tech show, and it’s poised to become even bigger in 2019.

Can’t wait until opening day on January 8? Read on! We’ve got all the details, predictions and postulations for what you can expect to see at CES 2019.

CES 2019 predictions: what’s going to be announced

Just give the attendance list a cursory glance and you’ll see that a lot of bases are covered at CES – you’ll find AR and VR, voice control, connected cars, robotics, smart home, smart cities, health, wellness, sleep, sports, accessories companies, and everything in between. 

However, in 2019 there are some trends that are likely to dominate. 

The most obvious will be voice control. “Well definitely see more smart speakers with screens,” says Jack Wetherill, Principal Consultant: Home Electronics at Futuresource, who also thinks CES will see voice creep into more and more product categories, such as soundbars possibly from Samsung, Sony and LG. The TV remote control could finally begin its death throes. 

“There has already been one TV with far-field microphones in the set itself,” says Wetherill, referring to Toshiba’s upcoming OLED, 4K HDR, and Full HD smart ranges with Alexa built in. CES could also see the spread of Netflix Calibrated Mode beyond some Sony TVs. 

Headphones will also get chatty. “A new Alexa development kit from Qualcomm means we’ll see more integration of voice into headphones,” says Wetherill. “We’re waiting for headphones that respond to a wake-word, and while that probably won’t emerge at CES 2019, we will see true wireless earphones with longer battery life – it would be logical if Sony brought more ‘true wireless’ products at CES.” 

Another trend will be foldable displays, with the Samsung Galaxy X likely to feature alongside LG’s foldable. 

However, foldables could go much deeper than mere phones. “Where we’re expecting real change is laptops and tablets,” says Tom Morrod, Senior Research Director, IHS Markit. “We are expecting to see foldable laptops with OLED screens that extend across the entire keyboard area – this means you could open them up to monitor size, or to book format, or use them as a normal laptop format with the keyboard as half of the touch panel.” But how, exactly, Android and Windows adapt their OS for foldable devices will be interesting.

Last but not least, connected cars at CES 2019 could also see integrated OLEDs to replace wing mirrors.

Want specific predictions for each company? We’ve got those, too! More

Jamie CarterHenry St Leger