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CES 2019: Google brings a Disney-like ride to tech show

AP  |  Las Vegas 

The CES 2019 show opened its doors Tuesday, with tech companies from giants to tiny startups showing off their latest products and services.

In recent years, CES's influence has declined as Apple, and other major companies throw their own events to launch new wares. Still, more than 180,000 people from about 150 countries are expected to attend. The sprawling event spans 11 official venues, plus scores of unofficial ones throughout

The four-day show in opened after two days of

has transformed CES into a Disney-like theme park complete with singing animatronic macarons to showcase new features of its

This includes an "mode" that enables some of Google's to work as a It's being piloted at a hotel concierge desk near the tech conference and rolls out to consumer devices in several weeks.

Voice assistants are getting pretty good at translating speech into text, but it's a thornier challenge in to enable real-time translation across different languages. Google's new feature expands upon it's rolled out to phones and headphones over the past year.

This is the second year that had made a huge splash at CES in an effort to outbid Amazon's Alexa as the of choice.

Google this year has an amusement park ride that resembles Disney's "It's a Small World," though on a roller-coaster-like train at slow speeds. Talking and singing characters showcase Google's various voice-assistant features as visitors ride along.

Google isn't the only CES exhibitor promising the next generation of instant translation. firm has been showing of its translation apps and devices that are already popular among Chinese travellers. And at least two startups, New York-based and China-based TimeKettle, are promoting their earbuds that work as in-ear

is expanding its side job as the world's

used a keynote address Tuesday to unveil a new global forecasting system that promises more accurate local weather reports in places that never had them before.

The giant owns The Weather Company, which runs popular including and and Weather Underground apps (though not television network). Those apps provide precise and constantly updating forecasts in places like the U.S. and parts of and Japan, but not in most of the world.

says its new forecasting model relies in part on "crowd-sourced" data barometric pressure readings from millions of and sensor readings from passing airplanes.

says the new system is intended to aid IBM's business providing critical to airlines, and other industries. But he says it will also have societal benefits, such as helping small farmers in or parts of yield better crops.

IBM may have trouble persuading some users to agree to transmit atmospheric data to IBM after the city of sued last week to stop the Weather Channel's data-collection practices.

The lawsuit alleges that the company uses location information not just to personalize weather but also to track users' every step and profit off that information. The company has denied any impropriety with sharing location data collected from users, saying it does disclose what it does.

Up next for Samsung: a robot that can keep its eye on grandma and grandpa.

The rolling robot, which talks and has two digital eyes on a black screen, can track medicines they take, measure blood pressure and call if it detects a fall.

The company didn't not say when Bot Care would be available, but brought the robot out on stage Monday at a presentation at CES. also said it is working on a robot for stores and another for testing and purifying the air in homes.

also unveiled TVs, appliances and other but not a foldable phone it hinted at in November. But a startup called Royole did. The Royole FlexPai was first shown in November but the California-based company has more details. The phone will have a 7.8-inch display that can be folded like a wallet, priced at more than $1,300.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 18:25 IST