CES 2022: five of the biggest technology trends
Major talking points include electric vehicles, hybrid working and the metaverse
There will be products galore launched this week at CES 2022, the world’s largest electronics expo. But while consumers wait to see the latest gadgets and gizmos, a major focus will be the trends that shape the world of technology.
Due to the Omicron variant, much of the show in Las Vegas will “take place away from the bright lights of The Strip” as major exhibitors host virtual press conferences rather than in-person, Yahoo! reported. However, there will be a host of announcements live-streamed on laptops and desktops around the world.
Here we pick out five of the biggest technology trends expected at CES 2022…
CES is “as much a car show as it is a technology show”, Yahoo! said. And one of the topics driving innovation will be the “ongoing electric car race”. GM will roll out its highly anticipated Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup, which is expected to have a “whopping 400 miles of range”. The event will also “give us a look at the technology behind future cars” including self-driving features.
During a press conference ahead of the show, Sony unveiled its new electric Vision-S 02 SUV, the Daily Mail reported. “This is a new version of the firm’s first prototype battery-powered car that it has already been road testing.”
It’s not just the show itself where hybrid working is a big factor – it will also be one of the major trends. CES 2022 is the first big event where products coming to market were “designed after the pandemic started”, Techsponential founder Avi Greengart told Tom’s Guide. “That means a much greater focus on webcam quality, audio and AI noise cancellation, and work-from-everywhere productivity.”
For the “(large number)th year in a row”, smart home products will occupy a huge portion of mindshare for the show, said Brian Heater on TechCrunch.
“As someone who writes a lot about robots, it’s heartening to see them playing an increasingly important role,” Heater said. Expect “exoskeletons, elder tech, agtech, prosthesis and – at the very top – disinfecting robots”.
One of the inventions unveiled so far is a robotic cat that “nips at your fingers”, the Daily Mail reported. Called “Amagami Ham Ham” and made by Yukai Engineering, it is “possibly the weirdest product to come out of CES 2022”. The concept is designed to be a stress reliever and the company said it is based on the idea that we “all have a secret desire to have our fingers nibbled”.
Healthcare and fitness
At last year’s virtual CES, companies jumped on the “pandemic bandwagon” to launch a host of products designed to “help people cope with Covid-19 fears”, CNET reported at the time. This year’s event is no different.
A health tracking lightbulb by US-based startup Sengled is one of the quirky products on show. The smart lightbulb “makes use of radar sensors and Bluetooth to provide health tracking information on people in a room”, the Daily Mail said. Without having to wear any other devices, the bulb can “track a user’s heart rate, body temperature and sleep patterns”.
The last few years have been “huge” for connected fitness – “for what should be obvious reasons”, TechCrunch said. Expect more startups trying “new wearable form factors, including rings”. Mindfulness and sleep will also be a big focus as well as more traditional health tracking.
Facebook’s parent company Meta may have dropped out of CES 2022 because of the pandemic, but the “metaverse hype it helped whip up with its corporate repositioning” is expected to permeate the annual tech conference, Investor’s Business Daily said.
A number of companies are “planting their flags in the virtual worlds promised by the immersive, next-generation version of the internet”. And firms “touting” the metaverse include Accenture, Hyundai, Nvidia and Samsung.
Techsponential founder Greengart recommends “avoiding press conference drinking games” around the word ‘metaverse’, “because you’ll die of liver disease before the end of the week”.