CES 2019 Counterpoint Coverage

Counterpoint Research attended CES 2019. Total attendance was down this year. This is partially because many of the main tech sectors with the most excitement are not yet ready for prime time. It is also because more companies are branching off and doing their own developer conference or analyst / media event. Some companies are deciding to fund and attend more precise industry events instead of CES and its broadness. Despite this downturn in attendance, there was plenty of interesting evolution within AI, 5G, automotive, smartphone tech, and other spaces.

The busiest booths at CES were Amazon and Google, and more specifically, their voice assistant areas. Amazon gave some interesting statistics:

  • 28k unique hardware devices have implemented Alexa voice capabilities with 60k learned skills.
  • Over 100m ‘Echo and Echo-like’ devices have been sold.

This space has been around for years. The beauty of the space today is how much the cost has been driven down and the ease of implementation. Today, for example, Amazon has off-the-shelf hardware modules an OEM can choose depending on the sophistication level needed. Since Amazon has enabled voice in millions of devices, its R&D services are extraordinary. This R&D hand-holding is quickly driving voice into new hardware, which continues to accelerate Alexa adoption.  Google equally flexed their voice assistant muscles.

AI: AI was over-hyped at CES. Much of the hardware bragging ‘AI’ ran simple code that served a purpose or ran some if-then statements. There was no actual learning going on. However, even with the over-hyping, the number of products and verticals touting AI was impressive. TV’s, smart cameras, and smartphones were, of course, there. There were also tractors, robots, workstations, glasses, golf clubs, stereos, locks, tennis racquets, and hundreds of other items. Stay tuned as space matures.

5G: US carriers climbed over each other to cry how they will lead 5G rollout. Lacking were any details on pricing which will give the true insights into how fast subscribers will adopt. Carriers realize that enhanced mobile broadband to smartphone owners will not drive enormous adoption. This is why all major carriers have set up innovation centers to drive much-needed 5G applications. Much easier to understand but are year(s) away are new use cases of connected cities, connected (5G) factories, and the big prize—automated driving cars. Fixed wireless mobile broadband will be a key and early use case if the economics work out.

Auto: The auto space was everywhere. Many semiconductor players have solutions aimed at ADAS, mmWave radar, and infotainment systems. Automobile players were demoing their vision of new services for the fully automated era. For more, see numerous reports on such as, How Do Automakers Generate Additional Revenues from Connected Vehicles?



Smartphones: No major OEMs launched devices. Wrong time of the year. MWC and other events are where the major launches occur. There was some interesting smartphone tech at the show. We are in the early innings of foldable displays. They are big, bulky, expensive and the key use cases remain weak. Semiconductor and software suppliers are ready to support as the tech evolves. We also saw new technologies and implementations to eliminate the display ‘notch’. There were also live demos of over-the-air wireless charging. Despite no major flagships launching, there was still plenty to see within mobile.

For more highlights, see our CES report (here).

CES 2019 Round Up

Counterpoint Analysts attended CES in Las Vegas, meeting companies to gain insights into the latest developments. Here is a look at the major updates from CES 2019 Day 2 & 3.

HERE Introduces Navigation on Demand

 HERE announced the introduction of Navigation On Demand, claiming to be the world’s first ‘Navigation as a Service’ solution. Providing a broad, universal framework that can integrate connected services and navigation to any vehicle, HERE’s Navigation on Demand is specifically designed to address the challenges of having to frequently build and update in-car user interfaces. HERE Navigation On Demand can be customized to work across different models, varied infotainment platforms, operating systems, and production regions.

Using secure over-the-air updates via the internet, Navigation on Demand also offers vehicle owners the convenience of never having to visit a dealership to receive updated map data. Powered by the HERE Open Location Platform – Navigation On Demand offers automakers the agility to deliver competitive navigation experiences, by providing them flexibility to design and deploy their own unique business models and strategies.

