After three long years of pandemic, one of the world’s largest tech shows made a stunning come back this week as CES lit up Las Vegas with a flash of color and optimism.
The innovation was imaginative, presenting a vision of the future that may never see the light of day, but that didn’t stop the buzz from reaching a frenzy. With more than 100,000 thousand attendees and thousands of exhibitors scouring two million net square feet of exhibition space, there was a lot of excitement for what was being presented.
Here’s just a few of the products and experiences that stole the show.
BMW i Vision Dee
The color-changing concept car received an audible gasp during BMW’s cinematic keynote starring BMW Chairman Oliver Zipse, Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Hasselhoff, Knight Rider’s KITT and Herbie The Love Bug. Introduced last year in black-and-white as part of a bi-chromal system, the stylish auto came alive in a breathtaking rainbow of dynamic designs. Created with E Ink’s low-energy Prism 3 segmented display technology seen in Kindle devices, transit signs and retail displays, the car is one dreams are made of, literally, as it’s not for sale or even slated for production, according to a company spokesperson.
The flying car that’s the size of an SUV, fits in a standard parking spot, is being designed to fly 250 miles on a single charge and costs $789,000, got a lot of people tweeting selfies with it at the show. Alas its awaiting FAA approval. In the meantime, the Silicon Valley startup is taking preorders and targeting 2026 to launch its ride-sharing service.
This AI-powered self-driving stroller offers intelligent braking, push assist, a white noise machine and Rock-My-Baby mode. It was named a CES 2023 Innovation Award honoree and costs $3,800 with shipping expected to start in April for strollers preordered last year, according to the website. The Vancouver-based startup was founded in 2020 and is backed by the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund. It’s founders see the stroller as a platform and is including a three-year premium software subscription in the Founder Edition. To see it in action, check out the demo video.
The maker of award-winning smart scales and watches announced a home urinalysis lab for the toilet that monitors ovulation as well as biomarkers for the metabolic intake of nutrients, pH levels and hydration. While awaiting US FDA approval, the product is expected to launch in the UK for 500 euros with cartridges to be sold on a subscription basis for 30 euros a month.
Celebrity spotting is typically sport at CES and this year there was no shortage of surprises.
Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan showed up to unleash a terrifying mixed reality “Knock at the Cabin” experience for fans at the Canon booth as a lead up to his Feb. 3 theatrical release of the apocalyptic thriller. In an interview, Shyamalan told me that he sees these immersive experiences as way to extend storytelling and hopes to one day integrate them into film premieres.
Jillian Michaels was on hand to introduce her iTouch smartwatch. In an interview, the fitness guru told me that she believes now is the time for people who put on weight during the pandemic to treat themselves to beauty regimens and life-affirming routines like adding more water and vegetables to meals, getting more sunshine by day, and turning off blue light for better sleep at night. She said she’s been a fan of fitness trackers since her days as the host of “The Biggest Loser” and found the data essential for helping people make powerful changes in their lives. “It’s simple math. We have to burn this many calories and eat that many calories,” she said. “But there’s also an emotional component that drives people to food, so it’s important to reframe the wellness journey as one of self-care.”
Other celebrities at the show were American Idol judge Paula Abdul who made an appearance for Idol Eyes audio glasses. Indy 500 racecar driver Marco Andretti who stopped by the KUHL booth. Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran who was at the Rollo booth. Olympic figure skater Nathan Chen and actor Kal Penn who were part of Panasonic’s press conference. NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott who turned up at the Ansys party, and Paris Hilton who spoke on a panel.
Brands brought out the big acts at night. Imagine Dragons played the Dolby party, Snoop Dogg played Amazon After Dark, Def Leppard headlined Harman, singer Jason Mraz performed at Abbott and Robosen had dancing Transformers and their newest robot toy, Buzz Lightyear, at their shindig.
On the show floor and in the outdoor lots activities abounded – you could go for a test ride in an autonomous vehicle, get your face scanned onto an action figure at the Formlabs booth, and even race a triathlete at the TruBike booth.
But it was Delta, in partnership with Starbucks, that won CES for best activation with its “Wonder Window” game when a San Francisco software programmer hit the jackpot and tweeted himself winning two roundtrip tickets to anywhere in the world. The sheer exuberance expressed in the video nailed exactly what CES 2023 was all about – a return to good times no matter what.
Things might get rough with the economy, but if we take care of ourselves and stay focused on innovation as an engine of growth, exciting times ahead.