Smart transport, 8K TVs and the emergence of 5G will all be key themes at CES 2019
Smart transport, 8K TVs and the emergence of 5G will all be key themes at CES 2019

CES 2019: Foldable phones, smart bikes, 8K TVs and everything else to expect

What to look out for from Samsung, LG, and everyone else at the biggest technology trade show of the year

Anthony Cuthbertson@ADCuthbertson
Friday 04 January 2019 15:37

The world of tech will soon make its annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for CES 2019, billed as the world's biggest technology trade show.

Acting as a showcase for this year's most anticipated products, it also acts as a gauge for what tech trends to expect in the years ahead.

Some of the world's biggest companies will be there, including LG, Samsung and Sony, though Apple will once again be among the notable absentees.

Officially kicking off on 8 January at the Mandalay Bay, the conference will open for press and preview viewings on 6 January, before the whole thing concludes on 11 January.

All the latest news and unveilings will be covered by The Independent but until then here's everything to expect from this year's tech extravaganza.

8K TVs from Samsung and LG

More than nine decades after the invention of the television, electronics firms are still finding ways to reinvent them for the 21st century.

After the relative disappointment of 3D TVs and the moderate success of curved screens, the next frontier seems to be 8K televisions.

As the name suggests, 8K refers to a screen with a width of 8,000 pixels – twice as many as a 4K TV.

Among the TV manufacturers set to show off 8K TVs are LG and Samsung, who have both already shown off pixel-dense screens in the build-up to CES 2019.

Content creators are still catching up with 4K technology, so one of the big drawbacks is that there's currently not a lot to actually watch on them.

Smart transport to fill smart cities

One of this year's themes is 'Transportation in the Smart City', with self-driving cars and other vehicle technology to once again feature heavily.

CES 2019 attendees can expect showcases from traditional automakers like Audi and BMW, as well as firms less often associated with cars, such as Bosch.

The home appliance giant will show off a shared mobility concept vehicle by debuting a driverless electric shuttle.

Beyond cars, the emergence of electric bicycles in recent years will be boosted by the integration of AI assistants.

One example announced this week is the Cybbic Legend, which comes with a touchscreen display, GPS, WiFi and and Amazon's Alexa.

"We've seen innovations in alternative commuting go from strength to strength and after electric bikes we predict that the next big trend for commuters will be smart bikes," Halfords' Andy Whitehall said of the ambitious crossover.

"The technology will help cyclists with many things including getting traffic updates, getting turn-by-turn directions, personalised light settings, playing music and much more."

Foldable phones to steal the show

2019 could be the year that foldable phones come back into fashion, as several companies prepare to launch smartphones that bend and fold.

Samsung is the largest phone maker to launch a foldable phone this year, having already partially unveiled its Galaxy F device in late 2018.

A concept for a foldable smartphone, which could be similar to the Samsung 'Galaxy F' (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

CES 2019 may come slightly too early for the South Korean tech giant to release the phone, but other firms including LG, Royole and Xiaomi could step in to steal the show.

5G everything at CES 2019

Several smartphone makers have already announced plans to unveil 5G-capable devices in 2019, but this year could see this trickle down to laptops and other devices.

There will also be a focus on how the next-generation network will help transform other industries, like self-driving cars, robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

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US carrier Verizon will deliver a keynote to explain exactly what 5G means for the world.

As CES 2019's preview states: "Verizon and its CEO Hans Vestberg will explore the future of connectivity through 5G as it fuels new technologies and services that will blend our physical and digital worlds."

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