LG's rollable TV, 5G, Google stand out early at CES 2019 (The 3:59, Ep. 505)
Hello world and welcome to the 3:59 show live on day one at the CES trade show in Las Vegas.
I'm Bridget Carey with Roger Cheng and Ben Fox Rubin.
And in this special episode we're broadcasting from the CNET stage as the Sands Expo Center known as Tech West Now for those of you new to the 359, normally the show is a 3 minute and 59 second rundown of the day's tech news but you know what this is CES and this is Vegas and we cannot be contained by 4 minutes so how did you guys survive press day the other day?
Once again, I asked myself, on a Monday, how is it that I felt like I'd been here for 2 weeks.
Yeah, I may take short, microsleep naps during the show, so don't mind me.
I think it's a good plan.
It's a good plan.
We've had a day packed already with all bunch of product reveals, but the tradeshow floor opens officially today, and so far, we've seen wild eye popping TVs, we've seen new VR tricks, and there's plenty of 5G hype.
But Roger, you got a cool scoop.
So it isn't just 5G hype, it's 5G real news.
It's real news, I got it from the CEO of Verizon himself that confirmation that the very first 5G smartphone from Verizon Rise and really, in the US, is the MOTO-Z3.
A phone that launched actually in August last year.
So, it's not a new phone but it's gonna have a new feature.
It's gonna have a modem mod with 5G, and this was announced before, but this is a confirmation that this.
This is, the service will actually launch with this phone and this modem mod.
We're actually looking at video now of the phone from when we reviewed it.
So, how are they gonna mod, I guess they're gonna put something in it, so-
The mod is an attachment, it slaps to the back, it's got a 5G radio, and all of a sudden turns it into a 5G phone.
And it helps nail down the timing for the service right.
They said Samsung's gonna have a 5G phone that'll be an exclusive to Verizon for a while.
But this thing's gonna come out first.
Samsung usually launches its phones in late February so you can sort of narrow down the timing on when Verizon will actually launch their service.
Okay but we've talked about this on the 359 a lot and you know this question is coming.
But how 5G is this 5G phone gonna be?
We've definitely warned people that Do not expect super fast speeds immediately right out of the gate.
I would say if you happen to be in one of the 5G markets that they're launching in, this is gonna be a pretty fast phone.
The tests that they've run so far are fairly impressive.
So it will be a true 5G phone but you have to be in a 5G area, and that's a little bit murky right now Interesting.
CES isn't really a phone show, but here we have, you know, some hot phone news to start, so there you go.
I think, obviously, CES is a place for televisions.
We always see something whizbang, but I think this year, LG has a product, at least so far, that could be one of the biggest talking products of Of the show..
Have you seen this rollable television?
I had a chance to see it.
I was at the LG press conference yesterday morning and this rollable television which they did show a prototype of last year but this year it's real.
Yeah they say its actually gonna come out.
It will go on sale, no price yet though.
Of course not.
We'll see, I mean clearly I will be able to afford it with my, you know.
It will be 100 bucks, 200 dollars on black Friday.
.>> We're like showing video of it now, so it kind of rolls up into the stand or table,
If you will like a poster would.
What I first thought of it was like okay how many times is it gonna go up and down and last?
What do they say like this thing if you turn it on and off an go up and down eight times a day it can 17 years.
They did a lot of testing apparently on it.
Well I still wanna a question like how many time do I wanna turn the TV on and off?
If I'm gonna get on the couch and I want the game on, am I willing to hit the remote control and have the TV come up like, ten seconds later?
Am I really gonna wait the ten seconds for it to roll up before I actually
You're so impatient.
I am really impatient.
Well, I think TVs take a while anyways, when you turn them on and they're loading all of the stuff.
They're booting up.
Well, for me I'm in love because I think that's it's better that we don't always have a screen.
We have five screens in our living room sometimes with our phones and our tablets.
It's kind nice to have like let's have family time.
I did also notice-
Let's turn that TV down.
In that hype video when they showed off the thing, basically everything in that video was something I could not afford.
It's like the apartments the
The shoe rack.
I mean, it was all really nice.
Welcome to CES.
[LAUGH] It's all about aspirational.
CES, also, a time where we get to hear about new VR tricks.
So HTC had their press event, showed off a new Vive headset.
Can you tell us about that?
They barely showed it off.
It was the Vive Cosmos.
This is their next generation consumer VR headset.
