CES Highlights OLEDs, UHD and Automotive


We’ve just got to the end phase of our CES report production. Of course, as we clear back our systems, we’ll find other stories that got missed in the deluge, but we’ll catch up on those next week.

What were the big stories? Well, TV was all about OLED (now with more backers) and LCD with Quantum dots from Samsung. Both produce fantastic quality images, frankly, and few consumers would be unhappy with either. UltraHD Blu-ray and Dolby Vision both gained some momentum (as well as Atmos). On the other hand, there weren’t many new curved TVs and even the company that has pushed curved most strongly, Samsung, is offering the alternative of flat sets. I suspect that curved sets may go the way of 3D.

TV, at the upper end, is moving to two box solutions. That’s an overdue change and both LG and Samsung have innovative ways of doing this, Samsung using optical fibre and LG a flat cable. This concept was tried before, using wireless, but it was expensive. It’s critical that consumers can take advantage of this kind of configuration, without

TVs and, it seems, almost all of the different categories of product at the show are rapidly adopting “Alexa” or alternatives. Voice technology is going to be big, soon!

Projection is developing well, with UST solutions getting much nearer to the pricing levels they need to succed. Laser Phosphor is also getting towards the mainstream, with all of its advantages in lifetime and performance.

CES May Come and Go but the LasVegas Strip remains the Strip! Image:Meko

On the other hand, there are more curved monitors and I liked the look of the new monitors that I saw, especially the 8K Dell monitor. I’m a Pixelaholic, but it might, even, be too many for me! The new 1,000 cd/m2 HDR monitors also looked good.

Automotive saw lots of innovation and concepts. HUDs are getting better and better and we’re starting to get to the point where the traditional instrument might disappear. Meanwhile, organic shapes and touch and sound-enabled displays are appearing. You can vibrate OLEDs, so they can be used for touch and haptics as well as replacing speakers.

Most of the smartphones that we saw at the event were, frankly, uninspiring. There were some nice camera techniques, using dual imagers, but only the sexy new Xiaomi really came to mind at the end of the show. Qualcomm announced its new chips, but we expect more news next month at MWC.

A/R didn’t see a lot of development, although the ODG glasses looked good (but are they better than they need to be?) VR was widely shown, but hasn’t moved on a lot technically. Tracking and wireless solutions are being developed, but aren’t quite here, yet.

In connectivity, there was the new HDMI 2.1 specification and a glow of satisfaction coming from the backers of USB Type-C. VESA is also happy with DisplayPort (and must be quietly pleased that HDMI has adopted the DSC specification!).

There was little for the commercial display people, although we liked the Think&Go NFC solution and Panasonic has put its LightID technology into some new monitor backlights.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy our report.