Listen: CES 2019: Air Taxis, Wall TVs, 5G Hype, Walking Cars
"This week in Las Vegas, the annual electronics and innovation show. Some called a circuits essentially finds clues about the future. It appears that there are all kinds of Tech Trends on the horizon. Some of them quite weird all of them fascinating here to talk about it all with us. Our tech editors at the journal, we have Brian FitzGerald in the New York podcast studio and Wilson Rothman joining us via Skype, welcome. Thank you. So I mean, there's so much to get into. It's always a big deal every year. This year seems extra crazy. I'm sure we also that every year because really on everyone's mind is five G hype. I know it's not punk rock to think five G is cool just yet because that. Because we're not quite there yet. Right. Everyone thinks we're there, but we're not really is C E S validation of this defined five, gene. No kidding. Is it nobody can actually a student at its Oriel wisdom there from Wilson. We highlighted to five jihad spots both of them in terms of that definition thing operated on this higher frequency really high frequency wavelength that these new hotspots and routers, can do so we had one that's a mobile hotspot kind of what we used to call my five, and it takes that signal and turns it into wifi. That are regular are devices right now can use because none of our devices can get on this crazy high frequency stuff and the other thing, it's a home gateway. Right. So five G, even though it's a wireless technology. It's actually aimed at the home initially because I think frankly, it's easier to make sure homes get coverage. Stop you first second because Fitzy is in here. I he pantomime d- hanging himself with his high as you were good. So I'd love to I got the signal. So take it away. Go ahead. Ahead. That was spoken. That was not public. I is my digital sherpa when it comes to see ES might my meeting with five G is that you know, the technology is not there for the consumer yet. But like a lot of technologies the hardware devices are gonna gonna gonna rive on people's, you know, in immagination, and not these conferences and trade shows. Well, ahead of the actual, you know, either Ben with or technology being there for people to use them. And so, you know, my question for you Wilson was there anything like immediately usable for people that should they should take away from CBS. Like, what's the first good use of five G that CPS told us? I mean, the first thing that anyone should do before buying anything is to check their carriers coverage map. Now, you go. Because honestly, there's like three cities maybe that have AT and T there's like two cities maybe that have rise. And right now, I mean, it's it's really not a lot. And there's a lot of promise. But the city maps are what we're really looking at. And of course, as everyone who's ever carried a cell phone knows even when your city is. Quote, covered your house may be completely in the dark. That's right. So. I don't even. Yeah. Obviously, that's really it. Again. I want to you you mentioned moving around or drinker. Kind of I don't know that brought me to a segue toying with about automative stuff because I really want to do is talk about the air taxi is what it comes down to automotive. There's so many things happening by way of advancements in car TEK. But when I saw the drone lake helicopter that they're saying could be held as an Uber. Not in the to just what do you think about this? What is to be said about this? Are we ready for the Jetsons? I mean, this is a heck's copter. Really looks like a toy drone only it can fit. I think four passengers pilot. I thought it was when I saw the picture drone, right? No. And it's a full-size. It's an air. It's an air taxi. It's called the bell nexus. But the thing is they say twenty twenty mid twenty twenties, which I always add five years to what? I'm like, okay. If the people hyping it say mid twenty twenties, then it's going to be twenty thirty before. And also to me, it's like, okay. Once you get all that sort it out, especially with the FAA. Hello what we're talking is. It still just going to be like the owner of our corporation and some other owners of corporations that are taking these air-taxis. I still don't see myself like paying the Uber driver and giving him the tip for an air taxi. Right. Just kind of Kinda kinda. see myself doing. Dreams. Right. I love to. I gotta get up town, right? Who wants to take a cab? But you know, it's not someone's going to have this thing land on their lawn. They're going to drop them on six to new in New York. Like, you're gonna have to build up places for them the land. And if it's going to be rooftops and make it safe it cetera et cetera. Again, loop back in the regulators. So the Perv as of these technologies need to say, it sooner than you think. Whatever you think might mean. But you're right that whatever number you have in your head, whatever date just add five years, and that's probably even optimistic. Let's move onto ground transportation. Because some wacky stuff is happening in