Quantum computing, CloudOps, smart home solutions and more from the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show

IBM reveals commercial quantum computing

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IBM unveiled its IBM Q System One at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show this week. It is a quantum computing system meant for scientific and commercial use. In addition, the company announced plans to open a IBM Q Quantum Computation Center later this year.

Quantum computing development has been ongoing for the past couple of years. Gartner recently reported it finally expects this area will emerge over the next year. According to Gartner’s top 2019 technology trends, quantum computing is a “type of nonclassical computing that operates on the quantum state of subatomic particles (for example, electrons and ions) that represent information as elements denoted as quantum bits (qubits).”

“The IBM Q System One is a major step forward in the commercialization of quantum computing,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research. “This new system is critical in expanding quantum computing beyond the walls of the research lab as we work to develop practical quantum applications for business and science.”

New Amazon devices and Alexa powered solutions showcased

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Amazon showed up to CES with a number of new devices from smart home solutions, new Alexa-powered products and developer services.

For developers, the company introduced a Amazon Alexa Premium Far-Field Voice development kit as well as a handset OEM.

Smart solutions included smart home devices for security, networks, entertainment, sound, and automotives. Some standout Alexa smart home solutions included Daikin One smart thermostat, an Amazon Alexa connected switch from Legrand, new GE lightning, and a Currant Smart Wall Outlet that analyzes power usage.

In addition, Key by Amazon expanded its keyless entry offerings with Key for Garage, Ring app compatibility, and Key for business.

Baidu’s open-sources edge computing platform

Baidu announced new edge computing solutions with the announcement of its open-source edge computing platform and new edge computing products.With the open-source solution OpenEdge, developers can build edge computing systems and deploy them on a variety of different hardware, the company explained. The solutions will include data collection, message distribution, function compute, AI inference and cloud synchronization. OpenEdge is part of the company’s Baidu Intelligent Edge (BIE), which includes cloud-base management functionality.

“The explosive growth of IoT devices and rapid adoption of AI is fueling great demand for edge computing,” said Watson Yin, Baidu vice president and GM of Baidu Cloud, “Edge computing is a critical component of Baidu’s ABC (AI, Big Data and Cloud Computing) strategy. By moving the compute closer to the source of the data, it greatly reduces the latency, lowers the bandwidth usage and ultimately brings real-time and immersive experiences to end users. And by providing an open source platform, we have also greatly simplified the process for developers to create their own edge computing applications.”

The company also announced BIE-AI BOX, which will be a joint collaboration from Baidu and Intel to incorporate BIE technologies in vehicles; and BIE-AI-Board for embedding BIE software into hardware such as camera, drones and robotics.

Engineer.ai partners with DigitalOcean on CloudOps

Engineer.ai is teaming up with DigitalOcean to make it easier for users to build custom software solutions. Engineer.ai provides a human-assisted AI solution for building and operating bespoke software. Engineer.ai will provide its builder platform for AI-powered software assembly while DigitalOcean’s developer cloud will provide a simplified app setup and deployment option.

“At DigitalOcean, our focus is on making the lives of developers easier by abstracting away the complexity of infrastructure, so users of all skill levels can build powerful applications,” said Mark Templeton, CEO of DigitalOcean. “Engineer.ai’s Builder is a natural extension of our mission. We believe this partnership will further bridge the technical gap for customers, so they can bring their ideas into reality.”

Samsung’s connected living vision

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Samsung debuted what it envisions for the future of the smart home. The company has been investing in new products as well as AI, IoT and 5G technologies to create the next-generation of consumer experiences.

“2019 is Samsung Electronics 50th anniversary, and for the last five decades, we’ve been committed to bringing meaningful innovations to consumers everywhere,” said HS Kim, president and CEO of the consumer electronics division at Samsung Electronics. “In 2019, we’re taking things to the next level, and leveraging our industry leadership to make our vision of Connected Living a reality.”

The company will continue to expand and improve upon its SmartThings ecosystem and intelligent platform Bixby. In addition, Samsung revealed new entertainment solutions, the 2019 Family Hub, new work solutions and connected driving experiences with HARMAN.

Intel’s self-driving future

In addition to PC and device announcements, Intel paved a path for its self-driving, autonomous future at CES. The company revealed plans to expand the impact of automotive data with a new partnership with mapping agency Ordnance Survey that will provide new location data to improve operations and bring us closer to smart cities and safer roads. The company is also working with Warner Bros on autonomous driving in the entertainment world.

