TV’s rolling into the future at CES 2020

TV’s rolling into the future at CES 2020

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, a new wave of amazing generation of TV’s have been washed ashore in Las Vegas at the CES 2020 (Consumer Electronics Show) from the biggest global TV manufacturers.  Despite the fact that the majority of consumers still don’t own a 4K UHD-TV set, TV manufacturers rolled out their 8K TV’s at CES 2020.   LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony, and even TLC had their 8K sets featured prominently on display at their booths and press conferences.

Improvements in TV display technology over the past several years have been rapidly accelerating as fast as never before.  It was only five years ago when 4K UHD-TV’s first became available to consumers.  After being accustomed to watching standard HDTV’s over the years and that fact that there was hardly any 4K content to play or stream, the mass majority of the public was reluctant to adopt to it initially.

Now more than a third of all households who own a HDTV have a 4K HDTV with the number expected to jump to 50% this year.  Initially thought of as a niche market, 4K UHD-TV’s have finally been embraced by the mainstream and is expected soon to be the new future-proof TV standard. 

Walking through the floors at CES, it doesn’t take much of a genius to realize that the next generation of TV’s that only used to be only envisioned in futuristic science fiction movies are just stunning, gorgeous, and jaw-dropping technical marvels to gaze at.

What’s truly amazing is that the manufacturers all use different display technology ranging from MicroLED, Mini-LED, QLED, and OLED.  With the latest breakthroughs in display technology demonstrated at CES 2020, the TV’s of the future were what dreams are made of that were made into reality.

However, dreams like this don’t come cheap, but if you have at least a spare $60,000 to a few hundred thousand dollars to spend, here is your dream come true.

LG ELECTRONICS – ROLLIN’ ROLLIN’ ROLLIN

Two years ago at CES, LG Electronics, the pioneer of OLED-TV introduced a prototype of the OLED W, (The “W” stands for “Wallpaper”).  It was truly an amazing and ground breaking revolutionary technology that was able to keep the pure picture quality of OLED technology with the darkest blacks and brightest whites within its micro thin bezel frame just 2.57mm thick.

LG Electronics expanded their OLED R line, which was briefly introduced last year at CES 2019.  (The “R” stands for “Rollable”).  Think of these as a portable “UHD-TV in a box” in which the screen rolls up from a long rectangular cabinet that also serves as it’s own soundbar.  When in use, the display rolls up through motorization and rolls back down when not in use.  It’s like an all-in one projector and screen all rolled into one. 

This year, they have created yet another revolutionary product which may even disrupt the need for movie projectors and movie screens in the future, just like how digital cameras eliminated the need for film cameras.

The latest version of the new LG OLED R line prototypes were shown, which is the exact reversal of the first model.  Rather than being put on a flat surface, like a table, the cabinet/soundbar could be mounted upside down from the top of the ceiling like a mounted movie screen.  If you want to watch, with a press of a button, the screen will roll down from the ceiling and roll back up when you are done.  Even with this compact feature, you still get the best OLED quality with absolutely no loss in picture quality. 

Luckily for consumers, they should be available this year.  However, the price isn’t going to be cheap. Rumors are that the TV will be starting at $60,000.00.

Samsung shows off it’s 292″ inch “Wall-TV” at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. Thanks to modular technology, you can make it as big as you want. Size does not matter. Photo by Marcus Siu.

THE 292″ WALL TV BY SAMSUNG 

For those who want to buy a TV and make it a permanent fixture in their living space,  you can buy “The Wall” TV by Samsung.  Available in sizes from 75 inches up to 292 inches, it’s the biggest TV display you can buy today, and the only set on the market to offer.  There are two versions of the wall; one at 146″ and the other at 292″.

Samsung’s microLED technology, which uses super-fine LEDs instead of OLED or traditional LED delivers many of the benefits you’ll find in OLED, including perfect blacks and eye-popping colors, but the set also boasts 1,600 nits of brightness, which is brighter than today’s OLED sets.  More importantly, unlike OLED, MicroLED promises zero burn-in issues.

ALL N ALL IT’S JUST ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL...

