Robots, Google Daydream and a lot of rain on Day 1 of CES 2018
Under drenching Las Vegas skies, CES 2018 opens for business. Here's everything you need to know as the giant tech show gets underway.
Kent GermanFormer senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
CES 2018 began with a bang today, or should I say a flood. The first rain to fall on Las Vegas in 116 days swept into the city yesterday, drenching crews who were rushing to open the show. By this morning, the convention center was leaking, Google had to shut its splashy pavilion and rivers were flowing through a hotel car park. Of course, that all made the abysmal traffic that marks the first day of CES even worse.
The show, however, always goes on, and plenty happened to keep us busy. Here's what mattered as CES began and if you missed the highlights of CES Press Day, we've broken those down as well. We'll keep adding to this list before the day is out.
Watch this: Best of CES 2018: Highlights from Day 1
Ford said it was partnering with Qualcomm to equip its vehicles with vehicle-to-everything communication (V2X). Working through a cellular connection the technology would help identify dangerous driving situations, the status of traffic lights and just about everything happening on the roads that could pose a hazard to the driver.
Amazon's Alexa voice assistant will land in some Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the US later this year. Drivers will be able to remotely lock a vehicle, play music, find recommendations for nearby restaurants and get directions, all using voice controls.
In a nameless phone from Vivo, Jessica Dolcourt checked out the first fingerprint scanner built into a phone display. Rather than needing a separate button below the display or a separate sensor on the phone's back, you register your digit by touching the screen. Yes, the same screen you use to text, tweet and, once in a great while, dial a phone number. Jessica says don't be surprised if this technology shows up in some high-end phones this year, like the yet-to-be-announced Samsung Galaxy S9.
Watch this: See the first in-screen fingerprint scanner in action
Honda skipped over cars and demonstrated four robot concepts instead. They included the 3E-D18, which is an autonomous off-road workhorse that looks like an ATV chassis without the handlebars or seat (it uses a customizable rail system instead). There's also the 3R-B18, which is a robotic wheelchair that you can use indoors or outdoors. With additional attachments it can transform from a seated mobility solution into a motorized luggage cart or a stroller. And those aren't even the adorable ones.
Sony showed its newest Aibo robot dog at the CNET Stage (after highlighting it at its press conference the previous evening). Cuter and more dog-like than ever before, it has OLED screen eyes, a camera in its nose and one on its back for learning the layout of your home. You pet it in three different places to show your love. It's available only in Japan right now with a price that translates to roughly $1,759, £1,299, AU$2,249. Sony also has a $30,000 4K projector that looks a mid-century modern side table. The top is artificial marble, the frame is finished in half-mirror aluminum and there's a wooden shelf below.
Your first opportunity to ride in a self-driving car may be in Navya's Autonom Cab. It can seat six people and is designed to travel at about at about 35 mph. We hoped to go for a ride, but the rain go in the way.