The Consumer Electronics Show 2019 is inching closer, and videos teasing potential product launches and company booths have begun ramping up in an attempt to get ahead of the hype. The Las Vegas-based trade show is a hotbed for ambitious tech demos and splashy product launches and this year should be no different.
Last year’s CES hosted 304 of the 2019 Fortune Global 500 companies and 1,079 speakers, attracting a total of 182,198 attendees. Tech enthusiasts will be looking for eye-popping new products, services, and concepts to get them excited about what 2019 will bring.
Footage of humanoid robots, preliminary announcements by companies, and leaked product footage have already surrounded the convention in a whirlwind of hype. Here’s an early look at what CES 2019 has in store:
3. LOVOT, The Adorable Robot Sloth
Sure, there will be striking TVs, futuristic wearables, and crazy car designs. But what makes CES a sci-fi fan’s dream come true are the robots, and there’s going to be an especially adorable robot this year in the form of the cute lil’ sloth in the video below.
Created by the Japanese startup Groove X, LOVOT is a cute AF bot whose one mission is to make you feel loved. In a teaser video that’s akin to a movie trailer, the company says interacting with LOVOT will make customers feel like they’re being embraced by their mother or snuggling a Golden Retriever.
The company’s site states LOVOT will come with 10 CPU cores and more than 50 sensors to make it “like a living thing.” Much like Sony’s robot dog Aibo, it will make use of machine learning to react to interactions and facial expressions in real-time. It’ll be the pet sloth you’ve always wanted.
Let’s hope the mechanical sloth has a less eye-watering price tag than the $2,899 that Aibo goes for.
2. Potential Launch of a General Self-Driving Car Service
Autonomous vehicle concepts and services have been featured at CES for years now, but California-based startup Udelv seems poised to expand its autonomous grocery delivery service. It tweeted a dark poster featuring one of its cars Wednesday, with the caption that the company has “exciting news” to share.
Udelv announced in September that it would roll out a 10-van feel to deliver groceries to the residents of Oklahoma City. That service was set to kick off early in 2019. This could either be the official follow-through on that earlier promise, or the startup could entirely new updates to share.
Either way, its all-electric signature orange vans will undoubtedly be present. They pack 8.7 horsepower motors and a 20 kilowatt hour battery pack and are estimated to be able to make 40 deliveries before needing to juice up.
1. CES 2019: A Potentially Stunning Xiaomi Foldable Smartphone
Finally, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi might debut its first foldable phone and it looks like the best one we’ve seen yet. Trusted smartphone leaker Evan Blass tweeted a shadowy footage of what is allegedly a never-before-seen Xiaomi foldable phone.
The video shows off how the device can be stretched out into a tablet and tucked in on itself to become smartphone-sized. Blass’ tweet notes that there’s a possibility the footage is faked, but if it turns out to be real Xiaomi could have one of the most impressive foldable phones in the rising market.
While Royole released the world’s first foldable phone at an invitation-only event in China, footage of the device made it clear that its software needs work. This alleged Xiaomi video showed off smooth transitions between the device’s aspect ratios, one of the main problems that hardware makers are going to have to solve to truly bring foldable phones into the mainstream.
This could be biggest announcement at the convention if Samsung doesn’t end up launching its Galaxy F flexible phone.