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The Consumer Electronics Show 2022 - Las Vegas. COVID-19 Edition

From January 5th to January 7th, I got the chance to travel to Las Vegas, NV to look around new trends and the technology developed across the two long years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compared to the previous (pre-COVID-19) session I visited in 2020, this had fewer attendees, 40,000 compared to 170,000 in 2020 and around 2,300 exhibitors compared to 4,500 in 2020.

These numbers tell a long story about the shift that happened in the exhibition industry and how companies are approaching large events such as CES during a pandemic time.

Notwithstanding the spread of the Omicron variant across December 2021 and January 2022, I made it to the show, and I was amazed to see new trends emerging and a lot of opportunities for designers, scientists, and innovators for the future.

I surprisingly experienced a fil rouge across most of the products at C which is accessibility. Almost all companies are betting on creating new customer experiences that are inclusive and accessible for people with different gender, abilities, age, and culture.

From in-vehicle experiences to VR and AR experiences, technologies for the smart home, products for health and wellbeing, there has been a big shift from making products and services that are just nice and useful, to technologies that delight and empower people of all abilities.


The CES 2022 trends

The big trends I could spot at CES 2022 are about data, digital and virtual twins, smart homes, health, fitness, and wellness, and robotics and autonomous systems.


Across the tech industry, there is a strong focus on data collected from spaces, activities, and humans.

Data influence how healthcare is delivered, how personal systems respond to human stimuli, and how the real, digital, and virtual twins impact the lives of millions of people.

According to a talk from Deloitte, five big trends are going to contribute to ESG:

  1. Data, their availability, and storage: 200% growth expected in the global healthcare data interoperability market between 2020 and 2028.

  2. Equitable access to care: 134B $ annual health disparity cost to be saved across $93B in excess medical costs and $42B in lost productivity.

  3. Empowered consumer: expected 300% increase in the US healthcare personal data stewardships practices between 2019 and 2023.

  4. Consumer behavior change: 83% of consumers say they are likely to continue using telemedicine even after the pandemic is over.

  5. Science breakthrough: 42B$ expected regenerative medicine market size by 2031 enabling growth and repair of damaged cells organs and tissues.

“You can only manage what you can measure”

Digital and virtual twins

The frontier of new social interactions appears to be in the digital world. Either for work, socialization, or leisure the Metaverse, or digital environment is something that is tremendously growing fast.

Companies such as Dassault Systemes have been working in the life science space and took real-world data to create models that are scientifically reviewed and project different real-world scenarios and see the response according to different context information. For example, they can create a virtual twin of the Covid spike protein and create a 3d model of the protein and simulate how’s it going to work to increase human body protection from the virus.

Canon reimagined stereoscopic recording for a real immersive experience with a new dual fisheye lens to capture 3D stereoscopic 180° VR footage with a single lens. They also created a prototype of a VR experience, called Kokomo experience which is a brand-new innovation in the field of VR for Canon. Kokomo gives people a new way to be together, catch up, and explore new places.

The Kokomo app combines the immersive 3D experiences of virtual reality, with the ease and excitement of video calling.

TCL presented its new Binocular full-color microLED holographic optical waveguide AR glasses. They are a prototype planned to be released in 2023, but this early stage product shows the emergent interest from companies to take part in the journey of empowering users with new AR and VR technologies.


Smart home

The smart home is now understood as a smart living concept: people want to get the service and a pleasurable experience, not the problems of connecting with devices and be constantly monitored. Smart home technologies are becoming the tool to collect personal data and are bridging the gap between pure MedTech and quantified-self tech.

Among these technologies sleep monitoring systems, hand and finger technologies that are continuously informing users about their personal health, and devices for measuring Ph, calcium, magnesium, and other levels of proteins, can help individuals to increase their level of hydration, sleep, and health within their home.

The biggest trend is to have a home that behaves like a person. We need to get the data so that AI can learn how to make life safer and healthier, exactly when the body gets a virus it responds with antibodies. The home should do exactly the same according to external and internal stimuli.

Hisense created a seamlessly smart home environment that covers different aspects of persons living experience. The mobile app Connect Live Hisense offers a platform with different interfaces, connected with Alexa or Google home, for people to take control of different home appliances.

From the smart TV with Connect Live, it is possible to choose a meal and a recipe, and the smart cooker or oven receives the coking information from the platform and cooks a chosen meal.

Vents and cooking systems can be activated through voice control and to complete the equipment of the Hisense home smart security cameras and Co2 detectors make the environment safe and secure.

TCL developed an ecosystem where TCL’s Wi-Fi-enabled appliances can be connected to the smartphone and collect data, provide service, and improve the quality of life through smart home technologies.

For the living room, different scene experiences are created for different users. Through the interconnected air conditioner, lighting, and other devices, users can immerse themselves in the fun of watching movies, and they can also easily turn on the reception mode, which ensures a comfortable and reassuring living room experience.

In the smart kitchen, users can dine in a comfortable and relaxing lighting environment, party in a bright and pleasant environment, and enjoy time at home.

Samsung showcased their premier technology for the smart home enabling connected living and driving the future of IoT. They developed a concept of the bespoke home where appliances and sensors are all providing data to improve the quality of life, security, and productivity at home.

With the Smart Things ecosystem, the home becomes a hub where Samsung Smart TVs, Smart Monitors, and Family Hub refrigerators are connected and easily manageable using SmartThings Hub software.

Samsung Smart things service can provide an array of information to the user about cooking different meals, clothing care, air quality, and energy consumption.

