eARC in HDMI 2.1 simplifies connectivity and supports the most advanced audio formats such as object-based audio, such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, highest audio quality, and ensures compatibility between audio devices and upcoming HDMI 2.1 products, enabling to deliver those formats via an eARC-enabled HDMI port on a future HDMI 2.1 TV. eARC also provides support for the TV’s over-the-air tuner, streaming apps received by the TV, and audio from HDMI sources connected to the TV.
A key advantage of eARC is that it enables a TV-centric living room or home theater configuration that can provide a more seamless experience. Today, an AV receiver—or a similar repeater device—is necessary to extract high quality audio from an HDMI link, while the video is processed and passed through to the TV. The user may have to switch inputs on both the TV and an audio device to find the source of their content, and content sourced within the TV and from TV inputs is frequently limited to stereo or, in the best case, one of a very small number of compressed formats.
With eARC, it will be possible to connect all sources through the TV and send audio to the sound system completely uncompromised. Furthermore, eARC will make possible a new breed of audio-only receivers that will yield greater value and ease-of-use by eliminating a video subsystem. So, in theory anyway, overall video and audio performance will improve with eARC.
French startup Blade presents their awesome Shadow cloud PC service at €30/month that streams a very powerful $2000 (equivalent) desktop PC hosted on their server powered by a high-end 8-threaded Intel Xeon server CPU with an Nvidia GTX1080 GPU, 12GB RAM, 256GB SSD (with harddrive/SSD storage expansion options available) running a full Windows 10 Pro desktop remotely in their server, using low-lag Internet technologies that they have developed, fast codecs (to have at least 15mbit/s Internet bandwidth available is recommended for a good experience), fast tricks that they have developed to make this all possible, to offer cloud gaming or high-end video-editing, 3D graphics rendering, audio processing, or anything else that might be useful to run on advanced PC hardware that you can think of, and you can then run that through client applications either running on their AMD APU based Shadow PC thin client that they offer to their subscribers (for a smooth up to 4K60 or 1080p144hz gaming experience), or you can run clients on a Chromebook, any Android phone, Android TV, Macbooks, any Windows machine, Linux, iPhone, iPad, their service runs on everything. Currently their service works well in France, initially it was just for French users who had Fiber to the home connections, but now it also runs smoothly onto any ADSL, Cable even LTE devices in France, the service is also supported in Belgium and a few other countries nearby France. Because for a good service, the user has to be within as few hops in the global backbone internet network as possible, to experience as little lag times as possible. Advanced professional gamers have tested this system and they have reported that they cannot feel any difference between the Shadow cloud gaming service and a local desktop gaming machine. The lag time are said to depend more on the speed of the PC monitor than of the internet back to their cloud server system. They are about to expand their offering to cover the whole of California as they are setting up a cloud server system right now in the Silicon Valley also. They plan to expand their services globally in the near future according to demand.
BeBop makes fabric sensors that are piezo-resistive, they showed off their latest product the Forte Wireless Glove that can sense finger movements and incorporates haptic feedback. Ideally used in VR applications, this glove can work for 15 hours on a single charge, it is a one size fits all model, very fast response up to 150 frames/second for gaming applications, unique haptic actuators embedded at each finger tip. BeBop also showed pressure sensing foot pads and hand tracking system both using their fabric sensor technology. The company has been shipping its sensors into musical instruments sold by its sister company KMI, one such example was the BopPad a musical drum pad that is in the market already. BeBop is silicon valley based startup, expecting to go into mass production this year.
This is the 13” Place & Play device by http://visionect.com a non-touch monitor for displaying information in office and industry settings, in colleges and schools to show class schedule and details of the upcoming lecture, in health care showing patient status, in monitoring stations showing status updates and the applications are endless . This display is created to quietly blend in, the device has zero installation costs, no wires and offers up to 12 months of battery autonomy on a single charge, made possible by Visionect’s patented ultra low energy architecture, only 1% of the power used by LCD. They also sell the Joan family of products for conference rooms and have shipped tens of thousands of units into companies such as BMW, KFC, DELL, Cisco, Oxford Univ, Sony, Microsoft, Disney, Panasonic, Seattle Seahawks, Huffington Post, Diamler all over the world. The Joan devices come in 6” and 13” sizes. The Play & Place devices are 13” and 32”.
Sony shows off their new Aibo robot dog. Though it’s totally sold out and not mass manufactured yet, they only sold 2000 units of it in Japan (sold out within a few seconds on their website). Sony Aibo responds to touch and voice, it has 22 motor actuators enabling to move anywhere in the room on any type of floor. it has round OLED displays for eyes, a camera on its nose to help it recognize family members and search for its Sony Aibone, a camera on its back to help it navigate backwards to its charging station, it has two hours of battery life and takes three hours to charge.
Philips shows their newest range of Bluetooth smart connected devices that are on the market connecting to their prototype Smart Mirror that helps guide the toothbrushing, shaving and skin care hydration level sensor, as well as a balance weight and blood pressure monitor.
