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From flying taxi to roll-up TV, CES 2019 witnesses many debuts

CES 2019, the iconic electronics exhibition being held in Las Vegas, witnessed some of the leading technology firms unveiling their futuristic products this week. While most of the innovations presented at the event are prototypes, they give a sense of what is in store for the consumer electronics market in the coming years.

One of the presentations that caught the imagination of the audience is the commercial quantum computer unveiled by IBM (IBM), a first of its kind in the world. Despite the recent advancements in quantum computing, the technology is still in the conceptual stage, and so is the IBM Q System One. The 20-qubit computer stands out from its predecessors for being the first fully integrated standalone quantum computing machine.

In the latest version, the company has effectively minimized system’s sensitivity to temperature and vibrations, thereby raising it from the level of experimental technology to a sophisticated device like the Q System One that is pretty close to a mainframe computer. However, it will be a long way before the high-cost technology becomes commercially available.

One of the presentations that caught the imagination of the audience was the commercial quantum computer unveiled by IBM

Uber’s air taxi partner Bell, a division of Textron (TXT), showcased the prototype of the air taxi being jointly developed by the companies. The full-scale flying taxi, which is designed to look like a cross between helicopter and drone and is capable of taking off and landing vertically, is expected to start commercial operation in 2023, initially in Texas and California.

Bell Nexus, as the on-demand air taxi service is named, is powered by hybrid-electric propulsion. The next-gen transport service will definitely garner significant investor attention ahead of Uber’s much-awaited IPO, to be held later this year, giving the company an advantage over rival taxi operator Lyft which is also preparing to go public.

Sony wins 2018 console war with success of Spider-Man and God of War

In another world debut, South Korea-based LG Electronics introduced what it calls a ‘rollable’ OLED TV. What makes the TV special is that its 65-inch screen is foldable. While leaving everyone guessing about the price of the roll-up television set that comes with virtual assistance, the company also unveiled an 8K OLED TV that offers a premium super HD viewing experience.

Among the other highlights of the show, Samsung is all set to offer a new viewing experience with its mammoth 98-inch 8K TV. Earlier, Apple (AAPL) had announced a deal to offer iTunes content on the smart TVs sold by Samsung. Facebook (FB) and Intel (INTC) said they are in the advanced stages of rolling out an AI-assisted microprocessor later this year.


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