that arena scared. I'm aired. Yeah. No. You know, like, you know, so tiny I sit next to Wilson at work. And you know, he taps me on the shoulder. I just see like a walking robot rescue automated vehicle, and I just looked at my said, we're doomed, you know, it's like one of many that are just gonna eventually rise up and take over take over humanity scares me a little bit more. But Wilson what's a car? It's a Hyundai Hyundai elevate. Unlike other cars its wheels are built at the end. Of legs that can articulate like a robot. So you got kinda joints and a swivel. So you see these videos of this thing taking its way through rubble after you know, some sort of cataclysmic disaster. It's like, you know, once we do ourselves in the human race. These things are going to be there to clean up for us. I guess it's the message. But I mean, really simple example, what the one we used in the paper could back up to the top of Brownstone of the steps of a building. In other words, and pick up someone who otherwise couldn't get up and down the steps. So it's like a whole new way of thinking about just getting around town to let's talk TV's. I really want a lot of these TV's that I saw in the shape of walls in the roll up and down. They do all the things that I've been waiting for them to do. It seems like a really good year for TV's. It's a good year for like flagship sort of almost prototype TV's that are sort of going to be sold to people as rich as Jeff panther thing. It's a good year for the. Direction of TV's to finally like what is he going in the new direction that we've been promised for so many years definitely going there now. Well, what was what was to you? You know, observing everything that happened. Yes. What was the best TV technology? We've heard about lead for a long time. And one of the key characteristics of lead was didn't need a sheet of glass too. You know, Elliott LCD the the normal TV technology. We're very used to it in our homes now that needs sheet of glass, whereas Ola doesn't okay? I don't wanna get into much explanation there, but it doesn't and that's why what you saw coming to market for the first time is el-jisr signature lead. TV are in stands for roll -able. It's got this big speaker box at the bottom of it. And basically the TV I'm not kidding rolls up inside the speaker box. The iphone is not Pro Bowl. Right. Just the iphone ten or is not reliable. The ten are is not rolling. The are there stands for reduce. Expectations. Okay. But that's a different podcast altogether. So so yes, so this role TV's amazing. And that's what led Oleg promise. Like, I'm telling you. I wrote about something in I wanna say two thousand three two thousand four about. And that was the promise even that was flexible material, you don't have to you know, it doesn't have to be rigid, and it can be wearable. It can be spent in all different directions. Samsung is going to bring out a full full phone in the coming months. Right. And so what you're saying resonates write this stuff, which which has been, you know, we've talked about for a decade about it's coming, you know, journalists like to think of it in terms of foldable foldable screen newspapers. But, you know, the consumer technologies when I'm hearing from you is that they're they're they're getting there before we go because it can ever be said enough some of the stuff is just ridiculous. So I from both of you had love your favorite. If you have a contender for most ridiculous tech contraption at CS twenty nineteen. What do you think are we'll go? I well, you know, ridiculous is a is a kind of a judgmental word what I found I found something that I thought was horrifying in some ways I found it's basically a hundred and fifty dollars gunfire detector, basically, you treat it like a smoke alarm or or or carbon monoxide alarm that you'd have in your house. Of course, the Mark. Here is really businesses and schools, but still you think about it. It's this little thing that hangs on the wall and can detect gunfire and not only can detect gunfire. It can identify within reason. What kinds of weapons are being fired? Well, I mean, we live in a society where someone can credibly create a gunfire detector for for businesses and schools and that should give us off hot. That's just think about that for a second. Fine. What do you think? So I think the one thing that sort of caught my attention was device that was a wireless charging station. But rather than something you put your phone on? It can still look at it. It's almost like a vase, and you would have to you put your you drop your phone in it. So you conversely charge, but you also can't see your phone anymore. So it's like, it's it's takes it out of sight takes out of mind. And so it's just kind of like in a technology show, glorifying technology. Here's something that we've created for you to be able to hide your technology. Yeah. This is all obviously, very visual. So I encourage centers to check it all out at wsJcom. Slash tech. Editors thank you very much Wilson, Brian. We always love having. Pleasure."