The 52nd edition of the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES 2022, was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, US, from 5 January to 7 January with a ‘hybrid’ model and a day off in between because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The major highlights of CES 2022 included an electric vehicle from Sony and the health-monitoring Movano ring besides others.
However, several prominent companies chose not to attend the event in person and presented their new technologies virtually, while others took to the floors to showcase their products. Many major media houses, too, were not physically present at the event.
CES 2022 was the first in-person event in two years and was, therefore, one of the most anticipated events for those interested in the intersection of tech and business. However, many opted for virtual attendance because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“Despite a few well-publicised cancellations amongst our exhibitors, we have over 2,200 exhibitors here at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, and all of them are counting on us to move forward,” Steve Koenig, a vice president from the group that runs the convention, told Forbes.
The number is less than half of the 4,500 attendees from the last in-person event, which was held in 2020 before the US and many other countries implemented lockdown.
Nevertheless, there was a lot to be excited about. From AI-powered John Deere tractors that aim to revolutionise farming to Samsung televisions that can enable viewers to buy NFTs, CES 2020 had some stunning exhibits for the world to witness.
Here are some major highlights from CES 2022 that wowed the crowd
TCL redesigns its TV glasses to resemble regular sunglasses
TCL unveiled its new TV glasses at the CES 2022 that look somewhat like Ray-Ban shades.
Known as TCL NXTWear Air, the augmented reality shades serve as an external monitor. According to CNET, it can work with almost 100 smartphones and devices and is not functionally different from the older NXTWear.
CNET notes that the new models are a cool upgrade to the design.
The TCL NXTWear Air comes with two 1080p displays (the glasses) in a 16:9 ratio. It is also lightweight, weighing a little over 73.7 grams, which is nearly half of the 130 grams of its predecessor. But it has a basic 60Hz refresh rate.
Details of its price and availability will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in February. The NXTWear was sold in Japan, Australia and South Korea but not in the US. The TCL NXTWear Air is expected to hit American markets soon.
John Deere’s AI-powered tractors can be controlled via smartphones
One of the most revolutionary revelations at CES 2022 was an AI-powered tractor by John Deere, an American company that has been in the agriculture machines business since 1837 and is currently the world’s No.2 maker of agricultural equipment.
The John Deere tractor is not a new machine in its entirety but a system that can upgrade its existing 8R 410 tractors into automated machines.
The AI-powered tractor can auto navigate and study its environment using six pairs (or 12 in number) of stereo cameras. Once necessary coordinates and routes are fed to it, the tractor can head to a field, till it and plant seeds while navigating past any obstacle.
Thus, it does not require a driver to guide it around. The tractor is essentially a more independent machine than any of the other automatic ones that have been launched before by others.
However, it can be controlled by a smartphone, which can monitor the tractor and new instructions can be added to it.
According to Wired, Jahmy Hindman, Deere’s chief technology officer, said at the CES 2022 that the machine marks a “monumental shift.”
“I think it’s every bit as big as the transition from horse to tractor,” Wired quoted Hindman as saying.
According to CNET, the tractor was first tested in 2018 on a Minnesota farmer’s land.
Citing Hindman, Reuters reports Deere is aiming to deliver 12 to 20 machines in 2022. “The cameras and computers for automated tilling can be installed on an existing tractor and tiller machine in a day,” Hindman told Reuters.
Timberline Solar launches a faster, cheaper way to install shingles
Here is a winner of the Best of Innovation Award for Smart Cities at the CES 2022.
Known as Timberline Solar, it is a solar shingle by GAF Energy — a subsidiary of Standard Industries and sister company to roofing major GAF.
If things go as planned for the company, Timberline Solar can completely transform how solar energy is accessed by millions around the world in their homes.
The Timberline Solar shingle can be installed with just a nail gun like normal shingles. Citing a GAF spokesperson, CNET reported that the use of a nail gun makes the process much faster at half the cost of Tesla’s Solar Roof — a key player in the market.
In fact, the installation makes up a huge chunk of expense for solar energy systems.
What’s more? The shingles can be installed by any roofer and mixed with existing solar shingles even for smaller areas — something that cannot be done currently.
According to TechCrunch, company president Martin DeBono said that the shingle is “the only product to integrate solar technology into existing roofing processes and materials to yield a full-fledged solar roof, enabling the mainstream deployment of clean energy via traditional roofing channels.”
The shingles are ultra-thin, blend easily with the asphalt of the roof, are in flat-mounted form, and can withstand strong winds of up to 209 km/h.
Each shingle is 17 inches tall and 64 inches long, which makes them larger than Tesla’s. This reduces the need for larger numbers of shingles for the same output, as well as less wiring — a factor that helps in lowering costs.
The speed of installation, design and low cost makes Timberline Solar an easier and more affordable alternative for people who want to opt for solar energy for power in their homes.
Samsung smart TVs allows viewers to buy NFTs
Just ahead of introducing its new Smart TVs at CES 2022, Samsung announced that viewers will now be able to purchase NFTs while gaming or co-watching.
“In 2022, Samsung is introducing the world’s first TV screen-based NFT explorer and marketplace aggregator, a groundbreaking platform that lets you browse, purchase, and display your favourite art — all in one place,” the manufacturing conglomerate said in a statement.
Samsung’s 2022 Smart TVs Smart Hub will have Gaming Hub, Watch Together and Smart Calibration features. It “puts content curation and discovery front and centre with their viewing preferences.”
The new TV line-up unveiled on 2 January includes MICRO LED, Neo QLED and Lifestyle TVs. Samsung said that the NFT platform in the Smart Hub features an “intuitive, integrated platform for discovering, purchasing and trading digital artwork through MICRO LED, Neo QLED and The Frame.”
