Although CES is consumer-focused, many of the tools and technologies at the large trade show in Las Vegas can help businesses. Here are our picks for the most noteworthy products and trends at CES 2024, including versatile laptops, a handheld generative AI assistant, elegant TVs and mixed reality for immersive training or meetings.
1. Generative AI integrates with laptops and apps
Windows 11 laptops from Dell and other manufacturers will have a dedicated Windows for Copilot button for Microsoft’s natural language AI assistant.
Intel, Qualcomm, AMD and NVIDIA are working on building the capacity to run generative AI directly into their hardware. NVIDIA debuted Chat with RTX, which is a demo app for personalizing a generative AI model to search through content including chats, documents and videos on a Windows RTX PC or workstation.
Generative AI in retail at CES 2024
In addition, generative AI appeared in retail applications at CES 2024, with Walmart debuting it on a “social commerce platform” called Shop With Friends.
Volkswagen puts ChatGPT in cars
Volkswagen is putting ChatGPT into its cars, allowing a busy professional to ask the generative AI to perform tasks while on the go. It’s hard to say whether these use cases will prove as or more desirable than existing voice-based (but not generative) AI assistants in the long term.
2. Productivity gadgets emphasize speed and ease
The hottest gadget at CES 2024 was the Rabbit R1 (Figure A), a handheld, generative AI-based device that could not only revolutionize the way people interact with apps but possibly replace the smartphone as a person’s primary screen.
The R1, which is currently available to pre-order for $199, runs on what Rabbit calls a Large Action Model, as opposed to a large language model. The user can speak a command (e.g., “Book a flight”) and the R1 will simply do it without the user needing to open an app or the device needing to connect to an app using an API.
The Rabbit R1 is the most dramatic instance of the major productivity trend at CES 2024 of letting generative AI be the interface between the user and their tasks, making the online services and decisions in between essentially invisible.
SEE: While ChatGPT was integrated with other tech at CES 2024, OpenAI opened the GPT Store. (TechRepublic)
3D and wireless monitors provide more screen options
Lenovo debuted its Lenovo ThinkVision 27 3D monitor, which lets users transform 2D images into 3D content quickly; this could be a productivity boost for creative professionals. Meanwhile, Samsung introduced a new cable-free multi-monitor setup that won CES 2024 Best of Innovation in computer peripherals and accessories.
Wi-Fi 7 is proliferating
The Wi-Fi Alliance is starting to roll out certifications for Wi-Fi 7, meaning more devices will be able to run Wi-Fi 7’s higher data throughputs for applications like virtual reality. TP-Link, UniFi, MSI and Acer released Wi-Fi 7 routers at the show.
3. Multiple-in-1 laptops give professionals options
ASUS introduced the Zenbook DUO (2024) UX8406 (Figure B), which comes with two screens and a keyboard and can convert into five modes total: a laptop with keyboard, two touch screens, dual screen, desktop mode (depending on whether the screens are oriented to the keyboard horizontally or vertically) or sharing mode (using both screens to show data or presentations).
4. Qualcomm, automakers and others promote virtual and mixed reality products
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chip is expected to appear in a Samsung virtual or mixed reality headset later this month. Qualcomm has already released a reference device that could compete with the Apple Vision Pro.
Mixed and virtual reality were elsewhere at CES, too, with BMW researching mixed reality glasses for driving.
5. Curved and transparent TV screens catch the eye
A transparent TV screen could be an impressive set piece for a home office, turning into an art object instead of just a black rectangle when you’re not using it. The Samsung Transparent MICRO LED and the LG Signature OLED T (Figure C) are showstoppers.
A wide variety of large, curved monitors for gaming were shown off at CES 2024. Another trend was reducing glare on TVs, such as with the glare-free coating on the Samsung S95D OLED TV.
Editor’s note: TechRepublic is covering CES 2024 remotely.