From a self-driving car designed with real plants to the first foldable PC. The future is now – and it’s time to start living like it.
Several decades ago, we envisioned a future with jetpacks for everyday commutes, mysterious portals that can teleport us from one destination to another in a blink of an eye, and flying cars. The year is 2020 – and although we’re still burdened with congested traffic and long-haul flights, technology indeed has come a long way since the the day the first computer was built.
Fresh off their debut at this year’s CES, here are 10 of the latest innovations in technology that will undoubtedly upgrade your life, while getting you one step closer to living that futuristic, multihyphenate life.
Mercedes Benz VISION AVTR
Movie magic meets the future in automobile engineering in the Mercedes Benz VISION AVTR. Inspired by the James Cameron film, it sports a beautiful colour scheme reminiscent of the planet of Pandora. It has a combined engine power of more than 350 kW, setting a new benchmark for EQ Power. This innovative all-wheel electric drive with torque vectoring creates a new and freeing driving dynamic, as each wheel can be driven separately depending on the driving situation. Its organic battery technology is also a vision to behold, as for the first time, it’s based on graphene-based organic cell chemistry, which eliminates toxic and expensive earths such as metals. W mercedes-benz.com
The Audi AI:ME explores the company’s vision for the future’s autunomous luxury car that’s to be a “third living area”, as a home away from home and an escape from the hustle of work. Don’t be fooled by its petite size, though it has the dimensions of a town car, the AI:ME’s design is focused on the interior for maximum comfort. The seats are as plush as an armchair and can be turned and adjusted as needed, with the space to set up tables wherever you wish. Drivers who wish to make use of the self-driving function can also make productive use of the time in comfort, as the convertible steering wheel folds down in place of a table - just like magic! Adding to its feel-good credo, the AI:ME adjusts itself to suit the user’s preferences as soon as they get it - from temperature to ambient lighting. Real climbing plants have also been added across the see-through roof to not only help improve air quality, but also bring a touch of nature into modern living. W audi.com
Samsung Q950TS 8K AI QLED
Samsung takes the immersive home-viewing experience and dials it up to eleven with the new Q950TS 8K AI QLED TV. It’s the first TV in the industry to feature crystal clear, surround sound audio, stunning true-to-life 8K resolution, and a stunning, ultra-thin form factor that breaks boundaries with its bezel-less design. When viewing your favourite films or shows from ten of fifteen feet away, consumers can take in the beautiful Infinity Screen effect, resulting in an even more immersive viewing experience. Those who love streaming content can benefit from AI ScaleNet, which ensures a hassle-free streaming connection by optimizing the available network bandwidth. The TV also delivers some of the best TV audio on the market, with speakers on every side of the display, and sub-woofers in the back. Combine it with Object Tracking Sound+ to help the Q950 deliver crisp 5.1 channel surround-sound. W samsung.com The Samsung Q950TS QLED 8K TV was unveiled at CES 2020, but has yet to confirm pricing and date of availability.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
Move over, foldable smartphones, and say hello to foldable PCs. Lenovo introduces the first fully functional PC with a folding OLED display that puts a new spin on mobile computing with smartphone portability. It morphs from a small footprint device into a fully flat 13.3-inch display, depending on your current needs. The X1 Fold, weighing less than 1kg, is also built from a combination of lightweight alloys and carbon fiber, wrapped in a luxurious leather folio cover - providing both durability and reliability without the weight. Multitaskers can also make use of its two independent displays to optimize efficiency while working. W lenovo.com
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook
Samsung redefines what makes a Chromebook with their thinnest, most innovative Chromebook yet. The Galaxy Chromebook sees the best of Samsung’s technical innovation that we all know and love, from the AMOLED display to the built-in-pen support, and matches it with a premium and seamless user experience. Its lightweight design - with thickness measuring a mere 9.9mm - meets durability, having been crafted from durable aluminum to withstand everyday life on the go. The Galaxy Chromebook elevates the computing experience, enhancing productivity by bringing the best mobile features into a PC. Users can use Google Drive to sync files automatically across Android devices to allow mobile working, and the Click-to-Call and Messaging apps allows them to use Samsung smartphone features directly on the laptop. W samsung.com
Is there anything more dull than waiting for your wine or beer to chill in an ice bucket? We didn’t think so. Matrix Industries debuted the Juno Cooler at this year’s CES that’s made to chill your favourite drinks from wine to coffee in under 5 minutes. It’s built using the latest technology in thermoelectric cooling, that can bring a full-sized bottle of white wine to 10 degrees Celsius in 3 minutes, and a bottle of beer in less than 1 minute. Juno uses a TEC engine with a proprietary mixing mechanism to surround your chosen beverage in a liquid bath, and the Pelter effect - an electric current-driven transfer of heat from one material to another - which prevents the use of refrigerants and dangerous chemicals when cooling. All you’ll need to do now is insert your beverage, press a single button, and voilà! Chilled in no time! W indiegogo.com
Kohler Moxie Showerhead
It’s 2020, meaning it’s high-time to level up your everyday routine. What better way to do it than turn your daily shower into a entertaining experience? The Moxie showerhead by KOHLER allows you to stream your favourite tunes right in your shower. The portable speaker pairs wirelessly with devices enabled with Bluetooth to deliver high-quality audio, and docks directly into the showerhead so you won’t have to deal with blurry, faraway sound while drowning out your own humming. If you’re a multihyphenate who likes to make every minute of your time productive, you can also stream the news, radio talks, or podcasts. W kohler.com
Igloohome Mortise Smart Lock
Igloohome introduced one of the more unique examples for security devices and keyless door locks this year, with its “offline” Smart Locks. They don’t connect to Wi-Fi at all, and instead use algoPIN™ technology, which works similarly to a banking token’s One Time Password (OTP). The user is provided with a time-sensitive pin code via the Igloohome app, which then works on your locks using algorithms and seeds. This system removes the need to be near the lock for it to work, while allowing you to give guests the one-time passcode to grant them entry. W igloohome.co
August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
It’s time to replace those deadbolts and padlocks with August’s latest Wi-fi Smart Lock. You can know finally make those single grocery trips without worrying about opening the door with its Auto-Lock/-Unlock function, and have remote access over the lock using the August app on any iOS or Android smartphone, or even your Apple watch. If you’re ever worried about unattended guests in your home, you can also use the app’s Activity Feed that shows exactly what time guests or tenants enter and leave your home. The Smart Lock sports a clean, simple design that fits seamlessly into any home style without adding bulk. W august.com
The LIFX Switch is the perfect lighting addition to any minimalist’s home who wants a futuristic touch. This 4-button in-wall switch can be used to control your LIFX smart lights, or make your standard “dumb” lights work smart. It also boasts a soft-switching feature, so it’s always in standby mode, even when switched off. You can even integrate it with virtual assistants AI such as Google Assistant, Alexa and Cortana to enable voice control. W lifx.com
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Photos courtesy of the respective brands