//5 CES Trends From Tech Expert Katie Linendoll That Nobody Has Told You Yet!

Twitter: @KatieLinendoll
Instagram: katielinendoll

By Katie Linendoll – The tech-expert, journalist, and Emmy Award-winning TV personality has given us an exclusive insight into her highlights of this year’s CES. Katie is a CES veteran who knows the hottest topics and developments you need to be aware of. 

For techies, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the most anticipated events of the year. An estimated 175k attendees have touched down in Las Vegas to see some of the latest and greatest technologies unveiled. Every CES has its “themes” and this year, there is a heavy presence of 5G, AI, and 8K TVs. But what are some outsider tech unveils you might not have heard about? Here are some interesting ones to note!

Mercedes and Avatar Release a Concept Car 130 Years Into the Future

The auto industry and auto technology presence continues to grow at CES, and one of the biggest announcements was the partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Avatar. Full disclosure: I had the pleasure of working with Mercedes for a second year at CES, moderating their executive conversations. I might be a bit biased, but the Vision AVTR, a concept vehicle with a unique goal to merge technology, nature and the human experience, created a lot of buzz at CES.

Photo by Mercedes-Benz

The vehicle is “woken up” by placing your hand on the center console and then synchronizes with your heartbeat, and touches like the bionic flaps can mimic your mood or harvest solar energy. You can even drive sideways! So not only is this vehicle futuristic, it’s also sustainable, showcasing Mercedes’ continued sustainability efforts in the industry—a bigger focus than ever at CES and rightfully so!

Streaming Services are Growing

Photo by Disney+

From originals like Netflix and Hulu to newcomers like Apple TV+ and Disney+, streaming services is a crowded yet growing space. One newcomer that is making a splash at CES is Quibi, a new platform featuring maximum ten-minute long episodes. Quibi is headed by Meg Whitman (former HP CEO) and Jeffery Katzenberg (co-founder of DreamWorks) and will launch in April with two subscription options starting at $4.99. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, Quibi’s content budget alone is 1 billion dollars.

Customize Your Makeup!

Valued at over 500 billion USD, the beauty industry is constantly growing, and so does its presence in tech by way of bloggers, apps, and gadgets. We are seeing more beauty tech products at CES this year than ever. L’Oréal, who has made buzz over the last few years, announced Perso—an in-home device that outputs customized makeup and skincare.

The device works in tandem with an app that first uses your smartphone’s front-facing camera to analyze your skin. You can then choose from an array of color options or even match from daily trends found on Instagram. Once you make a color choice, and virtually see it on your face via augmented reality, it just takes a few clicks and the unit begins dispensing your personalized skincare, liquid lipstick, or foundation on demand. Testing this out in person easily made it one of the top picks of CES.

Virtual Reality – Will it Become Mainstream?

Photo by Panasonic

Since its infancy, I have been personally amazed by the capabilities of virtual reality, but it seems to have never quite caught on. At CES, there was once again no shortage of virtual reality and augmented reality devices. One standout was Panasonic’s VR Headset—a new take on a headset. The typically-clunky headgear display was reimagined as wearable looking glasses. Panasonic was able to bring a 1.3 OLED screen to each eye, fitting into the sleek form factor.

Out of Toilet Paper?  A Robot Will Fetch You a Fresh Roll! 

Photo by Charmin

It is my twelfth year attending CES and while not much can surprise me at this point, I was completely amused seeing Charmin’s RollBot—a robot that delivers you a fresh roll of toilet paper. Though only a concept, it provides a good laugh and is a nod to the more ‘unique’ technologies that get significant buzz every year at CES.

Even if you aren’t tech savvy, CES once again made a big splash across all headlines this week! With over 4,500 companies and thousands of attendees going at full speed for the past few days, I expect a lot of techies are ready for a nap. And as expected, there’s even a smart pillow for that!

//Why you shouldn’t use the chicken or egg dilemma in your next argument about hydrogen cars

By guest author Christoph Reifenrath.

When Bertha Benz undertook the first long-distance automobile journey in 1888, there was not a single gas station in the world. Today, more than 1.2 billion combustion engine vehicles populate the roads with possibilities to refuel seemingly at every corner. Even if we are far away from a comprehensive worldwide charging network for electric vehicles, there are more than 6 million EVs running today. This is a plea for less “if and when,” and for more confidence in the power of developing markets, pioneer spirit and technological openness.

One of the most widely read German news websites, Spiegel Online, recently published an article on hydrogen cars titled “Five reasons why hydrogen cars are hardly in demand,” in which the perceived flop of the technology is discussed.

One of the main reasons outlined in the article says that the number of hydrogen filling stations is far from sufficient to guarantee a nationwide supply; a point that has often been used as an explanation for the slow spread of new technologies – most recently again and again in arguments about Electric Vehicles. In the case of hydrogen technology, however, the analogy to the chicken and egg dilemma is even less convincing.

How so? As Spiegel Online correctly points out, there are currently only 392 registered hydrogen vehicles in Germany, but 71 hydrogen filling stations. Assuming that the locations of the stations and registered cars are somehow evenly spread out, simple math shows that each filling station has to serve only six hydrogen vehicles as of today. To take this further and under the assumption of a sufficient delivery capacity of each individual hydrogen filling station: Even with an average fill-up duration of ten minutes, the current network of 71 filling stations could potentially fill up all 392 registered hydrogen vehicles in less than one hour.

Within the course of a 12-hr day, over 5,000 cars could be refilled, which is more than 13 times the actual number of registered vehicles. Another important fact to consider is that hydrogen vehicles do not need to be refueled on a daily basis. A look at the average driving distances in Germany shows that 95 percent of all cars travel less than 60 miles on any given day. Currently available hydrogen vehicles already achieve ranges of 250 to 335 miles per tank. This means that hydrogen car drivers in most cases would only have to fill up once per work week. The theoretical number of hydrogen vehicles that could be refueled at already existing filling stations, would therefore –calculated conservatively – increase by a factor of three, bringing the total number to around 15,000 vehicles that could be fueled.

Looking at the numbers for the US, we get similar results: In California – which is quite comparable to Germany in terms of area and population size – hydrogen vehicles already belong to the regular street scene. The filling station-to-car ratio here shows that the calculation applied before is by no means unrealistic. There are around 6,000 registered hydrogen vehicles in California, but only 39 operating hydrogen filling stations. That means that approximately 154 vehicles share a hydrogen station. And most commonly there are no signs of supply bottlenecks. Moreover, infrastructure experts claim that the network of hydrogen filling stations in California could supply up to 8,000 vehicles, based on the actual performance of existing dispensers. Transferring these real-life California numbers back to Germany, approximately 14,500 hydrogen vehicles could already be fueled today by the existing stations, proving that there is no hydrogen fuel bottleneck in Germany.

Like every technology, hydrogen fueled cars have advantages and disadvantages. However, a look at California shows that their adaption is a question of strategy, will, and in the end money. Hydrogen vehicles can be leased here for USD 399 per month (duration of 36 months, plus taxes and down payment). In addition, there is a USD 15,000 fuel voucher and various other incentives – an offer that has already convinced 20 times more customers than in Germany. So there is no need to prematurely kill a promising technology, with an argument that simply does not apply. Some eggs have already been laid and we should be a little more confident that chickens will emerge from it.