It’s been a few years since I was last on the ground here at CES, and while the overall state of tech has progressed by leaps and bounds, it’s interesting that a lot of the themes really haven’t changed.
The last time I was here, the big push was 4K TVs and their lifelike image quality. They were unquestionably impressive at the time, but journalists in attendance were all wondering: When are we going to get 4K content?
Fast-forward to 2019 and 8K TVs are the new hotness — bigger screen sizes, 33 million pixels, even more lifelike color rendition. And here we are again asking the same question: What about content?
It’ll be interesting to see if/how content producers rise to the 8K challenge. For now, though, I think we’re seeing an influx of 8K models, not because consumers are demanding them, but because companies can make them and justify the premium prices 4K TVs once commanded.
Elsewhere, CES 2019 also highlighted the spread of 5G and AI (artificial intelligence). The former is being touted as a new era in connectivity for mobile and beyond. As for the latter, several companies have stressed the benefits of AI in our daily lives.
From learning our eating habits to anticipating our needs, it looks like more advanced AI will require more granular data collection about us as individuals. And as my colleague Meg Cannistra points out, companies are working hard to present a positive future filled with AI assistance while also assuring us our personal data is safe and secure. It’ll likely take more than cute, non-threatening robots and polite voice assistants to overcome consumers’ concerns, and we’ll certainly keep an eye on how this all plays out.
Overall, I came away impressed with the tech on display here at CES 2019. Rather than a brand-new game changer, we’re clearly dealing with iterative progressions of existing tech. I mean 8K TVs are just sharper, prettier TVs and 5G is the nickname for the fifth generation of mobile connectivity — its iterative nature is built right into this name. But it’s still an exciting time and I’m looking forward to seeing how these advances impact our lives.