Now VR has, well, hasn't had a great time, right?
It's kind of struggled.
Consumers have really turned off on the technology As you can see, trying to revive that by making a headset that is easier to use, that's easier to set up.
It doesn't use external equipment for tracking.
That's what got me interested cuz it was always about how you had to hook up different sensors so it knew where you were positioned in the room Now it doesn't need that at all.
It's got cameras on the outside that basically allow it to track its position.
I did find out and confirm that it stills requires a hard connection to a PC or maybe a smart phone, but that for me is still kind of a deal breaker.
Having a wire come out, Connected to a PC still limits what you can do with this thing.
They were kind of using interesting language.
They were like you could take it wherever.
I'm like wherever your laptop is, I guess.
Or wherever I guess your buddy has a super high-end gaming laptop or PC.
It's obviously moved forward, I would say, from what we had seen only a couple of years ago.
I also think it's interesting that basically every single sizzle reel that I see
From a tech company at the presentation yesterday.
They're all showing VR because they to a certain extent see it as the future.
Maybe that's true, maybe that isn't but it's all just kind of short-hand for hey this is a thing that's gonna happen pretty soon and your all gonna be doing stuff and.
I feel like, yeah, yeah, yeah, CS is like quick Don't give up on VR yet, we have this new thing you could do with it, it's like a place we have VR hope again.
Another thing that we have to look out for, this whole entire show, it's only really kind of get started but there is a story behind the scenes always happening, and that's the war brewing between the touch giants.
The Apple versus Google versus Amazon.
We've already seen a little bit of stuff from Apple and they're not even really here, right?
Yeah, their presence is much more significant than it previous years, right?
I mean look they started things off really when they had that ad posted up, which hotel is it, where is it in Vegas?
Yeah, there's a giant hotel we can pull up the photo that has a massive advertisement on the building that it just says, what happes on your iPhone stays on your iPhone.
Which I got a quip with that a little bit, cuz pretty sure that phone connects to cell networks, and apps connect to their own servers, and they go all over the place.
They're not staying in the phone, they're not staying in Vegas for sure.
So it's a little misleading.
I get what they're trying to do.
They're very big on privacy, trying to set themselves apart from the Googles and Facebooks, but it didn't rang true to me.
Okay, but at the same time, what's your interpretation for why they decided to do that ad in the first place?
I mean, generally-
I've never seen an ad, yeah.
They fly very low under the radar at CES.
I mean I think it's a new Apple.
I mean you've seen what the forecast, that things aren't going so great for them right now.
I think they need to get a little bit of attention going.
And privacy is one of those stories that's a pretty good one for them to tell.
And, you know, on top of that, they also had some additional news.
Which is kind of surprising at CES too because To me Apple has this tendency that they are like, we are not gonna talk about ourselves unless it's our own event.
And CES is certainly not one of those situations.
Yeah, I mean with all the stuff with airplay and iTunes on Samsung TVs.
I mean, that's kind of big.
And LG has [UNKNOWN].
Several announcements were made about how Apple's integrated into their products now.
Yeah, and in typical Apple fashion, though, they didn't put out presses.
They didn't even talk about.
They basically just let these other companies talk about them.
Right, and this is also a continuation for them.
This is their strategy is, if they're gonna make more money, it's gonna be more on the surfaces side.
As the iPhone sales are, I wouldn't call them dwindling but they are certainly flattening out.
I mean there's a notion that it's peaked.
Yeah, we're a peak Apple, it's okay.
I think we were peak Apple last year, right now we're already on the down slide right now.
So even though Apple doesn't have an official booth and they kind of like srum their way into a bunch of different announcements Google does have a booth and Giant banner on the whole Las Vegas Convention Center.
That's the picture right now behind us with above there, boo.
It's likely bought the naming rights to this convention center.
Like it's welcome to the Google Las Vegas Convention Center.
So to me it's almost as if they had to something like this.
They're well behind Amazon when it comes to Smart Home and alot of the partnerships that come with it.
So What they do at CES is they really try to dominate the presence and Amazon in meantime has this tendency to they don't like to be overly flashy, there was never this expectation that they were gonna try to one up Google with a booth that was gonna be just as big and you know, with a big spiraling slide or anything like that so
Although behind us, on the CNet stage, there is an Amazon booth that's giving away bananas, folks.
Yeah, there's a banana stand.
So Amazon is slowly, slowly starting to make their way out, where they're trying to present themselves a little more openly at CES.
