The Click team is in Las Vegas at the massive electronics show CES. Featuring all the new innovations including concept cars, electric bikes and tiny computers.
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This week internet fridge, finger phone, garden car
and privacy pants.
Right, let's get 2017 started in style, shall we?
Modest understated hotels.
Lots of people queuing for photos of a sign.
A motorcycle vest with built in airbag?
Every January, Las Vegas hosts the massive Consumer Electronics
Show and if you have a product to launch,
you want to launch it here.
And that's why I am being followed by a drone,
specifically, the hover camera passport drone.
First one I have seen which follows you, not by tracking a signal
from your mobile phone, but instead by locking on to a face
in its camera view.
Come with me.
You can tell it which face to follow by tapping on it in the accompanying
app on your phone.
And the latest version will let you scan and upload your face
to the drone so it can find and recognise you automatically.
The theory is that you then don't need the phone at all.
The drone knows and loves your face, just like a loyal puppy.
A flying puppy that takes cool 360 orbit videos or snaps photos
when you raise your hand.
And with guarded blades and sensors underneath to help it steer clear
of obstacles, it certainly seems safe and light enough to fly
in amongst other people or indeed to grab it out of the air
and fold it up.
Hence the name - passport, you see.
Unbelievably, CES is now in its 50th year and in that time it's got
big, very big.
The show has spread beyond the walls of the Las Vegas Convention Centre
to the surrounding hotels and we have seen all sorts of ideas
come and go in those five decades.
The event might have grown, but the technology,
of course, has shrunk.
The TV screens have got so thin that they blend into the walls,
so thin you can peel them on and off.
This is a fully functional Windows 10 PC.
And when I say this, I actually mean this.
This is an Intel compute card and it is a complete computer.
It has a processer, storage, memory and Wi-Fi
and it is about as powerful as an ultra-thin laptop.
Although I think those laptops are looking decidedly overweight,
don't you think?
Although actually personal computing isn't the first place that you'll
see these things.
You are going to see it in things like digital signage,
intelligent vending machines, and kiosks.
In the home you are going to see it in smart televisions.
You are going to see it in home hubs.
You got a couple of great benefits.
One of them for the consumer is this easy ability
to upgrade their device.
So instead of buying a television and then having to replace the whole
television three years and you want to do intelligence
in it, you can just replace the compute card.
So it may be that one day we really do carry our computers
around like this.
We pop it out of the screen at home and pop it into the car on the way
to the office and then pop it out of the car and pop it
into the screen at work.
The question is would we ever want to when we already have these?
This is more medium-term future stuff anyway.
There have been some more immediate things announced here at CES.
Here's Lara Lewington with the details.
The show floor is full of exciting stuff but the TVs really
are a big deal.
They're illuminating the floor with their dazzling pictures.
But Sony say their display is resoundingly different,
featuring their new acoustics sound technology.
The audio doesn't come out of a traditional speaker.
Instead, it's generated by the vibration in the screen.
If you weren't impressed by the back light free OELD TVs with their every
pixel lighting up individually, then I can tell you the back light
is back in the QLED screens from Samsung.
This time, it's made up of quantum dot nanocrystals aiming to provide
a great picture wherever you're seated in the room.
TVs aren't the only household electronics on display here, though.
This LG fridge has a fully interactive display.
You can even press this button and turn the door see-through.
Not that you actually need to because there is a camera
inside the fridge for anybody who thinks it's too much effort
to actually open and close the door or wants to see
their fridge from elsewhere.
That camera will also mean that you can receive alerts
to your mobile phone when food's due to expire.
Plus, it will tell you when you need to buy things and seeing
as the fridge is connected to Alexa it makes it rather easy to do that
through Amazon, funnily enough.
And virtual assistants seem to be everywhere,
with Alexa even being integrated into a Ford car later this year.
Meanwhile, Olly here is even supposed to understand your
I am so excited to meet everyone here...
It looks like we'll be speaking to many more of our gadgets in 2017.
Let's just hope they understand us.
Most people understand that if I do this with my fingers it means
give me a call on the telephone.
However, if I am wearing this strap when I make that gesture my hand
becomes part of the telephone itself and can send and receive calls.
