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Metaverse, NFTs, expected to capture eyeballs, dominate conversations at CES 2022

Metaverse, NFTs, expected to capture eyeballs, dominate conversations at CES 2022
4 Jan, 2022

Metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are expected to garner a lot of attention at the world’s biggest technology show, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which will begin on Wednesday.

The two technologies have generated a lot of curiosity in the past year on the back of Facebook’s massive plans to become a metaverse company and the recent surge in NFT sales. NFT has been added as a new category at CES 2022. "We shall see an impact of this on CES 2022 as well, with various organisations referencing the Metaverse. While we will not see major AR (augmented reality) glasses or VR (virtual reality) headsets being launched at CES 2022, the Metaverse will be omnipresent," said Harmeet Singh Walia, a senior analyst at Counterpoint Research.

At CES 2022, Samsung will provide a demo of its version of Metaverse called My House, which will be hosted on South Korean company Naver Z's Metaverse platform Zepeto. Samsung will use the My House to showcase Samsung's products and how they can be used by customers to improve their homes.

Also, like NFTs, health has been added as a new category at the CES, to provide proper coverage to health tech startups fighting the pandemic with unique tech solutions. More than 100 health companies are expected to participate. Opteev will showcase a breath analysis and room detector device to instantly diagnose covid-19, while Breathings will show a device that measures lung health.

Robert B Ford, CEO of Abbot, a medical devices and health care company, is going to be the first industry head from the health sector to make a CES Keynote. A keynote is a marquee session at CES where key industry experts are invited to speak on the key tech trends.

CES organizers have also tied up with the World Bank to identify and reward tech solutions that can boost safety and health care for women in emerging markets.

To be sure, even as the three-day event that will end on 7 January is being touted as an "in-person" one, many companies including Amazon, Meta, Google, Intel, Nvidia and Lenovo, however, have decided to participate virtually due to growing cases of the Omicron variant of covid-19.

Regardless, robotics has always been one of the main draws at CES. As their application has grown in different industries, the need to make them more efficient is also felt. NVIDIA’s new Issac autonomous mobile robot, to be introduced at CES 2022, can rapidly and autonomously develop accurate robot maps for dynamic environments such as manufacturing and fulfilment centres. NVIDIA claims small routing optimization can help the logistics industry save billions of dollars.

According to NVIDIA, the Isaac AMR platform leverages its Omniverse platform to create digital twins of the facility where AMRs are deployed. Omniverse is NVIDIA’s shared virtual platform where creators and developers can use leading design applications to create 3D assets and physically accurate simulations in real-time. To expand support to Omniverse ecosystem, NVIDIA will allow creators to use assets from 3D marketplaces and digital asset libraries.

"Platforms such as Omniverse and Metaverse are critical for the mass adoption of virtual reality. These platforms allow users to interact and engage with each other and with the worlds created by content creators just as in online shopping, Amazon and Alibaba act as platforms where consumers and sellers come together," said Walia.

In the display segment, Samsung is expected to build on the new display technology called micro LEDs with several new TVs in multiple screen sizes based. Experts believe that micro LEDs will be the future of screens and will be used in smartphones, laptops, VR headsets and even wearables. MicroLEDs offer smaller subpixels as compared to OLED screens which makes it easier to offer high-resolution screens in compact sizes. Another South Korean company LG is expected to showcase transparent OLED displays that can be used to display high-quality content on glass panels and can be used in shopping malls and metro trains.

Space tech is another segment where big strides are being made by private companies and many of them are expected to hit the floor at CES 2022. For instance, Sierra will showcase some of the commercial space projects that would help make space travel more mainstream in the coming years. The company is working on building a business park in space where people can work, conduct research and relax in space hotels. The company will also put its space plane for display.

Likewise, another space tech company Sierra Nevada Corporation is expected to showcase its projects at CES 2022. The company is building a three-story-tall space capsule under a NASA program to support long-duration stays in space.

With more product companies such as Apple and Google now designing and using their own chipsets, chip companies are expected to add value to their chips by leveraging more of AI/ML and its different subsets.