Rotating TVs, Ping Pong Playing Robots And Flying Ubers: What Went Down At CES 2020?

Every year the world’s biggest tech companies descend on Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – and this year was no different.

CES 2020 welcomed over 170,000 people last week, including our own team, who took to the floor to check out this year’s incredible tech (keep reading for our highlights) and to show our new UNstereotype research.

Using our UnrulyEQ testing tool, we examined a number of ads, including the recent Peloton campaign, which attracted a lot of criticism last year, to see how consumers reacted to the creative and whether they felt the creatives included any harmful stereotypes around gender, age, regionality, race, religion and social class.

To showcase this research we hired an amazing suite in the Vdara Hotel overlooking the Vegas Strip. And in true Unruly fashion, we decorated the rooms to reflect our hearts and minds messaging.

Hearts & Minds Rooms at CES 2020
Unruly’s Hearts and Minds Meeting Rooms in the Vdara Hotel at CES 2020

So what caught our eye on the festival floor?

1. Samsung takes a gamble on vertical video

CES used to be the place where leading tech brands released their latest products. However, many have followed in Apple’s footsteps and now hold their own conferences to announce their latest tech.

Mobile World Congress, held in February in Barcelona, has also grown in popularity and has become the place where new mobile tech is announced. As a result, the number of product announcements at CES has diminished over the years. However, one of the products that CES has managed to hold onto is the latest advancements in TVs.

Last year’s rollable TVs from LG were back with a vengeance, offering consumers huge screens that can be hidden away in neat and customisable boxes. But this year Samsung’s rotating screens stole the show. Yes, you heard that right, Samsung has announced the ‘Sero’, a screen which rotates so you can watch vertical videos.

Samsung Sero - Rotating TV
Credits: Samsung U.S. Newsroom YouTube

Instagram really pushed its vertical video offering last year, and TikTok (an app which allows users to share and create vertical videos) emerged in 2019 as the fastest-growing new social platform. During the CES demonstrations, Samsung showed off how if you have a Samsung phone you can sync the TV to rotate when you rotate your phone. Clearly not a TV for the masses, but we’re sure Samsung will shift a few thousand of these to those who enjoy watching consumer-made vertical videos on the big screen.

2. When will we be able to flag down a flying taxi?

Hyundai SA-1 Flying Car
Photo credits: Mark Matousek/Business Insider

As well as TVs, the auto section of CES continues to be a major attraction. There were an array of vehicles on display, from self-driving and refurbished vintage cars to flying taxis. Self-driving cars have been in the news for quite some time now. Last June, Uber, the ride-hailing/ridesharing/food delivery company, even debuted their own fleet of autonomous cars through a partnership with Volvo.

This year, however, it was Hyundai who appeared on stage alongside the ride-hailing giant. Together they announced the new Hyundai S-A1 will be used as the first flying taxi as part of Uber’s new service. Although this all sounds very futuristic, both companies are confident that we will see this type of consumer transportation become mainstream before 2030. With that said, Hyundai has been working on many fail-safe mechanisms to ensure safety for its riders, including additional motors and emergency parachutes.

3. How easy is it to beat a robot at ping pong?

Quite easy actually! However, Omron’s ping pong playing robot wasn’t built to win, but to teach newcomers how to improve their game. The robot, which was on display at the festival, uses AI to read the emotions of its players, as well as their moves and gives them tips on how to change up their game.

Robots at CES 2020
From left to right: Samsung’s Air Bot, UbTech’s Walker Robot, Omron’s Forpheus Ping Pong Table

We encountered several more robots on the show floor performing tasks based on voice command and pre-programmed activities. These included purifying the air and drawing pictures from memory. Although it’s nothing groundbreaking, people around the exhibition were still fascinated and excited about these robots and they drew in some of the biggest crowds at the festival. As we continue to let tech infiltrate every aspect of our daily lives, it won’t be long before robots become commonplace in our homes and workplaces.

Didn’t get a chance to meet with us at CES? Click here to get in touch!