Have you ever met an artificial human? That was the teaser question. I said “no”! And when I found myself on the NEON booth, the realism was such that I thought I was looking at an actor in a box built into the set… and so, no, it wasn’t a new screen technology (although StarLabs is funded by Samsung). Nor were they real characters recreated in computer-generated images, but avatars imagined by the machine. In short, none of these “humans”, more alive than life, really exist. Not bad for a team that didn’t start working until… October! Pranav Mistry, the creator of the NEONs, is already announcing a NEON World event at the end of 2020, promising that his protégés, hyper realistic but still not very interactive, will soon be equipped with intelligence and their own emotions… Eventually, they could be found at the reception desk in public places, as yoga teachers at home or… as TV presenters.
What if hyper-targeted, imperceptible fragrances could take control of a part of our brain in a matter of seconds? Moodify is an Israeli start-up that has managed to isolate molecules capable of acting in a highly targeted manner. Four of them are already available. The first one blocks the perception of cold tobacco smell. I’ve been testing it. It’s impressive. And unlike the tree that’s hanging from the rear-view mirror, Moodify’s fragrances don’t try to hide a bad smell: they make you forget it. The equipment manufacturer Valeo quickly understood the interest and got close to it. In particular because in China, consumers hate the smell of a new car… Other Moodify fragrances can give a boost in the middle of a race or, on the contrary, calm stress in a few seconds. Military, police, airplane pilots… everyone’s going to want it. You can imagine the market… but there’s also a little scary, isn’t it?
Samsung The Sero
Sero, in Korean, means both “vertical” and “new”. Samsung plays the complementarity between smartphone and TV, with this 43-inch Lifestyle screen that swivels between landscape and portrait modes. The target: millenials with a strong focus on social networks, but also agencies that want to differentiate themselves with vertical videos for Instagram or TikTok. I can already imagine the “wow” moment in front of the clients, when they are pivoting! The Sero, paired with your smartphone (Android and iOS), switches automatically according to the content thanks to a small integrated engine. Note: the stand conceals a subwoofer and 60W speakers. Availability: April-May in France, at around €1,500.
Cerence + Saint Gobain intelligent windscreen
We know the concept of head-up display in cars but I have never found it as intuitive and successful as in this demonstration by Cerence on an intelligent windscreen developed by Saint-Gobain. I’m sitting in the driver’s seat. Several cameras on the dashboard follow my eyes. So the system always knows where I am looking. One look at the right front window and I say “open the window”: this window then slides down. Bluffing! Interactions with the voice but also with simple gestures such as clenching the fist or extending two fingers forward. Objective: minimal distraction for maximum safety. Information (navigation, music, messages, etc.) is displayed directly on the entire windscreen, while still allowing you to see the road and the landscape.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
It’s hard not to fall for the X1 Fold in the ThinkPad range at Lenovo. It’s simply the world’s first foldable notebook. And it’s a design and engineering success story, with its clever double hinge that stretches the screen in an unfolded version. When folded, the X1 Fold allows you to display the equivalent of two screens on top of each other, with, for example, your Skype contacts in the top section, and a shared PowerPoint presentation or virtual keyboard in the bottom section; unless you prefer to take notes with the stylus? Unfolded, the X1 Fold offers a 13.3″ screen with 2K resolution and 300 nits of brightness. You can even use it as a monitor! Its weight: less than 1 kg. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold will be available in the next few months, at around $2,500. It will come with a Bluetooth physical keyboard, a stylus (the famous one) and a leather case.