CES conference launches new gadgets to smaller crowds amid COVID peak

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A wireless vest that connects people to the metaverse, an augmented reality chair that lets people buy makeup and eyeliner, and an AI-powered human-like robot will be some of the best gadgets. unveiled at this week’s CES conference in Las Vegas.

More than 2,200 exhibits will be on display at the highly anticipated three-day event that begins on Wednesday, albeit in reduced form amid the peak of COVID-19.

CES, which has always been Las Vegas’ biggest annual show, was originally scheduled to last four days, but the spread of the Omicron variant has prompted organizers to cancel Saturday’s schedule as a precaution after a certain number of renowned exhibitors.

It will be the first in-person CES event since 2020. The conference, which normally attracts more than 170,000 people and up to 4,000 exhibitors, will be scaled down this year due to the ongoing pandemic, organizers say.

Among the blue-chip companies that have pulled out of this year’s festivities are tech heavyweights like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Twitter, Meta Platforms, Inc (formerly Facebook), Lenovo Group, AT&T, T-Mobile, BMW , General Motors, Waymo and advanced micro-devices.

But grim news related to the Omicron spread failed to dampen enthusiasm for premieres and media events scheduled to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday and Tuesday.

CES is taking place in person for the first time in two years in a lean form amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

One automaker hoping to make a splash this week is Mercedes-Benz, which is unveiling its Vision EQXX, a solar-powered electric car that the German automaker claims can travel more than 650 km on a single charge.

Mercedes, like rivals BMW and General Motors, canceled its in-person exhibition at the conference and virtually unveiled the electric vehicle. The company did not say when the vehicle will go into production.

If the product can deliver the goods, Vision EQXX would outperform other best EVs on the market, including the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus, which lasts 402 miles from a single charge, and the Lucid Air, which can overtake 520 miles on a single charge.

Mercedes-Benz is looking to compete in the luxury electric vehicle space currently occupied by Porsche Taycan, Audi E-tron GT and Tesla Roadster.

Outside the CES conference in Las Vegas
Many famous exhibitors have withdrawn from CES, but thousands of people are still expected; other exhibitors are still part of the show, except that they have changed their product debut to virtual.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

GM will unveil its all-electric pickup truck. Company CEO Mary Barra will address the conference remotely while discussing the company’s vision for its Silverado EV.

The vehicle is expected to go on sale in 2024, although the company has not said how much it will cost.

The Silverado EV has a large battery that could go 400 miles on a single charge, according to Car and Driver

Samsung will unveil its new virtual home “My House” where users can enter its metaverse and browse the menu of home appliances and company products.

Photo of a "virtual makeup chair."
PulpoAR, a startup headquartered in the United States and Turkey, unveils a “virtual makeup chair” that allows consumers to test lipstick, eyeliner and other makeup products before wearing them. buy online.
Courtesy of PulpoAR

A metaverse is a network of three-dimensional virtual worlds that aims to foster greater social connection. It is accessible via virtual and augmented reality headsets.

Owo, a Spanish tech company, will unveil a wireless wearable vest that, when worn, will give the user the physical experience of being connected to the Metaverse.

The Owo vest uses haptic technology to use vibrations that simulate events such as being hit by a ball, being hugged, or catching a ball. The vest is tested with video games, according to USA Today.

New gadgets will also use augmented reality, which superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, to recreate a realistic shopping experience.

Photo of Ameca the robot
Ameca, a robot making its CES debut, has “advanced facial expression capabilities” that allow it “to establish an instant relationship with anyone.”
YouTube / Engineering Arts

PulpoAR, a startup headquartered in the United States and Turkey, unveils a “virtual makeup chair” that allows consumers to test lipstick, eyeliner and other makeup products before wearing them. buy online.

Asimula, a Korean supplier, will offer virtual reality headsets where users can experience the feeling of being in a live concert.

Vuzix, the Rochester, New York-based company, will unveil augmented reality safety glasses that can send and receive data and video, including sporting events and games, using 5G technology.

A tech conference wouldn’t be complete without the appearance of Ameca, which is touted as “the world’s most advanced human-shaped robot representing the forefront of human robotics technology.”

Metaverse City Exhibition at CES in Las Vegas
Some companies are pushing hard on the so-called “metaverse” of virtual reality at CES this year.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Developed by UK-based Engineered Arts, Ameca is “the perfect humanoid robotic platform for human-robot interaction”.

Ameca has “advanced facial expression abilities” that allow him to “establish an instant relationship with anyone.”

He is equipped with sensors, facial recognition technology, microphones mounted in his ear, and cameras attached to his eyes.

Background of the CES conference in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas monorail passes through the CES conference, which is being held in person for the first time since the height of COVID-19.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The realistic robot is able to express human emotions through gestures conveying anger, surprise, boredom, astonishment and curiosity.

Engineered Arts inventor and roboticist Will Jackson posted a video showing Ameca in action.

“Ameca has a sense of ‘personal space’ and responds accordingly,” he said.

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