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Tech Savvy: Innovative tech at heart of CES

The annual CES show, disrupted as many things by the pandemic, took place in person and virtually earlier this month in Las Vegas. The show features futuristic technology as well as tech items that are either available for consumers or will be shortly.

A view of the crowd at the CES show in Las Vegas in January.
A great tit bird, common in Eurasia, is in the chickadee family, picks up a seed at the Bird Buddy feeder, which is equipped with a camera and one of the technological innovations that was recently part of the CES show in Las Vegas.
Courtesy / Consumer Technology Association
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The CES show wrapped up earlier this month in Las Vegas after two years of interruption during the pandemic.

The event can be a preview of what it will be like living in the future, or a glimpse into what will be likely to change everyday living right now as thousands of products are debuted.

CES described it as “a week filled with thousands of product debuts unveiling innovation that will better the world and solve global challenges. More than 2300 exhibiting companies from around the world, including more than 800 startups, launched products featuring innovation across artificial intelligence, automotive technology, digital health, smart home and more.”

The show, which focuses on consumer technology, drew more than 45,000 people to 11 indoor and outdoor venues.

“Innovation came to life this week at CES 2022 — with technologies that will reshape industries and provide solutions to pressing worldwide issues from healthcare to agriculture, sustainability and beyond,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM, owner and producer of CES. “The CES show floor buzzed with the joy of human interaction and a five-sense innovation experience with products that will redefine our future and change our world for the better.” 

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A colorful bird picks up a seed in its beak at a birdfeeder
A great tit bird, common in Eurasia, is in the chickadee family, picks up a seed at the Bird Buddy feeder, which is equipped with a camera and one of the technological innovations that was recently part of the CES show in Las Vegas.
Courtesy / Consumer Technology Association

The event was a hybrid with an ability to attend in person and virtually and found a little bit of a mixed bag in attendance with some companies pulling out after COVID-19 surged yet again with omicron. CNET writers noted a “slew of interesting products” including Dell laptops and Samsung’s TVs.

The TVs, getting clearer and larger, were noted with high definition and high performance, topped by TCL’s 98-inch TV powered by Roku. We’ve become familiar with LED TVs and now Organic Light Emitting Diode, or OLED TVs, are all the rage.

“Watching an OLED TV for the first time will give you that rare feeling of having just witnessed something really very special,” TechRadar reported.

CNET reported Samsung finally unveiled its OLED TV to compete with LG’s best-in-class picture. “And Samsung's The Freestyle TV projector — with its 100-inch picture, 360-degree sound and a $900 price tag — was a fun surprise,” CNET reported. Samsung reports the small, round projector is easy to set up and optimizes screen size, auto-focuses, and levels the image even when pointed on an angle.” It is also portable and works with a battery bank for outdoor shows. The screen can go from 30 to 100 inches. It comes with a battery base and a case. The projector with the stand is less than 2 pounds and 6.8 inches in height. Samsung’s website notes pre-orders are temporarily on hold but people can sign up to get an alert when pre-orders are taken again.

Other items stretching the imagination included a BMW that can change its exterior color using E Ink, a fitness display in a contact lens, continued looks at flying drones that can carry people and augmented reality glasses — with expectations for Apple to launch an augmented reality/virtual reality headset this year, CNET reported.

CES listed key trends in:

  • Automotive technology — More than 190 automotive companies exhibited at the event. CNET noted the electric vehicle “tsunami is about to come ashore.” 
  • Digital health — with information on telemedicine, wearable health devices aimed at giving consumers more information and greater ability to make choices on behalf of their health. 
  • Artificial intelligence — It was, of course, a major highlight during the weeklong show, including John Deere, which featured what CES described as the first fully autonomous tractor; and Beyond Honeycomb, an artificial intelligence-enabled robot to prep and cook customizable meals. “Prevalent throughout the show was artificial intelligence, making products and technologies smarter, more efficient and customizable, advancing nearly every major industry from agriculture to healthcare, automotive, manufacturing and entertainment,” CES reported. 
SkyDrive flying vehicle with a woman in the driver's seat sits on the showroom floor.
A SkyDrive flying vehicle, perhaps the answer to "The Jetsons" is designed to let people make the sky the next open road with an ability to land almost anywhere, according to the company, while flying quietly and with zero-operating emissions. The SkyDrive was featured at the CES show in Las Vegas.
Courtesy / Consumer Technology Association

At Beyond Honeycomb, the South Korean company reports the AI-driven kitchen robot learns to reproduce dishes one would experience from famous chefs.
“Everyone deserves to experience good food anywhere, anytime at a low price. Technology makes it happen,” Beyond Honeycomb reported. “We are reshaping commercial kitchens to create a digital platform. With a digitized set of chef skills and taste data, the platform serves casual, but chef-quality daily meals like sandwich, burger, BBQ Grill, and salad, at a low price.”

A life-sized humanoid robot is photographed by people at the CES show.
Artificial intelligence — was, of course, a major highlight during the weeklong show in early January in Las Vegas, including Eureka Park exhibitors like this life-sized humanoid robot. <br/>
Courtesy / Consumer Technology Association<br/>

On its website, Beyond Honeycomb reported, “Today, many commercial kitchens face labor shortage and various human risks. Highly skilled chefs are limited to serving at a single location at a time.

”Whereas, Beyond Honeycomb's AI Chef enables greater kitchen productivity and menu options while minimizing labor cost and human error. Original chefs, as 'creators' can now serve their masterpieces to a bigger group of eaters on the platform.”

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  • Startups — With more than 800 startups from 19 countries featured. CES listed the SkyDrive air taxi and Orbisk, an AI-powered fully automated food waste monitoring system. SkyDrive looks like a plane met a helicopter and a drone on a date. It has the look of a single occupant plane cockpit minus the wings, the landing gear of a helicopter and the flying apparatus of four sets of rotating blades of a drone. 

Orbisk reports it helps professional kitchens get a grip on food waste, helping to save tens of thousands of dollars annually.

Other highlights

Maybe put this one in the camp of the thing you didn’t know you needed.

The Bird Buddy smart bird feeder could be a draw for any number of birdwatchers. Have a feeder away from the house and windows? No problem. It’s as if there is a Ring doorbell camera on the bird feeder.

A Bird Buddy smart bird feeder is attached to a wall.
The Bird Buddy smart feeder can be mounted on a wall and be safe for birds while still providing the birdwatcher with a close-up view of feathered visitors.
Courtesy / Bird Buddy

You’ll even get updates on your phone with a lovely closeup of the bird and an ability to grab a photo and a way to identify the bird. The feeder will also update you on when it needs to be refilled. The Bird Buddy has a high resolution camera, AI bird recognition and a built-in microphone. It comes in yellow or blue and has an upgrade option of a solar panel. It can be mounted on a fence or a wall and a suet ball holder can be added to the mix.
Bird Buddy reports people also contribute to the database of bird migration and population with their feeder. It requires a Wi-Fi connection and then streams to a mobile device. Bird Buddy reports its battery can last between 10 and 30 days.

The photos displayed on the Bird Buddy website are sharp. Bird Buddy says the camera gets people closer to the birds and provides a “goofy, selfie-like perspective.” Bird Buddy is crowdfunded. A single feeder costs about $200 with a current 15% discount on the website indicated. Three feeders were $529. People can pre-order with an expectation for delivery in June of 2022.

And that’s CES, showing amazing different ways technology can change everyday life.

Through Jan. 31, registered in-person and digital-only CES 2022 attendees can review on-demand sessions.
Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchBizBuzz.

Related Topics: TECHNOLOGYTECH-SAVVY
Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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