Emerging Tech Trends from CES 2022

CES 2022
Photo Credit: Consumer Technology Association

Since its inception in the 1960s, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been a portal into the future, highlighting the latest cutting-edge technology. Like CES 2021, most of CES 2022 was virtual, but that did not deter companies from showcasing their latest products and findings. Product innovations shifted from 2021’s health and safety-oriented needs to 2022’s focus on eco-friendliness, hybrid working, wellness, and privacy. Below are the most significant trends that emerged from this year’s conference.

Electric Cars and Autonomy

Multiple electric cars were unveiled as part of the ‘ongoing electric car race,’ with most major car manufacturers showing off their latest and greatest.

The most talked-about vehicle was BMW’s iX Flow. The German car manufacturer collaborated with E-ink, a company known for producing technology used in popular e-readers, such as the Kindle and Nook. The collaboration sees BMW using E-ink’s Prism technology, which is a swath of electrophoretic microcapsules laminated atop a plastic film roll. This technology allows the car’s exterior to change color at the touch of a button. This concept vehicle can toggle between black and white, showing a radical vision for the future of cars.

The other electric car that created a significant buzz came from the unlikely contender, Sony. Dubbed Vision-S 02, this all-electric SUV is the next iteration of Vision-S 01 that the electronic giant unveiled at last year’s CES (Vision-S 01 is currently being tested on European roads). Sony stated that their line of electric vehicles would eventually be configured to achieve level 4 of autonomous driving. Level 4 is nearly fully automated driving, with optional human overriding. Both Vision-S cars currently sit at level 2 ‘partial’ autonomy, which requires human monitoring at all times.

Autonomous driving (ADAS/AD) was on full display this year, with multiple manufacturers revealing their in-progress projects. General Motors showed off the evolution of their hands-free Ultra Cruise ADAS system that can now handle 97% of all driving scenarios. Additionally, Chinese eclectic vehicle manufacturer, JiDU, announced their first vehicle to have level 4 autonomy.

Excitement around ADAS/AD culminated in an autonomous car race. Autonomous racing teams from around the world converged on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to compete against each other for the fastest time.

Blockchain and the Metaverse

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies were widely featured throughout the show. Companies like Samsung and Hyundai presented their versions of integrating several blockchain-built products.

Samsung announced the world’s first TV with built-in NFT support. Its 2022 lineup of smart TVs will now come with features that allow digital creators to showcase their art in the form of NFTs. Prospective buyers can preview an NFT before buying it and see the history of the NFTs and their related metadata. Samsung also explained that the TVs would intelligently tune the display settings to match the art creator’s preferred preset for their art. Thus, the artworks are represented in their most original, true-to-life quality.

Hyundai went all-in on the metaverse with their concept of ‘metamobility.’ According to Hyundai, metamobility expands human reach through robotics and metaverse. This looks like a future where robots are used as bridges between real and virtual worlds, and automotive vehicles become keys to access the metaverse. Hyundai’s Mobility of Things (MoT) concept will also use robots to expand mobility to traditionally inanimate objects.

The Increasing Focus Towards Mobile Devices and Platforms

The competition for mobile platforms took center stage again. Major players went all-in on shifting towards on-the-move platforms. AMD showcased their Ryzen 6000-series of processors that should arrive in laptops next month. Compared to existing Ryzen 5000 processors, the new chips offer 11% better single-core and 28% better multi-core performance, 2x better graphics, and improved thermals and battery life. Ryzen’s rival, Intel, was claimed similar benefits with their 12th generation Alder Lake processors.

For laptops, the focus was on dual and foldable screens. ASUS went the foldable display route with its beautiful Zenbook 17 Fold OLED. Lenovo took the dual-screen approach with its ThinkBook Plus Gen 3, which delivers an 8-inch, secondary display on the right-hand side of the laptop.

As for mobile phone manufacturers, OnePlus, Samsung, HMD Global, and TCL all teased or revealed new 5G capable smartphones.

Accessible Healthcare and Wellness

Similar to last year, companies highlighted their range of healthcare and wellness-focused products. This year, accessibility was the name of the game, as we saw a shift towards making healthcare and wellness tech widely accessible.

Omron Healthcare announced their new range of connected remote patient monitoring devices, including a blood pressure tool, part of their VitalSight moniker. These tools use cloud-based central data repositories to easily share user data between patients, doctors, and medical institutions.

Other interesting products include:

  • Avokad’s nutritional-needs tool collects data by using nano-sensors and AI to analyze ketones from a user’s breath
  • Circular Ring’s smart ring tracks sleep patterns and activity trends
  • BBalance’s mat-based scale aims to improve posture
  • Caregiver Smart Solution’s non-intrusive array of home sensors that monitors seniors and alerts caregivers if adverse changes are detected

With major players opting out of a physical presence due to pandemic woes, CES 2022 felt like the previous year. However, positive outcomes emerged, with key innovations centered around sustainability, accessibility, and autonomy. Furthermore, metaverse, electric vehicles, mobile devices, smart home, and wellness tech were highlights.

CES 2022 saw emerging technologies from the 2021 show evolve into production-ready versions. Looking ahead, blockchain, Web3, self-driving cars, smart homes, and other budding technologies already have us excited about next year’s show.

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