The 146-inch size might seem random, but it’s actually just tall enough to be able to cover most home walls from the floor to the ceiling.  Because The Wall is made up of borderless tiles, the modular design allows additional tiles to be added, making this even-bigger version of The Wall possible. Of course, if you live in a castle, you can double or triple that measurement, or just make it custom made.  Size does not matter…if you have a deep wallet.

Just like Lego blocks can be built on each other, Samsung has the capability of building it’s displays on top of each other without any bezels showing.  No borders or boundaries; just pure continuous gorgeous displays. Looking up close, I did not see any irregularities and the image looked seamless.  In fact, it can blend into your living space, such as a white wall display that looks like a white wall when not in use.

When not in use, even though it wasn’t designed to turn off, “The Wall”, can blend in as part of your living space.  You can make it part of the wall or you can change it into artwork or even a masterpiece painting by a world renowned painter, such as Renoir.  The main point is that it doesn’t look like one massive giant TV that is showing up as an eyesore that domesticated wives are accustomed to with home theater type husbands.  The wife will be much happier for it.

However, Samsung hasn’t put a price tag on this, but considering the 98″ Class Q900 QLED Smart 8K UHD TV is tagged at $59,999.99, you will probably need to take out a second mortage on your home for the 292″ model, if you have to own one.

SONY

Always thought of as the pioneering innovator of TV’s, Sony Electronics had surprised everyone at this years CES press conference by literally changing gears and announcing they are going into the electric car business by introducing their Vision S electric car prototype.

Surprisingly there was hardly any news concerning the TV side of Sony’s business except that they would be selling smaller sized OLED TV’s as little as 48″, which there is a definite need for in the marketplace.  This is good news for consumers as OLED prices have come down to earth in price, thanks to the mass adoption demand for them, as well as the growing competition with LG and other brands from China who have announced they are selling in the US in the new year.  Vizio plans to come out with their first OLED TV, as well as an OLED line from Phillips, Konka and Skyworth. 

In the meantime at their booth, Sony displayed their latest flagship X1 Master Series, featuring the 8K Sony 98″ X1 which has already been selling at retailers listing for a mere $70,000.00.  They also had the smaller 85″ line on display which retails at a more reasonable $13,000.00.

Obviously, very few of us can afford this new technology right now, but the real point here is that we have reached this point in technology and that it’s here with us to stay.

Who knows?

One day when they figure out how to mass produce these MicroLED TV’s, we all may be able to afford a Wall-TV in our home without having to take out a second mortgage.

It’s certainly in my dreams…

The Aura Digital Photo Frame

The Aura Digital Photo Frame

A long-time problem is how to sharing a memory instantly with your friends, family or even save a moment to treasure for yourself.  In the past, it required camera and film, then digital cameras with memory cards.  All of that presented complexity and lacked convenience.  Now those priceless moments can be safely and easily shared – not just on social media for the world to see, but right into someone’s home or their desk at work.  The solution is beyond what can be provided by social media, that’s why I was excited to try the Aura Digital Frame.

The system is very easy to use.  First I loaded the app on my phone – and it works with BOTH Apple and Android phones.  Then I followed the easy to understand guide on the screen, and paired the photo frame to the app.  This now allowed me to simply select and photo on my phone, and seamlessly and instantly copy it using a wireless connection to the photo frame. I invited my husband to the app so he could send photos to the frame and I get a notification in the app when a new photo been added. I’m able to update the photos whenever and from where ever I want. 

The most notable feature of the Aura frame is the build quality and the finish on the frame. It has a very unique and modern design and very light in weight. It has two touch bars that blend into the side so you can swipe through photos quickly if you want show a series of photos such from an event or vacation, if you decide.

You’re able to create a network of social sharing that’s on display between you and your loved ones. Having everyone connected to the app with one simple click of a button, new content can be shared to your frame. The connected features also allows for sending photos to in-laws, grandma, and family members at work are just as easy as sending to my own photo frame.  I just select the other frame as the location, like choosing another person to call from the contacts in your phone.  It was that easy to do, and setup – no learning required, and nothing to remember.

