CES 2020 Highlights: Our Favorite Products and Moments

CES 2020 is over. Here are our favorite highlights of the show, including cool tech, a futuristic city, and a privacy shattering dinner.

CES 2020 Convention

It’s a wrap for CES 2020, and we’re recovering from the sensory overload that comes from admiring tons of AI tech, self-driving cars, virtual reality, augmented reality, and more. Over 20,000 new products were debuted by over 4,400 exhibiting companies, and much of the innovation was dominated by what AI and 5G technologies could do for us in the future. We’re undoubtedly going to see more and more AI-driven solutions in our homes, manufacturing centers, and farms, all while growing more connected with lightning-fast 5G mobile connectivity. 

After digesting all the delicious technology, ideas, and events featured at the show, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite products and other highlights.

Huawei Mate X – Foldable & Practical

A recent entry from Chinese tech giant Huawei, the Huawei Mate X is a device set on taking foldable phone market share away from Samsung. The Samsung Galaxy Fold may have been the first broadly-released foldable phone in September 2019, but the Huawei Mate X followed swiftly after in November. At Huawei’s CES 2020 booth, Den of Geek was impressed with the phone’s snappy performance, clean UI, and most importantly, the ergonomic folding capability. With a push of a rear button, the 6.6-inch phone folds out to a stunning 8-inch tablet. Although the full size is more of a square than a rectangle, the extra real estate becomes invaluable for productivity, gaming, and any app that has too much going on-screen normally. Unfortunately, that means most widescreen videos won’t get to fully take advantage of the 8-inch state. However, that doesn’t seem to be stopping consumers from buying the roughly $2,400 phone to the tune of 100,000 units a month, according to The Verge

Patriot P220 4TB 2.5” SSD – Practically Unlimited Storage

Patriot wowed us this year with their lineup of SSDs and gaming peripherals — we were particularly impressed with the Patriot P220, the next entry in the Patriot Burst SSD series. With capacity up to 4TB and a SATA III interface, this SSD will satisfy both the PC builder’s need for space and speed.

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be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 PSU – For the Overclocker

The folks behind be quiet! continue to prove themselves to be reliably innovative in the PSU department. Content with the be quiet! parts in and outside the official Den of Geek PC, we visited the company’s showcase suite to learn more about the Dark Power Pro 12 PSU. Designed with tomorrow’s PCs in mind, this PSU comes with 1200W and 1500W variants. It’s certified 80 Plus Titanium, meaning you’ll get power conversion efficiency above 90%, according to Tom’s Hardware. Essentially, this component ensures that no matter how power-intensive AMD’s and Intel’s high-end processors get, your PC will be run with high efficiency. Interestingly, the unit also features an overclocking switch, a fun option for performance tinkerers. 

Toyota’s Woven City – Futurism Near Mt. Fuji

At their CES 2020 keynote, Toyota took some time to reflect on its 1936 beginnings before shifting gears to make an unexpected announcement: the development of an experimental new city. Akio Toyoda took to the stage and explained how Toyota yearns to create transportation solutions for cities that don’t even exist yet — so the car manufacturer will make an unprecedented move to convert the former site of a factory into what will be called the Woven City. Within an old factory’s limits near Susono in Shizuoka, Japan, Toyota will embrace futurism by creating a 100% smart city, replete with artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and an autonomous underground package delivery network. Check out the scale of the urban incubator project on Toyota’s Woven City site

HBO’s Westworld Incite Dinner – Creepy, Cool, and (Data) Collected

HBO joined forces with creative agency Giant Spoon to deliver an in-universe Westworld dinner event that, well, got a little too personal. Weeks ahead of CES 2020, members of the media were sent a mysterious event invite from the (fictional) company Incite, whose RSVP page gratuitously logged personal data. Invitees were asked to enter their date of birth, addresses, social media profiles, and more.

Fast forward to CES, the creepiness of the shadowy company began while waiting to attend the dinner. Unprovoked, hosts greeted guests in line by their first names, simply recognizing their faces. Some threw a quick quip that revealed they knew more about us than we thought — my colleague was called a Bronx Bomber — despite him never having entered that he lived in the Bronx into the event’s RSVP. Stranger yet, one of the hosts randomly came up to me and handed me one of my favorite cocktails — a clear sign that my Instagram had been stalked. The Incite “employees” at the dinner claimed to have an AI-powered service that helps folks manage life choices by predicting what those choices’ outcomes would be. We’ll see how exactly Incite’s role on Westworld plays out, but in the meantime, I’m setting my social profiles to private.

Roland Zenbeats – Multiplatform Music

Roland, famous for manufacturing the instruments your favorite musicians play live and in the studio, has been quietly developing a software solution for musicians and tinkerers named Roland Zenbeats. With a recent slew of massive updates, the CES 2020 Innovation Award-nominated app was on full display at the convention. Not your usual halfhearted app store music making app, Roland Zenbeats is a fully fledged digital audio workstation, with a differentiating edge: cross platform support. We played around with Zenbeats on an Android phone, iPad, a laptop running Windows, and on an iPhone. It’s a seamless experience for novice or advanced producers, allowing you to jump from your home computer to your mobile device without losing any production capabilities. 

Kygo – X Marks the Spot

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Norwegian tropical house artist Kygo attended CES to unveil his brand new X by Kygo line of headphones, and we were particularly pleased with his new over-the-ear Xenon headphones. Comfortable is the first word that comes to mind — the ear cushions have been sculpted specifically to avoid the annoying “ear pinch” of most over-the-ear wireless headphones on the market. Sound quality is impressive too, with aptX and AAC codecs producing clear, crisp sound, while adjustable noise-cancelling technology allows you to choose how immersed in the real world you want to be. 

BrainCo – Mind Over Matter

BrainCo’s booth at CES was exactly the type of futuristic problem-solving we expected to see at CES. BrainCo’s biggest reveal was a prosthetic hand powered by AI, which works by translating the user’s brain waves and muscle contractions into the hand movement the user wants to make. Currently being reviewed by the FDA, the prosthetic hand will retail for around $10,000, according to CNET

Brian Berman is the Social Media Manager at Den of Geek. He’s also a member of the CES 2020 Trailblazers cohort, an obsessive foodie, and a gaming/tech turbo-nerd. Read more by Brian here.

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