Would you ever like to live in a future like the Jetsons, where robots bring you beer and you can drive a car to work? Well, most of this probably won’t be a reality anytime soon, but CES loves to pretend it will. This year we hit the show floor so we can separate fact from fiction just for you. Here are our favorite things we’ve seen in Vegas that you’ll actually be using in the next year or two, and a few things that were downright silly.

Cool stuff you really want

Hidden amongst thousands of robots, phone cases, and flashy screens are some gadgets that are truly intriguing… and so are real that soon they may be in your house. Here are some of our favorite new gadgets and technologies of the year.

5G (if it works as promised)

Everyone has been talking about 5G and how it will transform the world, ushering in a new era of limitless high-speed data everywhere. Samsung has called 5G «wireless fiber». It promises speeds up to 10 gigabits per second, which is 10 times faster than the current 4G LTE speed of up to one gigabits per second. As speakers noted, this means you can download a Full HD movie in seconds instead of minutes.

5G may even allow wireless internet service providers to offer wireless home broadband internet. This could mean real competition for Comcast and other wired internet providers… and we all know how hard they can exploit some kind of competition.

This technology sounds amazing, of course, but there is nothing to test yet. Even if the speeds are as promised, what data bandwidth limits will cell phones be hitting on their plans? If you’re paying more for the actual use of that data, or dropping speeds quickly to a few gigabytes, then the new and improved 5G connection will be far less attractive.

Verizon plans to launch 5G in several US cities in 2018, but they will initially use it for home broadband rather than mobile services. Hopefully rollout will accelerate in 2019, but 5G may not be widespread in the US until 2020 — at least.

NVIDA Wide Format Gaming Display (BFGD)

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NVIDIA has shown us a lot of cool stuff this year, but not as impressive as the new 65-inch gaming display. It’s technically a monitor (since it doesn’t contain a TV tuner), but essentially it’s a TV designed for 4K, HDR, low-latency PC gaming, and streaming. It comes with SHIELD built in so you can watch all your favorite movies and shows, stream or play your favorite games on PC or Android, all in gorgeous 4K HDR and at 120Hz with G-Sync. They haven’t announced pricing, but you can bet it’s going to be expensive — for most of us, this is a product we drool more than we actually do.

A laudable mention from NVIDIA is the new version of GeForce Now, which allows you to stream games from the cloud and play them on even the cheapest and coolest PCs.

Windows 10 ARM Laptops

CONNECTED: What is Windows 10 on ARM and how is it different?

We’ve been curious about Windows 10 on ARM since it was first announced, especially now that manufacturers can boast 20-hour battery life. CES gave us our first hands-on look at a device from Lenovo known as the Miix 630. It’s more of a convertible tablet than a true laptop (similar to the Surface), which seems to be what Microsoft is pushing for ARM — tablet laptops, not tablet computers, if you will. We still don’t have any benchmarks or information about how x86 applications will run on it, but the very existence of these devices inspires us.

Google Assistant Smart Displays

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Amazon’s Echo Show and Echo Spot have shown us what voice assistants can do when you tap the screen, and now Google has had the pleasure of partnering with several companies to roll out Google Assistant-based smart displays.

Lenovo, JBL and LG have released their own versions of a kind of Google Home with a screen, with Lenovo’s model being the most beautiful and similar to Google. Its screen can display your upcoming calendar events, give you directions, show news from security cameras, and more.

Lenovo’s 8-inch model will retail for $199, while the 10-inch version will retail for $249 and will be out this summer at some point.

Roav Viva Alexa car charger

You may not have heard of Roav before, but they are actually a subsidiary of Anker, one of our favorite accessory manufacturers in the industry. They announced a new car charger called Viva, which comes with two USB ports powered by Anker’s PowerIQ. But the best feature is that Alexa is built into it, so it’s like a tiny Echo Dot in your car.

Viva connects to your car stereo and your phone via Bluetooth. From there, your phone’s data plan gives Alexa his internet connection. With the Roav app installed, you can ask Alex for directions, listen to music, call family and friends, and more. The best part is that it only costs $50 and is available for pre-order right now.

HTC Vive Pro

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We love the HTC Vive, and the Vive Pro improves on it in almost every way. The headset is easier to put on and tighten, feels more balanced on the head, includes built-in headphones, places two cameras on the front, and lets the wireless adapter get rid of the long cables connecting the headset to your PC.

However, the most impressive improvement in the Vive Pro is the improved screen resolution: at 1440×1600 per eye (compared to 1080×1920 on the original Vive), the graphics are much sharper than on the old model, and the “screen door effect” is much less noticeable (although it is still somewhat noticeable, especially in bright scenes).

Beyerdynamic Aventho Wireless Headphones

There were a lot of great headphones at CES, but we kept coming back to Beyerdynamic’s Aventho Wireless. It has a rather interesting combination of features:

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We didn’t get to test this last feature, but it certainly intrigued — and other features worked well, which is why Beyerdynamic caught our attention.

USB fast charging, standardized

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USB fast charging is a mess. Manufacturers have their own standards such as Qualcomm Quick Charge, Samsung Adaptive Fast Charge and Huawei SuperCharge. This means you need different fast chargers for different devices.

