After weeks of uncertainty, Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2022) in Las Vegas was back this year. Unlike in 2021, when the event was 100% online, this year’s CES was a hybrid event. More than 2300 exhibiting companies from around the world, including more than 800 startups, launched products featuring innovation across artificial intelligence, automotive technology, digital health, smart home and more.
Typically a consumer-facing show, CES changed its perspectives in recent years and at CES 2022, many companies showcased new technologies that will shape the future of business.
“Innovation came to life this week at CES 2022 – with technologies that will reshape industries and provide solutions to pressing worldwide issues from healthcare to agriculture, sustainability and beyond,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), owner and producer of CES.
“The CES show floor buzzed with the joy of human interaction and a five-sense innovation experience with products that will redefine our future and change our world for the better,” he said.
Health protocols were put in place for in-person attendance, including proof of vaccination, required masking indoors, testing and social distancing measures.
With Covid-19 pandemic driving business owners to increasingly rely on digital technology in ways they never had before, let’s explore some of the enterprise-focused tech from the giant tech trade show.
The metaverse has arrived
This year the conversation was largely focused on the metaverse, which is an online world where people can game, work and communicate in a virtual environment, often using VR headsets.
Facebook’s parent company Meta and its Oculus gaming system is by far the market leader right now, as it undergoes a massive hiring spree to build out the concept, but many other companies are trying to get in on the action.
Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO, speaks about PlayStation VR2 during the Sony press conference at CES.
The new PlayStation VR 2 headset and its VR2 Sense controller, as well as the HTC’s Vive wrist controller for the Vive Focus 3 headset were both unveiled at CES. The companies understand they need to come up with increasingly immersive hardware and experiences.
Monish Darda, Co-founder and CTO at Icertis, believes, “The metaverse will transform the way we interact and bring our digital and physical lives together in unprecedented ways. This will not only create new businesses, but also reshape traditional businesses.”
A new high for autonomous cars
While auto tech is always a big part of CES, this year, this year it seemed that cars had taken the center stage with self-driving cars, color-changing body panels, and plenty of AI-driven tech and more making headlines. Also companies are committed to making electric vehicles more affordable.
BMW teased a color-changing car, the sort that allows the car to change colour by the press of a button. The paint, which is temperature sensitive, debuted on one of the brand’s latest electric offerings, the iX Flow. BMW claims that this is made possible by the use of its “E ink” technology, featuring on a body wrap that responds to electric signals which generate different colour pigments on the surface. In a demo, BMW showed how an owner could switch the car’s color from black to white in a matter of seconds.
General Motors claimed that it aims to introduce a self-driving private vehicle by 2023 showcased its new Silverado EV pick-up truck – an “Ultra Cruise” hands-free driving system will debut in 2023 on its top-end Cadillac Celestiq ultra-luxury sedan whose concept broke cover at CES. Part of Cadillac’s Halo Concept Portofolio, the model is expected to surpass the likes of Waymo, Apple and Tesla, believe experts.
Sony takes its first step as a carmaker at CES 2022. According to Sony’s CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, the brand is exploring the launch of a commercial EV. Based on the Sony Vision-S concept, the company unveiled a prototype electric SUV, under a newly-formed EV subsidiary called Sony Mobility Inc.
Merc’s Vision EQXX concept was one of the first highlights of the event. The brand claims that, upon launch, the car will be the world’s most efficient passenger EV, with a sub-1000km range that it will be able to achieve through improved battery chemistry, extreme aerodynamism and solar cells.
Both Google and Amazon announced key strategic partnerships with car brands, in a bid to bring connected-tech and “ambient computing” to your private vehicles, integrating cars into the ever-growing array of smart devices. Google, which has partnered with Volvo Cars will compete with Amazon, which has announced a series of multi-year global agreements with Stellantis.
Foldable Laptops for business users
Tech companies have been experimenting with foldable technology for the past few years, but many companies like Samsung showed off improved versions at CES 2022 that highlight how the niche market is evolving.
Samsung’s tri-fold Flex S and Flex G concepts allow users to fold a tablet into three parts so it appears almost like an “s,” hinting at how its foldable smartphone lines, Flip and Fold, could evolve 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 screen up top and an on-screen keyboard displaying below.
Other companies like Dell embraced products that cater to the hybrid work trend. Dell’s Concept Flow connects and disconnects laptops from a second display based on proximity, and Dell’s movable Pari webcam prototype attaches anywhere, whether it’s on the side of a computer screen or above a drawing pad if you want colleagues to see notes in real time during a meeting.
Smart homes get smarter
Earlier the array of the so called ‘smart homes’ gadget display at the CES seemed crazy and unrealistic. This time it is different. The reason is that majority of those brands and individual products demoed at the show either fizzled out, never made it to market, or end up just being flops. But with people becoming more home-bound in the last 2 years, and lines between office and home have blurred, the smart home products at CES 2022 showed some solid potential.
Eve’s latest security camera – Eve Outdoor Cam – priced at $250 is designed for Apple HomeKit Secure Video is worth a mention. Cync by Savant, GE Lighting’s new face, launched a plethora of new smart bulbs, plus a new thermostat with room sensors, and a new outdoor camera.
Also, TP-Link has a new line of smart home products under its Tapo brand. These include HomeKit-enabled smart lights, plugs, and a smart switch. The company also announced four new Tapo cloud-connected security cameras.
Smart home security company Abode announced a new wireless Video Doorbell that is battery-powered and features 2K HD video with a 160-degree field of view. Abode’s products work with Alexa, Google, and IFTTT, and the doorbell can stream live video to a compatible smart display.
Besides, Eufy showed off a new dual-camera video doorbell, an intriguing solution for your porch pirate problems. The $260 buzzer arriving next month comes with a hub for local storage, and its downward-facing 1080p camera has a 120-degree field of view, while the main 2K camera can see as wide as 160 degrees.
Another brand, Belkin WeMo launched its first smart doorbell camera. The $250 Wemo Smart Video Doorbell is a wired doorbell with a 178-degree vertical field of view and 4MP high-resolution camera designed exclusively for Apple’s HomeKit. Sengled also announced a slew of new smart lighting products, including an intriguing Smart Health Monitoring bulb that can track your sleep, heart rate, and other biometric measurements using radar.
Small Players step out of Big Tech’s shadow
Until now much of the attention during CES is directed at the biggest names in tech, and there were concerns that this year’s event would fall flat after major exhibitors such as Google, Microsoft, Meta and Amazon pulled out days before it started.
While tech giants have plenty of other ways to reach audiences, CES has now become a crucial international venue for smaller players mostly innovative startups to reach consumers and industry partners.
More than 800 startups from 19 countries were featured in Eureka Park, the startup hub for CES 2022, including the SkyDrive air taxi; ScenTronix with its EveryHuman algorithmic perfumery and Orbisk, an AI-powered fully automated food waste monitoring system.
The Venetian Expo also featured a first-time European Pavilion highlighting the latest tech advancements from Europe.
“CES 2022 furthered global business this week, as our industry gathered – many for the first time in two years – to collaborate, forge partnerships, make deals and advance the economy,” said Karen Chupka, EVP, CES.
After two years of not being able to connect in person, Chupka said that he is thrilled to welcome the industry back together again face-to-face to experience the latest innovation at CES 2022.”