At CES in Las Vegas, more than 2,200 exhibitors will showcase their latest innovative products this week,that caused several major companies to pull out of the event and forced organizers to shorten the annual trade show to three days instead of four.
Throughout the week, the show will feature traditional products like TVs and cars that highlight advancements in artificial intelligence and 5G technology. Many of the exhibitors are also demonstrating gadgets designed to make life easier during a global pandemic, as consumers have shifted to work and play from home because of COVID-19.
In November, the CTA announced that it received a record number of over 1,800 submissions across 27 product categories including health and wellness, home appliances, sustainability and virtual reality for its Innovation Awards Program. Some of those products were on display Monday night for members of the media attending in person.
Additionally, more than 130 exhibitors offered a sneak peek at their products at a media event before the show floor officially opens Wednesday to the 50,000 people expected to attend this year.
CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro wrote in the Las Vegas Review Journal that there will be enhanced safety protocols. All attendees are required to be vaccinated, said Shapiro, who acknowledged this year’s event will be “messy” and “uncomfortable.”
“It’s time we return to making the world better rather than living in fear,” Shapiro wrote, arguing that the event is for smaller companies who count on CES to grow their businesses. “We will all be taking risks. But without risks there is no innovation.”
This year’s CES will feature a variety of products that will highlight the growing popularity of home entertainment systems. According to the CTA, TVs became the most-owned tech product in U.S. homes in 2021, surpassing smartphones by a thin margin.
Smart TVs and phones
Samsung announced that it will unveil its new MicroLED TV at CES this year, which will be available for the first time in three different sizes. Samsung promised “revolutionary performance” from its new TV and said it will come in 110-inch, 101-inch and 89-inch size options. The new TV uses 25 million micrometer-sized LEDs that individually produce light and color for a “heightened level of clarity and contrast.”
Samsung said the 2022 MicroLED TV model, which previously only came in the larger 110-inch screen size, will automatically adjust brightness throughout the day and is outfitted with four HDMI ports that can be used simultaneously to view content from four sources in 4K resolution.
On Monday night, the company also unveiled its new smartphone at CES. The new Galaxy S21 Fan Edition 5G phone is priced at $699.99 and will be available on January 11 in white, lavender, graphite and olive green.
The video game industry took a massive leap forward in 2021, according to CTA’s data. More than half of U.S houses, up from 10% in 2020, now own a video game console, while 30% of households plan to buy one in the upcoming year.
With gaming growing in popularity, LG Display is showcasing a new product concept called the Media Chair. The company said in a press release that the “extremely comfortable recliner” is combined with a 55-inch TV display that boasts a curved screen to provide “the optimal angle for the user.”
The screen can be rotated between vertical and horizontal orientations and comes with built-in cinematic sound, which LG Display said will offer “a vivid sense of reality.”
LG Display is also showing another concept product called the Virtual Ride, a stationary bicycle with three adjoined 55-inch vertical screens in front of and above the bike. The three display screens form one large, curved screen that gives users an immersive view.
The company said its flexible screens on the stationary exercise bike will take home workouts to “a whole new immersive level.”
Virtual and augmented reality
Other products that augment reality or create virtual ones are also expected to be popular at this year’s CES show. While Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 and HTC’s VIVE Flow virtual reality headsets will draw headlines, products from lesser-known companies in this space could also generate excitement.
South Korean company HDVision, which is one of the honorees of the Innovation Awards Program in the Computer Hardware and Components category, is showcasing its new product, the V Board. The small cube with camera and sensor is an interactive whiteboard system that transforms any monitor into a smart touchscreen.
The camera and motion sensors allow users to quickly calibrate content for different screen sizes. It comes with a stylus pen for annotations and can be mounted on ceilings or hooked up to a tripod.
In the same category, Vtouch Inc. is showcasing its Virtual Touch home technology that allows users to control switches around the house just by pointing at them. The spatial technology analyzes users’ body movements with high-performing sensors and offers a touch-like interface that the company claims will “completely” replace traditional remotes and switches.
Smart home products
According to the CTA, American households are also buying smart home devices and appliances at increasing rates. Smart speakers continue to lead the smart home products category and 41% of American homes now own a smart speaker. Smart appliances and smart doorbells are the second-most frequently owned smart home products at 26%.
On Monday, Wisconsin-based home appliance manufacturer Kohler said it will highlight eight new additions to its smart home portfolio at CES 2022. One of those products, “PerfectFill,” is a smart bathing technology that draws a bath to a preferred temperature and desired depth with a voice command. The smart drain and digital app with the controller will be available for purchase in May, Kohler said in a press release.
The company is also releasing a new touchless faucet for residential bathrooms that can function with a wave of the hand and operate by battery. Another new product from Kohler is a ceiling-mounted kitchen faucet that features remote activation, temperature and volume control. The faucet has a fully adjustable hose with 180-degree rotation.
Kitchen appliances aren’t the only products becoming smarter through technology. Food-tech startup Beyond Honeycomb is developing a kitchen robot that learns to reproduce dishes cooked by world-class chefs. Using sensors that acquire the molecular data of a dish while cooking, the AI-driven robot spends the next 48 hours learning the skills necessary for creating that dish.
The food sensors allow the robot to digitize the texture and taste of the original dish and replicate it at the molecular level. Beyond Honeycomb says it aims to reshape commercial kitchens and create a digital platform that will allow chefs around the world to reproduce their dishes three times faster.