CNET CES 2020

Jason Hiner / CNET

This story is part of CES 2020, our complete coverage of the showroom and the latest technical equipment.

With thousands of new products to grab your attention, you can miss out on the larger takeaways CES, Recognizing the trends that will develop and affect the future is one of the most valuable things about the show. And since technology touches more aspects of our lives today than ever before, there were several key trends to be seen at CES 2020.

Here are the ones that will have the greatest impact on the rest of 2020 and beyond.

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The best of CES 2020


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1. Impossible Pork redefines pork

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Impossible pork in a Banh Mi sandwich at CES 2020.

Angela Lang / CNET

Pork is the most commonly consumed meat in the world. Impossible Foods has set itself the goal of protecting the environment and human health by replacing the vegetable-based Impossible Pork announced at CES 2020. With the introduction of the vegetable Impossible Burger 2.0, Impossible Foods once again came into the spotlight at this year's fair. A year of success could be dismissed as a novelty, but the continuation of Impossible Foods in 2020 shows that the technology has accepted food innovation as a valuable part of the industry.

CNET journalists gave the taste and consistency of Impossible Pork good grades, and the interest in plant-based bacon and sausage that Impossible Foods promised as part of this step was great. With 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from farm animals, the production of meat substitutes from plants could have a massive impact on the environment and help us feed more people more sustainably as the world's population grows to 9 billion since planting by 2050 less land than grazing animals. Pork is particularly common in Asia, where 4.4 billion of the world's 7.8 billion people live. With its plant-based pork, Impossible Foods is strategically aimed at a global audience.

2. Toyota's city of the future has no human drivers

Toyota Woven City

The woven city will be located near Mount Fuji in Japan.

Toyota

By far the most ambitious thing presented at CES 2020 was Toyota's Woven City, a prototype community of the future built near Mount Fuji, Japan. On the 175 hectare site on which Toyota will build this planned community, there is a production facility that has since been closed. On this land, Toyota will build an experimental laboratory for future technologies, including self-driving vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, robots, smart homes, and new forms of personal mobility. (We assume that this means things like the Wello, which was also presented at CES.)

There will be no human-powered vehicles in Woven City because the heart of Toyota's concept is that today's cities are built around cars and want to imagine a city built for more sustainable modes of transportation. Perhaps the coolest part of this experiment is that ordinary people can live in Woven City. That sounds a lot like Walt Disney's original idea for Disney Worlds Epcot, which stands for Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow. When the Woven City starts, look for other businesses and communities to replicate the idea.

3. New sensors improve your health

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The Withings ScanWatch and its app that looks for signs of sleep apnea.

Withings

Consumer products are increasingly coming with health sensors, apps and software that help you read them better and understand your body and health. The understanding we get from today's consumer health products would have cost thousands of dollars and hospitalization five years ago. And at CES 2020 it was shown that healthcare companies continue to push ahead with this rapidly.

There was that Withings ScanWatch, which now includes an electrocardiogram, photoplethysmography for optical heart rate, SpO2 for blood oxygen, and an analysis of deeper sleep to detect sleep apnea. There was the GoBe3, which automatically tracks calorie intake (i.e. the number of calories your body actually consumes) and can determine your stress level using skin measurements using a technology similar to that used in lie detector tests. There was also Valencell's blood pressure measuring earphones, which could help combat hypertension, the most common undiagnosed condition in the world. There were blood glucose monitoring products and smart glasses to support dyslexics – while these products are still under construction, it is great to see companies spend energy and resources to address these issues, and we have to count on them to do the right thing basics for future products.

In a decade or two we will likely look back and be amazed at the way we have made so many decisions about our health without having data to understand what actually happened. This can become a democratizing force in healthcare.

4. Computers work like phones

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Intel's reference design "Horseshoe Bend" explores a new future for PCs.

Intel

Foldable phones were one of the hottest topics in the technology world in 2019, and in 2020 foldable laptops could appear and pick up some of this mojo. The driving force for a larger trend in foldable laptops is the Intel reference design "Horseshoe Bend" presented at CES. CNET had an exclusive deep dive with Intel Find out here what a versatile and powerful computer of the future could look like.

Horseshoe Bend is essentially a 17-inch tablet or all-in-one computer (if you're using a stand and attaching a keyboard and mouse) and folds in half to make a 12.5-inch Get a laptop with a touchscreen on one side and the other half Touch the keyboard and touchpad on the other side. There's also a hardware keyboard that can be moved around on the bottom touchscreen if you don't like virtual keyboards. It's a compelling design that wants to push PCs in some new directions. Lenovo has revealed something similar last May and Microsoft introduced its dual-screen concepts in October, Lenovo demonstrated its capabilities at CES Thinkpad X1 fold and Dell showed two leaflets, that Concept Ori and the Concept Duo, This party is just getting started.

5. Tech less and less techie and more subtle

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The intelligent display from Mui Lab is more about fading in than protruding technology.

Mui Lab

Today's technology is eye-catching, it's on your face and everywhere. It's tough Not to feel that technology is taking over our lives as it is embedded in more and more places and things. However, one of the trends at CES 2020 was that the technology became less intrusive and more subtle and blended in with the environment in a more natural way. We saw three companies that can tell this story: UltraSense, Sentons and Mui Lab,

UltraSense and Sentons do something similar. Both use sound waves to create touch surfaces from smooth surfaces made of plastic, metal, wood or other materials. This means the buttonless phone is much closer than we think, as this sound wave technology can easily turn the phone's side into a virtual button. If you hold down a point, an on / off switch may be activated. If you slide one side up and down with your finger, the volume may change. Pressing the phone can take a selfie. If you run your index finger over the back of the phone, it can act like a scroll wheel. You have the idea.

These sound wave buttons do not wear out as quickly and the user interface is more integrated in the device construction. Manufacturers can also use haptic feedback to locate and interact with these virtual buttons. In addition to the phone, both companies are also working to transfer this technology to other surfaces, including steering wheels for cars, window panes, household appliances, and more. This will be seen in cell phones over the course of 2020, but if it makes its way to other surfaces, its full potential may show through.

Mui Lab approaches the same problem differently. The company has designed an intelligent display from a natural wooden surface. It looks like a normal wooden strip most of the time, but when it switches to display mode, it lights up with buttons or messages that appear directly on the wooden surface. Mui is a Japanese term meant to convey a relaxed state of mind, and the idea behind this product is that it blends seamlessly into your living space, rather than just another technological plate that takes up space.

Continue reading: The CES 2020 took an adult look at sex tech