Optoma shows their next generation 4K DLP Laser Ultra Short Throw Projector Prototype, at 8-inches distance it generates over 100″ diagonal sized 4K image on the wall, 2300lumen, 2.000.000:1 contrast ratio, 0.25 throw ratio, HDR compatible. 25-thousand hours life due Laser solid state. It’s using the first generation 0.67″ 4K TI DLP chipset. They plan to release it around the end of Q2 2018 priced around $4000-6000.
Allwinner launches their ARM SoC-Only 3-Mic Far-Field Dev Kit for Amazon Voice Service (AVS) with all the acoustic and distance challenged voice processing done fully on the Allwinner R18 Quad-core 64bit ARM Cortex-A53 SoC eliminating the need for a more expensive and more complicated digital signal processor (DSP) to do Alexa Voice Services, reducing complexity and expenses, increasing flexibility for OEMs, ODMs, IDH partners, Allwinner currently supports Amazon AVS with their R18 dev kit running their Allwinner Linux based optimized embedded Tina OS platform, with support for Android Things probably also to come later. Allwinner not only provides the R18 “open source family” SoC, they also provide Wi-Fi, analog-to-digital converters (ADC), PMIC, algorithms (via partner GMEMS) for a Total package for the device developer.
I think the most promising Note E-reader form factor, here I compare devices using the same awesome 10.3″ flexible (plastics based) E Ink display at 1872×1404 at 226dpi, in thin and light 320-350gr form factors but with different E Ink implementations yet where the Onyx Note seems smoother in the way it manages note taking, page turning, navigating inside of its Android based UI. While the reMarkable seemed to “blink” more in its (Linux?) based UI and with the note taking also seemingly smoother on the Onyx Note at least based on the current firmware that I was able to test and based on how I was able to use the reMarkable. The Onyx Note is shipping shortly at $549 on Amazon (I think they said it’s to start shipping between now and February) while the reMarkable is available at $599 on their website once the perfect Android apps for smart collaborative and productive work are available especially for the Onyx Note (I am not sure how the reMarkable manages evt collaboration work and productivity?), I believe this market segment could grow rapidly to be a very important new market segment. One where creative people will be able to read and work with ideas, with texts in a much more interesting and productive way.
The new 12.5″ Lenovo Thinkpad X280 (2018) is thinner at 1.17cm thickness and lighter at 1.13kg with now an integrated non-removable battery. With two Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, up to 16GB RAM, up to 1TB SSD, FHD or 1366×768 matte display with a matte touch on-cell option, compatible with Lenovo’s new 2018 side docking standard, with a native Ethernet dongle, it also has a physical sliding cover to cover the webcam.
Lenovo launches their 6th Generation Thinkpad Carbon X1 with 8th Generation Intel Kaby Lake processor providing a 35% boost in performance, faster LPDDR3 2100Mhz RAM, optional LTE-A card, optional IR camera with Glance by Mirametrix merging face-tracking, eye-tracking, and gaze-tracking technology. Built with the same carbon-fiber reinforced chassis, Windows 10 Pro, dual Thunderbolt 3 over USB Type-C ports (with 65W Type-C RapidCharge and dongles), 14″ FHD or Quad- HD display with a Quad-HD Dolby Vision optimised HDR display as the top 500nit optional display. Intel HD Graphics 620, 720p webcam, Up to 16GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz, Up to 1TB SSD OPAL PCIe TLC, Up to 15 hours battery life, dTPM 2.0 Touch fingerprint reader, 2x Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C ports, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI, Native RJ45 (through dongle), MicroSD, MicroSIM (if WWAN card Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A is installed), to be available in Silver and Black. It uses a new type of optional ThinkPad Pro Dock with its USB-C side mechanical docking station that spans a broad offering of 2018 ThinkPad devices with DisplayLink and extra USB ports and more. You can read more at: https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-x/ThinkPad-X1-Carbon-6th-Gen/p/22TP2TXX16G
Available to pre-order for $2499 at Amazon.com, Panasonic has improved their Low Light performance and their Autofocus performance (it looks like to me, after shooting this video, for now, compared with my GH5 videos that I am posting in the playlist here) on the GH5s compared with last year’s Panasonic GH5 micro four thirds camera. They removed the amazing Sensor Image Stabilization feature of the GH5 though in this camera, they say as some professional users are asking for it to be removed, and they say also that is because they used a 10.28 Megapixel Multi Aspect Ratio MOS Sensor in this one. WIth DCI 4K60p support which is the format that I film this interview using the GH5s at. In this video featuring Sean Robinson of Panasonic USA, you can see the low light performance, the autofocus performance and you can see how it looks like without the image stabilization system. To me after shooting this video interview with the GH5s in a low light situation, it looks like the GH5s might have better autofocus performance compared with the GH5 (though I am not sure if this AF performance is good enough for my handheld video-blogging yet, what do you think?), as far as I understand, the better AF performance compared with the GH5 is because the Venus Engine 10 processor in the GH5s is able to focus more on performing better doing the autofocusing as it does not need to spend performance managing the sensor stabilization, noise reduction and downsampling of the 18 megapixel footage that comes with the GH5.
