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CES 2018: the five-minute gadget review

Love gadgets? Lack time? Then read this speedy guide to the 11 tech trends coming your way this year

Many of CES 2018’s announcements were about saving you time, and making the most of the time you have. In other words, you’ll be dead soon, and so it’s imperative you watch films on a screen as big as a wall, and have AI assist your every waking second.

Don’t worry if you’ve arrived here in a panic, desperate to know everything that happened at CES 2018. This list will fill you in on the trends that will shape tech for years to come.

VR is ready to break free

HTC prepped for a Ready Player One future, where everyone lives inside a VR experience (hopefully without all the dystopia). Its Vive Pro ramps up the resolution to 2880x1600, which proves transformative for clarity and quality.

But it’s mainstream-friendly, too – comfortable, and optionally wires-free. It probably won’t be wallet-friendly, though, since it’s likely to cost a lot of money.

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The robots are (actually) coming

One of the biggest lies science fiction told was we’d see loads of robots ambling about. Instead, AIs mostly live inside geometric consumer tech. But at CES 2018, robots made something of a comeback.

They’re still limited in scope, but only a fool would give up the chance to own a Winbot (a slick combination of Spider-Man, Roomba, and window cleaner), and Sony’s reborn (if google-eyed) Aibo.

The smart home is still a mess…

It’s an exciting mess, but a mess all the same. We’ve got companies using a mishmash of platforms, and bet-hedging regarding a winner. Automation seems a distant dream, and there’s squabbling over services.

The notion of being able to blithely mumble a command and have your home do your every bidding – without fuss, a ton of set-up, and regular headaches – remains science fiction for now.

… But Alexa’s out in front (and Google’s gaining fast)

Stuff has been in this game too long to ramp up hyperbole about Apple being doomed, and races being won when they’ve barely started. Even so, as a barometer of Apple’s influence in the home, CES 2018 was an eye-opener.

Amazon’s Alexa is the smart-tech glue in the lead, but Google Assistant is quickly gaining ground. Apple’s seemingly idling on the sidelines.

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