A combination of mega brands and start-ups demonstrated new products and solutions at a show that for some had started to lose its ‘mojo’.
However, this year saw over 4300 exhibitors and over 1400 start-ups enabling Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA) to talk of the show’s ‘resurgence’ and the importance, after the impact of Covid, of ‘face-to-face’ conversations and meetings.
Kinsey Fabrizio, CTA Sr. VP, CES and membership said, “Technology is solving global challenges, and we were excited to see so many collaborations and partnerships start here in Las Vegas.”
Artificial intelligence and its huge potential took centre stage for many while CEOs from the likes of Hyundai, Intel, Nasdaq, Qualcomm, Siemens, Snap and Walmart announced new collaborations across industries, highlighting partnerships and new products.
CES is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing global auto, mobility and transportation events so the ‘ecosystem of mobility’ saw over 600 exhibitors showing and demonstrating the future of autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, micro-mobility, software-defined vehicles and flying cars, and there was considerable discussion around the future of assistive mobility and safety systems.
Exhibitors also showcased their commitment to sustainable solutions through technologies, products, and services to reduce emissions and waste by streamlining electrification, developing renewable energy sources, and experimenting with new technologies such as battery recycling.
While digital health also had a strong presence with a range of new tools and technologies aimed at lowering costs, improving health equity and saving lives being highlighted, there were also innovations including digital therapeutics, mental wellness, sleep tech, women’s health tech and telemedicine.
AI was certainly everywhere this year and across the show its was integrated into everything from cars to headphones but there was a sense that despite what was described as ‘Generative AI’ fever sweeping across the show, in truth, there was a consenus that we’d have to wait a little longer for its impact to really show up at CES.
While ChatGPT may have been dominating column inches, many companies have not had enough time to translate that excitement around large language models into new gadgets.
Speaking to the BBC Jay Goldberg, chief executive of D2D Advisory suggested that the industry was, “Still trying to get it all to work. You need the silicon and the software, and it’s only been a year since ChatGPT launched - people are still getting on board.”
Despite that many brands demonstrated products which incorporated forms of AI and that was particularly prevalent among automotive manufacturers with both Mercedes and Volkswagen presenting vehicles with voice assistants that integrate ChatGPT’s technology,
AI is increasingly being positioned for commercial applications, whether in healthcare and automotive, which is a significant change from 2023 which was more a year of tech demos and showcases.
In truth the ‘hype’ around AI is helping companies to attract funding from investors keen to see a return and there were a lot of devices on show that ‘used’ AI to improve performance – from AI in vision technology deployed in a robot vacuum to improve object avoidance to refrigerators with cameras and AI vision technology. Samsung unveiled televisions with AI built in that can scale content to improve resolution and enhance the depth perception of an image.
At CES a host of companies developing high performance chips for the automotive space made some significant announcements with both Qualcomm and NVIDIA showcasing SoCs supporting digital cockpit and ADAS features.
Automotive systems form an increasingly important element of CES, not only in terms of concept vehicles, but also in terms of semiconductors and software.
Qualcomm and Bosch unveiled the world’s first cross-domain in-vehicle central computing platform based on Qualcomm Snapdragon Ride Flex (with computing power scalable up to 2,000 TOPs), while Nvidia announced that its new Thor chip platform (with computing power of up to 2,000 TOPs) would be applied in Li Auto’s next-generation models.
Intel’s announcements laid down its intention to play a leading role in the EV market with its acquisition of Silicon Mobility, an EV energy management specialist, signalling the company’s ambition of become a powerhouse in this rapidly growing market.
Texas Instruments (TI) introduced new chips designed for automotive safety and intelligence.
The AWR2544 is a 77 GHz millimetre-wave radar sensor chip for satellite radar architectures supporting high levels of autonomy by improving sensor fusion and decision-making in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). TI called this semiconductor the first single-chip radar sensor designed for satellite architectures that allows developers to use 360° sensor coverage and sensor fusion algorithms.
Other products were the DRV3946-Q1, an integrated contactor driver, the DRV3901-Q1, an integrated squib driver for pyro fuses, and area software-programmable driver chips for built-in diagnostics and support functional safety for battery management and powertrain systems.
NXP Semiconductors announced an extension to its automotive radar one-chip family unveiling a radar transceiver - the first 28 nm radio frequency CMOS (RFCMOS) radar chip, according to the company.
The transceiver is a multi-core radar processor and a MACsec hardware engine for secure data communication over automotive Ethernet. The system-on-chip is designed to work with low-level radar sensor data at up to 1 Gbit/s.
