Screens, autonomous car, smart home, French Tech ... what to remember from CES 2019

  • Google star of the connected home, in front of Amazon

In France, the voice control market with intelligent personal assistants is struggling to take off as only 9% of the population is equipped. But in the United States, one home in four has the smart speaker Alexa or that of Google. The two giants share the market of the "smart home" (smart home connected), with always a premium to the first for Amazon (30% against 27% for Google end 2018). But Google is catching up quickly. At CES 2019, both competitors were integrated into almost all connected objects in the house. Google even announced that his assistant is working today on nearly a billion connected devices in the world. In other words, the manufacturers seem to accept that Alexa and Google Assistant become the standard of the voice command, and they adapt most of their connected objects, from the fridge to the television, through the oven, the coffee maker, the washing machine. dishes, lighting, bathroom mirror and even the bed.

In the small game of the one who made the strongest impression, Google was really unmissable with its huge booth at the entrance of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), the nerve center of the show. The California giant also took advantage of CES to announce new features for Google Assistant. This one will be from now integrated with Google Maps in order to be able to search itineraries by voice and share information with friends to inform them, for example, of the time of arrival. In the same logic of facilitating mobility, Google Assistant will be able in the United States to simplify check-in at the airport Finding your flight information, telling you the time of boarding and displaying the ticket. On Google Home devices, the wizard will also be able to translate in real time your words in another language, by voice and text. Finally, Google launches Connect Assistant, a platform for developersto allow connected object manufacturers to add new features themselves to Google Assistant.

Historically the screens fair, the CES 2019 has kept its promises in this area. This edition has been that of excess with more and more sophisticated and spectacular models. Overall, the show was the scene of the outbreak of the 8K (33 million pixels against 8 million for 4K TVs and 2 million for those who are in Full HD), which allows to offer 49-inch huge screens without loss of quality.

LG has achieved the biggest blow by introducing its roll-up OLED TV. The device allows the screen to disappear after use in a design furniture that serves as a sound bar. Compatible with Alexa voice assistants from Amazon and Google Assistant, the TV incorporates a Dolby Atmos 4.2 100 watt sound system and will be released in the second half of 2019 for a price still unknown.

Samsung, which once again had the biggest stand of the show, also impressed with "The Wall", a huge 4K TV 75 inches and 190cm (!), Based on Micro-Led. A technology that allows Samsung to divide by four the size of its pixels, which gives an image of great purity.

All the manufacturers presented spectacular innovations in the screens. Sony has unveiled two very large 8K TVs, respectively 215 cm and 249 cm diagonally, as Sony, Panasonic, TLC, Huawei or Lenovo.

  • The autonomous car in force

In recent years, mobility has been on the rise at CES. The 2019 edition was no exception, quite the opposite. With most of the global manufacturers favoring the CES at the Detroit show to present their innovations, the show gave an overview of tomorrow's mobility, including the car of the future, which will be autonomous and connected. Nissan introduced its new autonomous electric SUV called Nissan iMx. The Frenchman Navya also caused a sensation with his autonomous taxi that can accommodate up to six people and can travel up to 90 km / h. For its part, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled Smart Fortwo Vision IQ, a 100% autonomous electric car for carsharing, just like Toyota or Ford.

The semiconductor industry finds itself energized, as the car becomes a mobile computer with intelligence that must be secured and connected to its environment. The Ford manufacturer announced at CES a partnership with the manufacturer of Qualcomm processors from 2022, to deploy the Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything technology (C-V2X) on its vehicles. This standard that works on 5G will allow any equipped vehicle, including other brands, to access data from city infrastructures, such as the road fire network, to data collected by sensors from other vehicles. , and to the flow intended for the entertainment of the passengers (video, internet ...).

Since we will no longer drive in the car of tomorrow, industrialists compete inventiveness to develop the passenger compartment released from the steering wheel, gear lever and pedals, so that passengers can have fun, work or rest at their convenience . The German Audi revealed a media project in augmented reality, in partnership with Disney. Panasonic integrates screens, to be able to communicate or to watch Netflix.

  • Great success for French Tech and business between French

More than 420 companies of all sizes - temporary discounts - exhibited at CES. The record of 2018 (412), which itself exploded that of 2017 (320), is already beaten. Large groups (Dassault Systèmes, Air France, Total, Enedis, La Poste, Crédit Agricole ...), research centers (CEA), innovative SMEs (Pixminds, specialized in multimedia, was the third most awarded company in the world with six Innovation Awards, behind Samsung and the Taiwanese MSI), 11 Regions and more than 380 startups in total made the trip. Government side, no one has moved, but Mounir Mahjoubi has wandered virtually in the aisles of the show to show his support for the French Tech.

The challenge of Business France and the French Tech Mission to unite the regions under the banner of the cock of the French Tech, was a frank success. Unlike last year, France showed a unified and coherent face, to the point that its massive presence in the heart of Eureka Park has become an attraction for visitors impressed by this show of force. The innovations introduced by the French have continued to attract many international media. The only downside: the isolation of the Aura (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) and Grand-Est regions, which have chosen to stand apart. Their startups have thus found themselves less well placed in the show, so less visible.

Beyond the exhibitors, it was impossible to walk in the aisles of the CES and the streets of Las Vegas without hearing French. And for good reason: many companies, regions and professional organizations like CPME took delegations provided visitors, creating a real ecosystem of "BtoB meetings" between French, which benefited both the exhibitors, but also the visitors, who were able to do business between them, on the sidelines of the show. "There is everyone at CES, this is the place where we can meet leaders that are complicated to see in Paris, in a more relaxed context. It's a business accelerator", rejoices Julien Nicolas, Deputy Director General of Oui Sncf.

Read also: CES Las Vegas 2019: how the French Tech tries to go upmarket

  • The foldable smartphone does not convince

On the side of disappointment, the media were waiting hard to test the first collapsible smartphone, the work of Chinese Royole. FlexPai is his name, missed his bet. Beyond the technical performance of being able to fold the screen of its smartphone, the smartphone has been decried by specialists for its slowness, and the screen for its low quality, far from the best screens of Samsung, Huawei or Apple today. The next "smartphone revolution" will wait, especially as the interest of being able to bend his smartphone at will is not obvious to the consumer.

This is also the CES: a cave of Ali Baba small and big innovations, sometimes revolutionary as the technology embedded in future autonomous cars, sometimes trivial like the foldable smartphone or 3D printing, almost absent this year because of its inability to find its market.