Updated · Jun 24, 2022
CES 2022: Exciting Highlights
Updated · Feb 21, 2022
This January, CES returned to Las Vegas following a pandemic-hit year. The virus threatened this event as well, with big names like Amazon, Meta, and Twitter withdrawing from in-person presentations. Several of the biggest publications even chose to cover it from afar.
But the show went on.
As usual, there was a ton of speculation and anticipation in the lead-up to the Consumer Electronics Show.
In the end, it didn’t disappoint. Manufacturers scrambled to show off their latest innovations, devices, gadgets, and well, gimmicks. But while CES is famous for exhibiting jaw-dropping concepts that will never reach the market, many consider it the best launchpad for their next-gen products.
Here are the highlights:
Sony Vision S Electric SUV
Sony’s electric car does not exactly come as a surprise - the company announced the Vision-S dream at CES 2020. This year, the Japanese multinational showed it for the first time, alongside the older Vision-S EV.
It’s only a concept, but the SUV-type prototype gave a glimpse into the autonomous vehicle concept. At its press conference, the tech company confirmed Sony Mobility Inc., an operating company that will “explore entry into the EV market.”
The Samsung Freestyle Projector
If you thought the idea of projectors as a TV replacement was dead, think again. Samsung’s new device was certainly one of the buzziest products at the CES. And it will be available for purchase later this year at a pretty decent $899!
The Freestyle is a barrel-shaped ultraportable projector that weighs in at just 1.8 lbs. It sits on a cradle with a 180-degree design. There’s no 4K resolution, sadly. Still, the 1080p it comes with is decent enough to deliver sharp images up to 100 inches diagonally.
The Freestyle comes with Samsung’s smart TV features. Basically, users can stream Netflix, Prime Video, or Disney Plus onto a flat wall surface or ceiling. The new device is compatible with mirroring and casting for Android and iOS devices. It also comes with smart speaker features and mood lighting.
For a tech event, CES is not traditionally big on smartphones. Still, there were quite a few high-profile highlights in that area this time around.
The biggest of the bunch came from Samsung, who announced the much anticipated Galaxy S21 FE. This is the follow-up to the highly-regarded Galaxy S20 FE. Like its successor, it is a scaled-back version of the flagship. So far, the early impressions of the phone are positive.
Another top phone announcement came from OnePlus, with the launch of the OnePlus 10 Pro. There’s not a lot of difference between the new and old models in terms of design and we didn’t get a full specs sheet. There are no details on why, but the OnePlus 10 Pro is heading to China before other territories.
Vivo, Nokia, and Realme also announced new models at CES 2022. The latter is especially noteworthy, with the Realme GT 2 Pro packing a punch in terms of specs.
There were quite a few laptop reveals at CES this year.
One notable mention is the Asus Zenbook OLED 14X Space Edition. The laptop was released to celebrate the silver jubilee of the Asus P6300 laptop’s sojourn to the Mir space station. The manufacturer was thorough with the space inspiration with this one, from its design to sub-orbital flight worthiness.
For users big on multitasking, Lenovo introduced the Thinkbook Plus Gen 3. The stunning new laptop pairs an ultra-wide 17.3-inch main display with an 8-inch display set beside the keypad. It’s more than simply aesthetics with this one; it is both practical and impressive in terms of specs.
It seemed to rain dual-screen laptops at CES this year. Asus already has a few in the bag, but the upcoming Zephyrus Duo 16 blows them out of the water. The gaming laptop combines a 16-inch display with a secondary 14.1-inch screen called the ROG ScreenPad Plus.
Dell’s new XPS 13 Plus features a minimalist look that is simply stunning. The most glaringly obvious thing about it is the absence of a visible touchpad. Haptic feedback help users operate their systems with an invisible one. In addition, there’s a capacitive function row that looks great and will let users adjust volume and brightness.
John Deere’s Self Driving Tractor
John Deere introduced a fully autonomous tractor at the CES. The manufacturer has long tinkered with Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and Industrial IoT. The goal is to transform the farm industry with automation.
The self-driving tractor is John Deere’s 8R tractor together with six pairs of stereo cameras to enable 360-degree detection of obstacles. There’s also a GPS guidance system, TruSet-enabled chisel plow, and machine intelligence software.
The cameras capture images and pass them through a deep neural network. The DNN determines when the machine moves or stops. Farmers can reroute the tractor or pass along new instructions with a smartphone app.
