Here’s some of the technology that’s set to make a ‘quantum leap’ in 2019

The Bell Nexus flying taxi at the 2019 CES.

From foldable cellphones to high tech burgers, more than 4,500 companies showcased their latest technology at CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics show which took place in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Even though tech behemoth Apple does not make an appearance, the trade show gives the public a glimpse at emerging tech trends for 2019 and beyond.

One of the most anticipated technologies is 5G – the next generation wireless network that experts say could be as much as ten times faster than broadband.

Cutting edge tech

Cutting edge tech  12:31 PM ET Fri, 18 Jan 2019 | 04:23

“I see a huge quantum leap from going from 4G to 5G, much bigger than 3G to 4G. And of course, my expectation is that we are going to see so much more innovation,” Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg told CNBC recently.

Chris Velazco, Engadget’s senior mobile editor told CNBC’s “On the Money” in an interview that “2019 is going to be the year of 5G, this is going to be the first year people will actually be able to buy devices and jump on the 5G networks,” he said.

As a result, 5G “will have really big ramifications for the way we use our devices and the way these devices talk to each other,” he added.

The technology won’t be for everyone, however – at least not right away. Meanwhile, Velazo admitted that 5G technology “still feels like it’s a lot of talk. We don’t have a great sense of how these things pan out in more concrete ways.”

Yet one technology that did make an impression at CES was foldable screen technology. At the event, LG showcased a 4K OLED TV that rolls up when you don’t want to watch it.

The 65-inch 4K OLED TV when it's fully unrolled.

Watch this super thin TV roll up and disappear in seconds  11:46 AM ET Mon, 7 Jan 2019 | 01:31

But it’s not just big screens: A Chinese company called Royole showed off its flexible screen technology for a smartphone/table called the FlexPai. This is the world’s first commercially available foldable phone, and it beat Samsung and Apple to market. The company is currently taking orders: The cost? A whopping $1,318, even more than an iPhone.

However you may want to hold off. Velazco had a chance to check out the device while at CES, and he admitted “they’re maybe not the most polished devices.”

Yet he found the technology compelling. “The ability to fold out and use the phone as a tablet is frankly really powerful,” he told CNBC.

If you’re looking to take a deeper dive into meditation, a Canadian company called Interaxon recently released the Muse 2.

The headband goes across your forehead and reads brainwaves in real-time. It then uses auditory cues to provide feedback on the user’s meditation state.

When it comes to virtual and augmented reality (AR) technology, it usually means wearing large glasses over your eyes, blocking out the world around you.

Chinese startup Nreal has plans this year to release their version called Light – which as its name suggests – is a lighter version.

“They’ve been able to take the technology that makes some really impressive AR devices like the Microsoft HoloLens and the Magic Leap and converted it down to this form factor,” Velazco told CNBC.

Impossible Burger

Air New Zealand
Impossible Burger

But the tech editor admits one of the bigger surprises at CES, based on the level of people that seemed into it, was Gillette’s heated razor. And the name really says it all.

“It’s a heated razor that’s meant to sort of replicate the experience of getting a hot towel wet shave at a barber shop.” The razor is not in stores yet but according to Engadet’s report, it will retail for $160.

Another surprising find at CES was burgers. Impossible Foods showed off their latest meatless burger recipe: Impossible Burger 2.0.

“The original Impossible Burger used wheat protein and it tasted pretty good, but it kind of didn’t give you the same kind of mouth feel that a traditional burger would,” Velazco explained. “So they rejiggered the formula. This [latest version] is based on soy protein.”

He added: “You actually get a bit more of the experience of eating meat, plus I think the flavor has been upgraded as well.”

[“source=cnbc”]

NASA’s New Horizons to Fly Past Ultima Thule Tonight, Here’s How to Watch

NASA's New Horizons to Fly Past Ultima Thule Tonight, Here's How to Watch

To ancient explorers, “Ultima Thule” was what lay past the northernmost edges of maps, beyond the borders of the known world.

