January 27, 2023

Savor the taste

Savor the taste

The 6 Most Essential Tech Traits We Noticed at CES 2023

9 min read


CES is the place it’s essential be if you wish to know the place the way forward for expertise lies. The present flooring in Las Vegas was stuffed with buzzy, headline-grabbing products and weird gizmos and gadgets like a toilet sensor that can read your pee and a color-changing car with AI sass. However these are merchandise you possible aren’t shopping for quickly. The actual worth of the world’s largest client electronics commerce present is the way it lays out a imaginative and prescient for the place tech could go not simply within the coming months however in the coming years too.

This present marked the primary “actual” 12 months that CES was again in full swing. Sure, the show had a physical presence in 2022, however loads of firms and media (CNET included) canceled their journeys on the final minute because the omicron variant of COVID-19 surged. The Client Know-how Affiliation, which places on CES, estimated forward of the 2023 present that it could have about 100,000 attendees, making it the largest such public gathering for the reason that pandemic hit and including as much as more than double its 2022 attendance

This 12 months’s version did not disappoint, with a flood of fascinating merchandise and bulletins (you’ll be able to test them out in our live blog). The common huge gamers like Samsung and Sony confirmed up with spectacular TVs and idea automobiles, whereas newer entrants like Neutrogena and John Deere impressed as they made their pitches for innovation. Essentially the most enjoyable half about CES, nonetheless, is studying the tea leaves and seeing the place the tech world goes and the way these adjustments have an effect on you. 

Listed here are the large themes we’ll be speaking about. 

The buzzword on everybody’s lips

If there’s one factor everybody at CES can agree on, it is that sustainability is a precedence. Just about each firm talked about how its merchandise could be extra sustainable, from Samsung’s partnership with Patagonia to cut back microplastics within the water provide to Asus’ boast that it has used 1,500 tons of recycled plastic in its merchandise since 2017. 

One of many CTA’s key priorities this 12 months was highlighting the social and environmental influence on tech, and firms received the message. Firms usually led with sustainability as the primary subject out of the gate throughout their keynote shows. AMD Lisa Su used her keynote to emphasize the power effectivity that comes along with her firm’s extra highly effective processors. John Deere’s new robot planter is designed to cut back fertilizer and chemical use. The listing goes on. 

Discuss sustainability was all around the present. 


James Martin/CNET

The local weather disaster has emerged as some of the urgent problems with our time, so it is no shock that it is throughout CES. That so many firms are taking this extra severely is one other indication that customers are beginning to care. However this represents solely the primary steps for the tech trade. 

“Sustainability is a key pillar for many client electronics organizations, however we’re simply at first of the journey,” mentioned Maribel Lopez, an analyst for Lopez Analysis. 

To be taught extra about sustainability and tech’s position to find options to the local weather disaster, take a look at our CNET Zero series

The race to personal the automobile’s future

CES has more and more was an auto present, with carmakers like GM and BMW routinely exhibiting off idea automobiles in a bid to tell us that they are truly tech firms too. However CES 2023 noticed a variety of conventional client electronics gamers make a bid to outline how you may spend your time in a automobile going ahead. 

Perennial South Korean rivals Samsung and LG every pitched their very own sensible automobile platforms. Samsung’s system will be called ICX, powered by a platform referred to as Prepared Care from its Harman Worldwide enterprise. The system makes use of sensors to measure driver drowsiness and can make use of driver-facing infrared cameras to watch their standing. Naturally, the system is anticipated to work with Samsung’s household of merchandise like its Galaxy Watch. LG’s Cockpit Computer likewise focuses on optimizing the driving expertise, with Gene Cho, vp of product technique and planning for LG, speaking about how the platform will allow you to test in your range at residence or name roadside help. 

Afeela Sony car announced at CES 2023

Contained in the Sony Honda Afeela automobile. 


James Martin/CNET

Taking a extra bold strategy to automobiles is Sony, which used its keynote to indicate off its Afeela electric vehicle, inbuilt partnership with Honda. Afeela boasts 45 cameras and sensors each on the outside and inside of the car, once more with the theme of detecting and understanding individuals. 

The automakers weren’t going to be outdone. BMW used its keynote to indicate off the i Vision Dee (or “digital emotional experience”). The automobile talks like Knight Rider’s KITT (which was additionally in attendance), adjustments shade utilizing E Ink and options an AR show that wraps across the windshield. Volantis confirmed off its futuristic Ram Revolution Concept vehicle, full with AR show, huge moonroof and jumbo 28-inch touchscreen.

These firms are all scrambling to color an image of how your relationship along with your automobile could change, particularly with the rise of self-driving automobiles. They’re additionally trying to wrest among the management again from Apple and Google, which have turn into the dominant automobile platforms with CarPlay and Android Auto, respectively. LG and Samsung, particularly, are possible hoping to turn into viable options for the automakers. 

TVs mentioned buh-bye to gimmicks 

Bear in mind only a few years in the past when it appeared each TV producer yearly was scraping the underside of the useless-to-most-people options barrel to attempt to promote you their newest mannequin? Bear in mind how 3D TVs appeared like a factor for a minute after which just suddenly weren’t? Bear in mind LG’s roll-up TV that value $60,000? We keep in mind. 

