The days of having to search for your TV remote behind your couch cushions are coming to an end. A company has declared the remote control dead.
We’ll soon change channel by waving our arms in the air at a completely cordless television that you’ll be able to literally stick to the wall.
That was one of the main innovations to be revealed at this year’s CES, the global technology showcase that is being held in Las Vegas from January 5-8.
Other highlights have included an oven that can livestream video of your cooking so you don’t burn your buns; a tumble dryer that can send you text messages; a fridge that turns into a nightclub and a shoebox that will display your prized sneakers as if they were a museum piece.
CES, the annual Consumer Electronics Show, is where the most anticipated launches in appliances, gaming, home entertainment and automotive innovations occur.
The massive event went online in 2021 due to the pandemic and then was something of a damp squib in 2022 as Omicron and border closures led many to stay away. But this year more than 100,000 people are expect to descend on Las Vegas’ casino strip to gawk, fiddle with and drool over hot new tech.
Some of the biggest brands are jostling for attention including LG, Samsung, Sony, TCL, Asus, Canon and Bosch. That’s alongside a slew of smaller companies hoping to make it big.
But one huge company won’t be at CES. Apple eschews the trade fair, preferring to do its own launches, such as the recent iPhone 14, on its own turf in Cupertino near San Francisco.
These are some of the most noteworthy announcements at CES 2023
LG’s (almost) cordless television
The South Korean heavyweight launched a new OLED TV at CES with “Zero Connect technology” which it says will make living rooms less cluttered with no messy cords.
The LG Signature OLED M3 claims to offer a wireless solution yet is capable of real time video and audio transmission.
The Zero Connect box has multiple ports for connecting devices like set top boxes. The video and audio signals are then sent wirelessly to the TV. As you can place the box away from the TV, it could make for a cleaner living space with fewer cables. Although the TV still needs to be plugged in, of course.
The remote control (and wire-free) TV
Newcomer Displace has gone a step further, ditching the power cord altogether and banishing the remote control too. At CES it demonstrated a TV that sticks to a variety of surfaces – walls and windows.
At only about 9kg, Displace says it uses “proprietary active-loop vacuum technology” which means you just push it onto a surface and, well that’s it, it sticks.
It doesn’t need a power cable either. Instead it relies on four batteries mounted on the back of the TV that need to be recharged once a month.
And it could be the end of the remote too with the Displace TV having a built-in camera that reacts to hand movements which the company reckons will be enough to change the channel.
“Displace completely reinvents the television,” said founder and CEO Balaji Krishnan.
“It’s important to re-architect television by eliminating all common frustrations and making it extremely easy to secure televisions on any surface inside homes.
“By realising this vision, Displace is effectively creating the next computing platform and the potential applications are limitless,” he said.
Reporter at tech website ZDNet June Wan had a play with the TV and while she was impressed overall, she wondered if getting rid of the remote and replacing it with hand movements was a great idea.
“Will celebrating a touchdown end up changing the channel or turning off the TV by accident?”
The sticky TV should be ready to ship later in the year but at $4300 for only 4k resolution, it’s a big price for an admittedly nifty product.
Sony plans to sell cars
Better known for smaller electronics, Sony is going into electric cars.
It’s teaming up with fellow Japanese manufacturer Honda to create the Afeela EV brand. It showed off a concept car at CES.
“Afeela represents our concept of an interactive relationship where people feel the sensation of interactive mobility and where mobility can detect and understand people and society by using sensing and AI technologies,” Sony Honda Mobility CEO Yasuhide Mizuno said.
More than 40 sensors will scan the road to help drivers.
But there will be a wait with orders not even being taken until 2025.
Samsung’s live streaming cooker that stops burning
Samsung’s shtick at CES has been its “vision for a calmer connected world”. In this quest to de-stress is eliminating the screams from harried cooks as they realise they’ve burnt dinner.
Its Bespoke AI wall oven includes a camera within it, so a livestream of your food can be sent to your phone or tablet.
If those chocolate chip cookies look like they’re about to turn into burnt biscuits, you should be able to jump in and nip the cooking crisis in the bud. It’ll even tell you if it thinks a dish is about to be overdone.
Or just let it do the hard work: Samsung reckons its AI oven can detect 70 different dishes and adjust the cooking time.
TCL’s next gen wearables
China’s TCL showed off its RayNeo X2 augmented reality glasses that will allow information like directions to flash up on the glass while you’re out and about.
Samsung’s little box that will control your home
The tech giant debuted the SmartThings Station, a discreet box with a whole lot of oomph. One touch can control multiple functions around the home while also powering your phone.
Set up various profiles and then with a tap of the station, it’s activated.
At bed time, a tap could trigger a routine for sleep – which could turn off the lights, close the blinds and lower the temperature. Or, if a movie night is on the cards, a movie routine could turn on the TV and dim the lights.
And unlike many gizmos at CES, it’s actually affordable at less than $100.
LG’s chatty tumble dryer
Who hasn’t wanted to have a convo with their tumble dryer? LG has upgraded its ThinQ UP system that enables you to download a suite of features to your fridges, washing machines and dryers to elevate the appliances.
The laundry saver mode of the dryer will see a message sent to your phone to let you know when the tumble dryer is done. If you’re not at home, you can then tell the drier to keep spinning so the clothes don’t crumple.
Another feature is a night time fridge lighting program which will ensure midnight snackers won’t be blinded by fluorescent light.
Samsung’s sliding AND folding screen
Folding and bending screens have been around for a few years. Now Samsung has debuted the Flex Hybrid OLED, a screen that can fold and extend.
At its most compact, it’s a mere 4.2 inches wide but can then fold out to a 10.5 inch display.
A quick slide and it’s then a 12.4 inch screen as a 16:10 aspect ratio reveals itself. That extra almost two inches of screen appears to roll out from beneath the unit.
Asus’ 3D displays without the 3D glasses
The first Avatar promised us a new three dimensional world. But having to don those bulky glasses dulled the innovation.
Asus reckons it’s solved that with its ProArt StudioBook laptop.
A 16 inch 3.k OLED screen can change to a 3D mode called Spatial Vision. It reckons it can use eye tracking tech to deliver the two separate images to your eyes, giving you the effect without the weird double vision.
The tech has been mooted for a while but Asus now reckons it’s in a sellable condition.
LG’s disco fridge
There was once a very famous nightclub in London called the Fridge; now your fridge can be a nightclub.
LG’s MoodUP range of appliances already come with coloured panels which you can change via an app. Now you also choose the “colour of the year, vivid magenta, a bolshie pink to banish the kitchen blues.
LG reckons there are 190,000 colour combinations in its MoodUP range. But you can also set the fridge colours to your choice of music which will see the lights flashing on an off like a ‘70s roller disco straight out of Xanadu.
Turn your sneakers into a museum piece
Sneaker fans can now show off their shoes in a whole new way and keep them pristine.
The LG Style Shoe Case is a box in which you can place your footwear which is illuminated with your choice of hues. Maybe a neon blue for your cool trainers or a silver sparkle for your stilettos?
It even has a rotate feature so when your mates come round you can make it look like your footwear is in its own little museum.
A separate box can then clean your prized sneakers with a gentle steam cycle.
The reporter travelled to CES with the assistance of LG.