The company also revealed Mobileye’s Road Experience Management technology for crowdsourcing maps for AVs and creating a global roadbook.

BlackBerry’s IoT security strategy

BlackBerry wants consumers to trust IoT devices with the company’s new BlackBerry Secure solution. According to the company, 80 percent of consumers around the world don’t trust Internet-connected devices. BlackBerry’s latest solution aims to address this with trusted software and a proven framework for building secure smart products.

“2019 will be the year consumers will begin to vote with their wallets and seek out products that promise a higher level of security and data privacy,” said Alex Thurber, SVP and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry. “IoT device manufacturers can address security and privacy concerns head-on and stand out in the cluttered IoT space by bringing to market ultra-secure products that consumers, retailers, and enterprises want to buy and use. This new service is a pivotal point in the company’s software licensing strategy and underscores BlackBerry’s evolution from providing the most secure smartphones to delivering the trusted security for all smart ‘things’.”

BlackBerry will provide secure solutions for enterprises, foundations and enablement.

Screen-free coding solution announced
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Learning Resources is trying to help kids learn how to code without relying on computer skills. The company showcased a new screen-free coding solution that can teach kids as young as five the basics of coding. The solution is called Meet the Coding Critters. It includes three interactive pets that introduce coding concepts through storybook adventures.

“There’s no doubt that coding is a critical 21st-century skill. The sooner kids are exposed to it, the more natural and intuitive coding will be,” said Marie LaPlante, CMO of Learning Resources, “By creating an interactive play pet that seamlessly integrates elements such as sequential logic and critical thinking, Coding Critters are an innovative way to help preschoolers lay a solid foundation for future coding skills.”

Landis+Gyr and MicroEJ partner to make it easier to create and launch smart grid and smart infrastructure applications

Landis+Gyr and MicroEJ showcased their partnership and highlighted their development strategy for making it easier to create smart grid and smart infrastructure apps.

Landis+Gyr is launching Gridstream Connect Apps, which is designed to support grid-edge applications and offers support for creating custom utility applications.

“Many of our customers have first-hand experience with the value these apps bring to their existing technology deployments. Our goal is to make it easier for developers and utilities to create, upload and run apps on their devices,” said John Radgowski, vice president of portfolio management at Landis+Gyr. “Over time, utilities will be able to access and share apps through the App Marketplace to take advantage of new ways to best utilize technology for energy management.”

Sprint continues to expands its 5G network

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Sprint has made several announcements regarding its new 5G network and Curiosity IoT’s network.

According to Sprint, it has selected Greenville, South Carolina as its first “Smart City” powered by Curiosity IoT and 5G. It has also announced that Peachtree Corners, Georgia will serve as a test area for self-driving cars and emerging vehicle technology.

Belkin and Chargifi announce partnership

Belkin and Chargifi announced a new collaboration to integrate Chargifi’s smart technology with Belkin’s BOOST UP Wireless Charging Spot. According to Chargifi, this integration with provide  insights on customer behavior and diagnostics on health of charging spots in a network.

“We continue to focus on delivering a seamless, convenient, and optimal mobile power experience to the consumer,” a spokesperson from Belkin International said. “Our dedication to people-inspired design and quality from user testing and prototyping to regulatory compliance and manufacturing maintains our global leadership in wireless charging. And with the added functionality of Chargifi’s technology, we are excited to deliver enhanced services to hospitality, retail and enterprise environments.”

BlackRidge Technology showcases new cybersecurity solutions

BlackRidge Technology is showcasing its new cybersecurity solutions. It has launched a new identity-based product line for “critical infrastructure and the industrial internet of things (IIoT).”

At CES, it is showcasing its BlackRidge Transport Access Control (TAC) product line, as well as its BlackRidge TAC Identity (TAC-ID) device. According to the company, TAC-ID is used for authenticating network connections for equipment in factories, hospitals, and critical infrastructure architectures. It also supports convergence of operation technology and information technology networks, the company explained.

Other interesting finds on the showfloor included:

Analog pong: An Atari pong table

Breadbot: A bread making vending machine

BotBoxer: A robotic simulator for martial arts

FightCamp: A studio boxing gym for home

Nanit Breathing Wear: A smart baby monitoring solution

Neofect smart glove: A wearable device hand rehab

Nurture: A breast pumping solution

The Little Cat: A cat treadmill

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