The strap has a little body conducting unit in here which sends
vibrations down my hand and when I stick my finger
to my ear, they become amplified sound.
There is a microphone just in the strap there,
so I can talk into it.
Let's just see if that works.
And it does.
Even though we are at a busy traffic intersection here I can actually
hear a test signal coming through from the mobile phone.
This is the prototype.
The finished thing looks like a normal watch strap and can be
fitted to any old watch.
When you want to hang up, that's simplicity itself.
All you have to do is take your hand away from your ear.
Health is once again a big theme here at CES.
And whilst more people than ever are following gluten-free,
dairy-free or other sorts of specialist diets,
they don't necessarily need to be unless they've had
a proper medical diagnosis.
And that's something that this device aims to overcome by helping
people create the perfect diet for their own personal digestive
Air connects via bluetooth and its mission is to miniaturise
a breath test that gastroenterologists have been
using since the 90s.
It analyses reaction to various forms of carbohydrate,
such as lactose or fructose.
This is based on the idea that if you consume a food that you can't
break down, then it will foment in the gut and from that point
chemicals will disperse into the blood stream,
that blood will be making its way into the lungs and when you breathe
out you'll be able to analyse how well that food has been digested.
So once it learns what works for you, it should be able to help
you customise your diet as the finished app's food database
indicates how likely you are to react to any given food.
So if you find the answer all that's left to do is actually stick
to the lifestyle and diet you need to.
Now then, I am officially calling it, this year's big theme
at CES was cars.
And, as always, it's often the most outrageous concepts that grab
all the headlines.
Rinspeed has previously proposed a car with its own deployable drone.
Well, now it's got one that has a space age cockpit with more glass
than a greenhouse, which is quite fortunate because it has a garden
in the dashboard.
Yes, that's a garden in the dashboard.
Well, so you get a nice smell when you're driving,
of course, and you can even take part of it
with you when you go shopping.
Don't forget to switch the fan on, so you get that lovely whiff.
Actually, a lot of the more serious car stuff is happening in small
steps incrementally, so it's harder to grab the headlines.
That said, Marc Cieslak has just been for a couple
of extraordinary drives.
There's a certain German car-maker that boasts of building the ultimate
driving machine, but here at CES 2017 most of the motor manufacturers
seem intent on building the ultimate self-driving machine.
It isn't just motor manufacturers that are showing off
self-driving vehicles here.
They're doing it with the help of tech companies, as well.
This vehicle is fitted with a system called BB8,
which has been created by NVIDIA, a company most famous
for manufacturing high end graphics chips.
Artificial intelligence software which learns helped by sensors have
trained BB8 to be able to make driving decisions.
Here an obstacle has just appeared in the route
that we were going to take to get to the other end of this track.
The car has decided that they'll not drive into that obstacle so it's
driven around it.
And now the obstacle is going to be gone on the next time around
on the circuit, so let's see what decision the car makes then.
There we go, it carries on driving down the road.
NVIDIA is partnering with Audi to introduce similar technologies
into its future models.
Driving around a car park is one thing but how do these autonomous
vehicles perform out on real roads?
Electronic supplier Delphi has partnered with driver assistance
and sensor outfit Mobileye and created a mini fleet
of autonomous Audi SUVs which are driving around
Vegas during CES.
There are 24 different sensors spread out across the body of this
car which allow it to drive autonomously and what I am struck
by is that you don't notice any of them.
You can't really see any of those sensory devices.
This car is an indicator, if you like, of how autonomous
vehicles will look in the future, which is pretty much like any car
does in showrooms today.
Those sensors include lidar, radar and cameras all around the vehicle.
Here we can see what the car sees through them.
Identifying other vehicles as well as pedestrians and behaving
accordingly as it weaves its way through traffic.
So, I am a rear passenger in the back of this self-driving car.
And so far zero dramas apart from looking forward and noticing
that the driver doesn't have his hands on the steering wheel
I could be forgiven for thinking that I am actually being driven
around by a human being.
The thing is, we have been driving around in prototype self-driving
cars for a couple of years now.
