The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 opened this week in Las Vegas, showcasing the latest innovations in consumer technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) and transportation tech were dominant themes across the event.
AI Takes Center Stage
AI was woven into many of the new products debuted at CES 2024. From predicting the future to enhancing sex, AI showed its expanding capabilities and integration into daily life.
Samsung’s new personal assistant robot Ballie follows its owner throughout the home, using AI and sensors to understand their needs and assist with tasks. Companies also showcased AI products to analyze pet health, provide financial advice, predict new music trends to invest in, and more.
Several AI innovations aimed to improve people’s emotional wellbeing. Philips displayed the first commercially available empathetic lighting system. Dubbed AmbiScene, it uses biosensors and AI to detect a room occupant’s mood and adjust lighting accordingly. Candle lamp maker Lexon presented Oblo: a lamp with a moving dome that simulates a breathing pattern to help reduce stress.
AI Concerns Remain
As AI advances, ethical concerns persist around data privacy and algorithmic bias. The organization OpenAI published new guidelines this week for developing safe AI systems that respect human values. Though a promising step, regulation still lags behind AI capabilities.
CES has recently focused more on vehicle technology, and 2024 was no exception. Autonomous driving capabilities expanded along with electric power innovations.
Self-Driving Cars Inch Toward Reality
Waymo announced a partnership with Nissan-Renault to incorporate its self-driving tech into the automakers’ upcoming vehicles. Waymo also declared plans to open its driverless taxi service in Los Angeles later this year.
Chinese startup AutoX revealed its new vehicle designed specifically for autonomous taxi and delivery services. It has no steering wheel or pedals, reflecting increasing confidence in self-driving competency.
However, most autonomous vehicle development remains incremental. An industry survey found firms expect to achieve only Level 3 capabilities by 2030 on average. As vehicle automation increases, many also wonder about its impact on jobs for human drivers.
New Battery Tech Could Boost EVs
Electric vehicles (EVs) saw major announcements around improved power sources this year. Several makers displayed EVs utilizing sodium-ion batteries rather than lithium-ion versions. Containing abundant and cheap sodium, these new batteries promise to lower EV costs and environmental impact.
Battery manufacturer CATL revealed a sodium-ion battery with 160 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) density. This edges closer to gasoline’s energy density and could allay range anxiety among potential EV buyers. CATL expects manufacturing costs around 20-30% less than lithium cells.
Micromobility Merger Mania
Also within electric urban transport, Tier Mobility acquired scooter company Spin in Europe’s first micromobility merger. Combined now in over 200 cities globally, Spin and Tier aim to leverage superior scale and achieve profitability in the volatile scooter business.
Micromobility faces uncertain regulation in many regions. Cities like San Francisco and New York City have banned or restricted e-scooters without plans to revisit soon. Advocates hope mergers like Spin-Tier will enable sturdier companies able to responsibly grow shared micromobility.
Tech Envisions Our Mixed Reality Future
Many CES offerings provided a glimpse into an approaching mixed reality world blending physical and digital environments. Displays and interfaces become more lifelike, while virtual worlds increase immersion.
Phygital Screens Mimic Reality
LG wowed audiences with its latest rollable OLED TV able to retract fully into its base. But Lenovo may have stolen the show demonstrating the first “phygital screen” technology.
Its new ThinkReality display combines an OLED screen with physical polygons raised dynamically to create 3D textures. Hailed as an AR/VR alternative, the phygital concept allows touching and interacting with virtual objects. Expect more experimentation with such “real virtual” environments going forward.
|Key Transportation Tech Trends at CES 2024
|Self-driving capabilities expand with Waymo robotaxis hitting roads and new purpose-built autonomous vehicles
|Sodium-ion batteries promise cheaper, cleaner EVs to advance adoption
|Micromobility consolidation begins with Spin-Tier merger in Europe
Lifelike Avatars for Virtual Worlds
While phygital tech meshes the physical with digital, virtual worlds also grew more immersive by simulating reality.
Software startup Hour One displayed its AI-powered avatar creation system generating realistic digitized twins. Using just an upload of the user’s photo, Hour One’s algorithms build a 3D avatar mimicking the person’s actual appearance and motions.
As virtual spaces like the metaverse evolve, such technologies could enable seamless back-and-forth engagement between environments. Lifelike avatars specifically provide virtual presence without being physically present.
