LAS VEGAS – CES 2022 lacked its usual crowds and some of its headline acts, but the gadget show that returned to this city after the pandemic forced it to go online-only last year retained a certain exuberant weirdness. You can count on the technology industry to supply more possibilities than the market will necessarily demand. And you can expect many of those to surface at the Arlington, Virginia-based Consumer Technology Association's annual gathering, even if they never make it to any store. The big-name vendors that scrapped plans to exhibit in person over fear of the aggressively-spreading omicron variant still had paid-up show-floor space. That led to such minimalist workarounds as LG's "Life's Good Lounge," an expanse of plywood adorned with QR codes for attendees to scan to get more information about products they could not see or touch.
From colour-shifting cars to digital art TVs and stress-predicting watches, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which opened on Wednesday, offered its usual mix of wacky, visionary and desirable goods. Here are some of the highlights. The non fungible token, which confers ownership of a unique digital item such as a work of art, became a multi-billion dollar market in 2021 and Samsung announced a new TV feature that allows enthusiasts to browse, display and buy NFT-based art. Given how much some NFTs cost, you may not have much left over to pay for the screen. Nowatch has produced a smartwatch that monitors your cortisol levels to predict stress.
Sony first displayed an EV sedan at CES two years ago, but it said at the time it didn't necessarily plan to sell a Sony car. The initial prototype served to show off Sony's image sensors, which can be a key part of autonomous driving systems. The new Las Vegas announcement suggested Sony does plan to sell vehicles under its own brand rather than merely supplying its technology to other car makers. The company said it would establish a company called Sony Mobility Inc. in the spring. The EV market is getting increasingly crowded with Tesla Inc. leading the pack of EV-only companies competing against traditional car makers, almost all of which have announced ambitious plans to expand their EV offerings.
CES 2022 will put the spotlight on electric vehicles, digital health, the metaverse and other hot technologies when the trade show officially opens on Wednesday. But the resurgent Covid-19 pandemic threatens to overshadow the innovations on display. CES 2022 officially runs Jan. 5-7, but preshow media events begin on Monday. The upcoming show will be a hybrid event with an in-person conference in Las Vegas along with an online component for those who can't attend the physical show. On Friday, organizers shortened the physical show by one day.
After catastrophic wildfires in southern California late last year, the Israeli startup Watergen sent in its devices which pull clean water out of the atmosphere for firefighters and relief workers. The machines, which have been deployed in other global disaster areas, were among the technologies on display at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show to highlight innovations which can be used in various kinds of relief efforts. "We clean the air because it's much easier to clean air than it is to clean water," said Yehuda Kaploun, president of Watergen USA, who was demonstrating the device at the annual Las Vegas extravaganza which ends Friday after showcasing futuristic innovations. Watergen claims its technology--offered in a commercial-size Gen-350 and a consumer version known as Genny--has many applications for emergency response and helping the many millions who lack potable water. The exhibits showcased a broad array of "tech for good" services which use robotics, drones, artificial intelligence and the like.