Source: Android Central


Jenax Introduces World’s First Truly Flexible Battery

J.Flex, is a flexible battery from Jenax (a Korean startup). It’s a potential step forward for smart wearable devices although the company said it’s been specifically designed for medical devices. Currently however the battery capacity is just around 30mAh rendering it somewhat less useful for many applications.


Source: Android Headlines

Echo Auto Pre-Orders Cross 1 Million

At CES 2019, Amazon is showcasing Echo Auto – a credit card sized device that can be placed on a car dashboard to integrate voice assistant Alexa via a headphone jack. Costing around $50, the device will integrate Amazon Music, Google Maps and even smart home appliances with Alexa. According to Amazon, over a million people have pre-ordered Echo Auto.

Samsung also showcased Bixby (voice assistant) integrated in a car, through which driver can control the in-vehicle experience and smart home appliances. The automotive segment has a small share in the current global voice assistant market, but offers a huge potential and stickiness factor, especially for early movers.


Source: TechCrunch

A New Process for Repairing Broken Display

Black Rock, a Germany-based company developed a new process of repairing broken smartphone displays. This is done by hitting the display module with oscillating frequencies to vibrate and separate the LCD from the glass. This process is done under extremely low temperatures.  Once separated, the repair technician can replace the broken glass at roughly 25% of the previous cost of repair of the entire display module. After the ‘screen freeze’ process, new glass can be adhered to the clean LCD. The patent is pending for this unique process.

The Black Rock process can overcome an issue of iPhones becoming unresponsive if repaired with a new LCD. This only occurs when third parties have carried out the repairs meaning Apple has provided the only risk-free replacement – but at a price. This risk is avoided when LCD’s are retained and only the front glass replaced.

Source: Counterpoint Research

Apart from these, CES 2019 also covered some startups coming up with interesting tools like Wacom’s CINTIQ 16, ISKN’s Slate Repaper, Remo’s Obsbot Tail, Elegato’s Key Light Display.


Previous Coverage:

Run Upto CES 2019

CES 2019 Day 1 Highlights


CES 2019 Day 1 Highlights

Counterpoint Analysts are attending the CES Event 2019 in Las Vegas to meet companies and gain latest technological insights. Here is a look at the major updates from CES 2019 day 1.

HERE SoMo – Social Mobility Platform – a Play to Integrate Social with Mobility

This app is a standalone play looking to integrate maps with mobility players as well as having a social component. It’s good for HERE to invest in this “whitespace” and build out its solutions to differentiate it from the siloed approach that Uber or Lyft are taking. Having a marketplace will allow users to choose their mobility preferences and help engage them both on a social and cost-saving level (through ride shares / alternative transportation methods). It will greatly enhance HERE’s data if it gets enough traction for users to start using the app over already established, but siloed players.

Source: Here

Alibaba’s Tmall Genie Voice Assistant to be Introduced in BMW Vehicles in China

Alibaba and BMW have announced the integration of Alibaba’s voice assistant, Tmall Genie, for BMW customers in China by the end of 2019. The move extends BMW’s Connected service, which is already integrated with other Tmall Genie-compatible devices. The new feature allows customers to use the BMW display screen, serving up text and images.

Integration with Alibaba’s Tmall Genie in BMW vehicles in China opens new possibilities in terms of intelligent connectivity between the vehicle and customers’ digital touchpoints. BMW Connected is currently used by 1.5 million customers. Alibaba claims to have sold over 5 million Tmall Genie units since its launch in 2017.

Source: BMW

USB C Powered Displays

USB C opened opportunities for new accessories. Since it can support Power Delivery (PD) in addition to superfast data speeds. Due to limited adoption of the USB type C, there is a wide need for dongles, which is a problem during the initial adoption of any new technology. Now USB type C is being widely adopted by OEM’s, be it smartphones, headphones, PC’s etc. There are a few launches with the type C powered portable displays, which can be used plug and play. With the upcoming flexible displays, USB type C will play an important role in making the form factor as small as possible.


