With the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 being held in a hybrid format because of the pandemic, major technology makers are relying on displays in Las Vegas and online "showrooms" and YouTube channels to introduce their latest innovations.
This year’s focus is on pioneering technology such as the metaverse, 5G, FoodTech, space technology, drones, self-driving cars, smart homes, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
The National takes a look at the 10 major trends at the annual extravaganza this year.
HyperX’s gaming headsets with longest-lasting battery
HyperX, the gaming peripherals team at HP, one of the leaders in gaming and e-sports, announced a host of additions to its gaming accessories at CES.
To support the wireless gaming needs, the company launched the "cloud alpha wireless" gaming headset with up to 300 hours of battery life on a single charge.
It is the longest-lasting battery in the gaming market thus far.
CES is a great time to share latest innovations and demonstrate “our continued dedication to bring gamers high-performance products”, said Paul Leaman, vice president at HyperX for Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
Hyundai uses robotics to steer towards future mobility
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor displayed its vision for robotics in the real world and metaverse under the theme "expanding human reach".
Its presentations reflected how the company’s robotics business will drive the shift towards future mobility, going beyond the traditional means of transport.
Named "metamobility", the new concept aims to go beyond physical movements through robotics and the metaverse to create change in the real world.
The company said that distinctions between future mobilities will become blurred through robotics technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
It said it was working to introduce new Mobility of Things concept “wherein traditionally inanimate objects will gain mobility using robotics”.
Sony’s entry into EV market
At CES 2020, Sony announced its "Vision-S" initiative aimed at contributing to the evolution of mobility.
It started public road tests in Europe in December 2020 and verification tests of the safety and user experience of the imaging and sensing technology installed inside and outside the vehicle.
At CES 2022, the Japanese electronics giant announced to establish an operating company called Sony Mobility this year to explore its entry into the electric vehicle market.
“The new company will aim to make the best use of AI and robotics technologies and help realise a world where everyone can live in harmony with robots on a daily basis,” the company said.
Robot cat to relieve users’ stress
A robotic cat named Amagami Ham Ham is one of the strangest technology marvels coming out of the CES.
Made by Yukai Engineering in Tokyo, the cat-shaped Amagami can nibble your fingers.
The developers said the technology offers nearly 20 different nibbling patterns to the users and they are designed scientifically to act as stress busters.
“Most people like the nibbling sensation but know they need to teach their children or pets to stop it, because kids and animals will otherwise bite them with full force eventually,” Yukai chief marketing officer Tsubasa Tominaga told TechCrunch.
The company, which is looking to run a crowdfunding campaign this year, has not disclosed the availability dates and price of the product.
BMW’s colour-changing car
After teasing the concept few weeks ago, German car maker BMW unveiled a chameleon car that changes colour. The company has joined forces with the US-based E Ink, a digital paper technology company, to develop the technology.
Dubbed as BMW iX Flow, the new car will use “digitisation to adapt the exterior of a vehicle to different situations and individual wishes”, the company said.
In addition to personalisation, a variable exterior also contributes to the efficiency of the vehicle. By nature, a white exterior on hot days would reflect sunlight and a black exterior on cold days would absorb the sunlight.
“This could reduce the amount of energy the vehicle uses for heating and cooling the interior,” E Ink said.
Bosch’s connected and smart solutions driving growth
At CES, Bosch announced it is focusing on linking Internet of Things with AI.
This will create a “virtuous circle” in which connected products deliver information that is processed by AI and incorporated into software updates for these products.
At the core of this approach is the benefit for customers as it allows solutions to be tailored precisely to their needs, the company said.
“We see the combination of AI and IoT as holding the key to leveraging the most user benefit from both of these technologies,” said Tanja Rueckert, the company’s chief digital officer.
“Besides enabling us to develop new business models, this approach helps us offer better products and solutions that deliver real added value for individuals and society as a whole.”
Bosch said all future electronics product classes will be connectable. Sales of connected power tools, household appliances and heating systems alone have grown by 50 per cent within one year – from four million units in 2020 to more than six million last year.
LG’s mobile wireless display
The South Korean company displays StanbyME, a wireless private mobile wireless display that goes anywhere in the house to deliver the viewing experience of a traditional TV.
It is a nearly 70-centimetre battery-run TV that can operate wirelessly and be wheeled around on its height-adjustable stand.
The company also introduced more products such as LG PuriCare AeroTower, an all-in-one home air care solution designed to deliver the benefits of an air purifier, fan and heater.
It showed the LG tiiun, an indoor gardening appliance that offers a simple, clean and reliable way to grow healthy greens all year round.
Lenovo smart clock with Alexa built-in
Lenovo has unveiled "smart clock essential", a smart clock for any room with exciting features from Alexa to help you stay connected.
From setting timers, alarms and reminders, Alexa is there to help add items to the Amazon cart and even control smart home devices with users’ voices.
It is also a smart speaker for streaming songs through home’s Wi-Fi network from Amazon Music and similar streaming apps, as well as audiobooks and podcasts.
The device is expected to be available this month and will start at $59.90.
Virtual reality-powered console for PlayStation 5
Sony also unveiled the details of its next generation virtual reality console for the PlayStation 5 at CES.
“It will take the VR gaming to a whole new level, enabling a greater sense of presence and allowing players to escape into game worlds like never before,” said Hideaki Nishino, the company’s senior vice president for platform experience.
“With the headset on and controllers in hand, players will feel a heightened range of sensations unlike any other.”
The new console will come with enhanced eye-tracking feature. It detects the motion of users’ eyes so a simple look in a specific direction can create an additional input for the game character.
“This allows players to interact more intuitively in new and lifelike ways, allowing for a heightened emotional response and enhanced expression that provide a new level of realism in gaming,” Mr Nishino said.
Moving towards metaverse
Panasonic subsidiary, Shiftall, displayed a range of new products designed to help users immerse themselves in the metaverse.
It announced three new products: the MeganeX VR headset; the Pebble Feel metaverse-linked wearable heating and cooling device; and the mutalk microphone that preserves users’ voices for the metaverse while stopping sound leaking into the surroundings.
The Pebble Feel is a personal air conditioner that heats and cools the human body with a high-performance element that fits in the palm of the hand like a pebble.
“It can efficiently heat and cool the human body from the nape of the neck when combined with a special shirt or supporter belt,” the company said.
The metaverse is a digital space that allows users to communicate and move virtually in their three-dimensional avatars or digital representations. It is being seen as the future of business and human interaction.