The Morning After: Introducing the Best of CES 2020 finalists

Mat Smith
Bureau Chief, UK
Engadget

The Consumer Electronics Show is a place where dreams are m-- pitched to dismissive investors and crowdfunders. There are thousands of companies, startups and interest groups all jostling for the eyes of CES attendees and the assembled media. It's easy to get excited, with flying taxis, home robots and folding phones all on show in one location. It's the future, the day before it happens. Sometimes everyone gets too excited, and I think that's particularly true for Neon, a spin-off company from the Samsung-backed STAR Labs program. Artificial human avatars sound totally Blade Runner, but the current state of the program's digitally generated Neons is more like Amazon Alexa with teeth and eyebrows. Hype is a fickle mistress.

We have some incredible nominees in the official Best Of CES 2020 awards. You can make a difference by voting right here for the People's Choice. You can watch the results, live, later today at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT.

--Mat

Here's our list of nominees for all 15 categories.
Presenting the Best of CES 2020 finalists!

Our editors have been hard at work the past few days finding the latest and greatest gadgets here at CES 2020. Now we're ready to announce our finalists for the official Best of CES awards. Below you'll find our selections for all 15 categories, which range from best TVs to the most sustainable products we've seen at the show. We'll announce our category winners tomorrow, which is also when we'll reveal the recipient of our Best of the Best award, the most coveted prize of all. That special award is selected from our pool of category winners.

And if you want your voice heard too, no worries! There's an additional category for the People's Choice where you can vote for your favorite of our compilation of finalists. Check out all the finalists right here.

Finally, mobile videos that look good either way.
Quibi's secret weapon: Videos that work in portrait and landscape mode

What the heck is Quibi? That's the question we've all been asking. This mobile-centric, streaming-video company steadily amassed a whopping $1 billion in funding, with notable names like Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro signing up to make some short shows (up to 10 minutes) for the service. What did all of Quibi's supporters know that we didn't? Devindra tries to find the answer.

But it wasn't entirely the company's fault.
Neon's "artificial human" avatars could not live up to the CES hype

The big story ahead of CES even opening was a Samsung-backed company that was barely half a year old, pitching incredibly realistic "artificial humans" that not only looked the part but also had intellectual and emotional wisdom to match. The reality, at least at this early stage, is relatively impressive but not quite close enough to the heady conceptual show reel. Neon might have played its hand a year too early. Mat tries to figure out why everyone got so excited.

That's nearly twice as long as most other consumer drones.
V-Coptr Falcon is a bi-copter drone with a 50-minute flight time

You may not be familiar with the name Zero Zero Robotics, but its foldable Hover Camera may ring a bell. Having finally started shipping the Hover 2 to beta testers last month, the company is already showing off a different kind of drone at CES. As the name suggests, the V-Coptr Falcon is a V-shaped bi-copter that boasts an impressive 50-minute flight time -- something that should scare the competition. There are plenty more intelligent touches too.

Daredevil, eat your heart out.
Phonak Virto Black hands-on: A hearing aid that gives you superpowers

You might not have heard of Phonak, but the Swiss company's been around for decades. It makes a range of hearing aids, but the Virto Black is its latest and greatest. Unless you suffer from hearing loss, hearing aids are probably not that interesting, but there's enough going on in the Virto Black that it almost feels like a smart wearable as much as an accessibility tool. James Trew is a convert.

But wait, there's more...

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