Heard the latest? Check out our notices about special talks with Tom Kamber of OATS and tech experts at the end of the article!
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) brings tech innovators from around the world together to preview what new products will hit the market over the next three to five years. This sneak peek into the future of technology highlights the devices of today and tomorrow’s connected world.
What is CES?
CES is an annual trade show hosted in Las Vegas by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). If you’ve never heard of it, that’s likely because it’s a tradeshow meant for both big companies and small startups looking to showcase emerging tech products or form business connections with innovators in the industry. It’s geared toward individual attendees with affiliations in the tech industry and not open to the public. Naturally, Senior Planet has a spot on the “guest list.” (For past coverage of the last real life visit by Senior Planet, look here.)
Last year, CES was held completely virtually but this year the Las Vegas Convention Center opened its doors to a smaller pool of CES attendees and exhibitors. While many companies decided not to attend in-person because of the pandemic – AARP and Senior Planet included – we still saw some amazing new tech products roll out of the conference.
Four large areas of interest this year included digital health, transportation (a staple innovation moment for CES), AR/VR, and smart home technologies. Senior Planet took a look at the hot trends in popular categories of particular interest to older consumers.
- Apple Watch continues to lead in wrist technology but didn’t participate in CES this year – but Garmin unveiled a new watch with a speaker and microphone built-in (at left). You can use the brand’s traditionally excellent sports tracking technology and voice assistant software all from your wrist. Omron Healthcare also announced the first-ever wearable blood pressure monitor in watch form.
- Hearing amplifiers – often considered less personalized hearing aids – made waves at CES this year. BeHear SMARTO rolled out a hand-held amplifier and Eargo put their newest version of a hearing aid on display, with even more automated adjustments built in to mirror the user’s environment.
BMW unveiled the BMW iX Flow with E Ink that can change the exterior color of a car with the touch of a button.
- Transportation trends are typically a crowd favorite at CES, but rarely do they make it from the trade show floor to the actual pavement. This year, BMW unveiled the BMW iX Flow with E Ink that can change the exterior color of a car with the touch of a button. The car also boasts a multi-sensory experience, digital art in the far, and a state-of-the-art sound system. Want to watch?
— Out of Spec Studios (@Out_of_Spec) January 4, 2022
- The team behind PoliMOVE brought to life self-driving race cars at CES this year, winning them first place at the Autonomous Challenge @ CES. The self-driving cars set a top speed of 173 mph and marked great strides in self-driving technology.
- AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality) headsets have been the hot story at CES for a few years now. (Augmented Reality adds digital elements to a live view: Virtual Reality is a completely immersive digital experience). Meta’s next-generation VR headset, Cambria, is setting itself up as the leader in the category. The new device features a sleeker design with face-tracking technology that boasts the mixed reality features that lead into the metaverse.
- The Shiftall MeganeX by Panasonic is a unique example of a VR headset that could almost pass for a pair of bulky sunglasses. Touted as “ultra-lightweight, ultra-high-resolution,’ these digital goggles have displays in each eye and can fold up into your pocket
Smart Home Technologies
- Sengled’s new Smart Health Monitoring Light Bulbs monitor the movement and health of individuals. These smart lightbulbs use a Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar to map a room and detect its occupants. They can then sense if a person has fallen, and monitor vital signs such as heart rate and breathing.
- Belkin unveiled its Wemo Smart Video Doorbell which provides extremely high video quality, a wider view for the user, night vision, and zoom capabilities. The smart home device connects with Apple products to store selected video clips to your iCloud account.
What’s next? 3G and more
As major phone companies roll out new 5G networks this year, older 3G networks are being phased out; mobile phones from 2012 or earlier, older home security systems, smartwatches, medical devices, and medical alert bracelets all rely on 3G service networks and will be affected by this change. Please join us on Thursday, February 3 from 11:00am – 12:00pm EST for Phasing Out of 3G, an online forum on this important topic. The discussion will be led by Senior Planet Founder and Executive Director Tom Kamber, AARP and a representative from the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC). Learn more here.
Want to hear more about CES and how to stay on top of the emerging technology coming out of the conference this year? Senior Planet Founder and Executive Director Tom Kamber will be speaking with Executive Director of the Consumer Technology Association Steve Ewell on Thursday, February 24. (Register to attend here.) For those who can’t join live, a recording will be posted to YouTube following the event!