To complete the Bespoke smart home from Samsung a future home experience embeds service robots to facilitate cleaning, serving meals, and other activities.

Last but not least AR projectors embedded within kitchen lamps can provide a gamified experience with AR technologies for kids while eating different meals.

A projection on the table, with real plates, can help kids eat their meals, or simply create a totally new food experience.

Samsung made a big bet on accessibility and sustainability since 2012.

With the family of Smart TVs, they included a series of accessibility functions to calibrate the TV according to the level of color blindness of users, but also, they embedded an avatar that shows with sign language the information on the screen by regarding different menus of the TV. Additionally, a new function allows users to split the screen and see the recording of sing language for different TV programs close by the main image shown on the TV. Voice control features were embedded for all the menus, and improved GUI with avatars and more visible icons makes now the TV experience more inclusive and accessible for all.

Samsung’s sustainability doesn’t only stop with energy efficiency but goes above and beyond with sustainable and reusable packaging. What should you do with your large cardboard box after you unpack a TV or a refrigerator?

Well, according to Samsung you can use the pre-designed drawings on the cardboard box to build toys or little furniture for kids, helping to unleash their creativity by reusing a sustainable and reusable material.

Air purifiers

A large presence of devices for purifying air was perceivable at CES 2022. When people become aware of the air quality and the correlated problems there is more interest in air quality and products to guarantee it.

Coway an industrial leader in air and water purification systems proposed an ecosystem for air, water, and sleep quality embedded within the smart home.

Leedarson other than offering a wide range of smart home-connected sensors and devices offers smart air treatment products to be embedded in different environments.


Health, fitness, and wellness

With the desire of collecting more data to inform users with more accurate decisions for their healthy habits, many companies showed off sleep monitoring technologies and devices to analyze body proteins and levels of vitamins and Ph.

Vivoo is a company that offers at-home urine tests for personalized nutrition and improved lifestyle. Through a stick and a smartphone app, it is possible to track the body accurately.

Hapbee provides a technology to improve sleep by using ultra-low energy signals to replicate natural compounds effects and to record sleeping patterns.

Chilisleep offers a device to set a preferred sleeping temperature with ease and keeps the bed at a constant temperature across the whole sleeping schedule.

Dawn house living and Keeson sleep tech developed a structure of the bed with embedded sensors that sense health and sleep patterns and transfers the data to an app that provides suggestions and improvements for the sleeping pattern. The product embeds head and foot articulation, under-bed lighting, health sensors, adjustable bed height, rise to wake function, anti-snore feature.

Asleep is a South Korean company that provides unobtrusive sleep tracking through two small devices placed close to the bed. They detect movements and sounds and provide information about sleeping patterns on the dedicated app. The product will be available in 2023 and the app for audio detection in 2022.

Smart gym equipment plays a big role in providing rich health data to sport-driven people.

Companies like CLMBR, Echelon Fitness Multimedia, Hydrow, Liteboxer presented a series of products that combine the pleasure of performing sport at home by gathering data and connecting with other people across the world.

Last but not least, an endless set of massage chair manufacturers, all with similar egg-shaped designs were showcasing their latest products. Their zero gravity comfort chairs with a variety of massage and relax programs offered a relaxing venue for visitors that could text those chairs and relax after thousands of steps walked on a daily basis, but also get amazed by their cost: starting price 4,500$ up to 13,000$!


Robotics and autonomous systems

Despite the lower number of exhibitors and some big players like Mercedes-Benz pulled out from the show this year, a number of interesting companies showcased their vehicles and their future vision about mobility, autonomous cars, and user experience.

Sony showcased among different other products the vision of their future car, the Vision-S 02. Besides other innovations, electric vehicles and autonomous cars are the next big bet from Sony.

With a limited presence at CES, BMW showed the concept version of the BMW iX with a skin that changes color with a touch of a button. This vision is tight into a wider trend among different companies that puts extreme personalization at the forefront of the customer experience. Now we can change the color of the car multiple times during the lifetime of a product. Imagine what if my new BMW could change color according to my emotional state?

Togg is the first Turkish electric car that wants to offer a social experience to all its customers.

Cars are becoming a data bubble and with Togg, data are shared across other users to provide a totally different driving experience. For example, if you drive close to another Togg car driver and you are running out of battery charge, they can share with you their battery charge.

Samsung showcased a whole new AR experience for future drivers.

They imagined the car as an object that provides real-time information about the outside world to their in-vehicle users. The front windshield becomes a wide screen that allows car passengers to see through the glass, but also works as a huge screen with live information for the trip, entertainment, and functions. All changes according to the driving mode, autonomous or driver-controlled.

As we know autonomous systems are not only about cars but also about robots.

The humanoid robot Ameca was the biggest attraction at the Eureka park at CES 2022.

The Ameca featured a metal body and a grey, bald but lifelike, and expressive head and face. As she speaks, too good to be true, and so presumably a voice actress on the microphone, the face shows a wide range of facial expressions that literally amazes people trying to take a shot with her.

The CES is an inspiring, mind-blowing event for people working in the field of consumer technology.

Although these are just some of the snapshots of the hundreds of interesting things, I’ve seen at CES 2022, there is much more to see, learn, and get inspired from at CES 2022.

One of them is the Boring company Loop experience in Las Vegas, where you can jump on a Tesla and experience how it feels to be carried in a Tesla inside a 13.5 feet diameter tunnel under Las Vegas, for free.

The arrival station of the Vegas Loop.

Another edition of CES has just ended and for now, we have just to say, see you next time Vegas!


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