But Google has certainly made it a little bit more difficult, a little more tricky for them, because they're on every single monorail.
They've plastered their name all over everything.
And I'm sure they're gonna have a lot more to announce.
Going forward at CES.
I mean, we've already seen lists of all the things that the Google Assistant works with.
So it's that assistant warfare that always kind of goes on the background.
I mean, even you were talking about like Bixby still keeps trying to get into that battle too.
Yeah, to me what's interesting about Bixby, too
And we're showing you video right now from the Samsung event where
I guess there's like a little helper robot that has Bixby.
They have like four different helper robots.
Doesn't that look like the LG robot?
It looks exactly like LG's robot.
The one that fell off our stage, I'm sure they love us reminding them.
The reason they make them look that way is that if they take over Then we'll think it's adorable.
It has to be at a level where you can still kick it.
Can't be taller than you.
What Samsung is doing, okay, I don't think Bixby is good, yet, but Samsung is in a position that is different than the other guys.
They make their own fridges.
They make their own televisions.
They make their own washing machines.
And they can at least control that, and say, okay, we don't wanna Alexa, we want Bixby.
And they're also doing a bunch of robots which I think is really interesting.
They got like four different robots.
They've got a home care robot that you can kinda put your finger on to do a blood pressure sensor.
Are people gonna buy that stuff?
Or they're gonna be really interested, I don't know but I do think it's I like that they're trying something else.
They're still just every time you do [INAUDIBLE] we're still just we're gonna talk about the weather and what our next appointment is and-
You don't need like a standing robot to do something like that.
All right, but before we go I wanna have a segment where we talk about one of the things that I always get a little joy out of it's CES.
And that's the weird tech.
Every day there's always something that makes us got what and why?
I want to go through down the line and hear Roger what was one of your weird tech moments?
Or weird things that you saw?
I would say it wasn't weird but the Y brush for me It's just utterly fascinating.
This, I guess smart toothbrush.
It's not even a toothbrush, basically.
It's like a mouthguard.
It's a mouthguard-
This video reel is terrifying.
That you stick into your mouth and it cleans your teeth in five seconds.
Well, five seconds for the top, five seconds for the botton.
Ten seconds, tops.
This is like the ultimate nice to have.
I would spend-
Do I really need to brush my teeth that quickly?
As someone who just had dental surgery a few weeks ago, very costly dental surgery, I would spend whatever it took to get this thing.
Now it's not approved by the American Dental Association.
Cuz it's a French company, but I might wait on that, but yeah.
I'd be a beta tester.
[LAUGH] How about you, Ben?
There's a bread machine here which there's no reason it should be at CES.
It's like an industrial thing.
It's $100,000 lease, a five year lease for $100,000, and
It makes bread.
Bakeries are gonna use it or grocery stores, like, why is it here?
yeah, it's meant to market.
Where else are you gonna drum up attention for the bread bot?
Cuz it's CES, they're calling it bread bot.
It's a machine.
It's not a robot.
Give me a break.
But you're talking about it, so clearly it's a success.
Of course it is.
And have any of us tried the bread yet?
No, but I heard the smell was Delicious.
So there's that.
So maybe it smells [CROSSTALK] success.
I'll have to, Roger, I'd like a raise so I can start saving up for bread bonnet.
Yes, I totally didn't do that on purpose.
Either way, Bridget, do you have one, too?
I do, I do.
I'm big into this trend of companion robots, the ones that
I wanna robot pet for no reason other to find love, and there's one called the Lovot.
And it looks like a Star Wars porg on wheels with a giant camera on the top of its head.
It's the opposite of adorable.
Its eyes are animated screens and
What does it do?
It rolls around nudges you and it also can recognize faces.
So In the beginning it might be a little shy.
But then it gets to know you and gives you cuddles.
I know we were looking it at it, apparently it's kind of warm>>one has a komono, wow.
Yeah, it apperently will come in a pack of two it's so earily that this thing is so expensive.
Their looking at five grand to have a pack of two.
That's because they haven't really got the whole thing together.
I know, I like the kimono.
You can dress him up.
But when I saw that I was just like, wow.
Just get a dog for that, right?
Give me a break.
There's gonna be a lot of talk about companion robots every year and this one, this one is definitely unique.
I guess that's gonna be a wrap today?
All right, so thank you everyone.
That's a wrap for the 359.