In the past, digital frames had a fixed space for photos, so you had to choose what to delete to add new photos.  Since I have thousands of photos on my phone, now I never have to worry about space because the Aura frame offers unlimited space. 

You have to check out the Aura Digital Photo Frame if you enjoy sharing your life in pictures. All these features of the Aura Digital Frame along with the app, come at a very reasonable price and make for a great investment for your home and the home of your loved ones.

https://auraframes.com/

The Unfolding Of a New Dimension of Mobile Display  with Samsung

The Unfolding Of a New Dimension of Mobile Display with Samsung

After months of teasing about their foldable phone in conjunction with last year’s MCW (Mobile Congress World) show in March, Samsung unveiled their new revolutionary “Infinity Flex” at their keynote address in San Francisco the following November at the Samsung Developer’s Conference – SDC2018.

Continuously accomplishing evolutionary improvements year after year and creating new industry standards with each smartphone release, Samsung have simply outdid themselves by re-imagining the design of the smartphone of tomorrow, thinking way outside the box of that could only have been imagined in science fiction movies.

“We’ve been living in a world where the size of your screen can only be as large as the device itself,” remarked Justin Denizen, Samsung’s SVP of Mobile Product Marketing at the Opening Keynote at SDC2018 in San Francisco. 

“The Infinity Flex Display is the foundation for the smartphone of tomorrow…Infinity Flex represents the biggest leap forward in mobile display technology in the last decade…together with one UI, it lays the foundation for a new platform.” 

After announcing that the “Infinity Flex” would be in production in April 2019, there were some initial production hiccups after the company had sent devices to various outlets for review.  Many reviewers were reporting that their phones were breaking down in just a few days, but one of the main reasons was that some reviewers peeled off the screen protector thinking it was supposed to be removed, when it actually was one of the innovative layered components that protected the device that should not have been removed.

Even with a warning on the instructions not to peel the layer off, many reviewers did not read the literature in the box.  However, since reviewers are a microcosm of consumers, Samsung needed to redesign and extended the layer so it would make it a permanent part of the phone.

In regards to the other issues,  Samsung made additional quality improvements and refined the design further nearly six months later, addressing those initial issues that have disappeared.

BEFORE PHOTO: The Samsung Galaxy Flex is a smartphone. Photo by Marcus Siu.

Pioneering innovation in mobile display technology has been a main force why Samsung has been the favorite among Android smartphone users over the years as they continue to make things even better than you would think would be impossible to improve on for the consumer. Ten years ago, Samsung introduced Super AMOLED smartphones in 2010 and continued to improve the technology today to Quad HD Super AMOLED, used in the bezel-less Galaxy Edge.  Now that they are in the Infinity Flex age, they continue advancing and have created a new form factor of foldable smartphones. 

AFTER PHOTO: The Samsung Galaxy Flex is a tablet. Photo by Marcus Siu.

The Infinity Flex Display, and the phone itself has a tablet-sized screen that can be folded up to fit into a pocket.  When folded, the view-able screen measures 4.6 inches. When unfolded, the device has a 7.3-inch display, about the size of a tablet screen. 

It’s difficult to fathom how this could be entirely possible given the physical and its dimensional characteristics.  How is this possible to bend and fold a smart-phone as though it was a leather wallet that you can put in your back pocket?

Samsung basically re-imagined the way smartphones are made .  They substituted the protective cover glass and replacing it with a composite polymer that is flexible and tough yet durable.  They also came up with a unique adhesive that improves the elasticity of the component layers (cover window (PI), shock-absorbent film, ultra thin polarizer, flexible layer and backplane).  Finally, they invented a new polarizer, reducing the thickness by 45%.  All these factors would reduce the thickness of the phone in order for it to be folded and unfolded repeatedly hundreds of thousands of times, creating a new form factor, opening a new dimension with the Infinity Display technology.

As a side note, the Opening Keynote at SDC2019 also teased a new unnamed concept design of that of a traditional flip phone, much like those styles of Nokia and Motorola used in the early days of cell phones.  The “clam-shell” foldable phone allows the device to fold width wise instead of lengthwise.

