CES 2019: Buzz remains as self-driving cars take back seat

Heated razors, a toothbrush that uses AI, disappearing TVs and more

The CES 2019 gadget show is revving up in Las Vegas. Here are the latest findings and observations from Associated Press reporters on the ground as technology’s biggest trade event gets underway.

ENOUGH ABOUT SELF-DRIVING CARS

Many people at CES would rather hear about better video games. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang got a big round of applause when he told a crowd that he’d spend more time talking gaming than autonomous driving.

The Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker’s computer graphics technology is used in both industries. But it was his unveiling of a new gaming-oriented graphics processor that elicited the biggest cheers Sunday night. Huang also detailed how his company’s advances in artificial intelligence and a graphics technology called “ray tracing” are helping to generate ever-more-realistic scenery in popular games.

This year’s CES is less focused on autonomous cars compared with last year, though there’s ongoing buzz about self-driving innovations. Ride-hailing service Lyft says that after launching a self-driving Las Vegas taxi service at last year’s CES, it’s now had almost 30,000 paid rides. Daimler on Monday unveiled a new self-driving truck and Bosch unveiled its concept for a driverless shuttle bus.

Meanwhile, executives from Audi, Toyota, Cruise Automation, chipmaker Nvidia, Google spinoff Waymo and several startups are gearing up to convince the public that autonomous vehicles are safe.

READ MORE: Uber suspends self-driving car tests after fatality

A CENTURY-OLD CES FIRST-TIMER

You wouldn’t expect to find the maker of Pampers and Bounty paper towels at the world’s largest technology conference.

But here’s consumer goods company Procter & Gamble at CES 2019, showing off heated razors and a toothbrush that uses artificial intelligence. (Sorry if you were expecting self-changing diapers.)

Procter & Gamble, which was founded more than 180 years ago, said it’s the first time it has been an exhibitor at CES. The company said it needs to infuse technology into everyday products to keep up with what customers want.

Among the goods on display: a waterproof Gillette razor that heats up to 122 degrees; an Oral-B toothbrush that tells you if you’re missing areas when brushing; and a wand-like device called Opte that scans the skin and releases serum that covers up age spots and other discoloration.

DISAPPEARING TELEVISIONS

In this age of smartphone streaming, big television sets are no longer the centerpiece of many living rooms. South Korean electronics company LG is doing its part to make TVs disappear.

LG has unveiled a “rollable” TV — a 65-inch screen that can roll down and disappear into its base with the press of a button. The set can still play music when the screen’s rolled down completely, or display a clock when it’s just partially rolled down. LG says the TV will be available later this year. It didn’t say how much it will cost.

The technology giant also displayed “8K” sets, with four times the resolution as the high-definition sets of today and twice that of 4K sets such as the rollable one. It represents the next generation of television viewing, but many people won’t have access to for quite some time. So far, 8K has been limited to the occasional experimental broadcast, such as during the Olympics. Even 4K content is just catching on.

AN ELEGANT WAY TO TEXT

People feeling overwhelmed by their array of connected devices can invest up to $700 on another device meant to feel more artisanal.

Mui Lab, based in Kyoto, Japan, has designed an internet-connected wall panel made of sycamore wood that you can touch to send messages, check the weather or control other home devices such as lights and thermostats. Lighted letters and icons appear on the wood panel when it’s being used — and disappear when it’s inactive.

CEO Kazunori Oki says it’s about bringing a more natural feel to a connected home.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Backyardigans, Max & Ruby stage shows add to Family Day in Sidney

Bodine Hall shows make room for kids to sing, dance, enjoy Family Day weekend

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Victoria city council seeks authority to tax empty homes

Council is asking the province for the authority to invoke a vacancy tax

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes says municipality will re-group after Rowing Canada decision

Haynes said he is “quite disappointed” but also respects choice of North Cowichan as national centre

WATCH: Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

VIDEO: Excessive speed on the Malahat captured by dash cam footage

Poster calls driving ‘dangerous, obnoxious and disrespectful’

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Most Read