World leader in 4K projectors, Optoma presents their lower cost UHD50 to make 4K Projection more accessible to the mass market. This one features 2x HDMI 2.0 ports, HDR10, 50% vertical lens shift, 1.3 zoom. 2400lumen while the UHD60 is 3000lumen, RGBRGB color wheel, 2 inches smaller, 2 pounds lighter. For $200 more, they are also shipping the UHD51A with the same features as the UHD50 but it also comes with Amazon Alexa support, an Ethernet port, it runs Optoma’s implementation of Android (not for installing apps, possibly for Google Assistant support also), USB Host port.
Lenovo releases their Tablet convertible running a full Windows 10 on the 64bit ARMv8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with built-in LTE. Lenovo digital pen with 1024 levels of sensitivity with Windows Ink. 15.6mm thickness, 1.33kg weight, up to 20 hours of local video playback battery life. Comes with a 12.3″ WUXGA+ touchscreen to be priced starting at $799.
HP Envy x2 is a detachable convertible Tablet PC running a full Windows 10 on the 64bit ARMv8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with built-in always connected LTE and up to 22 hours of battery life. 90min 0% to 90% fast charging. Up to 1,000 hrs of connected stand-by time. Comes with the HP digital pen with Windows Ink for note taking and scribbling.
The HP Spectre x360 15 (2018 version) comes with the first hybrid Intel/AMD processor with an 8th Generation Intel Kaby Lake-G CPU with an AMD RX Vega M GPU on the same package. It comes with a 15.6″ 4K Gorilla Glass 4 touch screen with support for HP’s Tilt Pen, a 360-degree hinge, Bang & Olufsen audio, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD and also the option to have the NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU instead of the AMD one.
Asus wins my prize of most important “best of CES 2018” device. This is the most powerful ARM Powered laptop yet. Finally, after years of work by thousands of Microsoft and Qualcomm engineers, true full Windows 10 on ARM is just about to be ready to be launched onto the worldwide market. Powered by the 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, with over 20 hours of battery life, while it comes on Windows 10 S by default it can quickly be “upgraded” to full Windows 10 Professional for ARM that gives support for the emulation of every x86 (32bit emulation supported only for now, 64bit x86 apps will be emulated once Microsoft updates the Windows software further) Windows 10 .exe application, hopefully we can run advanced video editing apps such as Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, Pinnacle Studio, advanced music creation applications such as Ableton Live, Propellerhead Studio, advanced photo editing software such as Gimp and Adobe Photoshop. This Asus NovaGo comes with two full sized USB3 Host ports (sadly, no full sized SD card slot), a full sized HDMI output port, fingerprint reader in the corner of the mousepad and a full sized keyboard with a bright glossy 13.3″ 1080p display. At the Qualcomm CES 2018 booth, they are also showing the two other devices (though both Tablet based 2-in-1 devices with flimsy case/stands) that are being released running Windows 10 on Snapdragon 835 which are the HP Envy x2 and the Lenovo Miix 630. I was hoping that somehow this would be the time Lenovo would unveil an ARM Powered Thinkpad style laptop, but hopefully Lenovo will consider to do that soon enough! In my opinion, Lenovo should do a Thinkpad X1 Carbon and Thinkpad x280 style ARM Snapdragon 835 laptop, that would be great, if possible sold at 50 percent cheaper than the Intel version of each. Also if HP would make an ARM Powered version of their HP Spectre x360, that would also be awesome. Of course it would be really great if they would sell this with an unlockable bootloader (they can manage it “securely” through an approval kind of thing if they’d like) and that users could install among many flavors of Linux on it if they’d prefer (Qualcomm should support the community to still keep full GPU acceleration and full LTE support within any Linux). The Asus NovaGo is the only real Laptop form factor yet running this new very important full Windows 10 on ARM platform.
At CES 2018, Onyx is launching Boox Note, the nicest E Ink device yet, thin and light (320gr) 10.3″ 1872×1404 (227dpi) E Ink notepad e-reader to be shipping in February at $549 on Amazon (with a red limited edition for Valentine’s Day) and the Onyx Boox Max2 is a 13.3″ 2200×1650 (207dpi) E Ink notepad e-reader at 550gr in weight for sale now at $849 at Amazon.com (price to be $799) both run on a Quad-core ARM Processor, with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, very long battery life with a 4100mAh battery in both. The HDMI input is available on Max2 to use the 13.3″ E Ink display as a Computer monitor. Both come with WACOM stylus note input with 2048 levels of touch input for annotations, note taking, idea scribbling, pdf document scribble overlays, with 11 ebook formats supported, eventually that can be used for collaboration and productivity. Both run Android and any Android apk that runs on Android 6 can be loaded and used on these devices which run with 2GB RAM and 32GB Flash storage with a MicroSD slot.
Successfully funded with over $1.2 Million on Indiegogo, the Gemini PDA dual boots Android and Debian Linux, comes with a nice keyboard, dual USB Type-C, HDMI output through Type-C, USB Host, option back facing Camera module, 5megapixel front facing camera for video-chat. They have a whole bunch of keyboard shortcuts and a nice UI for shortcuts at the bottom. One SIM card slot and a second eSIM support, LTE it runs on the MediaTek X27 with LTE.