CES Day 2: 5D Printing and the race for smart home supremacy

Trends from Day One

Chinese companies like TCL and Huawei found themselves in the spotlight yesterday — not just because of the big news about Huawei’s AT&T deal falling through (and the ensuing fallout), but because these companies make astonishingly good products and sell them at astonishingly good prices. Because the spec differences between high-end TVs and phones are shrinking, value has become a key factor for many.

Speaking of TCL, televisions were also a hot-button topic from Day One — Sony and Samsung showed off some seriously spectacular displays all the way up to 146 inches in 8K resolution.

The best of Alexa

Yesterday, Digital Trends’ Greg Nibler (attending his 10th CES) was exploring Showstoppers — one of several “shows within a show” at CES, where inventors and smaller companies can show off their gizmos — and found a combination smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and smart speaker with Alexa support built in. This year actually hasn’t been quite as Alexa-heavy as last year’s CES, but Amazon’s assistant is still popular.

More dimensions!

Think 3D printing is cool? Try 5D printing — technically, no, it doesn’t travel through time to print, but it does print along five separate axes to create more complex, stable structures. There is also a booth where you can get yourself scanned (in just 12 seconds) and turned into a cartoon! Bitmoji, eat your heart out.

Smart ecosystems: A turning point

Samsung made a massive push at CES thus far for a connected smart home ecosystem, routed through smart televisions (and even refrigerators) and powered by Samsung’s digital assistant, Bixby. While Bixby has yet to impress most people, Samsung’s plan to unite all smart tech under the SmartThings app is an undertaking that could impact the future.

The next year or two could decide which company — Samsung? Amazon? Google? — truly comes out on top by making their tech (and their voice assistant) compatible with more third-party products and by introducing a simple, accessible smart home system. Our hosts give Amazon the edge right now, as the company seems to have a better grasp on what people want (and a stronger financial backbone in CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest man on Earth).

That’s all for DT Daily! Check back tomorrow for more, and be sure to keep tabs on our CES live coverage page.

We have more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.