Here's a quick reminder of the tech I talked about in my TRE Talk Radio Europe 'gadget guru' conversation this afternoon:
LG 'rollable' TV
This was one of the stars of CES 2019, the big electronics show in Las Vegas. Officially called the LG Signature OLED TV R (or the OLED65R9PUA, if you prefer), this has been described as the world’s first rollable OLED TV. The magic is in the OLED (organic LED) screen, which is designed to roll up. All the technology sits in a long box on the floor from which the screen unrolls upwards, as though you were charming a snake.
The LG rollable TV is likely to go on sale in the second half of this year; pricing hasn’t been confirmed.
Sony Bluetooth turntable
The Sony PS-LX310BT turntable is a record player; the kind of thing that would be immediately recognisable to anyone who’s lived through the 1960s, the 70s and the 80s. There’s an automatic tone arm that will find the start of the record for you and picks itself up at the end, there’s an aluminium platter that your records sit on and there’s a dust cover that also provides a bit of extra weight to improve the sound quality.
This turntable plugs into your HiFi system if you have one – but what’s rather neat is that it’ll also connect via Bluetooth to compatible equipment, which means it’ll work wirelessly with your Bluetooth loudspeaker, with your Bluetooth headphones and with the Bluetooth soundbar that sits under your TV. Sony isn’t the first company to do this – but because it’s one of the big names in audio, it’s worth paying attention.
The PS-LX310BT will be available from April this year, it’s likely to sell for around £200 in the UK.
The Lovot – from ‘love’ and ‘robot’ – has been created by a Japanese company called Groove X. It’s a kind of electronic pet, which makes it a successor to the Tamagotchi and the Sony Aibo.
Lovot looks like a cross between a penguin and a teddy bear. It trundles around the floor, following you and waving its little arms like it wants to be picked up... because that’s exactly what it does want. Lovot has been programmed to behave like a little creature that needs affection. Give it a cuddle and it’ll probably fall asleep, leaving you feeling like a proud parent.
It’s expected to go on sale in around a year’s time; expect to pay somewhere around €5,000 for a pair that'll interact with each other.
Foldimate had a fully working prototype of their laundry-folding machine at CES this year, although exactly what happens inside is a bit of a mystery. The company says a typical washing-machine load of 25 items will take about five minutes in total to fold.
You feed each item in at the top - shirts, t-shirts, blouses, trousers, towels, pillowcases - and a little robot arm will pull them inside. The machine then automatically adjusts the folding method based on the item type, its size and your preferences, which means it can fit the folding to suit your shelf or drawer size. Each item is then dispensed in a neat pile at the bottom.
The company hopes to be producing the real thing by the end of this year for $980, which works out at around €850.