CESIf you want to see the future of technology, this is where you should be. Las Vegas’ show floor was filled with a variety of technology. buzzy, headline-grabbing products and weird gizmos and gadgets like a toilet sensor that can read your peeAnd a color-changing car with AI sass. But these are products youLikely aren’t buying soon. The real value of the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show is how it lays out a vision for where tech may go not just in the coming months but in the coming years too.
This show marked the first “real” year that CES was back in full swing. Yes, the show had a physical presence in 2022, but a lot of companies and media (CNET included) canceled their trips at the last minute as the omicron variant of COVID-19 surged. The Consumer Technology Association, which puts on CES, estimated ahead of the 2023 show that it would have about 100,000 attendees, making it the biggest such public gathering since the pandemic hitYou can also find out more about adding up to more than double its 2022 attendance.
The edition of this year was full of announcements and interesting products. You can see them in our live blog). The regular big players like SamsungAnd SonyWhile newer entrants like Tesla and BMW showed up with concept cars and TVs that were impressive, they also had the ability to display their vehicles. NeutrogenaAnd John DeereAs they presented their ideas for innovation, they were awestruck. The best part about CES is the ability to read the tea leaves and see where the tech world is heading and how it affects you.
These are the main themes we’ll be discussing.
The buzzword that everyone wants to hear
Sustainability is a top priority. This is something everyone at CES can agree upon. Virtually every company spoke about how its products would make the world more sustainable. This included Samsung’s partnership in reducing microplastics in water supplies, and Asus’ boast that it has a zero-waste policy. used 1,500 tons of recycled plasticSince 2017, in its products
The CTA had a key priority this year: highlighting tech’s social and environmental impact. Companies got the message. During their keynote presentations, companies often highlighted sustainability as the first topic. AMD Lisa Su used her keynote address to emphasize the energy efficiency of her company’s powerful processors. John Deere’s new robot planterIt is designed to reduce chemical and fertilizer use. This list could go on.
The climate crisis has been deemed one of the most urgent issues of our times, so it’s not surprising that it’s all over CES. Another sign that consumers care is the fact that so many companies are beginning to take this issue more seriously. However, this is only the beginning of the tech industry’s efforts.
Maribel Lopez, an analyst with Lopez Research, said that sustainability is a key pillar in most consumer electronics organizations. However, we’re only at the beginning.
Our website provides more information about sustainability and the role of tech in solving the climate crisis. CNET Zero series.
The race to own the future of the car
CES has become an auto show. Carmakers like GM, BMW and others regularly display concept cars to show that they are tech companies. CES 2023 saw a host of traditional consumer electronics companies trying to decide how you’ll be spending your time in a vehicle going forward.
The South Korean rivals Samsung, LG and LG have always presented their own smart cars platforms. Samsung’s system will be called ICXThe Ready Care platform from Harman International’s Harman International business powers the system. The system uses sensors that measure driver drowsiness. Driver-facing infrared cameras will be used to monitor their status. The system will likely work with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch family of products. LG’s Cockpit ComputerThe platform also focuses on optimizing driving experience. Gene Cho, vice president for product strategy at LG, discusses how the platform will allow you to check on your stove at the house or call roadside assistance.
Sony took a more ambitious approach in car design and used its keynote to showcase its vehicles. Afeela electric vehicleHonda collaborated on the design. Afeela has 45 cameras and sensors on the exterior and interior, with the same theme of understanding and detecting people.
The automakers were not going to be outdone. BMW used its keynote to showcase the i Vision Dee (or “digital emotional experience”). The car speaks like Knight Rider’s KITT (which was also present), changes color with E Ink, and has an AR display that wraps around it. Volantis showcased its futuristic designs. Ram Revolution Concept vehicleThis model comes with an AR display, large moonroof, and a 28-inch jumbo touchscreen.
These companies are trying to show you how your relationship with your car might change with self-driving cars. They also want to wrest control from Apple and Google who have become the dominant platforms for car technology with Android Auto and CarPlay. Particularly LG and Samsung will likely seek to be viable alternatives for automakers.
Buh-bye TV gimmicks
Remember just a few years ago when it seemed every TV manufacturer every year was scraping the bottom of the useless-to-most-people features barrel to try to sell you their latest model? 3D TVs were an idea for a moment, but they didn’t seem to be that popular. just suddenly weren’t? Keep this in mind LG’s roll-up TVThis cost $60,000 We are still able to remember.
We were therefore pleasantly surprised to find that TV manufacturers have apparently (at least for now) learned from their mistakes and are now focusing more on real-world value.
