CES 2020: 5 things to expect


Back at the dawn of the last decade, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), used to be the coolest place to be. It was the world’s biggest tech trade show, which it still is, however, over the course of the decade, it has ceased being the place which would earmark the future of technology. That’s why this decade opening CES is crucial for what it represents. And while there is indeed a sea of change happening, it remains one of the highlights of the Vegas strip. Let’s take a look at 5 things that could define this CES. 

OnePlus concept phone:  Forget folding screens because disappearing cameras are seemingly the next big thing in smartphones in 2020. At least that’s what OnePlus believes so which is going to show-off a concept phone at CES which it has developed in partnership with McLaren with who they have made a couple of special edition phones. The cool thing about this phone according to the teasers and Wired Magazine which got a sneak preview is that electrochromic glass is being used on the back which is used on McLaren supercars for the sunroof and on Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s for windows. This type of glass changes the tint on the basis of the electric signal which is what makes the camera disappear. It is almost like a magic trick. As far as specs go, this is more or less the same phone-based on OnePlus 7T Pro with the distinct McLaren aesthetic. Pete Lau, OnePlus’s CEO, has already told Wired that there are no plans to ship this phone, however, this allows them to innovate faster. 

New Laptops: CES has always been the quintessential laptop haven and this year could a wee bit more exciting for folks who have been waiting for some performance-centric notebooks. Already, Dell has shown off a new generation of the XPS 13, however, there will be a lot more. Intel has finally started to have laptops out with its latest Ice Lake CPUs which are powerful but on top of this, there are new Tiger Lake CPUs coming out which are based on its 3rd generation 10nm manufacturing process which will yield high-performance notebooks this year at CES. AMD is also readying its Ryzen 4000 CPUs based on the Zen 2 architecture based on a new 7nm manufacturing process. These chips are successors to the Ryzen CPUs we have seen in notebooks like the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3. While there will be new powerful laptops, Qualcomm’s new 7C and 8C will spawn a new generation of sub Rs 50,000 connected PCs based on Windows which have wireless capabilities including even 5G as they support the new X55 modem on the 8C chip. 

5G hoopla: If 2019 was the year when we had the first generation of 5G devices prop up, then 2020 is the year many people are hoping that 5G will go prime time. Of course, it helps that Qualcomm has announced a new Snapdragon 865 chip which will come tied with the X55 5G modem on all flagship phones this year. For sure, you can bet US carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon to make a big show of 5G at CES, however, for the global audience including in India, it wouldn’t mean much as we haven’t even had 5G spectrum auctions. That being said, it will be a major theme at CES as most flagship Android phones will have 5G capabilities in 2020 apart from the little fact of Apple being rumoured to launching 5G on the iPhone later in the year which will also have a Qualcomm 5G modem. 

8K TVs: One usually sees the cutting edge of display technology showcased at CES and this year will be no different. Samsung is already teasing an 8K bezel-less TV which for once doesn’t look like a pipedream out of Minority Report but a rather practical product which could be a reality. Now 8K is nothing new and the chicken and egg problem remains, however, this year with the next generation consoles — the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X promising 8K visuals, this could change. On top of this, the streaming wars are hitting prime time with the launch of Disney+, Apple TV+ apart from older players like Netflix, Hulu and HBO+ Max, there will be more innovation on the content side more than ever which could fuel the popularity of 8K TVs which we will see at CES.

Ivanka Trump’s keynote: Perhaps the most intriguing and arguably polarising thing about CES this year is Ivanka Trump’s keynote, who seemingly doesn’t have the greatest credentials alongside CTA president Gary Shapiro,  Quibi chief Meg Whitman and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino, Daimler’s Ola Källenius, Delta’s Ed Bastian, Samsung’s Hyun-Suk Kim and Salesforce’s Marc Benioff. Considering she’s Donald Trump’s daughter and advisor to her father, the president of the United States, many believe a case of nepotism is happening here. Regardless of what happens, this year’s keynote will interesting, to say the least.