Source: The Verge

Nanosats Announcement on IoT  Via Satellite Connectivity

Only around 10% of the planet is covered by terrestrial telecom networks. The other 90% (which includes oceans) requires satellites for connectivity. The opportunity for IoT to support applications such as sea freight will therefore also require satellites. Companies in satellite connectivity such as Nanosats are looking to capitalise on this opportunity by providing connectivity to the maritime industry, smart cities, and more remote applications. Nanosats already launched one of its nano satellites with SpaceX in early December and is planning to launch 64 more to connect and track assets everywhere on the planet.

Instead of competing directly with existing players such as Iridium, GlobalStar, and ORBCOMM, Nanosats is planning to offer a back-up solution targeting applications where network reliability needs strengthening.

Source: TechRepublic

Visteon Showcases Integration of DriveCore Autonomous Platform and SmartCore Cockpit Domain Controller

DriveCore is designed as a complete technology platform for autonomous vehicles consisting of hardware, in-vehicle middleware and a PC-based software toolset. Developers can tap into Microsoft Azures cloud to develop, test and validate algorithms for autonomous driving, making it more scalable.

SmartCore cockpit domain controller uses Qualcomm Technologies third generation Snapdragon platform to integrate several cockpit domains on a single SoC through a single driver interface.

Integrating the above two, coupled with AI and larger curved displays can create a seamless HMI experience between driver and vehicle. Technology (Microsoft, Qualcomm) and automotive companies (Visteon) are collaborating to make solutions that are scalable and simpler (reducing number of ECUs) for next generation vehicles.

Source: Autocar Pro

Withings (formerly Nokia Health) Returns to CES 2019 With New Hybrid Watches

Withings announced Move, hybrid watch which can take electrocardiograms (EKG or ECG). The major attractions of these hybrid watches are the design and price point; $130 for the ECG version and $70 for non-ECG version. It’s expected in 2Q19, pending FDA and CE clearance. There have been low-cost ECG devices before Apple Series 4 watch, but Apple has always been a trend setter. We expect Fitbit and Garmin will also join this ECG-on-watch trend.

Source: Withings

Previous Coverage:

Run Upto CES 2019

Run Upto CES 2019

Counterpoint Analysts are attending the CES Event 2019 in Las Vegas to meet companies and gain latest technological insights. Here is a look at the major updates from run upto CES 2019.

Garmin Announced 4G LTE Connectivity

Garmin announced the vívoactive 3 Music – connected by Verizon, its first GPS smartwatch with 4G LTE connectivity. The smartwatch equipped with Corning (GLW) Gorilla Glass 3, uses ALT1210 chipset from Altair Semiconductor.
It has a battery life of up to 5 days in non-cellular and non-GPS smartwatch mode or up to 4 hours when connected to GPS, playing music and using the LiveTrack feature over 4G LTE.

This was inevitable. It’s been more than a year since Apple introduced its cellular version of the Smartwatch. Apple stepped up its strategy in the smartwatch segment by enhancing the features of smartwatches into broad-based functionalities, including some health and fitness tracking capabilities. Moreover, Apple initiated the trend of ‘smartwatch as a standalone wearable device’ with the adoption of cellular connectivity, which is still driving the new wave of cellular connected wearables globally. Great news for mobile operators!


Source: Garmin

TomTom in Partnership with Denso to Debut End-to-End Autonomous Driving System

TomTom in partnership with Denso will develop an end-to-end Level 2 autonomous solution, using Denso’s sensors (for perception) to update its maps. Data from the sensors will update the maps in real time. Partnership with Denso, world’s second largest component supplier, and a leading player in ADAS system is a big win for TomTom. TomTom can secure its revenue streams (through maps) from leading OEMs through partnerships like these, amidst the growing threat from Google.