LG probably made the biggest splash at CES, with its LG G4 smartphone. 97-inch OLED TVThe TV can display movies and games at a super smooth 120Hz. This TV uses LG’s OLED implementation. But the real selling point is the fact that it is completely wireless (except for the power cord). No more fiddling around with a million remotes! HDMICables behind your home theatre setup with zip ties and such, to make it look nice.
Samsung also presented a smartphone with a 77-inch QD-OLED. OLED is widely regarded as the best picture technology, and this is the first time we’ve seen Samsung’s OLED. QD-OLED varietyIt is designed at this screen size which should help Samsung compete against LG TVs and hopefully lower prices.
Finally, although it is not a TV, Samsung’s 8K projectorThe Premiere, which can transform any wall into a screen up to 150 inches in size, is also known as the “Premiere”. The projector’s short throw is small enough to be placed just inches from the wall. This allows even people living in smaller apartments to have easy access to high-quality projectors without requiring much space.
We support practical home entertainment devices that directly address the needs and wants of most consumers. Let’s hope this trend doesn’t last too long.
Phone screens with contortionist designs are on the horizon
CES has never been a strong phone show – you’ll need to wait until next month’s Mobile World Congress for more handset reveals — but Samsung managed to create a little buzz with a foldable concept deviceThat flexes in multiple ways.
Samsung Display, not Samsung Electronics, attracted some attention early by showing off its Flex Hybrid folding device. And slides. This is not likely to be available at your local carrier shop anytime soon. It’s from Samsung’s display business, which deals with actual phones.
But as with most things at CES, the Flex Hybrid sheds light on where our phones can go, and just how crazy these foldables can actually get. It was enough to impress CNET Editor Eli Blumenthal, shattering his jadedness and reminding him that phones can be cool again — some day.
That other once ubiquitous mobile buzzword, 5G, on the other hand, barely made a blip at the show. We’re a few years into the technology, and while it’s faster (in some areas), it hasn’t really shown itself to be the gamechanger it was hyped up to be. The CTA believes 5G will still be important, but with less buzzy business applications and devices.
A simpler (and smarter) smart home setup
After years of buildup and a handful of delays during the pandemic, Matter, an open-source, universal smart home protocol backed by Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung and countless others is finally live. The pitch is promising: a single, Wi-Fi-based standard that bundles together compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and SmartThings, among others.
Sure enough, we saw plenty of gadgets at CES rushing for the bandwagon, including new, Matter-compatible smart lights and smart plugs, connected roller blinds, and a new SmartThings hub. Later in the year, when Matter’s next release arrives, additional device types like robot vacuums and smart home cameras should come on board too.
That said, the most interesting part of the Matter march-out might not have been the new devices, but the old ones — specifically, the previous-gen gadgets from the brands embracing the new standard.
Some companies, like Eve, told CNET that they’re going to be able to bring those older devices on board with Matter with a simple software update, if they haven’t already. In other cases, like with GE Lighting or Govee, smart-home users will need to buy brand new, Matter-compliant devices in order to reap Matter’s multilingual benefits. That could irk an awful lot of consumers who like the devices they’ve already bought, so Matter will need to deliver on its promise of smart home harmony in what’s shaping up to be another interesting year for the category.
Get ready to spend more time on the toilet
If you remember only one thing about health tech at CES, it’s that the next frontier for tracking and managing your health is in your bathroom. Specifically, your toilet. Withings and Vivoo came to the show with sensors that attach to your toilet bowl to analyze your urine. These sensors can keep tabs on nutrient levels, hormones and more.
Meanwhile, The Heart Seat from Casana aims to keep tabs on your heart rate, blood oxygen and blood pressure while you do your business. All you have to do is sit on the smart toilet seat.
Like in previous years, using AI to monitor your health was omnipresent. While sensors can give us precise information, algorhythms that are fed massive data sets can help provide health metrics when sensors aren’t available. For example, Nuralogix announced plans at the show to use its AI to measure blood pressure, heart rate and more by analyzing your face from a selfie.
Artificial intelligence also makes it possible for Valencell’s new fingertip blood pressure sensor to give you accurate readings without the need to calibrate it with a traditional cuff. We’ve seen blood pressure sensors in watches, but this is the first time we’ve seen a finger clip version.
Following the FDA’s approval of over-the-counter hearing aids last year, we also saw a good deal of hearing tech at the show, including the Jabra Enhance Plus earbuds that double as a hearing aid. Expect this market to explode in 2023, as more brands release OTC hearing aids.
From everything we’ve seen at CES 2023, expect more and more home health monitoring products to hit the market this year. From the traditional wrist-worn trackers and smart rings to sensor-filled toilet seats and bathmats, there’s no shortage of ways to keep tabs on your health.
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