So when NASA chose a target for its New Horizons spacecraft that was farther than anything explored before, “Ultima Thule” seemed a fitting moniker. The far-flung space rock is an inhabitant of the Kuiper Belt, the ring of debris that encircles the icy outer reaches of solar system.

Ultima Thule is so dim and so distant that scientists aren’t even certain what it looks like. Some of their only information about its size and shape comes from a series of coordinated observations last summer, when astronomers measured the shadow it cast as it passed in front of a star.

But New Horizons will finally fly by its target just after midnight on January 1, taking close-up photographs and sophisticated scientific measurements of what it sees. By the time the first images and data stream back to Earth, the borders of the known world will have expand once more.

“This is just raw exploration,” said Alan Stern, a scientist at the Southwest Research Institute and the principal investigator for the mission. “No one has ever seen a Kuiper Belt object as anything but a point of light. No one has ever seen an object that’s frozen almost to absolute zero. There are a lot ideas and every one of them might be wrong.”

He took a breath. “We’ll find out Tuesday.”

NASA is celebrating the record-setting encounter with the solar system’s nerdiest New Year’s party. At the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which built and operates the spacecraft, scientists will count down to the moment of New Horizons’ closest approach, at 12:33am. Eastern, then reconvene 10 hours later to watch first signals from the flyby stream onto their screens. (It takes more than six hours for light to travel from Ultima Thule back to Earth.) NASA’s vaunted social media operation, which had fallen silent during the partial government shutdown, has been temporarily restored to cover the event. The countdown, signal acquisition and subsequent news conferences will be streamed live on NASA TV and YouTube.

Alice Bowman, New Horizons’ mission operations manager at APL, said the spacecraft entered “encounter mode” on Wednesday. This configuration limits the spacecraft’s communication with Earth, commanding it to quickly address any technical issues on its own, then get back to science. Though nerve-wracking for engineers, encounter mode ensures that New Horizons makes the most of its brief time near Ultima Thule.

“Because this is a flyby, we only get one chance to get it right,” Bowman said.

New Horizons left Earth in January 2006; it was the first mission designed to explore the most distant part of the solar system. Nine years and 3.5 billion miles later, it took the first-ever close up photos of Pluto, revealing a complex and colorful world mottled with methane mountains and a vast, heart-shaped nitrogen ice plain.

After that flyby, Stern and his colleagues set about searching for a new target in the Kuiper Belt, which extends from the edge of Neptune’s orbit out to about 5 billion miles from the sun.

Until the 1990s, no one knew what hid out here, where sunlight is 0.05 as faint as it is on Earth. Now, the Kuiper Belt is thought to include millions of icy objects, unused planetary building blocks left over from the earliest days of the solar system. These bodies are time capsules, preserved in a deep freeze for the past 4.6 billion years. NASA says Ultima Thule is likely the most primitive planetary object ever explored.

The Kuiper Belt object was discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope in 2014. Subsequent observations suggest it is small – no more 20 miles across – and peanut shaped. Astronomers believe it is a contact binary, comprising two objects touching each other, or perhaps even a binary system, in which two objects are orbiting one another.

The encounter with Ultima Thule will be brief and technically demanding, even more so than New Horizons’ Pluto flyby. Whereas Pluto is roughly the size of the United States, Ultima could fit atop Washington, D.C. This means New Horizons has to get much closer to the little space rock to examine it, and the encounter will be over much more quickly.

Twenty-four hours before closest approach, Ultima Thule still takes up only two pixels in images taken by New Horizons’ camera screen. As New Horizons speeds through space at 9 miles per second, it will take less than a day to turn Ultima Thule back into a speck in the rear view mirror.

But New Horizons’ performance so far suggests it is ready for the challenge, Stern said. Measurements taken Saturday showed that the spacecraft was within 20 miles of its intended flyby distance from Ultima Thule, and that the timing of the encounter will be within 2 seconds of what was expected.

“We’re rendezvousing with something that’s a mountain draped in black velvet in almost pitch dark conditions and we’re screaming up to it … within 2 seconds of perfection,” Stern said. “You can’t get any better than that.”

[“source-ndtv”]