CES (Consumer Electronics Show) has traditionally been one of the most influential tech showcases of the year, often debuting exciting new tech and defining future trends.
Having moved online in 2021, the Consumer Technology Association (the company that owns and produces CES) proudly declared that CES would be returning in 2022 as an in-person event. Thanks to the omicron coronavirus variant, things quickly fell apart, with some of the biggest brands in the world, as well as some of the biggest media publications, pulling out of having a physical presence at the show, opting for an online presence instead.
Despite this, CES 2022 proved to be one of the most interesting and exciting in years.
Here are some of our favourite products unveiled at the event:
Samsung had a lot to show the world, but this spotlight-styled projector was arguably one of the highlights.
Billed as an “all-new portable screen and entertainment device”, The Freestyle is a combination speaker, projector and ambient light targeted at Gen Z and millennial consumers.
While I do fall into that category, I’d hate for any company’s market research to be that good that they’ve hooked me this easily.
The Freestyle comes with a 180° cradle stand, weighs less than 1kg, has a 1080p resolution that can project up to 100 inches with up to 550 lumens of brightness. Making it even better is the fact that it’s compatible with external batteries that support USB-PD and 50W/20V output or above, making it perfect to take with you on a weekend away or for an outdoor movie marathon.
There is also a plethora of accessories, including a waterproof case and a USB-C portable battery.
Local pricing and availability has not yet been confirmed.
Zenbook 17 Fold OLED
The name might need some work, but this 17-inch foldable laptop from Asus is phenomenal.
Asus says it worked closely with Intel and BOE Technology Group to create this OLED laptop.
It offers a large 4:3 17.3-inch 2.5K touchscreen that folds in the middle to create two seamless 12.5-inch 1,920 x 1,280 displays, or it can be propped up and used as a giant 17-inch display with the included full-size Asus ErgoSense Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad.
The display is Pantone validated and is TÜV Rheinland-certified for eye care. It has a 100% DCI-P3 gamut and is accompanied by Dolby Vision HDR. Audio is provided via the Harman Kardon-certified quad-speaker that also boasts Dolby Atmos immersive sound.
Powering all of this next-gen technology is the latest 12th-generation Intel Core i7 U-series processor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB RAM, 1TB of SSD storage and a 75Wh battery.
Asus says the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED will be available for purchase in mid-2022.
The Frame (2022)
Samsung’s The Frame TV made it on to Wanted's best tech of 2021 list for a reason and it’s hard to imagine how they’d improve on such an impressive TV.
The 2022 iteration of the lifestyle TV has a new matte display with antiglare, anti-reflection and anti-fingerprint properties. It’s also received three verifications from UL (Underwriter Laboratories) for being “reflection glare free”, “discomfort glare free” and “disability glare free”.
My favourite new TV-related item announced by Samsung at CES isn’t the actual TV, it’s the remote.
The company’s new SolarCell Remote builds on 2021’s Eco Remote, which was able to charge via solar, and adds in the ability to charge via RF (radio frequency). Samsung says the remote can collect radio waves from your router and convert them to energy. The company has also said it is looking at bringing that technology to other devices in their portfolio.
Sony unveiled a wide range of products ranging from a professional drone, impressive new Bravia XR TVs, premium soundbars and new electric vehicles (EVs).
That’s right, the Japanese tech giant is exploring the burgeoning EV market with the announcement of the Vision-S vehicles from its new Sony Mobility division.
Sony says that Vision-S is “an initiative aimed at contributing to the evolution of mobility”.
The company began 5G driving tests in April 2021 and started public road testing in Europe in December of the same year.
At CES 2022, Sony announced and exhibited an SUV-type prototype vehicle (Vision-S 02) as a new form factor. This vehicle uses the same EV/cloud platform as the prototype (Vision-S 01), which is being tested on public roads.
“By offering entertainment experiences utilising the large interior space and variations of a seven-seater, this new prototype will, together with Vision-S 01, promote the accommodation of a large variety of lifestyles within a society where values are becoming increasingly diversified,” says the company.
While the Vision-S isn’t available at present, it’s fascinating to watch the same company that brought us the PlayStation now expand to electric mobility.
Ever buy a car and then start wondering whether you got it in the right colour or whether the one you’ve just seen driving past you would’ve been a better option?
If you have, then BMW has a car for you.
The German premium car manufacturer has unveiled the new iX Flow featuring E Ink (the same electronic paper technology used in e-readers like the Kindle), which lets you change the colour of the exterior.
“Digital experiences won’t just be limited to displays in the future. There will be more and more melding of the real and virtual. With the BMW iX Flow, we are bringing the car body to life,” said Frank Weber, member of the board of management of BMW AG, Development.
BMW says fluid colour changes are made possible by a specially developed body wrap that is tailored precisely to the contours of the all-electric sports activity vehicle.
When stimulated by electrical signals, the electrophoretic technology brings different colour pigments to the surface, causing the body skin to take on the desired colouration.
“This gives the driver the freedom to express different facets of their personality or even their enjoyment of change outwardly, and to redefine this each time they get into their car,” says Stella Clarke, head of project for the BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink. “Similar to fashion or the status ads on social media channels, the vehicle then becomes an expression of different moods and circumstances in daily life.”
Elite 4 Active
Despite the seemingly endless variety of true wireless buds on the market, finding a pair that performs well and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg is a bit more challenging than you’d think.
That’s why Jabra’s Elite 4 Active is such an impressive offering.
With a secure fit, IP57 rating, active noise cancellation, HearThrough technology, four-mic call technology and a customisable equaliser, these are standout buds in every possible way.
The buds also have Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant built in, Spotify Tap playback experience and Google Fast Pair.
If you’re thinking that this all sounds too good to be true and that battery life has got to be the caveat, then I’m sorry to tell you you’d be wrong. The buds boast seven hours of continuous playback and up to 28 hours with the case (which also features fast charging capabilities).
Other notable standouts include LG Display’s Media Chair (a rotating curved 55-inch OLED TV attached to a reclining chair), a Smart Health Monitoring light bulb from Sengled, Skyworth’s W82 — a transformable OLED TV that’s able to flip between bring a flat TV or a curved one — and the Motion Pillow 3 smart pillow, which detects if you’re snoring and then adjusts your head so it opens your airways and reduces or stops it.