With the creation of the Samsung Fold phone, there will be endless possibilities to this newly created form factor which will continuously flourish and develop into a new era. 

To Infinity and beyond!

THX Certified EVOO Laptops: Games & Movies Have Never Looked or Sounded Better

THX Certified EVOO Laptops: Games & Movies Have Never Looked or Sounded Better

After purchasing a brand new TV or laptop, how many consumers out there do you think actually go through the trouble to calibrate and fine-tune the colors of their display to get the finest picture possible?  Probably not many.

The majority of users don’t even think about adjusting the display settings on their monitors or laptops, and just leave the factory default settings alone.   It never crosses their minds that they actually need to adjust and balance the settings if they want a better picture with better contrast or crisper and brighter colors.  The fact is, most of the companies simply do not calibrate their displays they package.

THX, known for the certification of movie auditoriums, as well as home theaters, car audio systems, and gaming consoles has just recently branched out to include personal mobile devices.  The latest lineup of THX certified EVOO devices were on display at the Pepcom show in San Francisco, which come pre-calibrated and tuned by THX engineers, who spend countless hours, guaranteeing the consumer get the best in sound and picture possible right out of the box. 

This is a big win for the consumer.

However, the really impressive news is that the EVOO gaming laptops will feature multi-dimensional sound utilizing “spatial audio”, where the sound not only surrounds you not only from the front, rear and sides, but also above and below you…basically a 360 degree field.  You can experience this through the built-in speakers from the laptop or just using headphones.  If you are a gamer or movie watcher, you cannot get better than this for a total immersive experience from any other mobile device.  If you prefer, you can always set it down to “stereo”.

The THX slogan of “the audience is listening” now can probably come out with a more updated slogan” “the audience is immersing”…

“We are pleased to help bring to market these exceptional new EVOO devices. With the EVOO Gaming laptops, gamers experience spherical multidimensional audio, putting them at the center of the action in video games, movies, streaming video, and music,” said Jason Fiber, senior vice president and general manager, mobile products, THX Ltd. ”Adding to this, our THX engineers worked diligently to calibrate the displays so the devices will offer a quality viewing experience with brighter, clearer colors and vibrant, focused contrast.”

EVOO Gaming Laptops – THX Spatial Audio and Tuned by THX: EVOO, a private-label electronics brand today announced three new Intel-powered EVOO Gaming laptops optimized for dedicated and new gamers. The EVOO gamer will have the option of enjoying THX stereo as well as THX Spatial Audio to experience three-dimensional audio immersion. This means the player may become fully immersed in an authentic game experience that transports them into the computer game environment with true-to-life acoustics that allows them to accurately locate enemies, avoid dangers, and detect threats with the precision and pin-point accuracy of advanced audio positioning. THX Spatial Audio may also help reduce ear and brain fatigue by moving sounds perceptibly farther away from the player in order to encourage mental sharpness enabling longer playtime. Recognizing that great content needs exceptional graphics, the EVOO Gaming laptops also feature displays Tuned by THX, resulting in a compelling and accurate viewing experience. THX engineers spend countless hours testing, tuning and adjusting a myriad of display parameters in order to provide exceptional, crisp display color and images for the best possible video experience from the time it is taken out of the box.

These three performance-series EVOO Gaming laptops, expected to be available in early November, include:

  • a 17.3-inch full HD screen with an Intel i7 9th gen processor, 16GB/1TB and Nvidia RTX 2060 ($1599 MSRP),
  • a 15.6-inch full HD screen Intel i7 9th gen processor, 16GB/512GB, and Nvidia GTX 1660ti ($1299 MSRP), and
  • a 15.6-inch full HD screen with an Intel i7 9th gen processor, 16GB/256GB, and Nvidia GTX 1650 ($1199 MSRP).
Mobile Edge CORE Power Portable Laptop Charger

Mobile Edge CORE Power Portable Laptop Charger

September 2019 – The marketplace has a number of products to address the portable marketplace.  The battery powered world of mobility is the dominant technology of the business environment and people’s personal life.  This means in addition to the cell phones, tablets, laptops and gaming devices people are carrying extra batteries.  The challenge to get these products to work the whole day, and especially the high power devices.

