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Goldstuck on Gadgets: The Best Tech of CES

The ultimate gadgets expo, CES in Las Vegas, saw major advances in tech and innovation, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas returned in force last week, with over 3200 exhibitors, including 1000 startups, all launching new gadgets, software or services.

CES far exceeded expected attendance, with 115,000 industry professionals walking the floors, and making it the largest audited global tech event since early 2020.

The show was dominated by transportation, digital health, sustainability, and the metaverse, but the humble kitchen also got a look in. Here is my pick of the best of the show:

Best home tech: LG ThinQ UP

Now, home appliances can be upgradeable. At CES 2023, LG demonstrated a range of products like refrigerators, washers, dryers, oven ranges and dishwashers, that are able to adapt to the needs and changing lifestyles of each customer. New features and functions will become available without having to make additional purchases.

One of the custom features available to download in 2023 is Improved Nighttime Brightness Control for refrigerators with ThinQ UP. It makes the fridges’ interior lighting softer at nighttime so as not to “blind” users when they open the door. All new software features are optional, and can be downloaded from an LG ThinQ app.

Best vehicle tech: BMW i Vision Dee

Dee is described by BMW as the perfect digital car of the future. It uses artificial intelligence to engage with the user, and a digital display that can take up the entire windshield of the vehicle to display information or create different visual experiences.

Dee, which stands for “Digital emotional experience”, allows occupants to choose one of five stages of how real they would like to perceive their environment – from a clear outside view, to step-by-step adding more virtual information, until exterior windows are dark and the windshield is a virtual display. In effect, the traditional heads-up display has now expanded across the entire windshield, and can replace the outside view.

Best music tech: Mastercard Artist Accelerator program

At CES, Mastercard unveiled a blockchain-based programme to develop and launch emerging musical artists in the digital economy. Mastercard says the Artist Accelerator will connect select artists from around the world with notable mentors and a dynamic fanbase as they learn and create in Web3, the blanket term for blockchain-based technologies and solutions.

It says Web3’s capabilities have the potential to open a new dimension for music content creation, collaboration and ownership. However, this nascent space has yet to fully deliver — particularly for emerging artists. The curriculum will teach the artists how to build (and own) their brand through Web3 experiences like minting NFTs, representing themselves in virtual worlds and establishing an engaged community.

Best personal tech:  L’Oréal electronic makeup applicators

L’Oréal unveiled two makeup technology prototypes at CES 2023:

·      HAPTA, the first handheld, ultra-precise computerised makeup applicator designed to advance the beauty needs of people with limited hand and arm mobility; and

·      L’Oréal Brow Magic, the first at-home electronic eyebrow makeup applicator that provides users with customised brow looks in seconds.

“For L’Oréal, the future of beauty is inclusive,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of the L’Oréal Groupe. “And this future will be made more accessible by technology.

Best gaming tech:  Alienware 500Hz Gaming Monitor

At CES 2023, Alienware, Dell Technologies’ high-end gaming brand, introduced the world’s fastest screen refresh rate – 500Hz – on the Alienware AW2524H gaming monitor.

Designed for highly competitive gamers, the 500Hz Gaming Monitor has a 24.5-inch display, with full high-definition (FHD) resolution. It offers new functional elements, such as a built-in retractable headset hanger and new hexagonal base structure, which occupies a smaller footprint so one can place a gaming keyboard and mouse where convenient.

Best health tech: Yomi dental robot

Yomi is the first FDA-cleared robotic system for dental surgery. Through a combination of haptic feedback, intuitive visualisation, and audio cues, It helps doctors place implants with superior accuracy and precision. It does not replace dentists, but is a computerised robotic navigational system that assists them during dental implantation surgery.

The system consists of a robotic arm, which is guided by the dentist at all times, a tracking arm that connects to the patient and follows their position in real time, like GPS, and a software suite called YomiPlan.

Best TV tech: Samsung MicroLED

The tech isn’t new, but its availability is. Four years after debuting the ability to build an advanced display technology called MicroLED into a giant TV screen, Samsung is bringing the tech down to consumer level, with 50” and 63” TV units that are feasible both from a size and a price point of view. The first MicroLED units will arrive in South Africa in the first quarter of 2023 – including a 110” model for R1,5-million and a 126” model for R3-million. No one said the cutting edge was cheap (and it will arrive in affordable units a few years from now).

The overall winner

My choice for the very best of CES is the LGThinQ UP concept, as it will eventually result in regular home appliances being upgradeable in the same way smartphones are today.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee

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