Run-up to CES 2017

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) gets under way on 5th of January. We have a team of analysts present at the event meeting with tech companies large and small to discuss and analyze the latest developments. This year the focus of the event will be on the evolving technologies in automotive industry, IoT and AR/VR.

There have already been a number of announcements in the run-up to the event. We will be sharing some quick insights on these announcements, with more detailed analysis to follow of the implications of what transpires over the next few days in Las Vegas:

Faraday Future unveils its first production model the FF91

Faraday Future unveiled its first production model, the FF91, amid much fanfare. The vehicle which is feature-packed promises high performance with an EPA adjusted range of around 378 miles and a remarkable 0-60 MPH time of 2.39 seconds. Self-parking capabilities, advance driving assistance, multiple modems for seamless connectivity and a range of sensors that feed the data to the brain of the car to evolve and learn while it moves with an advanced AI system on-board. The reveal comes at a critical time for Faraday Future that has been struggling with financial constraints of its backers. The finances are at a critical juncture and threaten the future viability of the company. Seeing that the car is not just vapor-ware will bolster its fortunes. But it’s a long way from showing a prototype to final production.  The company did not make any announcement on the pricing front but the specifications and features present on the vehicle suggest it is going to be a costly affair.

 

Huawei aiming for the kill with Honor 6X, Dual camera phone at disruptive pricing

Huawei’s midrange smartphone arm Honor unveiled its latest smartphone with dual-cameras, the Honor 6X. With this launch, Honor transitioned from its earlier star model Honor 8. Huawei, leading in Net Promoter Score and brand satisfaction (according to the company) in China, is positioning its online-channel-centric smartphone brand Honor for younger demographics with targeted value propositions. The global 100 million user base of Honor is more than HTC, LG and Sony combined. Honor 6X has been priced aggressively, starting at US$ 249.99 for a 3GB RAM variant and will be available in 13 countries to start with, including US, Europe and India. Sales started in China at the back end of 2016.

 

Nissan to integrate Cortana in its vehicles

Nissan is set to integrate Microsoft Cortana in its vehicles for a personalized feel. The collaboration will be a first of its kind between a virtual assistant and a vehicle, with Microsoft getting a headway in the evolving infotainment systems in automotive. It will be interesting to see the level of integration the company is providing and how it will be used throughout the ecosystem of devices since Cortana is yet to make it presence felt on Android devices and its own Windows 10 mobile device are now extinct.

 

Qualcomm showcased its Snapdragon 835 SoC

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 launched for mobile platform. It is produced on Samsung’s 10nm FinFET technology, this means smaller size and better performance. Among the key specs is optimized support for VR both in smartphones and in standalone HMD’s. Quick charge 4.0, UHD 4K video playback and Snapdragon X16 LTE modem with support for Category 16 LTE and Category 13 LTE upload speeds are also included. Expect to see the SoC in next generation flagship smartphones as well as standalone VR HMD’s.

 

Lenovo’s Smart Assistant takes Alexa into new hardware

Lenovo announced a number of new devices including Smart Assistant that is very much like Amazon’s Echo and also uses Amazon’s Alexa conversational AI. Like the Echo it uses an array of long-range microphones and packs a loudspeaker. Priced at US$129 for the standard version and $179 for a version with an uprated Harman Kardon speaker. The base version undercuts Amazon’s Echo price. Lenovo is demonstrating how powerful an AI platform can be when licensed to third party hardware makers. Expect a number of similar announcements like this and the Nissan Cortana deal; the AI revolution is only just beginning.

 


There is more to come as CES officially gets under way on January 5th.