To enter the solution space for these issues is computer peripheral and lifestyle manufacturer Mobile Edge.  In addition to the standard pocket sized Li external batteries, they have their premier Core Power Portable 27000 mAh Laptop Charger.  The unit, with high power 2.4A USB2, a fully compliant USB3 & USB-C and a 110V 85W standard 3 prong outlet.

This compact unit allows for not only phones and tablets, but also laptops and chrome books.  These devices do not typically make it through a full day. This small ( Dimensions: 189 x 122 x 30mm , Weight: 720g )  power brick can operate a standard gaming laptop for several hours to allow any student or avid gamer to complete a competition without performance hits on the computer as it switches from line cord to battery.

Most of the power bricks in this class are too big to be carried around in a backpack and are difficult to use.  This has a simple on-off switch for the power outlet and will work with either 2 prong polarized plugs and 3 prong plugs so just about any convertible device or laptop can plug in.

The unit charges in just a few hours overnight, and fits in a dedicated pocket in the Mobile Edge Core Gaming backpacks, and they include the internal USB cable to keep devices charged while not in use.

It’s Just So Nreal at AWE 2019

It’s Just So Nreal at AWE 2019

As soon as the Expo floor was opened at the Convention Center on Day One at this year’s 2019 AWE conference in Santa Clara, much of the crowd gathered in the congested nreal booth at the main entrance of the hall.  With great anticipation, hoards were checking out the various AR demos on display, as well as queuing up in long lines getting ready to ask questions regarding the release of the upcoming SDK developer kit.

Six nreal glasses were on display surrounding the booth and demonstrated non-stop and around the clock with impressive mixed reality and even trailers of movies, such as the latest installment of “Mission Impossible”.  There were longer demos that required longer wait times, but it was truly worth it, as the demos showcased an impressive demo reel of 3D AR experiences.  

nreal, not to be confused with the elite graphics game engine, “Unreal”, though like “Unreal”, this company seems to put its priority on delivering high quality and immersive visuals in the Mixed Reality landscape that are quite “eye popping”, as well.

Indeed, nreal is one of the newest and exciting consumer product companies to emerge recently.  They were this year’s recipient at CES 2019 for “Best Startup” company by Engadget, and have been actively developing ready-to-wear mixed reality devices since 2017.  In addition to attending the CES show in Las Vegas early this year, they also made an appearance at the GDC (Games Developer’s Conference) in San Francisco in March.

At the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara last Thursday, they announced that they will be shipping the nreal Light Consumer Kit ($1199), which sports a 1080p resolution, 52-degree field of view smart glasses and a 3DoF controller and computing unit.  In addition they will also be shipping the smart glasses without the controller and computing unit for $499, which can also be used in conjunction with any smartphone using the Snapdragon 855.

To achieve its relatively low price, the nreal Light Consumer Kit requires consumers to use Android devices that are powered by the Snapdragon 855 chip by Qualcomm, who nreal is also partnering with.  Phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, Sony Xperia 1, LG G8, and the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT all contain the 855 processor and are fully compatible with the nreal Light.

Weighing at a light three ounces, these comfortable MR glasses sport an industry-leading wide-screen vivid display with a stunning 1080p HD resolution, bypassing the visual quality of the Microsoft’s Hololens and MagicLeap. Combined with its SLAM-based environment-understanding AI algorithms, nreal offers a truly immersive MR experience for their flagship product.

“We’re excited to finally make nreal Light available to consumers, which at just $499 has dramatically lowered the barrier to adoption and introduces a new category for mixed reality devices that are finally within the reach of an average consumer,” said Chi Xu, CEO and founder of nreal, in a statement.

The cost makes this truly affordable for this type of technology. 

Based in Beijing, this company  just seemed to just come out of nowhere and has a good chance to become a major player in the wearable A/R smart glasses market industry in the coming years.  Looking forward to seeing how they advance the industry.