CES 2019: Buzz remains as autonomous cars take back seat

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LAS VEGAS | The CES 2019 gadget show is live wired in Las Vegas. Here are the latest findings and observations from Associated Press reporters on the ground as technology’s most influential trade event gets underway.

ENOUGH ABOUT SELF-DRIVING CARS

Plenty of people at CES would rather hear about more improved video games. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang got a big round of applause when he told a crowd that he’d spend more time talking gaming than autonomous driving.

The Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker’s computer graphics technology is used in both industries. But it was his unveiling of a new gaming-oriented graphics processor that sparked the biggest cheers Sunday night. Huang also detailed how his company’s advances in AI and a graphics technology called “ray tracing” are helping to generate ever-more-realistic scenery in popular games.

A CENTURY-OLD CES FIRST-TIMER

Most wouldn’t expect to find the maker of Pampers and Bounty paper towels at the world’s largest technology conference.

But here’s consumer goods company Procter & Gamble at CES 2019, showing off heated razors and a toothbrush that uses artificial intelligence. (Sorry if you were expecting self-changing diapers.)

Procter & Gamble, which was founded more than 180 years ago, said it’s the first time it has been an exhibitor at CES. The company said it needs to infuse technology into everyday products to keep up with what customers want.

Among the goods on display: a waterproof Gillette razor that heats up to 122 degrees; an Oral-B toothbrush that tells you if you’re missing areas when brushing; and a wand-like device called Opte that scans the skin and releases serum that masks up age spots and other discoloration.

Although some of the products have been sold in test runs, pricing hasn’t been set yet. But expect to pay a lot more than the ordinary stuff currently on drugstore shelves.

DISAPPEARING TELEVISIONS

In this age of smartphone streaming, outsizecd television sets are no longer the centerpiece of many living rooms. South Korean electronics company LG is doing its part to make TVs disappear.

LG has unveiled a “rollable” TV — a 65-inch screen that can roll down and disappear into its base with the press of a button. The set can still play music when the screen’s rolled down completely, or display a clock when it’s just partially rolled down. LG says the TV will be available later this year. It didn’t say how much it will cost.

The technology giant also displayed “8K” sets, with four times the resolution as the high-definition sets of today and twice that of 4K sets such as the rollable one. It represents the next generation of television viewing, but many people won’t have access to for quite some time. So far, 8K has been limited to the occasional experimental broadcast, such as during the Olympics. Even 4K content is just catching on.

“As always with TVs, innovations come with display hardware first and adoption of things like content and delivery always follow later,” said Paul Gagnon, an analyst with IHS Markit.