From televisions that roll up to be stored and go unnoticed to others that rotate to stand upright. These are some of the inventions that have caused the most talk in the latest editions of CES, the largest consumer electronics fair in the world. In this edition, which is held between January 5 and 8 in Las Vegas, part of the prominence has been taken by devices that seem to have been taken from the future: the first televisions that say goodbye to cables.
During the last few days, when accessing the website of the home entertainment company Displace, the following message could be read: “On January 5, 2023, television as we know it will change forever.” What this company is up to is a 55-inch 4K OLED wireless TV, which weighs about 20 pounds. [unos 9 kilogramos]. “Anyone can easily pick up the TV and move it around,” says Balaji Krishnan, founder and CEO of Displace, as he picks it up.
But if this device stands out for something, it is because it is completely wireless, so it does not need to be plugged into a power outlet through a cable. Inside, it hides four rechargeable batteries that, according to the company, guarantee autonomy for a month with a daily use of the television for about six hours. Since the batteries can be inserted and removed individually, they can theoretically be charged one at a time while the device remains operational. Innovation is paid for, so this television will have a high price. Displace claims that it will go on sale in the United States in late 2023 for $2,099.
“Many companies claim to have created a wireless TV when, in reality, what they mean is that they have managed to go from many cables to a single one,” says Krishnan. For him, in addition to the fact that this device does not have cables, it is also essential that it can be easily transported and installed on any wall in the home without drilling holes. Displace’s proposal is “an active loop vacuum technology that allows you to ‘stick’ the television on a wall as if by magic, simply by bringing it closer to it and giving it a slight push”.
Krishnan envisions “a world with multiple displays on the walls that deliver significant value to consumers wherever they are in their homes.” “To achieve this, it is important to redesign the television, eliminating all the usual frustrations and making it as easy as possible to install it on any surface in the house,” he insists. In addition, several televisions could be put together to form a larger one with, for example, “a big 110-inch screen.” “If you’re having a party, you could put four TVs together and, when you’re done, split them up again to take them to different rooms,” he suggests.
This wireless television, in addition to being tactile, can be controlled by voice and hand gestures. While a simple pinch would do the trick to zoom in or out, it’s also possible to reach out and grab what’s on the screen to throw it onto another Displace TV in the home. The device also incorporates a facial recognition system to identify if a user moves from one room to another and automatically switch what is being played between televisions. The company highlights that a button at the top of the screen “allows you to disable this feature for privacy reasons.”
A television that receives video from a box
Displace has not been the only company that has taken advantage of CES to show a television of this type. LG has presented this Wednesday OLED M, which has a 97-inch screen and can receive video and audio from a device that can be placed about 10 meters away. “Unlike conventional TVs, where all the input ports for connecting external devices are located on the back or sides, this one comes with a separate Zero Connect box that wirelessly sends video and audio signals to the screen. ”, says the company, which has not offered many details about this technology.
Both televisions are one more example of an ambitious goal of technology companies: to end the cables. In 2021, the Russian startup Reasonance showed off a prototype of a wireless smart TV. In this case, it did not work with batteries, but rather incorporated a technology designed to send electricity wirelessly from a socket to the TV. Multiple technology giants are also exploring the potential of this and other systems to charge all kinds of terminals over the air. Xiaomi, for example, introduced a technology in 2021 that supposedly allows users to charge multiple electronic devices remotely at the same time, without having to resort to tedious cables or wireless charging stands.
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