In Summary

  • At the Consumer Electronics Show which concluded Saturday, the contenders included robots, televisions, speaker hubs and even wearable trackers powered by artificial intelligence. And the connected car raced into the mix.
  • South Korea's LG unveiled its Smart ThinQ home hub, a speaker that lets a user communicate with and get alerts from connected appliances, security systems and even talk to cars.
  • Segway, which is owned by China's Ninebot, unveiled a personal transporter which morphs into a cute robotic personal assistant.

LAS VEGAS

The battle to be at the centre of your digital life has taken on a new dimension amid a proliferation of connected devices.

After smartphone wars, browser wars and platform wars, a fight is on to be the "hub" which connects the millions of connected objects from light bulbs to wearable to washing machines.

At the Consumer Electronics Show which concluded Saturday, the contenders included robots, televisions, speaker hubs and even wearable trackers powered by artificial intelligence. And the connected car raced into the mix.

Exhibitors ranging from startups to big consumer electronics giants are vying to be the control centre for the vast array of Internet of things in your home, car, and elsewhere.

South Korea's LG unveiled its Smart ThinQ home hub, a speaker that lets a user communicate with and get alerts from connected appliances, security systems and even talk to cars.

This allows the smart home and connected car to communicate with each other. And it can connect with older appliances with attachable sensors.

LG calls this "the future of the smart home" and uses an open platform that can connect with devices using Google Nest, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and more.

Samsung announced its TVs will act as command centers in smart homes by incorporating technology from Silicon Valley start-up SmartThings, which Samsung bought in 2014, allowing them to control devices synched to the platform.

PERSONAL ROBOTS

"You can have a smart home basically for free as a starting point; it is pretty amazing,"  SmartThings founder and chief Alexander Hawkinson told AFP.

Chinese electronics giant Haier unveiled its Ubot personal assistant robot — a near-humanoid gadget which can control home appliances.

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