VR, smart displays and even smart toilets at CES 2018 (The 3:59, Ep. 336)We look at a bunch of the big trends at CES, including lots more features for voice assistants from Google and Amazon.
[MUSIC] Hey, folks, welcome back to the 359 coming to you live from the CES 2018 CNET stage in Las Vegas. [LAUGH] Ben, you were right about some interesting news yesterday with Google and smart assistants. Yeah and you got a little goodie here for us. Yeah. check it out. This is the Lenovo smart display. It was announced yesterday. It is one of four new smart displays which are google assistant enabled touch screens that you could basically Basically do anything that you might be able to do with Smart Speaker. [COUGH] You've also go, what's that? Nothing, it's a little echoe show on my throat. Yes, it's very much like an echoe show. So the things that you could do with this that you wouldn't be able to do with the Smart Speaker, Are look at photos, actually do recipes. You can watch the recipe, see YouTube videos- [CROSSTALK] video now of a early look at it we got. So yeah, looks like- Yeah, looks very much like an Echo Show, but the speaker's on the side instead of the bottom. I mean- [CROSSTALK] tablet- It also looks a lot like a tablet. Yeah. I talked to them a lot about this, and there was a big intention to try to make it not a tablet Tablet that doesn't have 4G LTE connection. It always needs to be plugged in. And everything that you see on it, you're able to see it from afar. This isn't meant to like have you hold it and be up front all the time.>>Yeah, because it's bulky. You can tell by lifting it. It's a little bit heavier>> [CROSSTALK] That design here that allows it to go this way or that way. But it's bulky, it's definitely not a tablet. You can't carry this around like that, well I guess you could, but that'd be really weird. That's not the point at all, yeah. It's like in the bedroom or the kitchen, or. Yeah, it's very much supposed to be- Do you have it plugged in, or is it portable too? No it needs to be. There's no on button you have to have it plugged in. [CROSSTALK] There's some interesting aspects in this. There's some works that's done with privacy, yeah. Yeah, so this is an actual, physical switch that you can use. To hide the camera. See if we can get a closeup of this. When you switch it off does it actually cover the camera? Yeah, you'll see a little red cover over it to show that the camera is no longer working. Yeah, so that's just like an additional little piece of mind kind of thing. Because it's a functional- The microphone is still on though. You can disable the mic. Yeah, the microphone, there's also a switch for the microphone. So I think there was At least an awareness that people are concerned. Yeah. Yeah. That there are gonna be these always listening, always on either microphones or cameras. And so they're trying to at least make some effort to make people little bit more comfortable with this stuff, whether people actually wanna shell out to buy this thing. This starts at $200 there is a bigger version for 250, We'll see, but there are a lot of bets on whether people are actually gonna purchase this. Funny timing of this announcement, considering at the end of the year, there was a little bit of problems with Google's relationship with Amazon. Yes, there was a bit of a dust up with Amazon. The timing of this is definitely a little difficult or a little awkward. With Google and Amazon's relationship, Google- Because you can't get YouTube on anymore on Amazon's products. Yeah, Google removed YouTube from the Echo show, which is a lot like this product. It's a competing device, and also from Fire TV displays or from Fire TV streamers. Amazon Decided to bring back Google Chromecast streamers to Amazon.com. That was a central problem that Google had. And that's why they wanted to pull YouTube in the first place. And now they're in negotiations. So I think YouTube is going to come back. But now, if you want YouTube on a device like this. You might have to buy this for now. And right now, outside the convention center in the parking lot, Both Google and Amazon have little displays. I think the first one, we're outside right now actually. There's the Google booth, Hey Google. I believe the Treasure Truck is right around there. The Amazon Treasure Truck, yeah. The Amazon Treasure Truck is right around there. Outside. Conveniently parked right across. [LAUGHTER] But yeah, that's a pretty big deal that Google not only decided to show up, but show up pretty big. Yeah. And talk to their executives. I don't remember an Amazon truck before. I mean, I don't know if it was there, but I don't rememeber either one of them having this big of a presence. This is. Yeah, I think a lot of what they're trying to do is really show that like, hey we're at CES because we wanna be good partners. It's like. Maybe it might have been like we're the cool kids we don't wanna show up to CES like we can do our own events. But they're all these other major players here and to create these ecosystems, Google and Amazon I think need to show up and keep showing up to say, hey we're here to be your partner. All right, because, You hear them all the time at these shows, but it's about the physical showing up, is what you mean. Like last year, Amazon, Alexa, we saw it a lot now. Okay, still a big part of the show. I mean, so many products on day one are about, does it have the Google assistant, or does it have Amazon Alexa? I know What struck me as interesting was hearing how much of Amazon Alexa was in the bathroom. Yeah. From [INAUDIBLE]. [LAUGH] Have you heard about this toilet? No, what? Tell me what? Yeah. Is this a smart toilet? [LAUGH] I knew it. I knew it. It was only a matter of time, right? If