So given high-end TVs’ not too distant historical past, we have been pleasantly shocked that TV producers have seemingly (for now, not less than) realized their lesson and have shifted their focus to sensible actual worth. 

LG most likely made the largest splash at CES with its 97-inch OLED TV able to a excessive 4K decision image and an ultrasmooth 120Hz presentation of video games and films. That is an enormous TV utilizing LG’s superior OLED implementation, however the true promoting level right here is the truth that the TV is completely wi-fi (effectively, apart from the ability wire). That is proper, no extra twiddling with 1,000,000 HDMI cables behind your property theater setup with zip ties and the like, making an attempt to make your setup look good. 

LG's 97-inch wireless M3 OLED TV on a stand.

LG managed to kill yet another wire going into the tv. 


James Martin/CNET

Samsung additionally confirmed up with a 77-inch QD-OLED. OLED is extensively thought-about the very best image expertise and that is the primary we have seen Samsung’s QD-OLED variety carried out at this display dimension, which ought to assist Samsung compete with LG TVs and hopefully carry costs down throughout the board. 

Lastly, whereas not a TV, Samsung’s 8K projector referred to as The Premiere can mainly flip any wall right into a display as giant as 150 inches. The quick throw projector is designed to sit down only a few inches from the wall, so even these in small residences can have entry to a high-quality projector while not having a lot room. 

Dwelling leisure gadgets which can be sensible and straight handle the wants of most shoppers is a development we are able to get behind. Let’s hope it is not quick lived.

Contortionist cellphone screens are coming

CES has by no means been a powerful cellphone present – you may want to attend till subsequent month’s Cell World Congress for extra handset reveals — however Samsung managed to create somewhat buzz with a foldable concept device that flexes in a couple of means. 

It is truly Samsung Show, and never Samsung Electronics, that drew some early consideration by exhibiting off its Flex Hybrid, which folds and slides. However do not count on this to indicate up at your native service retailer any time quickly, since that is from Samsung’s show arm, and it is the electronics enterprise that offers with producing and promoting precise telephones.


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But as with most things at CES, the Flex Hybrid sheds light on where our phones can go, and just how crazy these foldables can actually get. It was enough to impress CNET Editor Eli Blumenthal, shattering his jadedness and reminding him that phones can be cool again — some day. 

That other once ubiquitous mobile buzzword, 5G, on the other hand, barely made a blip at the show. We’re a few years into the technology, and while it’s faster (in some areas), it hasn’t really shown itself to be the gamechanger it was hyped up to be. The CTA believes 5G will still be important, but with less buzzy business applications and devices. 

A simpler (and smarter) smart home setup

After years of buildup and a handful of delays during the pandemic, Matter, an open-source, universal smart home protocol backed by Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung and countless others is finally live. The pitch is promising: a single, Wi-Fi-based standard that bundles together compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and SmartThings, among others.

Sure enough, we saw plenty of gadgets at CES rushing for the bandwagon, including new, Matter-compatible smart lights and smart plugs, connected roller blinds, and a new SmartThings hub. Later in the year, when Matter’s next release arrives, additional device types like robot vacuums and smart home cameras should come on board too.

That said, the most interesting part of the Matter march-out might not have been the new devices, but the old ones — specifically, the previous-gen gadgets from the brands embracing the new standard. 

Some companies, like Eve, told CNET that they’re going to be able to bring those older devices on board with Matter with a simple software update, if they haven’t already. In other cases, like with GE Lighting or Govee, smart-home users will need to buy brand new, Matter-compliant devices in order to reap Matter’s multilingual benefits. That could irk an awful lot of consumers who like the devices they’ve already bought, so Matter will need to deliver on its promise of smart home harmony in what’s shaping up to be another interesting year for the category.

Get ready to spend more time on the toilet

If you remember only one thing about health tech at CES, it’s that the next frontier for tracking and managing your health is in your bathroom. Specifically, your toilet. Withings and Vivoo came to the show with sensors that attach to your toilet bowl to analyze your urine. These sensors can keep tabs on nutrient levels, hormones and more.

Meanwhile, The Heart Seat from Casana aims to keep tabs on your heart rate, blood oxygen and blood pressure while you do your business. All you have to do is sit on the smart toilet seat.

A phone screen showing the Withings app next to the toilet sensor

Withings created a sensor in the toilet that scans your pee for health reasons. 


Withings

Like in previous years, using AI to monitor your health was omnipresent. While sensors can give us precise information, algorhythms that are fed massive data sets can help provide health metrics when sensors aren’t available. For example, Nuralogix announced plans at the show to use its AI to measure blood pressure, heart rate and more by analyzing your face from a selfie.

Artificial intelligence also makes it possible for Valencell’s new fingertip blood pressure sensor to give you accurate readings without the need to calibrate it with a traditional cuff. We’ve seen blood pressure sensors in watches, but this is the first time we’ve seen a finger clip version.

Following the FDA’s approval of over-the-counter hearing aids last year, we also saw a good deal of hearing tech at the show, including the Jabra Enhance Plus earbuds that double as a hearing aid. Expect this market to explode in 2023, as more brands release OTC hearing aids.

From everything we’ve seen at CES 2023, expect more and more home health monitoring products to hit the market this year. From the traditional wrist-worn trackers and smart rings to sensor-filled toilet seats and bathmats, there’s no shortage of ways to keep tabs on your health.