The platform will let users preview and learn more about the NFTs from several marketplaces before buying what they like.
Sengled smart light bulb detects health emergencies
Using radar technology, Sengled’s new smart light bulb — Smart Health Monitoring Light — can track the sleeping patterns of people, as well as detect emergency situations such as someone falling or needing urgent help.
The radar tech also monitors vitals, such as heart rate and body temperature. The company said that the multiple Bluetooth-enabled screw-in lightbulbs create a mesh network for better detection.
Among other offerings by Sengled is Video-Sync TV Light Strips. Fitted behind a television, their colours change according to the shades on the TV screen. This creates a visual effect that makes watching television more immersive.
Both Smart Health Monitoring Light and Video-Sync TV Light Strips are expected to launch in 2022.
Nvidia’s Ti graphic cards and Razer’s 2022 Blade laptops for unparalleled gaming experience
Nvidia expanded the RTX family of graphic cards at CES 2022 with the release of Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, 3070 Ti, 3080 Ti and 3090 Ti.
While 3050 is meant for desktops, 3070 Ti and 3080 Ti are for laptops. Although details of 3090 Ti are unclear, Nvidia said that the 3070 Ti and 3080 Ti will be available from 1 February. The company also revealed its RTX 3080 Ti laptops will be priced at USD 2,499.
According to Wired, the first to get the cards will be Razer’s 2022 Blade laptops. Razer Blade 14, 15, and 17 laptops can be configured with GPUs up to RTX 3080 Ti.
With a starting price of USD 2,700, Razer Blade 17 will be available for preorder by end of January from the official site of the company. It comes with 32GB of DDR5 memory, upgradeable to 64GB; a 1TB PCIe NVMe upgradeable to 4TB SSD, as well as an open M.2 slot; and two 12th-gen Intel processor options — a 14-core Core i7-12800H or a 14-core Core i9-12900HK.
Skydio unveils an AI-powered drone
Skydio launched a drone that uses artificial intelligence and six 4k 200 degrees navigation cameras to chart its own flight path.
Named Skydio 2+, it has a flight range of up to 6 kilometres — double of its predecessor Skydio 2. The increased range comes from the 5 GHz Wi-Fi radio and two pop-up antennas. It has a claimed battery life of 27 minutes and a speed of about 58 km/h.
According to Skydio’s website, the drone can “fly autonomously with 360 degrees obstacle avoidance, even in GPS-denied environments.”
KeyFrame, a new mode, lets users capture more cinematic videos.
A ‘ring’ that can keep chronic diseases at bay
One of the major highlights of CES 2022 was the Movano Ring. The unique tracker ring, a product by health tech company Movano, can monitor the wearer’s heart rate, sleep, steps, temperature, respiration, calories burned and blood oxygen levels.
It will also have features such as cuffless blood pressure and non-invasive glucose monitoring over time in the future.
According to The Verge, Movano won’t just share the data with the user in raw form but also distil the information to give the necessary output that can help reduce chronic diseases.
However, Movano isn’t the first to use data in this manner. Other similar wearable tech, such as Oura Ring and Fitbit, do the same. But The Verge says that Movano’s description of the information is “more digestible than many trackers out there.”
Movano CEO Dr. John Mastrototaro also told The Verge that the company will aim to get United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Class II designation for Movano Ring.
The Movano Ring comes in black, copper, silver and gold colours. CNET reports that a beta release is expected in the second half of 2022.
Samsung’s portable projector
Samsung had a long list of offerings at the CES 2022. Besides its NFT-enabled TVs, the other product that garnered immense interest was The Freestyle — a smart TV projector so small that you can carry it anywhere.
The ultraportable device has a built-in 360-degree speaker and 1080px resolution for displays on sizes between 30 and 100 inches on any surface. It weighs just about 900 grams and is fitted on a 180-degree cradle stand. It can also access Samsung’s smart TV platform.
The Freestyle can be easily used outdoors. For protection from the weather, the projector comes in a waterproofing case. There is no internal battery, but it is compatible with external USB-connected battery banks and 50W/20V output or above.
The device has a 360 degrees sound system with a 5-watt woofer. It can also be commanded by voice with built-in support from voice assistants such as Samsung’s own Bixby or Amazon’s Alexa.
Sony presents Vision-S 02 EV car
Sony possibly scored the biggest drop at CES 2022 when it unveiled Vision-S 02 — a seven-seater electric SUV concept that reportedly has higher chances of making it to the roads.
But an even bigger surprise was the revelation that Sony, a consumer electronics giant, is forming Sony Mobility — a company dedicated to creating electric vehicles. This implies that Sony has a chance of becoming the first consumer-tech manufacturer to diversify into the automotive sector.
On 4 January, Sony’s chairman, president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said at CES 2022, “We are exploring the commercial launch of Sony EV. Sony is well-positioned as a creative entertainment company to redefine mobility.”
Vision-S 02 is not the first EV by Sony. At CES 2020, the company unveiled the Vision-S 01 prototype, which took everyone by surprise. It came with 5G connectivity and semi-autonomy.
Like Vision-S 01, the Vision-S 02 is also equipped with 400 kW (200kW x 2) power and has some more similar features. The SUV can provide an autonomous driving experience in situations, such as parking and cruise control, with the help of LiDAR (laser scanning) sensors and high-resolution, high-dynamic-range cameras.
Sensors play a major role in the car, with the ability for facial detection for driver fatigue or lack of concentration. The sensors can even read the lips of the driver for voice controls amidst noise.
According to Wired, Sony has joined hands with major auto industry suppliers such as Magna International, Continental AG, Benteler and Bosch.
(Main image: Sony; Featured image: Samsung)