Many of you have asked this week about CES 2022. How’s it going? Is there anything to see? Was it cancelled?
So, while we’ll put together a webinar about this show, I didn’t want the week to go by without giving you a taste of the strangest – and in some ways, the most rewarding – CES I’ve attended.
Yes, there were fewer people, and a number of exhibitors cancelled or moved their “booths” to the virtual space. But as Paul described it on Tuesday, this was a “CES…with elbow room.” It breathed. The crowds weren’t as intense, the exhibits weren’t on top of each other, and you actually had the space and time necessary to talk to the pros on hand. As is always the case at CES, the spirit is upbeat, positive, and electric. And perhaps because last year’s in-person event was cancelled, while this year’s show seemed to be in jeopardy as recent as last week.
But the show went on. And it represented the essence of what CES is about – innovation, resilience, and a hardened focus on making things happen. Our tours went off without a hitch, greeted at the outset by CTA CEO Gary Shapiro whose conviction was a main reason why this amazing conference happened, despite bad press, naysayers, and other dire warnings he couldn’t pull it off.
Most of the action at CES happens in the cavernous halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center. And this year, the new West Hall was unveiled. It is spacious, vast, and my only complaint is that rather than a Starbucks, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts in this new facility. Besides that wrinkle, it more than passed muster.
But rather than focusing on the mega-exhibits in the North, Central, and West Halls, today’s “junk drawer” is devoted to my favorite venue at CES – Eureka Park.
Set at the newly branded Venetian Convention and Expo Center (formerly the Sands), this massive space is devoted to bootstrap entrepreneurs with a dream. Divided up by category and by country, Eureka Park at CES 2022 didn’t disappoint – it was electric.
The inventors on hand are committed to their ideas – whether it is about predicting your cat’s behavior or billboards that use cameras and algorithms to count views and profile drivers. As Forbes’ contributor Dave Evans observed this week, “It’s often the smaller firms that bring the most innovative ideas to Las Vegas.” Amen.
Eureka Park is like a hi-tech flea market. You never know what or who you’re going to run into. More often than not, the person greeting you at the booth is the inventor of something new, different, and maybe the next big thing.
Here are just a few of the amazing inventions we serendipitously bumped into during a two-hour whirlwind tour of Eureka Park:
Exhibit 1: Shower the people – There was seemingly all-things “smart” at CES 2022 again this year. But then there was “RainStick,” positioned as North America’s first WiFi-enabled circular shower.” And yes, there was an actual demo shower in the booth. And don’t laugh – this device received a coveted “Best of CES 2022 Innovations Award.”
The RainStick Shower saves 80% water, and even better, 80% energy, while delivering twice the flow of a standard low-flow shower.
The key is that the device actually recovers both the water and the energy that is usually wasted. And of course, there’s an app for that, that provides “real-time environmental insights.”
The device was one of many at Eureka Park designed to save natural resources, while enhancing the experience of a routine event – in this case, taking a shower.
Exhibit 2: Meet George Jetson – Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out why all of a sudden a certain device starts to turn up throughout the halls and exhibit spaces at CES.
The dream of flying cars has been around a long time. In fact many of the predictors of the future back in the 20th century prognosticated that lots of different conveniences would be integral parts of our lives by the year 2000.
We eventually got our “picture phones,” thanks to Facetime and similar visual platforms that have made it possible for millions of us to see who we’re talking to. Or in my case, show my wife various cleansers on grocery store shelves while I’m doing the shopping.
But it’s the flying car that’s eluded us – until now. And wouldn’t you know it – this conveyance of the future is here now. And one of the more popular versions was on display in Eureka Park. It’s called SkyDrive, and it’s the product of a Japanese team that has high hopes these personal flying machines will take flight within the next few years.
Where would you use one of these “Magnificent Flying Machines.” A member of the company’s flight control team, Pierre Papon, told me a great use case could be taking a commercial jet home, and then jumping into your SkyDrive and scooting to a concert, athletic event, or meeting – and avoiding urban traffic. Papon has high hopes the company is on track for these devices to be in regular use by 2025, and autonomously operated by 2030.
Exhibit 3: Get your motor runnin’ – It had to happen, now that every device is getting smarter. It’s the “innovative smart helmet” by Tali, a French company. This product seemingly has considered all motorcycle riding and safety contingencies, including an integrated lighting system, an interconnected data system for sharing info with other members of the tribe, a phone app (of course), and voice commands.
These helmets look cool, sporting a sleek design and cool features, including wireless charging, an automatic emergency system in case of a mishap, and real-time GPS tracking. And of course, there’s Bluetooth 4.0, so you can stream the music or radio show of your choice while you’re on the road.
The helmet’s slogan? “When the tech protects you.” This idea of being both “safe and connected” was a key component of many devices on display this year at CES 2022.
Exhibit 4 – Domo arigato Mrs. Roboto – Pretty much wherever you go at CES 2022, you’re likely to see robots – of virtually all kinds. Robot dogs, robot concierges, robot movers, robot vacuums.
The science and art of robots are what separates the mindless machines from the magnificent ones. And in Eureka Park, we saw one of the best we’re ever seen.
Ameca is a product of UK-based Engineered Arts. She answers all sorts of questions deftly and with a dash of humor. I asked her to tell me her favorite style of music. She responded that she’s a robot and doesn’t have preferences for anything. Then she paused and asked me about my favorite music.
As more people gathered around Ameca, the questions began to fly. A few minutes later someone asked Annika to name her favorite music. Bracing myself for the same response she gave me, Annika instead told the person she had already been asked that question. And while her music explanation was similar to what she told me, it was different enough to truly amaze me – and the crowds hanging around.
Here’s a video of Ameca I found on YouTube;
Next week, I’ll have more CES 2022 coverage, and we’ll announce the date of our free webinar.
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