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OPLIN 4Cast #784: CES might be partially digital, but exciting things still coming

Posted in 4cast

Each January in Las Vegas, the Consumer Technology Association holds the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), where many world-changing gadgets and innovations have debuted: VCRs, satellite radio, Android devices, 3D printers, etc. Of course, COVID-19 sent last year’s CES to a fully digital format, and the pandemic continues to have its influence, causing over 40 companies—including giants like Microsoft, Google, and Meta—to pull out of the in-person conference and continue participating digitally. But some early gadget previews and spec announcements suggest that, despite the physical absence of major players, we might get to see something exciting and weird.

  • Samsung’s new TV remote uses radio waves from your router to stay charged [The Verge] “As with the original solar-powered Eco Remote, the intention here is to ditch AAA batteries. Samsung has previously estimated that switching to solar-powered remotes could avoid 99 million discarded batteries over the course of seven years.”
  • These balls tell you how zen you are [TechCrunch] “The device itself is a soft, cloth-covered ball that you hold in two hands. It has six electrodes where your fingers rest, and a light ring that reports back in real time how calm you are. The idea is that by adjusting your seating position, feeling your body and adjusting your breathing patterns, you can see how your body reacts to the various calming techniques.”
  • CES 2022 will introduce HDMI 2.1a, another confusing new spec [The Verge] “The HDMI standards are a mess. HDMI 2.1, in particular, is a uniquely frustrating mess, with haphazard support among TV manufacturers, cable makers, and devices that make setting up a uniquely harrowing experience. The latest revision is gonna make things more complicated.”
  • CES 2022 Liveblog: Tech’s Big Show Heads Back to Las Vegas [Wired] “This litter box is full of surprises. It uses UV sterilization and has new safety features like a radar to ensure it doesn’t start its cleaning process if a cat is near it.”

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