The best of (virtual) CES 2022
Maybe next year I'll send a robot as my physical avatar – or maybe we all will! 🤖
You are reading Social Signals, Greg’s weekly email about creative, technology, and cultural signals worth noting. Today’s email was written to The Lazy Eyes’ Fuzz Jam. If you haven’t already subscribed, there’s a big button right there!
I hope you all had a great couple weeks to end the year and were able to tackle some of the Holiday Homework I assigned.
I personally had a BIG December, including leaving Fallon (more on that here!) and some big news I’ll be sharing later this month. Stay tuned because I’m not telling you yet. 🤠
The state of omicron also meant that I canceled my annual trip to CES and am attending virtually again this year. CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, is the global gathering of innovators for tech’s biggest showcase of the year. CES is historically one of the best ways get a pulse on emerging trends in technology that will impact consumers, and thus helps inform how brands can and will engage with consumers through those technologies.
As culture continues to evolve and tech-adoption increases, it’s important to have a sense of where things are at and where they’re headed. That’s why modern marketers spend so much energy at CES. Sure, some of is vaporware or just for fun (like this IoT Potato below), but overall, there are common themes and trends from the show that prove valuable each year.
To get a sense how far we’ve come, watch CNN’s retro tech coverage from CES 1989, covering the introduction of the CD player, portable television sets, the threat of the VCR medium to Hollywood, a teddy bear car alarm, and that cool new gaming system called Nintendo. Take me back!
Whereas 2021’s CES was all-digital and focused on pandemic-fueled tech trends (read my recap here), this year the 2022 show limped along as hybrid – some in-person and some online – in a manner that is was as unsatisfying as it sounds. This year’s key themes included innovations in EV and autonomous vehicle technology, healthcare technology, metaverse/AR/VR/NFTs, tech to address the climate crisis, and my personal favorite — robots. The Maicat robo cat is one of my 2022 favorites.
Here are some key 2022 signals worth checking out:
Shelly Palmer always has a good top-level program on 2022 CES trends and interviews, and you can stream it here.
Variety and CES released a new study that shows US consumers now spend 39% of their media time on user-created social media (with Teens 13-17 at 56%), and as much time streaming videos on social platforms as they do watching traditional TV. See the full report here.
LG’s virtual influencer Reah Keem is going to release a music album. Virtual influencers aren’t new, but a branded virtual influencer going into the music industry is of note.
The Sengled Smart Health Monitoring Light is a light bulb that monitors your heart rate, body temperature and sleep quality. Whoa!
John Deere’s self-driving tractor arrives later this fall. Corn fields are gonna start looking weird out by where I live.
Sony Playstation VR 2 was announced, further pushing VR gaming into the mainstream.
AIR NEO, AirSelfie's 4th Generation Aerial Camera, is making drone selfies easier and easier. Look for even more drone content in your feeds.
These invisible headphones that track your face and beam sound over the air to your ears are super interesting. Targeted sound without needing to plug electronics into your ears could be really transformative.
Kinoo Controller is a handheld, wirelessly-connected, tracked AR wand for kids that transforms video chat into immersive experiences for kids.
Pure Ride is a no-touch product that allows user to call an elevator or designate a destination floor by placing a hand or finger over a sensor without the need to touch at all. I’m excited for more of this, as long as it’s accessible for all. Look ma, no hands!
Samsung released a metaverse collab with Zepeto (the largest platform in Asia) called My House featuring their smart phones and appliances. Here are some screenshots of me playing with it. And here’s me in Samsung’s Decentraland experience.
Samsung’s Watch Together and Chat Together turns your TV into a video chat hub to watch sports, awards shows, and finales in real time with friends.
BMW shared a color-changing car concept with the push of a button.
Owo debuted a wireless wearable vest that connects you physically to the metaverse where you can feel like you are catching a ball, being hit, or hugged. Haptics are going to play such an important role in the coming years!
Hyundai + Boston Dynamics shared a “metamobility" strategy where robots augment humanity's capabilities including robots as physical avatars (e.g., send your robot to hug your loved ones or feed your dog!), and you can watch a 6 minute recap here that’s pretty great.
🐤 The Good Socials:
🔥 Quick Hits:
Instagram’s Adam Mosseri outlined Instagram’s 2022 priorites, including a focus on video and Reels, in what else? An Instagram Reel.
TikTok launched a new insights series on the importance and value of audio on the platform.
In the US, Oculus was #1 by app downloads on Christmas Day, as Americans unwrapped new Oculus VR headsets under the tree.
Alexa and Webex are going to space.
Amazon released a new feature when you ask, “Alexa, what is love?” Try it out on your own Echo device, and read more about the campaign here.
Decentraland will host a Metaverse March 24-27.
Stanford is teaching an entire class in VR.
Google published its Year in Search 2021 video.
A Japanese professor has developed a prototype lickable TV screen that can imitate food flavors called Taste the TV.
Infographic of the Week: The World’s Most Popular Social Networks, and Who Owns Them
Snapchat Filter of the Week: Avatar by Snapchat
Game of the Week: Wordle
Social Trend of the Week: Unhinged Elmo and the pet rock
Throwback TikTok of the Week: Steve Jobs introducing the first iPhone
TikTok Puzzle of the Week: If they had never invented the #phonebook, could they invent it now?
TikTokker of the Week: @bridgettheeyedoctor makes TikToks based on your prescription so you can show your friends how bad your vision is.
OMG Technology Adoption TikTok of the Week: I HAVE 2000 DESKTOP ICONS NEED REMOVED
See you on the internet!
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