How long is it going to be before cars like this are available
to buy in showrooms?
There is quite a wide consensus among the industry that 2021
is the time where the technology will be ready and after a number
of years where society will start gaining confidence in this kind
of technology then society would be at the point where the driver can be
completely out of the loop.
With that 2021 goal in mind Mobileye announced in partnership with BMW
and Intel it will be testing 40 autonomous vehicles on real American
and European roads in the second half of this year.
So, the countdown has begun.
Autonomous automobiles are most definitely on their way.
That was Mark with what we think is the most complete autonomous
driving system that we have seen so far.
Now if you're looking forward to your fully self-driving car,
there is a problem.
At the moment in the US there are 320 million cars
on the road but they only make about 16 million new cars every year
which means even if from today every car that was manufactured was fully
autonomous it would still take at least 20 years to refresh
the entire fleet.
So here's an idea.
What about retro-fitting your existing car to
make it self-driving?
Well, this is Exmatic and this is a system that does that.
It's still in prototype at the moment which explains
the hilarious computer under the driver's seat there.
But what you will do is stick a lidar sensor on your roof,
a couple of cameras in the windscreen and then I guess
the most important parts are the robotic wheel which turns
the steering wheel here and the levers which operate the pedals.
And this could be an interesting interim solution while you are
waiting for your fully autonomous car for about 20 years.
Replacing the entire fleet of vehicles is one
aspect of the problem.
The other aspect is the fact that 90% of the vehicle remains the same.
All the mechanical parts are pretty much the same.
The parts that get you around.
And so in order to add the brain you would have to chuck the entire
car and get a whole new car.
And what we're saying is you keep your car,
and we give you the brains.
Now if you are someone who preferS the wind to be
rushing through your hair, CES also offers plenty
for riders as well as drivers.
Hence that airbag vest for bikers which detects a sudden change
in speed and inflates just before impact with shocking
force, it has to be said.
Well, I suppose the point is if you are having an accident
then you really need something that inflates fast.
I have to say, it nearly caused me to have an accident.
And now we're all nicely cushioned, here's Dave Lee with a selection
of CES's rideables.
This is surely the most fun you can have on a beach
with your clothes on.
The Super 73 is an electric bike that can hold enough charge
to travel for more than 25 miles.
Its top speed is 27mph which on Newport Beach is certainly
enough to get the wind in your hair.
You have the thumb here.
Don't press on it just yet and the two brakes right here.
So are you ready to go?
You go first and I will follow you. Follow me.
The bike was funded via Kickstarter where it raised almost half
a million dollars and now each bike is being carefully crafted
here in Orange County California.
We have every machine needed to create an entire bike.
There's some days where we have got, you know, 30, 40 bikes
being welded in a single day.
That's to ensure that everything is done properly,
safely and will hold up for a lifetime.
The batteries it needs are getting more affordable,
they're getting lighter, so it means at CES this year
we are seeing a host of interesting ways to help us get around.
One Chinese company unveiled these bikes.
They're powered by normal pedals but they have the android mobile
operating system built in so you can track your progress.
And then there is things like the Movpack.
This is a regular pack, with one movement you can turn it
into an electric skateboard, that's actually easier to ride
than a regular skateboard.
Here is something slightly more traditional but with a modern twist.
This scooter isn't electric, but it does bring your social
networks right into your dashboard.
Can't people go ten seconds without seeing an e-mail?
I would not want to see my e-mails for ten seconds, that's good.
It can go up to one minute.
One whole minute?
But it's perhaps more futuristic ideas like this one from Honda that
really get the imagination going.
This concept car is more about having something that
you don't necessarily own but you kind of just call it up
whenever you need a vehicle to pop to the shops or do some
of those small errands.
It will drive itself to you, pick you up and when you are done
with it you can just let it go itself.
That was Dave Lee.
Meanwhile, I found something much more sensible, which is a VR
And now we are going back to Lara and also Richard Taylor to see
what choice morsels they found on the CES show floor.
Virtual reality is everywhere this year at CES, as you might expect.
What you might not expect is that it's being used
to demo other technologies.
In this case, wireless smart home monitoring.
