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CES 2020 Day 1 Recap: Flying taxis, Impossible Pork, and 5G laptops

Looking for the newest CES news? We’re live blogging all the latest CES 2020 announcements in Thursday’s CES Day 4 live blog.

Digital Trends’ Ongoing CES Coverage

Day one done

By Mathew Katz

7:49 p.m. It’s been an exciting first day of CES (I really wasn’t expecting that Sony car), but it’s time for us to sign off. We’ll be back bright and early tomorrow morning with our CES Day 2 live blog.

Sony made an electric car for some reason

By Mathew Katz

7:10 p.m. I thought we were done with the big, crazy announcements for the day — then Sony showed off its new electric car. Yes, Sony — maker of the Playstation and Spider-Man movies — built a concept car that it believes is the future.

Sony Vision S autonomous EV prototype at CES 2020
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The new Vision S is fully electric and has 33 sensors, including radar, lidar, cameras, and more. It can sense nearby obstacles, has a killer sound system, and a huge panoramic dashboard screen. Unfortunately, the car isn’t for sale — it’s mostly just a way to show off Sony’s car tech.

Like the Impossible Burger? Try Impossible Pork

By Brandon Widder

5:00 p.m. We knew Impossible Foods was on to something when we awarded the Impossible Burger 2.0 the Best Tech of CES 2019 award. With the help of soy-based heme — and widespread adoption by fast-food joints the world over — the plant-based “hamburger” helped usher in a new era of sustainability, one that tastes a whole lot better than before. The Impossible Burger was only the beginning, however.

Meet Impossible Pork, a plant-based substitute for ground pork. The faux meat promises the same texture and flavor as traditional pork, but with a reduced environmental impact. It’s also gluten-free, aimed at kosher certifications, and, according to Impossible Foods, can be utilized in any recipe that calls for ground pork, whether rice bowls or your classic sausage patty.

There are no details as to when the plant-based will reach the mass market, though Impossible Sausage is set to roll out in select Burger King locations across the U.S. later this month.

impossible pork bao dumpling
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ever see a flying Hyundai?

By Mathew Katz

4:45 p.m. Two words: Flying taxis. Hyundai just announced a new partnership with Uber to build the S-A1, a flying taxi cab the carmaker hopes to build “at automotive scale” by 2023. The taxi – it kind of looks like a cross between a helicopter and a drone – has multiple redundant rotors, so if one fails, the entire ship won’t crash. They’re also supposed to be quieter than a helicopter.

Hyundai S-A1 Flying Taxi
Image used with permission by copyright holder

That said, it’s not entirely clear who will be piloting the flying taxi. It’s not like you can just have a driver’s license and sign up using the app like a regular Uber driver would.

It’s official: LG’s rollable OLED is coming this year

By Brandon Widder

4:01 p.m. Few products defined last year’s CES as much as LG’s much-lauded rollable OLED. It looked sleek, it looked slick, it looked ungodly expensive. Dubbed the LG Signature Series OLED TV R, the gorgeous 65-inch display unfurled from a minimalist cabinet with the touch of a button, letting viewers gawk at 4K, HDR footage on command. It felt like a taste of the future and now, according to CNET, it will retail for $60,000 and launch in the third quarter of 2020.

The Signature Series OLED TV R wasn’t the only rollable LG had on display at CES this year, however. LG also showed off a 65-inch, roll-down OLED that unfurls from the ceiling, much like a projector screen. It’s still very much a prototype, but if the OLED TV R is any indication, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit the market in the next couple of years.

The best cars of CES 2020 (so far)

By Mathew Katz

3:28 p.m. It’s still the early days of CES, but we’ve already seen (and driven) some amazingly futuristic vehicles. Managing editor Nick Mokey has picked out a few of the most impressive vehicles set to challenge Tesla for electric dominance. Expect to see more on the list over the coming days as CES is quickly becoming a car show

AMD goes big on small Ryzen 4000 processors

By Mathew Katz

2:46 p.m. AMD claims its new Ryzen 4000 processors – the Zen 2 CPUs – are “the world’s highest-performing ultrathin laptop processors.” The new CPUs boast some impressive specs, and are super-tiny given the power they pack.