The new John Deere tractor will be available for purchase by farmers later this year.
The Home Hub by Samsung
Another Samsung product showed off at CES 2022 was the Home Hub, a central device for controlling home gadgets. According to Samsung, it will connect every device in the SmartThings ecosystem.
Granted, most similar devices come with apps that users can install on their smartphones. But those can be limiting, if there’s more than one person living in the house. Home Hub addresses this by being an entirely smart home-focused app.
Samsung did not announce any spec details for the device. Don’t expect anything crazy — you cannot even stream on the app, after all.
BMW’s Color Changer
This one is straight out of a James Bond movie. The BMW iX Flow is easily one of the biggest talking points from CES 2022.
At its press conference, BMW unveiled the world’s first color-changing car. The SUV uses the e-ink technology of e-readers to transform its exterior into a variety of grey, black, and white patterns.
At present, the concept car can only switch between various shades of those colors. There are lots of different patterns, however. The BMW iX Flow is a very energy-efficient concept car - it can switch color to account for weather conditions and the energy conservation of E Ink technology
BMW has not elaborated when, if ever, this concept will enter production.
Statistics show that the virtual reality market isn’t slowing down anytime soon, with the pandemic keeping loads of people indoors. Now Litebox, an at-home fitness company, has leaped the metaverse with its new offering, the Liteboxer VR.
The Liteboxer VR will be available on the Quest 2 VR headset from Meta. The new boxing product can be used wall-mounted or standing and features targets to direct users. It comes with:
- a leaderboard system
- head-to-head competition
- controller-free workouts
- hit music from Universal Music Group.
Oura is the name most people associate with smart rings. However, startup company Mavano threw its hat in the ring at CES with the unveiling of its new wearable. Mavano hopes that the ring, designed for women of all ages, will provide actionable insights, health-wise.
The Mavano ring tracks the wearer's:
- heart rate and its variability
- consumed calories
Mavano also aims to include blood pressure and blood glucose tracking in the future. The ring is still in development but the first edition should be ready by the second half of 2022.
Lenovo Smart Clock Essential With Alexa Built-In
Lenovo’s cute Smart Clocks have enjoyed approval, with their visually-appealing displays and Google Assistant voice functionality. And they just got better.
Launching in January for $60, the Smart Clocks sport the usual attractive design with mesh coating. It comes in two colors — Misty Blue or Clay Red.
Lenovo pulled the stops with its new Ambient Light Docks that attach to the clock to emit mood-setting lights with special effects. Alexa functionality is the major highlight, allowing users to set alarms and timers, check their schedules, get weather reports, and more.
The PlayStation VR2
Sony announced its follow-up to the original PlayStation VR headset. Unsurprisingly dubbed the PlayStation VR2, the new VR headset comes with some upgrades on its successor. It is designed for the PlayStation 5 console and comes with new Sense controllers.
The revamped headset offers a 4K HDR display with an expanded field of view. There’s also foveated rendering, a new technology for virtual reality and augmented reality. Foveated rendering reduces image quality in peripheral areas of the user’s view for a more realistic experience.
Eye-tracking technology, inside-out tracking, and headset feedback are some of the other features worth the wait.
NFT Art-Supporting Samsung TVs
Well, this one was inevitable, wasn’t it?
At CES, Samsung announced that its 2022 MICRO LED, Neo QLED, and Lifestyle TVs will all support the buying, selling, and display of NFT art. The Korean electronics maker aims to stay ahead of the NFT curve.
Samsung is “introducing the world’s first TV screen-based NFT explorer and marketplace aggregator,” according to a press statement. It also describes it as “a groundbreaking platform that lets you browse, purchase, and display your favorite art — all in one place.”
The new platform will help users preview NFTs before they make purchases, going as deep as its blockchain metadata.
Home Connectivity Alliance
Smart appliances are usually incompatible with others of different brands. This poses a problem for users with a bunch of different smart devices. The Home Connectivity Alliance (HCA) seeks to address that issue.
Samsung, Haier, Electrolux, and Trane Residential announced the formation of the alliance, created to cement interoperability across brands from different products. The benefits are immediately obvious. With interoperability, a user can buy a connected washer from Samsung and a dryer from Haier and receive notifications from either platform.
That sums up the highlights of CES 2022. Let’s wait and see which ones will actually hit the market.
Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.
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