The USB Developers Forum — the industry group that defines the USB standard — fixed this. «Certified USB Fast Charger» is a new logo that will be displayed on devices that support the Programmable Power Supply feature, which is part of the USB Power Delivery 3.0 specification. Manufacturers may use their own algorithms to try and speed up charging, but the underlying hardware will be compatible with all devices bearing this logo.

USB-IF assured us that manufacturers are very interested in this standard. This means that in the future, fast charging will «just work» and you won’t need different fast chargers for different devices. Just look at the logo.

WPA3 for better Wi-Fi security

The Wi-Fi Alliance announced WPA3 instead of the WPA2 standard to secure Wi-Fi networks. WPA2 served us well, but it had its own issues, like KRACK.

Technically, this is also a certification. The “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3” branding will require four new Wi-Fi features. WPA3 certified devices will arrive in 2018.

RELATED: How to Avoid Spying on Hotel Wi-Fi and Other Public Networks

WPA3 promises to solve the problem of snooping on public Wi-Fi networks. When you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, such as a coffee shop, hotel, or airport, your connection is often left unencrypted, allowing people to snoop on some of your traffic. WPA3 solves this problem by encrypting all communications between devices and the router.

The new standard will also protect against «dictionary attacks,» which make it harder to guess the passphrase of a Wi-Fi network with password-cracking software. This will make it easier to connect screenless devices (such as SmartHome devices) to Wi-Fi networks. We don’t know all the details yet, but we’ll find out more about exactly what WPA3 will bring in the future.

A few disappointing and downright funny things

Most of CES wasn’t terrible this year — it just seemed forgotten. But, as always, there were some things that just pissed us off. So, as a little bonus, here were some of our least favorite things we’ve seen this year.

Bitcoin mining scheme from Kodak

CONNECTED: What is bitcoin and how does it work?

Kodak, an operator company that went bankrupt in 2012 and is just a shell of its former self-promotion, decided to join the cryptocurrency craze at CES. They sell a Bitcoin miner called «Kodak KashMiner» with «Kodak HashPower». Rather, they are selling a bitcoin mining contract. If you pay $3,400 up front, you enter into a two-year contract where you get half of the bitcoins that the miner mines and Kodak gets the other half. Kodak estimates that you will make a profit of $375 per month every month for two years. This assumes that the price of Bitcoin remains stable (which it won’t) and that mining doesn’t get more difficult over the course of these two years (which it will). It makes you wonder: if Kodak really does have a magic money-making machine, why don’t they just keep all the profits for themselves?

This is snake fat of the highest degree — look at introductory in misleading marketing material, handed out by Kodak.

That’s not all Kodak does. They also announced KodakOne, their own blockchain-based service for tracking photo licensing. It’s integrated with KodakCoin, a cryptocurrency for paid photographers…for some reason. This is completely separate from their Bitcoin plans, except that both include cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Kodak brings nothing new to the table here. Kodak KashMiner appears to be just a Bitmain Antminer S9 with the Kodak logo printed on it. And KodakCoin appears to be a rebadged version of the RYDE coin that has never received much attention. But people pay Kodak to rent their trusted brand because that’s what was shortened to Kodak.

Samsung. Just… All of it

Samsung’s booth this year was an amalgamation of every bad idea it’s ever had, rolled into one product line.

Remember Bixby, the virtual assistant that no one wants and people are actively trying to turn off?

Remember smart refrigerators, a product that no one needs?

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Combine both of them, throw in a few similarly ridiculous products, put them in an Apple-like ecosystem, and you have a general idea of ​​what Samsung is doing this year. It creates more smart devices you don’t need by putting Bixby on everything and making it all work together so you buy a ton of Samsung products and everything works together. In the meantime, other companies are installing Google Assistant on their TVs and working with the products you already use. Samsung is losing me fast. (Although their quick TV setup looks interesting.)

Alexa-enabled faucets and other nonsense

Alexa and Google Assistant have been integrated into everything this year. Some things made sense, like a thermostat or a light switch that eliminated the need for a separate Echo in that part of the house. Others…were dizzying. For example, Delta Faucet introduced a smart faucet integrated with Alexa. It has what Delta calls «Touch Technology» 2 O» (barf), which allows you to touch the faucet to turn it on and off. It’s actually not scary, despite the name.

But integrating with Alexa doesn’t make much sense. You can say «Alexa, turn on the faucet» or «Alexa, turn off the faucet», but isn’t that faster than just turning it on with your hands? This does not mean that you are going to turn on the faucet when you are not near it. You can tell Alexei to distribute the exact amount of water, so at least it’s…something?

I asked how much the faucet would cost, but Delta Faucet wasn’t ready to announce it yet. But when you consider that regular dumb Delta faucets cost hundreds of dollars… you can only imagine how much a Delta faucet with a computer inside would cost. I’m not sure I’m forced to.

We live in an amazing time when humanity is capable of doing all sorts of crazy things. Many of the products at CES are interesting engineering designs, but not impressive products to buy, especially if they are high priced. We passed a smart fryer that let you say, «Hey Google, turn on the fryer.» But you only turn on the fryer if you’ve put food in it, in which case you’re standing right there and you can just press the button — isn’t it faster?

But if you can get past all that bullshit, talking robots, and $1,000 toys, there’s something useful to look at. Laptop and USB standards may not be as appealing as a robot that folds laundry, but it’s something that will directly affect your daily life very soon — and it worries us more than a mythical Jetsons-era product that won’t come to fruition.

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