If CES 2016 was about anything, that thing was the abstract idea of intimacy. Tech companies want to make tech that, at minimum feels personal. The phrase “plug and play” is no longer considered a compliment. The major companies at the annual Las Vegas grin, greet, and bear it were selling items intended to extend selfhood, to enrich your life in a multidimensional ways.

In some ways, the movement towards intensely personal tech is the result of increased development into A.I. technology. For many techies, the dream is to take advantage of software that can absorb large amounts of data relatively quickly, analyze it, and address the needs of users in a way that’s intuitive and seemingly human. The notion of an intelligent bot like Samantha in the movie Her, that learns about our personality and habits and interacts with us in a very human manner, feels more inevitable than crazy. But technology remains hard to love. Friendship will come first.

At Toyota’s press event, the company detailed a vision of the car as more than an inanimate, useful tool. The next Toyota will be “teammate” in an individual’s life. The company’s new research initiative in A.I. and robotics is meant to, in part, augment that relationship and make it so that someone’s specific mobility machines can mold exactly to someone’s preferences in a way other machines can’t currently do.

Toyota wants its future cars to both drive themselves and teach themselves.

A.I. wasn’t the only way tech is becoming personal. The rapid rise of 3D printing has encouraged innovators to think about design beyond previous physical limitations. In the future, if you have a new design idea that hasn’t been done before — ranging from shoes, to buildings, to cakes — a 3D printer will be able to make it into a reality. Consumers won’t be limited to buying products. They’ll be able to buy into the supply chain and create products to suit themselves.

This year, virtual reality made a particularly big splash at CES — thanks in no small part to Oculus opening up preorders for the consumer version of the Rift. There’s little need to explain why VR feels personal — the only question is how long until VR companies have succeeded in pretty much allowing any individual to experience 3D simulations of basically any place on Earth, or any experience had by humans. VR has a capacity to not just tell us stories, but to live them (to a certain extent). And that’s something that’s intensely intimate.

Still, the future remains a shined up version of the present. It feels inevitable that CES become more of a spectacle every year, it’s actually kind of counterintuitive. The tech industry’s past now gives us a pretty good notion of what is worth being excited about and what is a product that might sell pretty well for a while. At CES, the latter is flogged as the former, making the event hard to parse in its entirety. This is concerning in the age of technological intimacy because the sales pitches are invasive.

What I’m getting at is this: If the future of tech is personal — and it is — then the culture of tech needs to change. When you go to see a great tailor, he doesn’t just wrap you in pinstripes and starting stitching. He talks to you. Tech companies, salespeople, and consumers need to get comfortable having conversations about what they want and what they can offer each other. In many cases the answer will be “nothing.” That’s okay. Tech has become the dominant paradigm — the way we both solve our problems and frame them — so no one needs to sell the concept of progress. We’re all in on progress. We’re just all in it for ourselves.

Photos via Neel V. Patel

Elon Musk has a tough schedule. In an explosive interview published Thursday night, the Tesla CEO defended sometimes erratic behavior by revealing details about his 120 work weeks, factory all nighters on his birthday, and a sleep schedule that’s all but impossible to maintain without Ambien.

“It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien,” Musk told the New York Times. Two people familiar with the board told the publication that some members are concerned about his use of the drug, with some noting that instead of going to sleep Musk stays up and posts on Twitter.

AirPower, Apple’s wireless charging mat, is almost here. That’s according to a Friday report that claims the long-awaited peripheral is due for launch at a September press conference, alongside a cheaper MacBook and three new iPhones.

It’s the latest sign of an imminent launch for Apple’s charger, announced at last September’s iPhone X press conference alongside the company’s first wireless-supporting phones but missing in action ever since. The device, which uses a Lightning charging port to receive power, can charge up to three devices at once as long as they support the Qi standard. The pad will also support an extension to the Qi standard that enables support for smaller devices, like the Apple Watch Series 3. The DigiTimes report claimed that the pad would cost somewhere around $161 to $193, placing it at the high end of charger prices.

A day after Apple retracted the seventh iOS 12 developers beta hours after its release, the company has pushed out iOS beta 8 in an effort to address some of the seventh beta’s blunders.

The previous update was the most bug-riddled one yet. Developers took to Reddit and Twitter to report that apps were unacceptability slow to load or wouldn’t load at all. For the moment, it would seem that this most recent patch has already fixed its predecessor’s shortcomings.

Monday saw the seventh patch for the iOS 12 beta in what has been a rapid fire of updates to the unreleased software. Users who signed up for Apple’s $99 developers program now have the option to upgrade their iPhone or iPad once again, only a week after the release of the previous beta.

The flip phone could make a comeback. New concept renders released on Thursday show how Samsung’s long-rumored “Galaxy F” foldable phone could radically transform the smartphone space, with the first major form factor change since Apple’s iPhone convinced most of the industry to produce flat black slabs back in 2007.

The renders were produced for NieuweMobile by Jonas Daehnert, a freelance industrial designer from Erfurt, Germany, based on patents filed by Samsung relating to a foldable phone. The fold would enable a switch from the 18.5 by 9 ratio screen on the Galaxy S9 Plus to a 21 by 9 screen with 1,440 by 3,360 pixels. If Samsung aims for the same pixel density as the S9 series, that would make the F’s screen around 7.3 inches in size. It would mean a staggering amount of screen real estate for watching films and responding to WhatsApp messages, but Daehnert notes that it’s unlikely to fold flat, so it will probably have a wedge-shaped gap similar to Microsoft’s Surface Book laptop.