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The smarter, sharper tech coming your way

FROM folding smartphones and robotic cat doors to televisions larger, sharper, and smarter than those currently in our homes, revolutionary technology is expected to emerge from the world’s largest technology show this week.

More than 180,000 people will flock to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to see the world’s biggest technology firms, including Samsung, Intel and Google, launch their latest developments and set the top trends for 2018.

But in addition to technology that might end up in your home, the show is also expected to host downright unusual devices, from a Harry Potter-style automated chess board to a one-person electric car.

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Consumer Technology Association president Gary Shapiro said the event, once used to launch the world’s first video cassette recorder, would host more than 4000 companies this year, from the big players to more than “800 start-up companies”.

Different areas would also be added to the event to accommodate emerging technologies, he said, including augmented reality apps and unusual vehicles.

“What we’re seeing at CES is some categories we didn’t have last year. We didn’t have smart cities. We’re going quickly to self-driving cars and artificial intelligence, the internet-Of-Things, and things that weren’t even in our vocabulary 10 years ago and now they’re major parts of CES,” he said.

Home-entertainment equipment is expected to be among the technologies overhauled at CES this year, with LG promising to unveil the largest OLED television to feature an 8K resolution — more than double the sharpness of top televisions currently on sale.

“The successful development of the world’s first 8K OLED display is a milestone for the 8K era and underscores the exciting potential of OLED,” LG Display chief technology officer In-Byung Kang said.

“OLED is clearly a next-generation technology leader.”

The screen is expected to be slim, offer deep blacks, and feature more than 33 million self-illuminating pixels for the clearest picture to date.

Fellow South Korean tech giant Samsung was rumoured to be ready to fire back with a 150-inch television using new “Micro LED” technology, however, that could replace its current QLED television range and challenge OLED technology.

But keen pundits will also be watching Samsung to see if it does unveil its first “foldable” smartphone, as tipped last year. The Samsung Galaxy X could be the first smartphone to feature a truly bendable touchscreen — technology Samsung previewed at a previous Consumer Electronics Show.

Artificially intelligence voice assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are expected to appear in more technologies at CES this year, like Schlage’s Sense Smart Deadbolt to allow users to unlock doors on command. That product will be just one of a host of smart home devices launched, with everything from connected cat doors that open automatically to cordless, infra-red hair dryers revealed at CES.

Innovative modes of transport are also expected to play a big role in the show this year, from an electric car designed to seat just one person, the Solo from Canadian firm Electra Meccanica, to the world’s smallest underwater scooter, the Sublue WhiteShark Mix.

The Consumer Electronics Show opens on Wednesday.

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