Ryzen 4000
Image used with permission by copyright holder

That’s Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO, holding the new chip. It’s got 8 cores on a 15-watt processor, which our Computing Editor Luke Larsen described as “crazy.” It could spur more powerful laptops for gaming and “big boosts to performance in multithreaded tasks for workstations,” according to our writer Jon Martindale.

Royole enters the smart speaker game

By Brandon Widder

2:30 p.m. Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are all the rage these days, but most feature a drab mesh exterior that’s not exactly designed to make a splash. Featuring Alexa integration and a wraparound display, Royole’s cylindrical Mirage Smart Speaker aims to change that. The forthcoming device — currently slated for the second quarter of 2020 for a cool $900 — sports a 7.8-inch (1,920 x 1,440) AMOLED touchscreen, as well as a 5MP camera and 48mm full-range drivers. We don’t know exactly what it can display, but based on press images released thus far, at least you’ll be able to view the time.

Mirage Smart Speaker with black background
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Alienware’s UFO will let you take your PC games anywhere

By Mathew Katz

2:14 p.m. Imagine if your Nintendo Switch was a full-fledged, high-powered gaming PC, able to play pretty much anything from Steam’s gigantic library. Alienware made it a reality with the UFO, a Switch-like portable gaming PC you can take with you on the bus.

Alienware UFO
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s a direct shot at the Switch, with both kickstand and handheld functionality, but it’s still just a concept: We don’t know much about the specs or price. You can pick up a Switch for $300 and a Switch Lite for $200, so Alienware will likely have to price the UFO in that range in order to really compete.

Forget the whiteboard. LG’s solution is better

By Brandon Widder

2:03 p.m. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to comb the classroom or boardroom for a fresh marker every time you wanted to jot down an idea or meeting notes? Well, thanks to LG, you might not have to in the future. As Digital Trends Senior Editor Caleb Denison can attest, the company’s In-Touch Pro workspace is a whiteboard for the modern era, one that allows for ample interaction and mirroring capabilities.

.@Caleb_Denison trying out @LG's In-Touch Pro workspace. #CES2020

— Digital Trends (@DigitalTrends) January 6, 2020

The best of bathroom tech (sure, why not?)

1:45 p.m. Last year, we were delighted by all the smart toilets on display at CES. If there’s one place humans need technological help, it’s in the bathroom (seriously, check out a Japanese toilet sometime – it’ll change you life). Well, the powers that be have listened to our cries for toilet tech. Charmin has created a full-fledged toilet paper robot. If you run out of toilet paper in your bathroom (as we all have, always at the worst possible moment), just hit a few buttons on your phone and the little bot will roll into the room with a fresh roll.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

There’s even tech for people who haven’t learned how to use a toilet yet. The Lumi by Pampers Connected Care System turns any diaper into a high-tech smart diaper, letting you know when your little one has soiled themselves. Technology is amazing.

LG’s latest TV is a work of art — or looks like it, anyway

By Brandon Widder

Image used with permission by copyright holder

12:45 p.m. LG may have announced the bulk of its forthcoming lineup prior to CES, but it saved a few surprises for the showroom floor. Case in point? The company unveiled a new 48-inch OLED 4K TV, as well as the GX Gallery Series 4K TV, which takes a cue from Samsung’s like-minded Frame TV. The traditional-looking frame measures a mere 0.79-inches thick and comes in 55-, 65-, and 77-inch varieties, each of which touts multi-format HDR and Nvidia G-Sync, among other smart TV features. Sadly, pricing and availability remain a mystery.

