BRIEFING

5 things too good to miss at CES 2022 this week

Starting today, CES welcomes tech-heads to attend the massive fair both physically and digitally in Las Vegas. Use this guide to manoeuvre through the thousands of exhibitors and speakers on all things tech — from NFTs, VR, digital fashion, autonomous mobility, and beyond.
By ERIK SEDIN
January 05, 2022

The annual Consumer Electrics Show fair dates back to 1967 and has slowly but steadily established itself as the worlds biggest tech show over the years. As a rule of thumb, everything from your coffee machine, your car, and the device that you’re reading this article on is owned by companies that attend CES. At least on a normal year.

Just like last year’s version, CES 2022 has been heavily affected by the pandemic. Tech giants like Lenovo, Amazon, Meta, GM, Intel, Twitter and Google have all decided to go for digital showrooms rather than physical ones amidst the recent Omicron variant spread of infection. Turn of events that eventually made CES remove one day from the schedule, now closing on Friday, January 7 rather than January 8. A shame for physical visitors, but for international tech-heads not currently in Las Vegas, this means that big chunks of the fair are now available for them too.

The hyped Fidenza line from Tyler Hobbs, available on blockchain art gallery Art Blocks. Art: Tyler Hobbs.

All things NFTs (with Paris Hilton!)

On Wednesday at 6 PM (CET), CES kicks off with a panel talk called NFT, WTF?!?!, that features an eyebrow-raising panel. The panel consist of NFT pioneer Roman Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, the company behind the NBA Top Shot cards, that helped to push NFTs into the mainstream in 2019. He is joined by Art Blocks founder Erick Calderon and media personality Paris Hilton. The latter hosted a New Years Eve party on Roblox and is also somewhat of an early adopter as an NFT artist.

— I launched my first NFT drop in March 2020, and have been obsessed with NFTs and the never-ending possibilities of this technology ever since, Hilton told Bloomberg News.

Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX

Mercedes Benz’s 1000 km range EV

Mercedes Benz will showcase their previously teased Vision ECXX model at their showroom, and like always with concept cars the real excitement comes with physical interaction from mobility reporters and others. Especially so in this case, with its outrageous aerodynamic shape that makes you wonder if Mercedes Benz hasn’t dug up a secret Howard Hughes design. The front face is unusually narrow for a coupe, and transparent external covers on the wheels are said to prevent virtually all air turbulence. The back of the car is sloped down well behind the rear wheels, giving off strong anteater vibes.

Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea in terms of aesthetics, but some design-darlings will have to be killed to reach the impressive range of 1000 kilometres. At least you won’t need to worry about range anxiety!

One example of Arthur’s virtual meeting concept.

Arthur’s refreshing take on virtual meetings

When, or if, the office will be completely redundant is up for discussion — but virtual meetings are undeniably here to stay. Arthur is one exciting VR developer that uses personalized avatars in customisable virtual meeting rooms. Having an avatar replica of yourself is one way to get around Zoom fatigue and anxiousness when you’re doing presentations or taking part in team-building meetings. It’s also a lot more fun, and we’re looking forward to reporting on the different virtual pieces of clothing you will be able to purchase for your metaverse avatar this year. Perhaps some RTFKT and Nike sneakers for a casual Friday meeting?

Photography: LetinAR.

Stylish AR glasses that pack a punch

Korean startup LetinAR will showcase its T-Glasses, which have gained attraction within the artificial reality space because of its Pin Mirror lens, CES nominated the startup as an official honoree to its 2022 Innovation Awards for example. LetinAR’s patented technology includes invisible-to the-eye mirrors integrated into the lens of the glasses, which reflects light from a microdisplay into the pupils. It’s a complex technology, but it subsequently means that AR glasses can offer clear colours and depth of fields that our brains think of as natural.

The Google Glass is now shy of 10 years old, but AR glasses with a sleek design and supported by Android and Windows interfaces like these will have learned from Google’s mistake — do you want to make a demand or cater for one? Hopefully, LetinAR gets approached by edtech and spacetech companies that can implement its tech.

The Cake x Polestar Makka model.

CAKE flying the Scandinavian flag for EVs

CES 2022 will be filled to the brim with different EVs, so it’s nice to see some Scandinavian representation in Swedish electric motorcycle brand CAKE. The playful motorbikes resemble futuristic animated mockups in their minimalist approach, and the fully electrical motor underlines the woke and environmentally friendly values that so often emerge from Scandinavia.

CAKE’s latest model Makka is meant to be an easygoing e-moped to dodge rush hour traffic, that also got an official Polestar facelift earlier this year. Another hyped collaboration was Pharrell William’s all-yellow Kalk motocross bike from last year, so we’re staying posted for other exciting initiatives and collaboration from their CES participation.

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