What I and other guinea pigs have been witnessing through this headset
are what you normally can't see in your average home.
Wireless signals of different frequencies and varying strength
represented here by pretty multicoloured balls all bouncing
around the furniture and spewing from your electronic devices.
Using these normally invisible signals the company behind it,
Cognitive, has developed a device offering a completely new way
of keeping tabs on your environment.
Two units in there.
Aura is a simple two-piece patented system consisting of this white box
and a smaller sensor which plug into the wall and
connect to your Wi-Fi.
Together they form their own network of very low power signals
which spread across your home passing through walls,
floors and ceilings.
The companion app monitors this spectrum data and alerts
users when the signals have been disturbed.
It can even differentiate known members from possible intruders
by the signals coming from the smartphones registered
users might be carrying on them.
We are sort of looking at it as a thoughtful security system.
So, obviously cameras are very good.
They have their place.
But they are limited in terms of what they actually look at.
So you will need like maybe three cameras or something in your house,
where this is extending to a larger degree over your house,
you are seeing more of your house and what's happening in it.
As well as tying into home security, Cognitive is looking beyond,
like in retail, where the tech could build up a virtual heat map
of where shoppers are congregating, although of course there are privacy
aconcerns around this.
Other outfits too are seeing the potential of this wireless tech.
MIT researchers are developing a product called Emerald which uses
wireless signals reflected off people's bodies to alert care givers
when someone has fallen over.
The device apparently measuring heart beats
as accurately as an ECG monitor.
In fact, they say Emerald will soon be able to read somebody's mood
by detecting subtle changes in their breathing and heart rhythms
and perhaps adjust the smart home heating system accordingly.
It's easy to imagine other scenarios, too,
like ad agencies monitoring people's emotional responses to commercials
and shows in real-time.
The possibilities are truly enormous and for some of us that prospect
alone may just be a little disturbing in itself.
Ava has been dubbed the fertility fitbit.
Unsurprising, when it's a bracelet that looks like this although it
only actually needs to be worn at night-time.
With one in eight struggling to start a family as easily
as they had hoped, stories like Sarah's aren't unusual.
We tried for in total six years by the time
we had my son to conceive.
Four years before we went through any form of treatment.
We went through IVF.
We did during that time use a few different apps,
I tried to track my period and fertile times but my cycle
seemed to be a bit all over so it wasn't very accurate and I found
it was adding more stress.
It syncs up to this app where it combines temperature,
heart rate and sleep tracking with the information you provide.
But how keen might women be to use it?
I think whilst I was going through it, yes,
I would definitely have tried it.
The cost would have been a consideration but I would have
tried it because I would have thought it's claiming that it can
increase my chances, you know, it's measuring different things
so it must be more accurate than inputting the data myself
but having been through it and looking back in hindsight
the pressure I was putting on myself and my relationship and how I felt
through that, I think something like this would put
even more pressure on.
One expert raises another question, though.
Body temperature monitoring is a great way to assess ovulation
which has been a standard practice for many years although one has
to say that it's not a very accurate way of assessing it.
Now when you bring in sleep, heart rate and other sort of various
additional bits that this bracelet also measures that is slightly
irrelevant to fertility.
So why have they chosen to include them?
We have been conducting clinical research on how those parameters
correlate with hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle
and we have clearly seen correlations between the factors
we are measuring, such as pulse rate and the menstrual cycle and we have
been proving that it's 89% accurate with the method we
are using right now.
And seeing as we seem to be able to track everything these days,
there is something for the men, too.
This smartphone accessory incorporating a microscope aims
to provide a male fertility test without the need
to go to the doctors.
Samples are analysed and results can be recorded and saved.
That was Lara and if you are a man who's worried that your fertility
might be affected by keeping a mobile phone in your pocket
you might be interested in something else that we discovered here at CES,
which is spartan underwear lined with metallic silver fibres
which apparently block most of the radiation from your phone
to your most precious parts.
I think they feel a bit snug myself.
But insert your own joke here.
That's it from CES.
We're back in Vegas next week.
Follow us on Twitter in the meantime at BBC Click.
Thanks for watching.
See you soon.
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