Look at this insane folding laptop

By Mathew Katz

12:44 p.m. Yes, I know news organizations tend to overuse the term “insane,” but I think it applies here. I mean, just look at this crazy laptop:

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Senior Editor Matthew S. Smith got his hands on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold, which is coming out this summer. It basically looks and feels like a moleskin notebook, but turns into the hybrid PC/tablet I’ve been dreaming about since Apple first announced the iPad. It’s also sturdy, meaning it won’t break easily (unlike one of 2019’s most infamous pieces of folding hardware). While it’s refreshing to see revolutionary laptop design, there’s a barrier to entry: The laptop costs $2,499.

one of the coolest announcements of #CES2020 so far. A dual screen PC with a keyboard that makes sense.

— Luke Larsen @CES2020 (@lalarsen11) January 6, 2020

Is 5G finally going to happen?

By Mathew Katz

12:21 p.m. As tech journalists, it feels like we’ve been hearing about the amazing future of 5G for a decade now. It sounds great: Blazing-fast apps! Crazy new VR and AR capabilities! But there’s only so much companies can promise us without delivering. While I’m skeptical, 2020 might finally be the year that 5G goes mainstream.

That’s according to Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon, who predicted at a press conference Monday that 200 million 5G smartphones will ship this year. At the same press conference, the company unveiled a new 5G laptop, the Lenovo Yoga 5G. It’s among a number of new products with 5G built-in: HP’s new Elite Dragonfly laptop and the TCL 10 5G smartphone also have the technology. We’ll likely see more 5G-connected devices as the days go by, and by the end of the show I expect Digital Trends editors will be able to make a judgment call about whether 5G is worth your cash yet.

Qualcomm wants to make your car smarter

By Brandon Widder

12:15 p.m. Let’s face it, your car is a mishmash of technologies, much of which has been cobbled together without much thought as to how it all interacts. Enter the Snapdragon Ride, a road-tested platform developed for autonomous cars by Qualcomm and announced at CES 2020. The platform, set to roll out in vehicles 2023, will seamlessly weave your vehicle’s many systems — everything from radar and rear cameras to lidar — paving the way for more advanced autonomous features and, maybe someday, a world where you can truly sit back and let the car do all the driving.

Qualcomm and Lenovo announce a 5G laptop

By Mathew Katz

11:20 a.m. Qualcomm promised big news at its CES press conference, and company President Cristiano Amon delivered. The company has partnered with Lenovo to create a blazing-fast 5G laptop, the Yoga 5G PC.

Introducing the world’s first #5GPC: the #Snapdragon 8cx 5G-powered @Lenovo Yoga 5G PC. #CES2020

— Qualcomm (@Qualcomm) January 6, 2020

Our first hit of 3D sound at CES

By Mathew Katz

11:17 a.m. The tinkerers at Vizio haven’t only shown off impressive TVs — the company also reinvented its soundbar line. The new Elevate soundbar has speakers that rotate upward when it detects Dolby Atmos or DTS:X signals – the end result is more immersive sound that bounces off the ceiling. It’s basically our first taste of 3D audio at CES so far, though we’re expecting a lot more of it over the coming days. A/V and Entertainment Editor Ryan Waniata played around with the new soundbar (and a few others) and you can see his thoughts in the video below.

Elon Musk has officially been put on notice

By Mathew Katz

10:38 a.m. If you’re looking for a Tesla killer, our editor-in-chief Jeremy Kaplan might have found it. He was among the first to test-drive the Faraday Future FF91. The electric car has a (quite frankly insane) 1,050 horsepower than can get you from zero to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds. While it’s just a prototype, Faraday Future claims the car will have a range of about 400 miles when it goes on sale before the end of the year. That makes sense, considering the company has spent about a billion dollars to develop it.