Gaming Hardware Levels Up
Gaming computers and accessories showcased powerful new capabilities for both serious and casual gamers. Nvidia lifted the curtain on its long-awaited next-gen graphics processors after two years of scarcity for its current RTX 3000 GPUs.
New Extreme GPUs Push Boundaries
The new GeForce RTX 5000 series delivers up to 2x the ray-tracing performance and AI graphics processing over the previous generation. Though still based on the Ampere architecture, Nvidia’s refined Samsung manufacturing process enables considerable gains.
First RTX 5000 models will start rolling out in May, with the enthusiast-focused RTX 5090 expected in early summer. Prices remain high, however, amid ongoing semiconductor shortages. Lower-tier RTX 5000 cards for the mass market aren’t anticipated until late 2024 after supply issues ease.
|Key Gaming Hardware Announcements at CES 2024
|Nvidia reveals next-gen RTX 5000 GPU series with up to 2x speed and AI improvements
|Alienware debuts Concept Nyx – distributed computing to stream games across devices in home
|Asus unveils 2024 model dual-screen, game streaming ROG Zephyrus Duo 16
Concept Nyx Streams Games Everywhere
Dell-owned Alienware displayed an early version of Concept Nyx – its vision for distributed computing to power cloud gaming throughout the home. It utilizes a central server to render games, then streams the video to any screen in the house while capturing inputs instantly.
Asus also leaned into portable and multi-screen gaming with the latest iteration of its ROG Zephyrus Duo. The newly redesigned 2024 model now incorporates a rear-hinged 16-inch 4K primary display alongside its signature built-in secondary 14-inch touchscreen.
Tech Workplace Trends Appear
Many CES exhibits included advancements around remote work and automation that could transform office technology and culture. Virtual collaboration tools abound, while several robots debuted to take over dull enterprise tasks.
Remote Work Revolution Advances
Multiple vendors unveiled fresh telepresence robot options for remote workers to roam far-flung office locations. Verizon demonstrated 5G-enabled mobile robots with zooming cameras. SaviOne premiered robots storing common tools and supplies that remote peers can summon on-demand during meetings.
Wearable gear also aims to close the gap between in-person and virtual interactions. Startup Lamtip showed off Moment, a pair of mixed reality glasses overlaying digital avatars of remote participants onto in-room meetings when users glance at their seats.
Business Process Automation Gains Steam
Robotic process automation (RPA) appeared in many CES exhibits to modernize workflows. IBM partnered with Celonis to launch an AI-driven process mining tool for identifying automation opportunities across enterprise systems.
Fellow tech giant Microsoft gave the first live demo of its Power Automate Desktop software. It records repetitive human tasks on screen, then auto-generates scripts to replicate workflows. Microsoft expects general release by mid-2024.
While promising to free up employee time and boost productivity, such automation does raise concerns over human job displacement as well. Developing policies around emerging deepfake technology also poses challenges for organizations.
Outlook: Innovation Meets Uncertainty
CES 2024 once again showcased cutting-edge inventions along with aspirational concepts from both leading brands and scrappy startups. Continued progress toward ambient computing environments and intelligent mobility seems assured based on this year’s offerings.
However, current economic volatility and geopolitical tensions cast some doubt over the near future. While advancements around remote collaboration tools and process automation could boost enterprise efficiency, they also risk eliminating positions and disrupting workforce dynamics further.
And persistent shortages of vital tech components like semiconductors show little sign of abating this year. This could hamper developing and distributing some of the flashy offerings premiered on the CES floor. But if stability returns, expect accelerated transformation around transportation, AI, augmented realities, and workplaces over the next decade.
What’s Next for CES
After a muted showing in 2023 due to China’s COVID surge, CES 2024 represented a triumphant return to form in showcasing innovation and building enthusiasm for our high-tech future, whatever shape it takes. Expect expanded virtual and hybrid elements for broader access going forward while retaining an anchor gathering in Las Vegas.
AI ethics will gain more prominence across CES tracks, though regulatory progress remains slow. Vehicle tech should also continue expanding the show’s scope alongside core consumer electronics. And event curation could improve to manage the immense scale of products debuted each year.
While outstanding novelties always appear, CES also provides an annual snapshot of incremental development powering paradigm shifts over time. Both revolutionary leaps and steady plodding progress were on display this year among transportation, sustainability, spatial computing, and other rising trends. The only certainty is 2025 will bring a fresh round of wonders that spur the imagination now.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.