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5 great things in tech today: furniture-building robots and smarter AI

Ikea robots

Today's tech news picks, courtesy of our friends at TechRadar, are focusing on the future: a future where we can sit back and let robots assemble Ikea furniture for us, and pour out our deepest thoughts to the AI inside our phones. Read on to find out what's coming.

1. The OnePlus 6 teases some new materials

OnePlus 5T

The OnePlus 5T

Anticipation is building as we get closer to the launch of the OnePlus 6 – whenever it happens to be – and the latest tease direct from OnePlus itself is promising us the "same expert craftsmanship, new materials". Make of that what you will, but a textured or ceramic back could be on the cards, and it certainly looks appealing based on the attached picture. The next OnePlus flagship should be officially unveiled at some point during the summer.

2. Sleep easier with the help of Philips

Philips SmartSleep

The Philips SmartSleep

There are probably plenty of us that could do with better quality shut-eye, and Philips has a new wearable designed to help us feel more refreshed in the mornings.  The SmartSleep headgear analyses your existing sleep patterns and then uses very low volume audio tones to try and boost the slow brain waves associated with deep sleep. The wearable is currently being tested in the US and Germany, with a full launch expected in September.

3. There's news of another feature on the LG G7 ThinQ

LG G7 ThinQ

The LG G7 ThinQ

We've already mentioned the OnePlus 6, but there's another 2018 flagship that's about to break cover: the LG G7 ThinQ, due to arrive on Wednesday 2 May. The latest leaks we have on this phone suggest it's going to come with a physical button that you can press to launch Google Assistant, according to CNET, a little like the Bixby button on Samsung devices. It should mean easier access to all the AI knowledge that Google Assistant offers.

4. At last! Robots can now build our Ikea furniture

Ikea robots

No humans required

Few tasks are as frustrating as trying to assemble flat-pack furniture from Ikea, but it might soon be a job we can give to our increasingly intelligent robot friends. A group of robotics experts in Singapore have put together a two-armed robot that can put together a STEFAN chair from the Swedish furniture store in just nine minutes. If this catches on, you'll have more time to spend deliberating over your choice of furniture and colours in the first place.

5. Your phone could soon be your best friend

Huawei P20 Pro

The Huawei P20 Pro

Like a lot of tech companies these days, Huawei is very keen on the potential of artificial intelligence, and is building more and more AI into its phone software. According to comments from Huawei's Felix Zhang made to CNBC, the company is investigating ways to make its digital assistant app (currently only available in China) better able to handle emotions – so it can act like a friend and counsellor, as well as answering your questions.