The chips allow carmakers to optimise ADAS portioning for software-defined vehicles and, in addition, OEMs can introduce software-defined radar features during the lifetime of the vehicle through over-the-air updates.
NXP announced that automotive electronic supplier Hella will use the SoC for its 7th generation radar portfolio that will include variants for front, rear, corner and side radar.
Commenting, Matthias Feulner, Senior Director ADAS, NXP Semiconductors, said, “For NXP, and the broader industry, we saw more software-defined vehicle platforms on show this year and these are expected to be deployed in new vehicle ranges from 2027 onwards. The emphasis now is on upgradability and the ability to add new features to vehicles over the course of their lifetime.
“Beyond software-defined vehicles, ADAS and the introduction of more comfort features were the dominant themes at this year’s CES.”
With more intelligent vehicles there was also a greater focus on sensory technology across sound, light, touch, and vibration with the aim of delivering a more intelligent cockpit and an improved driving experience.
According to Feulner, “We’re seeing a wave of Level 2 vehicles coming to the market with much greater levels of sensor fusion that will leverage a network of connected sensors around the vehicle. That will provide the driver with a 360-degree understanding of the vehicle’s environment and will deliver much better object analysis and detection over a longer range.”
Robots are always a popular aspect of CES, and this year Samsung showcased enhancements to their “Ballie” home robot, which now features video projection capabilities, while LG presented their AI agent - a robotic companion capable of maintaining a smart home environment, interacting with users via voice and visual recognition.
WYBOTICS unveiled the WYBOT M2 – a pool cleaning technology which is said to be the world’s first underwater vision recognition system and underwater self-charging station.
According to WYBOTICS, the M2 is the result of a year-long development effort with the aim of bringing intelligence, efficiency, and innovation to pool cleaning.
It may simply be a ‘pool cleaner’ but the technology was certainly impressive with a high-resolution camera, strategically positioned on the robot’s front, incorporating the company’s “Dirt Hunting Mode”, which allows the camera to navigate complex underwater environments, and focus on accurate detection, efficient elimination of debris and dirt, and ensuring a thorough cleaning experience. The unique algorithm processes scanned pool images and rubbish, allowing the robot to automatically plan the optimal route for targeted pool cleaning.
In addition to traditional cloud connectivity and remote-control functionalities, the WYBOT M2 introduced the world’s first underwater charging technology. Featuring a 120-watt wireless charging base, it ensures rapid recharging of the robot’s battery.
Elsewhere, Jackery, a designer of portable power and green outdoor energy solutions, unveiled the Solar Generator Mars Bot, an intelligent solar charging and storage robot.
This device is designed to provide a reliable green power supply in off-grid outdoor settings, emergency rescue or seamlessly connect to the grid during home emergency scenarios.
With an autonomous navigation system and sun-tracking capabilities, the Solar Generator Mars Bot can move across diverse terrains and can maximise solar exposure by using its Automatic Sunflower Solar Tracker system that ensures that its solar panels are always oriented towards the sun.
CES wouldn’t be CES without smart home technology being on display and as it’s a sector in the consumer electronics market that is expected to see strong growth in 2024, there was an impressive showing.
Samsung’s new smart fridge, the 2024 Bespoke 4-Door Flex Refrigerator with AI Family Hub, was deemed a highlight by many with its ability to detect whether food items were nearing their expiration date and to suggest recipes making use of items it was able to detect via the Family Hub+ screen.
Tuya Smart unveiled a Home Energy Management System (HEMS) which is able, in real-time, to actively manage household energy consumption intelligently. It provides visual management of energy data such as storage, charging, and consumption, with the aim of reducing household energy consumption and usage costs.
Elsewhere, HOMEE AI, a developer of spatial computing technology, unveiled the world’s first AI interior designer that uses spatial planning technology.
According to Kenny Du, Founder and CEO, “Our vision is that everyone can enjoy the fun of designing with artificial intelligence and create their own ideal living-space.”
HOMEE AI allows users to simply open the camera on their smartphone and use it to look around whatever room they wish to redesign. The AI then scans the room in 3D, learning its dimensions and current layout and design.
Users can then remove, rotate or shift around their own furniture simply by clicking on it, and the AI will generate a new image, keeping the room’s measurements in mind.
Another device that drew a lot of coverage was Pawport, a smart pet door that opens and closes automatically when a pet approaches. It deploys doors that are either insulated or have rechargeable, slide-in batteries that can last several months and a collar fob with a rechargeable battery that sends a Bluetooth signal to the Pawport so that it opens when the pet approaches.
As always with CES the range of platforms and technology on display was huge and it still does provide an important annual insight into how cutting-edge innovations will help to reshape how people work, live and communicate.