I recently attended CES 2023, which was a return to form for the megaevent, featuring more than 3200 exhibitors (including 1000 startups) and 115,000 attendees. The exhibits took up 2.2 million net square feet — which is 70 percent larger than last year’s show.
As on-site editor of the Official CES Show Daily, I didn’t get to spend much time on the show floors, although I did hop into the closest hall to the Daily Office, which was the new, massive West Hall that held many extraordinary vehicles — some conceptual and some ready to rip up roads very soon. John Deere and Caterpillar were right near each other with massive autonomous farming and construction vehicles that had crowds swarming them.
I was able to attend several press events and a few sessions that all seemed to share the overall theme of CES 2023, which was innovation that focused on how the world’s biggest challenges are being answered by technology, including producing a cleaner environment, helping to feed the hungry, and advances in healthcare.
So, on the mercifully uneventful flight on the way home, as I was processing all I had seen, heard, and read over the past four days, I was overtaken by a somewhat surprising feeling for someone leaving Las Vegas — hope.
For starters, at the press conference for major manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic, most of the time was given over to each company’s sustainability plans and other ways each is working to better the planet. That part wasn’t too unusual, as that has been the norm for the past few years, but this year it felt that inroads were being made. For example, Samsung introduced a washing machine that includes a “Less MicroFiber” cycle that the company says will reduce microplastic emissions by up to 54 percent.
Also, did you know that Panasonic is now the market leader in EV battery manufacturing? The company’s EV battery production facility in Reno, Nev., produces 66 batteries per second, 5.5 million batteries per day, and over 2 billion per year! To plan for growth, a new EV battery production facility in De Soto, Kan., is expected to come online by March 2025, which will increase production by 60 percent. Panasonic is also working with recycled materials to reduce waste.
John Deere showed a number of ways it is making farming more efficient and productive through technology, including ExactShot, which significantly reduces the amount of fertilizer needed by spraying only when and where a seed is planted, and See & Spray, a complex system that scans, recognizes weeds, and sprays preventative solution on just the target weed rather than the entire field.
On the individual front, L’Oréal introduced HAPTA — the world’s first handheld computerized makeup applicator designed for users with limited hand and arm mobility, offering them the ability to steadily apply lipstick at home. It is equipped with a magnetic attachment that allows for easy ergonomic use, enabling for 360 degrees of rotation and 180 degrees of flexion. A “clicking” feature allows the user to set the intended position, stay in position during use, and allow for the user to lock in customized settings for future use.
I know that these examples won’t have much of an effect on the CI industry, and, yes, there was plenty of AV and smart home technology there as well that we will be covering over the next few months. But getting to witness tech solving these real-world problems on a global scale inspires thinking on what residential tech experts can do to make home environments even better for clients.