Ford Plans New Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything, C-V2X, in its Autonomous vehicles by 2022

Announced at CES 2019, Ford Motor Co. plans to roll out C-V2X wireless technology, that will augment sensors used in its proposed autonomous cars, making the view from radars and cameras more comprehensive. The new technology enables sharing data, such as car’s location, colour of traffic light, road signs and pedestrian’s crossing, with other vehicles.


Source: Ford

iTunes on Samsung Smart TVs

Samsung scored high on Smart TV with 8K QLED 98-inch display with AI enabled render technology to upscale lower quality images to 8K resolution.

This innovation will solve the 8K content availability problem. Additionally, the content available on Apple iTunes and AirPlay 2 on Samsung TV is a big win both for Apple and Samsung. Apple is expanding its ecosystem and service revenue install base outside of Apple and Microsoft ecosystem, which will further help Apple to get additional user base for its services. Samsung will benefit from Apple’s premium user base with this partnership. Samsung’s AI platform Bixby will get additional information and install base to further optimize its use cases.


Source: Samsung


Intel Progressing on 10nm Chips

Along with Lakefield, Intel has introduced a new hybrid architecture, 3D Foveros and a tiny board size. It has opened up new possibilities for lighter laptops, new devices like phones and tablets with unique form factors that take up lesser space. However, with competitors like Qualcomm already moving to 7nm with new SoC for laptops, Intel is still lagging at matching the high performance, low power consumption, and thin designs. The issue for Qualcomm is to match the Windows performance on ARM. Until this is resolved, Intel has time to quickly adapt and evolve to these new platforms. With these new SoCs, Intel is moving in the right direction to maintain its dominance in the PC market.


Source: Intel

First foldable Display on the Market

The company Royole has made a foldable display that is now commercially available in a smartphone called FlexPai. It bends freely from 0 to 180 degrees and can bend more than 200,000 times. The display is AMOLED and the screen is claimed to be scratch resistant. While this had a great WOW factor at CES, this is still just a proof of concept. The folded phone is still bulky and having it folded out to phablet size makes it pretty unwieldy for those with smaller hands. Technology will continue to advance and make this product more viable, but as long as the device is still pretty thick and clunky, it will just be a novelty device.


Source: Royole

Nvidia Dives into Automotive Platform Business

Nvidia announced a Level 2 Plus autonomous driver-assistance platform – The Nvidia Drive Autopilot. The new system integrates Nvidia’s Xavier SoC processors with the latest Nvidia Drive software. Existing Level 2 systems on the market use a single camera with 3 lenses and a simple ADAS controller, which enables basic functions such as lane-keep assistance and adaptive cruise control. Nvidia’s Drive Autopilot will leverage multiple cameras and will assist with lane changing, pedestrian and cyclist detection, parking assistance, personal mapping and driver monitoring. It also allows for over-the-air software updates. The new system is part of Nvidia’s effort to expand its reach in the mass market.


Source: Nvidia 

Apart from these, some other highlights from CES 2019 are:

  • Swiss wearable brand MyKronoz unveiled 2 hybrid smartwatches ZeTime2 and ZePop.
  • Qualcomm Technologies, The City of Las Vegas and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has announced the implementation of a new vehicle communication technology C-V2X and many other Qualcomm power devices.
  • Amazon has made announcements regarding Amazon Key that lets the delivery person deliver packages inside a garage and many other built in Amazon devices.

Meet Counterpoint at CES 2019, Las Vegas

Counterpoint will be attending the Consumer Electronics Show from January 8 – 11, 2019.

Our analysts, Tom Kang, Jeff Fieldhack and Maurice Klaehne will be attending the CES 2019. You can schedule a meeting with them to discuss the latest trends in the technology, media and telecommunications sector and understand how our leading research and services can help your business.

To get live CES 2019 updates you can watch this space or follow us on Twitter 

Click here to schedule a meeting with them.

Read more about the CES 2019 Event.

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