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#CES2019: Giant gadget gathering kicks off in Las Vegas

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A Blue Frog Robotics robot is featured during the first day of CES Tuesday, January 9, 2017, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. CREDIT: Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

The CES 2019 gadget show is revving up in Las Vegas. Here are the latest findings and observations from Associated Press reporters on the ground as technology’s biggest trade event gets underway.

THE CURTAIN LIFTS

The show formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show opens its doors Tuesday in Las Vegas, with tech companies from giants to tiny startups showing off their latest gadgets.

In recent years, CES’s influence has declined as Apple, Google 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.

And 4,500 companies will be at the show, including some new names such as Tide maker Procter & Gamble, defense contractor Raytheon and tractor seller John Deere. Their new presence is a sign of how nearly every industry is relying more on technology.

The sprawling event spans 11 official venues, plus scores of unofficial ones throughout Las Vegas. The four-day show opens Tuesday following two days of media previews.

Big themes to watch this week: artificial intelligence permeating every aspect of technology, ubiquitous — and often unnecessary — “smart” gadgets and naturally, robot pets.

STAR DELIGHT

Sony brought some star power to CES with a visit from musician Pharrell Williams, straight from trip to Anguilla.

The star of hit songs such as “Happy” came to talk about a mostly secret project that he and Sony are supposedly undertaking. But in the end, it was clearly an attempt by Sony to sprinkle some stardust on launches for TVs and other products.

“I was a little bit worried that he was still on holiday, but he is here,” Sony Music head Rob Stringer told the crowd.


SAMSUNG WANTS TO BRING ROBOTS HOME

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 911 if it detects a fall.

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


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