One of my favourite tech shows has got to be CES, which takes place every year during the first week of January in Las Vegas. My last trip was in 2020 just before Covid impacted everything globally.

CES 2023 - Human Security for All

World-leading tech show stages comeback 2023 edition

One of my favourite tech shows has got to be CES, which takes place every year during the first week of January in Las Vegas. My last trip was in 2020 just before Covid impacted everything globally. The 2021 edition of CES was virtual and 2022 was in person once again. This show still remains the most influential tech event in the world – a place where breakthrough technologies and global innovators meet. The 2023 edition showed signs of getting back to normal, although the number of visitors and exhibitors were not what they used to be. It’s a confidence thing, and globally conferences and in-person events have still not completely recovered to pre-Covid levels.  Still, more than 115 000 people attended, and there were more than 3 200 exhibitors.

Having said that, we did get a glimpse of where consumer electronics is heading. The show’s theme, “Human Security for All”, looked at food security, access to healthcare for all, environmental protection and personal safety using technology to break through these barriers. This year there was a strong focus on sustainability and how tech can influence a better planet, as well as on automotive and mobility issues, 5G, Web3 and the metaverse.

BMW i Vision Dee

A concept car that's a digital experience

BMW has always been at the forefront of digital technology. At CES 2023 it presented its concept vehicle “Dee”, which stands for Digital Emotional Experience. It's a vision vehicle that foresees a completely new kind of interaction and communication between humans and vehicles. The look of this prototype has the DNA of BMW, automatically reminding me of the magnificent i8. BMW showcased what is possible when hardware and software merge. This is where the future lies, according to BMW. How do we exploit the full potential of digitalisation to transform the car into an intelligent companion?

Emotional intelligence is at the core of this driving experience and what BMW wants to achieve is a car that understands and anticipates what the driver wants. The BMW i Vision Dee combines digital and analogue, bringing a virtual world-like experience into the car and opening up new levels of interaction. This is achieved via the so-called BMW Mixed Reality Slider and the advanced BMW Head-Up-Display. BMW says this will start being incorporated into many of its vehicles from 2025.

The vision vehicle is emotionally intelligent: it interacts with its environment. The vehicle uses its numerous sensors to register the identity and position of a person and reacts when they approach, automatically opening doors to welcome the driver as they approach the cockpit.

And if you get bored with your car’s colour, you can change it, thanks to BMW’s iX E Ink. The BMW i Vision Dee can display up to 32 different colours.

Wags Freedom Smart Collar

The ultimate dog collar for your pet

Price: $300

Where would CES be without another pet accessory? It is a massive market, worth some $150 billion, so innovators are always looking for the next big thing. The Wags Freedom Smart Collar not only monitors where your pet is via GPS but also checks your dog’s health and keeps it safe within its boundaries. Using geofencing technology, a user sets up virtual fences via the Wags smartphone app, which will automatically, in real time, keep your dog in the confined location you choose. What is unique about this smart collar is that it doesn’t shock your dog when it moves out of its territory. Instead, the Freedom collar uses vibration, audible cues, and ultrasonic sounds (similar to a dog whistle) to make sure the dog stays where it should be. This dog collar also monitors activities and sleep patterns that will give owners a better insight into the health of their pets. It even has a built in SIM card so there is always a GPS location.

 Unistellar eQuinox 2 Smart Telescope

Seeing the cosmos from a whole new dimension

Price $2 500

Amateur astronomers and lovers of the cosmos will be enthralled by the Unistellar eQuinox 2 Smart Telescope. Living in a big city, light pollution is probably the biggest deterrent to getting a clear view of the stars and galaxies above. Novice stargazers can now get a clear view of Jupiter’s great red spot or even the clarity of the purple colours of the Orion Nebula. This telescope features the latest advancements in optics and image processing, making astronomy accessible. even from light-polluted cities. Unistellar’s Smart Light Pollution Reduction digitally removes negative effects of light pollution using smart algorithms, to enable users in heavily urban settings to view distant reaches of the galaxy and beyond, in incredible detail and striking colours. Once your pair the smart telescope to your phone and establish your GPS location, you can start directing the telescope to which part of the sky you want to explore. The eQuinox 2 uses its Autonomous Field Detection – industry’s simplest and most powerful smart orientation technology for telescopes – to orient itself automatically, even when few stars are visible. It’s pricey, but what an amazing experience if you love the stars and planets.

Smarter FridgeCam

Turn your fridge into a smart fridge!

Price $35

There are a plethora of smart fridges around. But what if you have a fridge that isn’t smart? Well, you get the Smarter FridgeCam. FridgeCam is the world's first wireless fridge camera, which has been designed to help reduce food waste and save money whilst also helping the environment. Installation is simple: just stick the FridgeCam on the inside of your fridge door and pair it with the app. It will then start to take pictures and identify the products that are in your fridge and when they are consumed. This is all made possible with Smarter’s patented GyroSense technology. The camera takes a picture as the fridge door is closed, giving an image of the full contents, just like a human would see into the fridge. In this scenario, the computer vision performs at its optimum level and can track even the most difficult-to-see items that may be hidden at the back of the fridge, resulting in a high level of accuracy. The new platform can also be used with Alexa, Siri or Google. You simply use your voice to describe what has been used and through a combination of inputs and outputs, the kitchen can be managed using artificial intelligence. So, you thought this was all smart, right? Well, it gets better!

The company also utilises a software platform called Chefling. The Chefling app knows exactly what you have in your pantry and fridge and can then suggest recipes based on those ingredients.

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