CES 2022: 5 takeaways from the giant tech show – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana weather

(CNN) – CES, the highly watched annual consumer electronics show, looked radically different this year.

Sure, some things were familiar: companies showed off the latest batch of flashy televisions. The onslaught of eccentric gadgets just got weirder. And there was no shortage of next-level health trackers, including a bulb that tracks your sleep.

But this year’s CES was also a great experience on how to organize an in-person event during a pandemic. Rapid Covid-19 tests were distributed to participants, and masks and proof of vaccination were required.

Many large tech and media companies pulled out ahead of the show. There were widely shared photos of almost empty exhibition areas. And a number of presentations, including the CES launch event with General Motors CEO Mary Barra, have been pre-recorded.

“It was surreal,” said Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy, who decided to continue by attending in person to show off his company’s new solar roof shingle. “It was probably my eleventh year at CES and the lack of crowds was weird.”

However, much has been said about the products on display This year. here is 5 points to remember from the giant tech show:

Everybody wants a piece of the metaverse

It had been years since CES had a “next big event” that everyone was talking about, but this year the conversation has largely focused on the metaverse, which refers to efforts to combine virtual and augmented reality in a new online domain.

Facebook’s parent company, Meta and its Oculus gaming system, is the market leader by far at the moment as it is undergoing a massive hiring wave to develop the concept, but many other companies are still trying to join in. the action. The new PlayStation VR 2 headset and its VR2 Sense controller, as well as HTC’s Vive wrist controller for the Vive Focus 3 headset were both unveiled at CES. And if these products are any indication, these companies understand that they need to deliver increasingly immersive material and experiences.

For example, the VR2 Sense controller has eye tracking and headset feedback that amplifies the sensations of the player’s in-game actions. The company said in a press release that players can experience “a character’s high pulse during times of tension, the rush of objects passing near the character’s head, or the thrust of a vehicle when the character advance”.

“This is the first time in a long time that we have seen a new and strong topic emerge at CES, because for years it has always been about AI, the Internet of Things or autonomous vehicles,” he said. said Pedro Pacheco, senior research director at market. Gartner research firm. “Right now, a lot of companies are including Metaverse in their long-term technology roadmap thinking about how they should bring it to life. “

The automobile in the spotlight

Automotive technology is always a big part of CES, but this year the announcements have followed one another: BMW teased a color-changing car, John Deere unveiled an autonomous tractor, and companies pledged to make electric vehicles more affordable.

BMW’s iX electric concept car featured electronic panels similar to what you would find in a Kindle e-reader that are coated to protect against the elements. In a demo, BMW showed how an owner can change the color of the car from black to white in seconds. (BMW has not announced any plans to bring this type of technology to a production vehicle.)

Automakers have also launched several new electric vehicles at more competitive prices, including the Silverado EV starting at $ 39,900 and the Chevy Equinox 2024 starting at $ 30,000. Meanwhile, the trend for tech companies to enter the vehicle manufacturing space continued: Sony announced plans for its own brand of car, following in the footsteps of other tech companies like Xiaomi and Foxconn. If the rumors are true, Apple could also join the club.

Dystopian technology

While some of the innovations presented an optimistic view for the future, others made the future (and even our current pandemic reality) a little darker.

Take the “Vision Omnipod”, a concept announced by LG this week. The autonomous vehicle – which is not yet a true commercial product – includes a refrigerator, a reclining chair in a bed, a screen that passengers can use to watch movies or access games and other virtual spaces, and an AI assistant who could keep people entertained, help them train, or order food for them. I loved quarantining everything by yourself at home during the pandemic? So maybe you will like to hide forever in this high-tech solo pod.

Other companies have introduced more realistic but still unsettling products, including a charging station that is supposed to prevent your phone or smart device from eavesdropping on sensitive conversations. (While tech gadgets that listen to users have been a long-standing fear, most of them are unfounded, though the concern itself points to our sometimes strained relationship with technology.)

If that wasn’t enough, there was also a stuffed animal, named Amagami Ham Ham, who will nibble on your finger for stress relief as this is apparently where we are after the chaos of the past two years.

Changing form factors isn’t just a gimmick

Tech companies have been experimenting with foldable technology for a few years, but many companies like Samsung showed improved versions at CES 2022 that highlight the evolution of the niche market.

Samsung’s Flex S and Flex G tri-fold concepts allow users to fold a tablet into three parts so that it appears almost like an “s,” hinting at how its foldable smartphone lines, Flip, and Fold, may change in the future. Meanwhile, Asus’ new Zenbook 17, a 17-inch foldable laptop with an OLED display, can be used as a tablet or folded in half like a laptop, with a 12.5-inch display at the top and an on-screen keyboard displayed below.

Other companies like Dell have adopted products that meet the trend of hybrid work. Dell Concept Flow connects and disconnects laptops from a second display based on proximity, and Dell’s Pari mobile webcam prototype mounts anywhere, whether on the side of a computer monitor or above a drawing pad if you want your colleagues to see notes in real time during a Meeting.

Small Businesses Come Out of the Big Tech Shadows

In typical years, much of the attention during CES is directed to the biggest names in tech, and there were concerns that this year’s event would fall flat after major exhibitors such as Meta and Amazon pulled out days before it started. But for companies that have decided to stay the course and attend in person, some have said that these empty spaces in showrooms are actually a godsend.

“Normally when you come to a CES it’s dominated by the bigger tech companies,” which makes it harder for the media to get media attention, said Richard Browning, director of marketing and sales at Nextbase, who started a new smart dash cam called Nextbase IQ at CES this year. But this year, the company’s new product received more press than expected, in part “because a lot of the big brands haven’t come in person,” he said.

While tech giants have many other ways to reach audiences, CES is a crucial international venue for small players to reach consumers and industry partners.

In-person participants said that despite the lower overall turnout, those on the ground were more open to discovering new technologies and deeper engagement. And some companies said the show’s virtual elements were less appealing after nearly two years of regularly showcasing their technology at Zoom meetings and other virtual forums.

In fact, after this year, some like GAF Energy’s DeBono see the potential of a new (though unlikely) future for CES conferences where the “hordes of people” who just want to see the latest TVs and other mainstream gadgets remain. at home, and only those who really want to see new innovations make the trip to be there in person.

“CES will persist and I think the proportion of true innovation versus just iteration will increase,” he said.

About Shelley Hales

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