The world’s biggest tech show – CES 2022 – returned for an on-ground event in Las Vegas this year after going online in 2021 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier, the annual trade fair was all set to witness thousands of companies returning to the floor at the Las Vegas Convention Centre (LVCC). However, that changed as Covid-19 cases began rising in the US and elsewhere around the globe. As a result a number of participating companies including Microsoft, GM, Amazon, Lenovo, Meta and Twitter cancelled their in-person presence in Las Vegas while opting for having digital presence instead. This absence was also noticed in the tech enthusiasts who fly down from places all over the world to see the weird and wacky tech that is unveiled at this trade show every year. Despite the empty hallways, CES 2022 saw companies showing off their display tech in the form of laptop, monitor and TV launches. In addition to this, we saw companies focusing extensively on EVs and on the metaverse – two trends that have been making headlines in the world since last year.
At CES 2022, we saw a number of smaller companies and startups introducing their metaverse-focused products. From industry-focused metaverse solutions to the metaverses that will let you shop in the real world to the metaverse that will let you travel in time (Goart metaverse), this year’s Consumer Electronics Show stood in continuation with the larger trends that we saw evolving throughout the course of last year. If you want to know about the specifics, here is a Twitter threat that will take you through all the metaverse-related tech that we saw in Las Vegas this week.
It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that if you hadn’t heard about the metaverse before, after CES 2022, you would definitely know about it. However, the event and companies didn’t do a particularly good job at explaining what the concept was and why everyone is talking about it. For those of you who haven’t been keeping a track of the trend, the metaverse is virtual space fostered by a mix of technologies including augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) among others that will give people a collective social experience, digitally. You can know more about it here.
CES 2022 was also filled with interesting and innovative VR devices. Not just the smaller companies but even bigger companies such as Panasonic, HTC and TCL showcase their VR tech at the trade show. At CES, HTC showcased its Vive wrist tracker, which works in tandem with the company’s Vive Focus 3 VR headset. HTC says that it can track a user’s orientation and position from their wrist to their elbow, without relying on the headset’s cameras to capture movement. It will be available at a price of $129 (Rs 9,600 approx.) in early 2022 in the US.
Similarly, Panasonic showcased its MeganeX VR glasses, which look like steampunk sunglasses with a headset. Panasonic says that its ‘ultra-lightweight, ultra-high-resolution’ come with speakers built into the 1.3-inch frames that offer a resolution of 2560×2560 pixels for each eye. The company says that they will ship for ‘less than $900 (Rs 66,850 approx.)’ later this year. Additionally, TCL showcased its AT glasses. While they are still a concept right now, they do look like a mix of Google Glasses from the yesteryears and Snapchat’s Spectacles. In case you are fuzzy on how VR/AR headsets fit in the metaverse-verse, give this a read.
Beyond this, Samsung brought the metaverse to CES in the form of its metaverse called the Samsung 837x. The Samsung 837X debuts in Decentraland, which is a blockchain-powered metaverse. The Korean electronics giant said that in the Samsung 837X, fans will be captivated in a digital adventure through the Connectivity Theater and Sustainability Forest to complete quests along the way for 837X Non-Fungible Token (NFT) badges and by a celebration at the Customization Stage.
Beyond this, we also saw a lot of crossover happening at CES 2022. Some tech companies in addition to introducing…well…tech products also dipped their toes in the burgeoning EVs trend. Similarly, some auto companies also joined the metaverse-verse.
Sony, for instance, introduced its PlayStation VR2 headset and controllers. At the same event, the company surprised everyone by showcasing its Vision-S 02 electric vehicle concept. At the event, the company said that Sony Mobility Inc has been set up to make new proposals in the field of mobility and its newly announced EV will use the same EV/cloud platform as the prototype Vision-S 01, which is being tested on public roads in Europe since December last year.
Similarly, Hyundai showcased its M.Vision POP EV and the M.Vision 2GO Hydrogen Fuel Cell in Las Vegas. What made the announcement particularly interesting was the fact that the concept was shown to the audience in the company’s metaverse called JoyTown. “CES exhibitors including Hyundai Mobis are helping bridge the gap of understanding of the metaverse in an interactive, practical and fun way – leveraging mobile technology familiar to society,” Hyundai said in a release.
All about EVs
Notably, metaverse wasn’t the only trend that resonated at CES 2022 this week. The trade show that is dedicated to tech developments was sort of hijacked by automakers for showing off their EVs. BMW, in addition to showing off its colour changing car BMW iX Flow, took the veil off the top variant of its flagship EV. The car called the BMW iX M60 accelerates from 0 to 100km per hour in just 3.8 seconds. Furthermore, the company revealed that with the help of DC charging, the battery of its EV can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 35 minutes.
Similarly, GM introduced three EVs at the trade show – the Chevrolet Blazer EV, the Chevrolet Equinox EV and the Chevrolet Silverado EV. The Equinox EV will start at around $30,000 (Rs 22.28 lakhs) and be available in the fall of 2023. The company didn’t reveal the tentative price or the availability of its other two EVs. Additionally, GM showcased the Cadillac InnerSpace concept which seems like a futuristic fusion of the Cadillac 1967 Eldorado and 2013 ElMiraj concept.
Apart from GM, BMW and Sony’s surprise entry, CES 2022 also saw Mercedes-Benz showcasing its Vision EQXX EV, which is a solar-powered concept car that is capable of exceeding 1,000kms on a single charge. It will have 117 solar cells installed on its roof and a 47.5-inch screen that stretches the full width of the vehicle on the inside. Of course, there is no word on the availability yet.
Also at CES, we saw Chrysler previewing its Airflow EV concept car. As per the company, Airflow will run for an estimated 350-400 miles per charge. The concept car is a part of the company to go all electric until 2028. While the company didn’t say much about its pricing, it did reveal that Airflow is planned to hit the roads in 2025.
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