While events will continue to be hybrid in nature in the coming year, 2022’s CES conference marched forward with its mission of showcasing some of the most surprising, innovative, and inspiring consumer technology of today. The event brings together technology leaders and tech-lovers alike in Las Vegas every year for a sneak peek at exciting new developments in the consumer tech space.
Members of our research team attended virtually to scope out the hottest tech CES had to offer. By far and away a few themes absolutely dominated CES 2022, ranging from the virtual world to autonomous systems to pandemic-inspired products. Unsurprisingly, each of these themes linked back to one underlying technology: Artificial Intelligence.
As AI continues to propel us into the future of everything, showcases like CES underscore the importance of investing now in the companies laying the foundation for our digital world of tomorrow. Here’s a look at the top trends at CES 2022, along with the best in tech products presented at the conference, all of which paint a strong picture of the years to come.
Top Tech Themes at CES 2022
- The Virtual World: VR & the Metaverse
- A Driving Force: Autonomous Systems
- Pandemic-Inspired Tech
The Virtual World: VR & the Metaverse at CES 2022
VR and the metaverse were everywhere. Samsung, Walmart, Hyundai, and Panasonic all pitched the idea of virtual homes, virtual delivery vehicles, and virtual retail stores. Notably, Samsung will be opening its virtual doors to Samsung 837X, an immersive metaverse NYC store powered by blockchain technology to transport you to your chosen destination. Some hardware vendors introduced a lightweight VR headset, while several other vendors had smart AR glasses that connect to the metaverse with top-notch sensors. The world’s first smart contact lens to offer real-time info (like text messages or driving directions) was introduced by a company called InWith.
Of course, many ROBO Global portfolio companies were also on the floor at CES 2022, leaning into AI applications. Qualcomm announced a partnership with Microsoft on a chip that would power AR glasses for metaverse experiences. Nvidia showcased its Omniverse platform capabilities for simulations, self-driving cars, robots, and virtual worlds alike.
A Driving Force: Autonomous Systems at CES 2022
The other big theme was autonomous systems, including everything from electrification to self-driving tractors to driverless cars. What was different from past years at CES was the focus on personalization, software, and digital experiences for drivers and passengers inside the vehicles, like games and entertainment.
These advanced driver-assisted systems are enabled by the high compute power that is made possible by leading chip vendors. Our index members Nvidia and Qualcomm are in a race with other chip makers like Intel/Mobile eye to provide the latest chip technology to all the leading automakers. Fast charging capabilities, and the digital cockpit and supercomputer capabilities of a spaceship were the main highlights. Nvidia announced the DRIVE Hyperion 8, which brings together several new capabilities with SoC, 12 surround cameras, 9 radars, 12 ultrasonics, lidar, and 3 interior cameras. Nvidia has a long list of partners in this venture, including Cruise, Zoox, and Volvo.
Pandemic-Inspired Tech at CES 2022
We witnessed the introduction of a lot of devices and accessories designed to be paired with Zoom-style video conferencing. Some interesting examples include personalized wireless speakers equipped with facial tracking capabilities, a massive LED monitor that provides a real-life immersive viewing experience that brings your coworker into your space virtually, and various high-tech masks that are breathable, wireless, and Bluetooth-enabled with speaker-like amplification. We expect that these products will remain top of mind as the pandemic continues into its third year and people continue to work in hybrid settings.
Top 10 Consumer Technology Products from CES 2022
10. Samsung Odyssey Ark
This 55-inch, 16:9 AR, 4K resolution monitor is the largest curved monitor to be released in 2022. The Samsung Odyssey Ark is designed for a completely immersive user experience and the company hopes that it will replace dual or triple monitor setups. This device is perfect for users who want to watch the markets, Sunday Night Football, and a parent-teacher conference simultaneously.
9. Invoxia BioMetric Smart Dog Collar
Smart Dog Collar by Invoxia will use AI to monitor your dog’s health; it can also track their real-time location. It will have sensors, accelerometers, and embedded deep AI capabilities to track a dog's respiratory and heart vitals. The smart collar will also be able to detect unusual behavior to alert you of possible health issues. All this data will be collected through a smartphone app.
8. Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3
Arriving in May 2022, the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 combines an ultrawide 17.3” display with a secondary 8-inch touchscreen, providing the user with a dual-monitor laptop for Zoom meetings so you can write or multitask while on a video meeting. The only pitfall? As it stands, the touchscreen is right justified, so it would be challenging for lefties to operate smoothly.
7. Samsung Freestyle
Samsung always likes to make a splash at CES, so it was no surprise that it unveiled the Samsung Freestyle this year. This Bluetooth-connected, Alexa-enabled projector, speaker, and smart light can project images in HD onto a screen up to 100 inches wide. You can also power it by screwing it into a standard lightbulb socket. If you’ve ever seen or held a portable projector, you know they are bulky and rigid, and provide low picture quality. The Freestyle allows you to bring a Samsung Smart TV anywhere you go. What makes this device unique is its super small size—just 2lbs—and its low-cost price tag, at only $900.
6. John Deere Autonomous ADAR Tractor
Source: John Deere
ROBO index member John Deere announced a fully autonomous tractor that is ready for production. This new machine combines tractor, TruSet-enabled chisel plow, GPS guidance system with 6 pairs of stereo cameras, and a 360-degree obstacle detection feature. Images are processed through deep neural networks to determine the tractor’s movements. What falls to the farmer? Just speed adjustments for minor configurations. If anyone can make a splash with a driverless tractor, it’s John Deere and we are confident that they will continue to invest in this technology.
5. LG FX Washer and Dryer
The LG FX Smart Washer and Dryer uses a mobile app and AI to detect the size of the load, fabric type, and soil level to determine the right amount of detergent and adjusting the wash settings. It then sends key data to the dryer based on the fabric and the load size, personalizing each load approach by using AI and infrared sensors to tailor and adjust throughout the laundry process.
4. Movano Smart Ring
Currently awaiting FDA clearance as a certified medical device, this health-monitoring ring by Movano is expected to launch later this year. The Movano can monitor common health problems like hypertension, sleep data, heart rate, temperature, and blood oxygen. It is on track to be more affordable and accessible than its competitor product, the Oura ring. We should see more medical devices like Movano that can track our health data using big data and machine learning, useful for both consumers and their physicians for a more personalized healthcare approach.
3. Zenbook 17 Fold
Asus launched its 17.3” Display Tablet, which can fold into a clamshell laptop with Bluetooth keyboard , transforming it into a 12.5 inch laptop. It’s a portable, versatile laptop of the future that can handle more than 30k folding cycles according to Asus. We have not seen a foldable laptop that is big and powerful enough to stream, play games, and hold Zoom calls and is ready to go at just 3.6 lbs.
2. BMW IX Flow
The IX Flow, BMW’s newest concept car, can change colors in the blink of an eye with a 31-inch theatre screen. The color-changing option is made possible by “E-ink,” the same technology used in the Kindle and other e-readers. Currently, the car color can only shift between grey, white and black, but BMW is working on other pigments using an electrical field. E-ink technology has other uses than just vehicle appearance: it can help with energy efficiency, as the color white will help its EV maintain a longer range in hot temperatures.
1. Cadillac InnerSpace
Cadillac added to its autonomous car lineup with the InnerSpace concept, a luxury two-seater EV with a panoramic screen in place of a steering wheel. The goal of the project is to achieve level 5 autonomy to provide consumers with a luxury EV option, giving them more personal time for an effortless travel experience. According to the company, the vision for their autonomous technology is to help reduce emissions and road congestion. The biometric input and AI/ML are utilized with its Ultifi software platform, which provides a user experience that differentiates it from other EV makers.
Investing in the Makers of Tomorrow: The THNQ Portfolio
For those interested in tapping into the companies developing incredible AI applications and technologies like those highlighted at CES, the ROBO Global Artificial Intelligence Index (ticker: THNQ) provides investors with diversified exposure to the AI revolution. Learn more about THNQ here.