Let’s talk CES gadgets – TechCrunch

long gone In the days when CES stood for “Consumer Electronics Show” – CTA saw it in its various small print publications. I recommend checking out the latest CES 2012 story for a look back at the days when things like smartphones took center stage. Mobile World Congress has taken some of the winds of CES’s sails, along with an increased push for companies to launch pioneers at their events.

This year we got, what, Samsung’s flagship budget and a preview of the latest OnePlus device from a parallel event? Things certainly haven’t been helped by the fact that LG and HTC – who have been involved in the show in some form – are either totally or completely out of the smartphone game. And Huawei, which had a big presence at the show a few years ago, won’t be participating at CES anytime soon.

Much of this void has been filled by transportation. Over the past decade, CES has turned into a major auto show, as automakers look to prove to the world that they’re on the cutting edge of technology, from autonomy to in-vehicle systems to sending robots to the Mars metaverse. The show has definitely kept Kirsten and Rebecca super busy this week.

CES continues to be a major event on the consumer hardware side of things too, even if there aren’t as many phones as there used to be. It’s still a major offering for PCs, connected health, smart home gadgets, accessories, and even bots. It’s also a great look at how the industry is evolving. Take fitness — the sheer volume of wearables has come down, even though companies are testing newer form factors like rings. Meanwhile, there has been a rise in companies looking to take on the likes of Peloton and the Mirror.

Image credits: Garmin

In what was a very dim display of wearables, Garmin managed to grab some headlines with its hybrid sports smartwatch. Hybrid smartwatches have been an admittedly mixed bag over the years, but Garmin has proven to be a surprisingly strong brand in the wearables category. And the Vivomove Sport is a great-looking watch, with a sleek design that appeals to those who shy away from brighter smartwatches.

Trackers have had some time, following the popularity of products like Tile and Apple AirTags. This year the former got another PC partner, at Lenovo, with the ThinkPad X1 getting tile tracking support, allowing users to find their lost laptop for up to 14 days, even when it’s turned off. Meanwhile, Targus has built Apple’s Find My support right into its latest backpack.

Chipolo Card spot wallet tracker find my app 5a84b14c3dbf4df7d609c2160e5728e6 c08992b63e3274585fd97210d1ae73e8

Image credits: Chipolo

But Chipolo got a nod here with the insertion of a CARD. The device, which also supports Find My, is slightly larger than a credit card and designed to live in a wallet, so you’ll receive an alert whenever you leave a product behind. I currently own one AirTag that I use for my keys. As someone who has misplaced their wallet more than once in my adult life, I’d say this is a fairly compelling use case that makes me consider paying another one.

Animation of a router that automatically moves its antennas.

Image credits: TP-Link

Devin dropped the AXE11000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router at the end of what a practical home-based setup would look like if you were independent of the wealthy (paraphrased here). This thing is very strange – especially in terms of the world of routers. The system features an automatic antenna that can be adjusted for a stronger signal. No pricing information there, but you’ll likely be paying for that luxury in addition to the TP-Link’s already high base price. But can you really put a price tag on faster Wi-Fi?

anker video bar

Image credits: News Anchor

Shout out to what’s likely to be a far more affordable accessory. If nothing else, Anker knows how to cut costs; $220 will get you the videotape, which is a kind of all-in-one webcam solution. You get a 2K camera with an AI-based photo frame, along with a light bar and built-in speakers. It won’t replace the most advanced studio setups (or, for that matter, Opal), but it is a solid plug-and-play solution for those looking to develop their own home video game for (relatively) cheap.

Living Room Scene Press

Image credits: Labrador Systems

Earlier this week, I wrote a lot of words about the development of CES as a demonstration of robotics. One of the biggest sticking points out there is the general lack of viable household robots, outside of Roomba and an army of fellow robotic brooms. I was happy to get a better look at the Labrador’s system this week, because it fulfills a very real need – specifically those with limited mobility looking to stay independent. The system is an effective mobile helping hand for the home.

Showcasing the Incredible Unfolds at CES 2022 1

Image credits: Asus

It’s not CES without its fun new form factors, and the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is taking the cake a mile this year, embracing the foldable phone’s form factor into a complete laptop. The most surprising thing about it is that the company is already planning to launch this thing. I guess I’m not alone in assuming this thing was just a concept the first time I saw a demo, but Asus plans to release the system in the second quarter of this year. So we’ll soon see how close the commercial product is to these shots.

The Freestyle Product KV 02 logo embedded 1

Image credits: Samsung

Samsung has skipped its usual sensory bombardment this year. There weren’t any robots, just custom washing machines and budget phones, but she managed to sneak in a fun projector, of all things. Despite their relatively limited appeal, companies continue to try to make projectors happen, and at least this one is compact, well-built, and looks good. It’s also $900, which means it will likely stay in place.

Read more about CES 2022 at TechCrunch

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