The Faraday Future FF91 in Las Vegas
We drove the Faraday Future FF91 — though it’s still just a prototype. Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ring comes out swinging

By Brandon Widder

10:20 a.m. Smart home automation and security continue to have a larger and larger presence at CES, despite ongoing security concerns and a recent wave of hacks. Now, Ring has returned to CES with six new products, including a line of rugged smart bulbs intended for outdoor use and three solar-powered offerings, one of which, the Ring Solar Floodlight, puts out 1,300 lumens and has a 45-foot motion detection range. The Amazon-owned company also introduced its first access control product, the Ring Access Controller Pro, which allows Ring users to not only view who is at their gates, but open them as well.

What’s Google up to?

By Mathew Katz

8:04 a.m. Our editor-in-chief, Jeremy Kaplan, spotted some early-morning movement from Google outside the Las Vegas Convention Center.

.@google setting up something pretty massive here at #ces@digitaltrends will bring you all the deets this week

— Jeremy Kaplan (@SmashDawg) January 6, 2020

Google looks like it’s going all in on its Google Assistant (which you activate by saying, “Hey Google!’) at CES. The search giant had a huge presence on the show floor last year, and made a few major announcements about Google Assistant, so it’s likely we’re due for some big news on that front. Maybe a celebrity voice to compete with Alexa’s Samuel L. Jackson commands?

The big livestreams of the day

By Mathew Katz

7:57 a.m. We’re expecting a number of big press conferences today ahead of the show floor opening on Tuesday. Most of them are only for the media — but you should be able to watch a few of the big ones live from the comfort of your home (or office).

AMD will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. PT, and we’re expecting the computing company to stream it live (watch it here). It plans to “demonstrate how [AMD] will make 2020 an unforgettable year for gamers, creators and mobile PC users.”

Intel’s press conference starts at 7 p.m. PT and you can watch it live here. Expect to hear more about the company’s Ice Lake and Comet Lake CPUs.

Sunday’s sneak peek

By Mathew Katz

12:01 a.m. While CES doesn’t officially kick off until today, Monday, lots of companies give previews — or even make full-fledged announcements — on Sunday. Think of it as CES Day Zero. If you missed it, here are the biggest announcements so far:

We were expecting a bezel-free TV from Samsungbut the company awed us by showing off four new QLED TVs. There’s the aforementioned bezel-free Q950TS 8K TV that’s 99% image and 1% border., There’s also a motorized 4K TV called The Sero that can rotate the screen to a horizontal or vertical orientation (imagine it as a big smartphone).

Samsung Q950TS 8K TV
Samsung’s Q950TS 8K TV is 99% image, 1% border. Samsung

Samsung also showed off new versions of its Frame TV, which doubles as an art frame, and four new sizes of The Wall, the company’s modular MicroLED 8K Ultra HD screen, which now comes in 88-, 93-, 110-, and 150-inch models.

Not to be outdone, Vizio announced a few new televisions, most notably the Vizio OLED TV and the Vizio P-Series Quantum X, both of which don’t have bezels. The Quantum X is now 85 inches and uses quantum dots, which give it a better color spectrum and higher brightness. Basically, it makes everything on the TV look better than ever.

Vizio P-Series Quantum
Meet the Vizio P-Series Quantum (2020). Image used with permission by copyright holder

Smart breast pump maker Willow returned to CES three years after its debut with a new model, the Willow Generation 3. The new pump is designed to simulate how a real baby would nurse, and is claimed to help pump an average of 20% more milk over previous models.

Willow Smart Breast Pump Generation 3
Willow claims its new breast pump can increase milk output by 20%. Image used with permission by copyright holder

HP revealed a new laptop made out of 80% recycled materials. The new Elite Dragonfly is not only better for the environment, but it also will include a built-in Tile tracker that can help you find your computer if it’s ever lost or stolen.

Finally, automaker Fisker showed off the Fisker Ocean electric SUV at a pre-CES event in Los Angeles. The sub-$40,000 electric vehicle will have a range of up to 300 miles and even uses a solar roof to charge, albeit slowly. The company expects the roof to add about 1,000 miles of range per year.

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