I'd gone there, if I went there. So we have a video of some of the smart things. My gosh. That they're putting in an. Sense toilets so you can have it flush hands-free, and also- [LAUGH] Why? And also have it warm you, dry you off, give you a little spritz. [LAUGH] All right, all right- There's also some Amazon in the faucet, when you want to be- It's on the faucet? Yeah, yeah- Hey, Alexa- If you have a preset amount of water that you You want. [LAUGH] You can have a codeword for that. It's in the mirror. You can change the temperature too. It's in the shower, so you know. l kinda like the toilette though. That thing looks pretty awesome. You want it to warm it for you? It can do that. Does it warm my ****? Not everyone likes a warm toilette. [CROSSTALK] On a cold day in New York, I mean, come on. I don't know. It is one of those moments where I'm like, have we reached, have we reached that moment where the Amazon's ever. But yeah, it's about we have the assistant and I think some of those products also were able to work with Google assistant so it's gonna be a bit of battle ground there too. I don't know. Is it really that hard to flush a toilet. I understand the interest in. While your hands where on your phone. Right [LAUGH]. Maybe, eww. [LAUGH] You could just push the button on your phone, you're good to go, right. I wanna talk about also some of the favorite things we've seen because on a couple press days we've had, there's a lot of quirky stuff out there, there's a lot of weird stuff. Favorite things, from each of us, I'll start off. Ad unveiled one of my favorite things that totally terrified me Was a smart luggage that was able to follow me around wherever I went. It had facial recognition technology in the suitcase. Man. No. Yes, here it is. No. So this is the CX-1 by a company called ForwardX. This is a prototype but it worked. I was surprised how fast they got it set up. It was able to map my body and then as I was in the back area just kind of walking around, like 7 miles an hour is chasing me a bit. So wait, it connectively. [LAUGH] I'm trying to run away from it. It doesn't recognize you, it doesn't have to recognize your face, it recognizes your body? Well, here it's able to kind of like Pinpoint me and they are not really talking a lot at this stage about how it can make sure another blonde, five foot five girl doesn't walkway with it. Yeah. But it kind of locks onto me and if I zip out that wristband is supposed to also help track, [UNKNOWN] So if I zip out of range it's gonna still come after me. Got it. So then you've got to wear another watch. And then if someone Pick its up from behind. I guess my wristband will also give me an alarm, but yeah camera's in all the things. Yeah. That's nice. Facial recognition in your suitcase. That's scary. I find that facial recognition thing in more and more things. Yeah. I don't know how I'm feeling about it but yeah. It's a little dis-concerning. How about you Roger? I saw this really awesome concept car at the Bosh booth. I mean this is This was their vision of what the car will look like in four or five years. But take a look at it. It's got crazy lights that actually will change colours depending on if it's self driving versus manual driving. But the coolest feature, which I didn't actually get to try yet, is something called Air Haptics. It's the idea of haptic feedback, but. With your fingers a couple of inches off the screen. So you don't actually even have to touch the screen. You're just in the air, you're feeling like you're touching buttons. It is like Minority Report. Like air keyboard? Neato. Air keyboard, yeah, exactly. The idea being that you don't necessarily need to take your eyes off the road and look at the dashboard. You can sort of feel for it and different tactile responses for radio. Wait, what's the tactile in the air? Are they like It fires off ultra sound signals. Basically mimicking or creating the illusion that you're pushing something. It's crazy and I don't know if it's entirely safe, but it's crazy. I gotta try that. All right, what about you, Ben? There's this thing called hip air. [LAUGH] I knew it. So, basically, it's like these air cushions for your hips. And it looks really goofy. It looks really weird. But the thing is that- I don't know. That looks pretty hot to me. That's a good look. Yeah. But, like, here's the thing. Every now and then, there is a technology that actually comes along that might actually be able to help people out and isn't just like a must have or isn't just a nice to have. This is a must have. This, to me, it could actually be somewhat beneficial if it actually helps out one person. Then bully on the company. Way to go. So does it activate as you fall or? I believe so. yeah, it works like an airbag. Alright, An airbag for your life. Maybe they have to work on the design, or make it a little less green. [LAUGH] Does it really need to be so obvious or something. I think that's the reason, right? I mean, you see someone with flourescent green padding. You are clearly in trouble, right. [LAUGH] Something went wrong in your life that this green balloon is activated. Yeah. My favorite is the headline of help. I've fallen. Yeah. And now you can get up. Yeah. Classic. All right, well we are gonna wrap it for now. You can find the 3:59 on iTunes, SoundCloud, Google Play and of course, cnet.com. For the 3:59 podcast. I'm Bridget Carey. I'm Roger Chang. I'm Ben Fox Rubin. And thanks for watching. But don't go anywhere, because our day has just begun! CES 2018 is the place to be for the whole week, and we have you covered With must see go to gadgets, all the things your heart desires. Up next, there's a coffee table that also doubles as a pong table. So, stay with us [LAUGH]. [MUSIC]