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From AI to sustainability: what to expect at CES 2024

Discover the future of technology as 'AI Everywhere' takes over CES 2024, where cutting-edge innovations meet the critical eye of sustainability. Delve into our comprehensive preview now!

Once again, it's time for CES to descend on Las Vegas. This year, 130,000 attendees and over 3,500 exhibitors across 2.4 million square feet are expected to be in attendance. The event runs from Tuesday, January 9th, to Friday, January 12th. Many will be looking to see if CES is finally growing up and focusing on solving the world's biggest problems rather than adding more plastic gadgets to a landfill near you. But what can we expect?

AI is everywhere at CES

At CES, the mantra of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas will be put firmly on hold for five days. We can expect everything from the strip to get shared far and wide to ensure it creates more buzz than a fleet of drones overhead! Although OpenAI boss Sam Altman will not appear, the generative AI fever his startup set off last year will be displayed as gadget makers race to find consumer uses for the technology.

It's time to get familiar with the buzzword,' AI-powered,' as companies attempt to convince consumers that it's not just a fancy add-on but a central feature that enhances their products. We can also expect AI to be much more than consumer convenience, focusing on everything from healthcare to sustainability.

With more than 30 panel discussions dedicated to exploring AI's impact across various industries, we should get a glimpse into a future where AI is an integral, transformative force in multiple facets of life and business. But as our newsfeeds begin to get bombarded with massive weekly announcements, it will be important not to get too distracted by the shiny, bright lights and promises in Vegas and look beyond the sales pitches.

Beware the hype: navigating AI washing at CES 2024

We have already reported this year that AI-washing is becoming the new greenwashing, and we suspect many examples will be on display for all to see at CES. The phrase refers to companies misleadingly branding their products or services as 'AI-powered' when they may have little to no genuine AI technology involved. This deceptive marketing tactic preys on the shiny allure of AI, exploiting its buzzword status to attract consumers and investors.

Predictably, we can expect a surge in AI-washing on the show floors at CES, mirroring the greenwashing phenomenon of recent years, with many products likely falling short of their ambitious AI promises. But we have been here before. A few years ago, an Indian startup made inflated claims about its AI capabilities to secure significant funding, only for it to be revealed that the 'AI' was human labor.

Why CES 2024 seems to have forgotten blockchain and the metaverse

Once at the forefront of consumer hype, web3 technologies have arguably transitioned into a more mature phase of their hype cycle. Despite the initial enthusiasm among consumers, the current narrative around blockchain and the metaverse is being reshaped by corporate innovation. We don't expect the spotlight to shine as brightly on web3, blockchain, and the metaverse at CES as in previous years. But I'm hopeful that this shift in attention reflects a more pragmatic, business-oriented approach in contrast to the earlier consumer-centric buzz.

Immersive tech unleashed: VR, AR, and XR shine bright at CES 2024

Despite the perceived failure of the metaverse, the stage is set for VR, AR, and XR to secure a lot of attention at CES 2024. The resurgence of interest in mixed reality (MR) and extended reality (XR) is leading the charge, fueled by the hype surrounding Apple's Vision Pro announcement. But will it be enough to reignite enthusiasm for mainstream audiences around immersive digital experiences?

We anticipate revelations about cutting-edge headsets utilizing Qualcomm's XR2+ Gen2 VR chip, along with innovative sensors and software expanding the capabilities of current experiences. We also expect many keynotes and demonstrations showcasing how VR and XR have become indispensable tools. Predictably, there will be use cases in healthcare, space exploration, law enforcement, architecture, and product design.

A long list of companies will also showcase their augmented- and virtual-reality headsets to the world. But all eyes will be on Meta, Vuzix, Xreal, Nimo Planet, DigiLens, Solos Technology, and innovations like Brelyon's multi-depth display breakthrough. But right now, the jury is still out on whether immersive technology's future is bright or if it will continue to struggle to find the mainstream adoption it needs to succeed.

Bright screens, big questions: sustainability in the age of massive TVs at CES

Once again, there will be a fascinating juxtaposition at CES with a show in Vegas showcasing massive 100-inch TVs, seemingly at odds with the event's focus on sustainability. This year, the show floor is dominated by colossal televisions, marking a return to grandeur in home entertainment technology. Innovations in OLED, Mini-LED, and Laser TV projectors are revolutionizing how we consume content, bringing unprecedented excitement and competition to the industry.

The highlight is the new breed of 98-110-inch, more affordable, and lighter TVs, symbolizing a significant leap in display technology. Hisense, for instance, is teasing a groundbreaking 110-inch TV that boasts a staggering 10,000-nit brightness, far surpassing the high-end LG G3 OLED TV's peak of around 2000 nits.

Displace is also showcasing entirely wireless TVs, a concept that was a significant draw at CES 2023. Their latest offerings include the Displace Flex, a 55-inch wireless TV with impressive battery life, and the Displace Mini, a more compact 27-inch model. These innovations, particularly the Displace Mini, blur the lines between traditional TVs and portable devices, reflecting a trend toward versatility and mobility in home entertainment.

CES has released a video of what else we can expect around the technology that promises to define everything from transportation and smart cities to digital health and innovative solutions for a better, more sustainable planet.

As excitement begins to build, there is an inherent irony about CES. While many technological advancements are breathtaking, they starkly contrast with the theme of sustainability championed on the show floor.

This dichotomy presents a compelling CES 2024 narrative that underscores the complex relationship between technological progress and sustainable development. However, rather than dampening the mood with stories of AI-washing and greenwashing, I will be reporting the big news stories next week and shining a light on the good, the bad, and the weird announcements from the biggest consumer tech show in the world.

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