Every year, the fair grounds of the annual tech conference CES gives visitors a glimpse of what the future of technology offers.
This year's edition, which just concluded on January 8, marks the first time the fair is back in full swing, and it certainly did not disappoint, with a slurry of innovative product debuts and announcements, everything from the futuristic to the bizarre. Here we gather some of the biggest tech trends from the CES 2023 fairgrounds that are changing the course of the industry, and quite possibly the world, in the years to come.
A McKinsey & Company report published in June 2022 highlighted the metaverse’s potential to grow to US$5 trillion in value by 2030. As reflected at the fairgrounds of CES, this demand is also aggregating technologies that are stepping stones into the metaverse, and we see companies plunge deeper into their ambitions for the virtual world. Among the countless prototypes that are designed to enhance the haptic experience in a virtual world, this Brelyon Fusion device caught our eyes in particular. This pixel guzzling computational display is designed to completely surround your field of view, offering a fully immersive 8K OLED experience without having to strap an annoying headset around your head. The device also comes with spatial audio and uses a series of cameras to track your head movements to optimize display and maximize the immersive experience.
Tokyo-based company Shiftall, which is owned by tech giant Panasonic, revealed their much-anticipated device called the Mutalk — a muzzle-like bluetooth microphone that muffles the voices of VR users to ensure a bit more privacy in the virtual space. The bizarre-looking appendage, which is supposed to be used while strapped around your mouth, looks incredibly uncomfortable in our opinion, especially when you consider the additional burden of the already bulky VR headset around your head. But then, if you live in small spaces or don’t want to wake up the family in the middle of your midnight VR session, then the Mutalk might be a tool to consider.
This year, car companies showed off an array of innovative automotive ideas and models. From flying vehicles to color-morphing designs, this year’s auto lineup was all about how car and tech companies are working closer than ever as the industry navigates technological shifts in its future.
The German auto brand BMW showed off the i Vision Dee, an electric sports sedan concept that previewed a whole host of the company’s latest technologies, such as AI-powered virtual assistants and a windscreen display which incorporates augmented-reality projections. But the highlight of the unveiling goes to the car’s exterior — made from an E-ink film, similar to the material used for a book reader.
i Vision Dee features an exterior made from an updated version of the E-ink film technology that was first unveiled on the iX Flow at last year’s CES, which allows the car to changes colors like a chameleon in up to 32 different hues, and its design allows for the creation of completely customized, digitally controlled patterns on demand.
Here’s something that would make Marty Mcfly proud: a flying car. The US startup Aska has landed a prototype of their US$789,000 Aska A5, a four-seater electric vehicle roughly the size of an SUV that can travel by road and up to 400 kilometers by air on a single charge, although the intended public demonstration at the fair was canceled due to bad weather. The company has opened its pre-order list, which requires a deposit of US $5,000, and has set its eye for a launch date in 2026.
Apart from greater accessibility features being built into mass-market consumer electronics products, exhibitors of CES are also coming up with specialized technologies to support people with specific needs in order to live with greater independence.
Beauty conglomerate L'Oréal unveiled assistive beauty tech products at CES, one of them is HAPTA, a motorized, handheld device that allows people with limited hand and arm mobility to apply make-up steadily. It uses motion sensors and magnetic attachments that enable 360 degree rotations for a seamless application. The device was developed in collaboration with Verily Life Sciences, which created the technology for Liftware, a line of robotic tableware to help people with mobility issues eat.
Gaming giant PlayStation is releasing a new customisable controller for the PS5, codenamed “Project Leonardo”, aimed at helping people with disabilities play games more comfortably. The highly customizable design can handle an analog joystick plus eight buttons, and they can be paired with each other or with a traditional controller for a variety of functions.