From color-changing cars to self-driving prams

After three long years of pandemic, one of the world’s biggest technology trade shows returned this week as CES lit up Las Vegas with a flash of color and optimism.

The innovation was imaginative, presenting a vision of the future that may never see the light of day, but that didn’t stop the buzz from going crazy. With more than 100,000 thousand attendees and thousands of exhibitors covering two million net square feet of exhibition space, there was a lot of excitement for what was presented.

Here are just a few of the products and experiences that stole the show.

BMW i Vision Dee

The color-changing concept car got an audible gasp during BMW’s cinematic keynote starring BMW chairman Oliver Zipse, Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Hasselhoff, Knight Rider’s KITT and Herbie The Love Bug. Introduced last year in black and white as part of a bi-chromic system, the stylish car came to life in a stunning rainbow of dynamic design. Made with E Ink’s low-energy Prism 3-segment display technology seen in Kindle devices, transit signs and retail displays, the car is a dreamer made of, literally, as it’s not for sale or even planned for production, according to a company spokesperson . .

Ash A5

The flying car, which is the size of an SUV, fits in a standard parking space, is designed to fly 250 miles on a single charge and costs $789,000, had many tweeting selfies with it at the show. Unfortunately, it is awaiting FAA approval. Meanwhile, the Silicon Valley startup is taking pre-orders and is targeting 2026 to launch its ride-sharing service.

GlüxKind Ella

This AI-powered self-driving stroller offers intelligent braking, push assist, a white noise machine and Rock-My-Baby mode. It was named a CES 2023 Innovation Award honoree and costs $3,800 with delivery expected to start in April for strollers pre-ordered last year, according to the website. The Vancouver-based startup was founded in 2020 and is supported by the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund. Its founders see the stroller as a platform and include a three-year premium software subscription in the Founder Edition. To see it in action, check out the demo video.

Withings U-Scan

The maker of award-winning smart scales and watches announced an at-home urinalysis lab for the toilet that monitors ovulation as well as biomarkers of metabolic nutrient intake, pH levels and hydration. Pending US FDA approval, the product is expected to launch in the UK for €500 with cartridges to be sold on a subscription basis for €30 a month.

Celebrity appearances

Celebrity spotting is usually sport at CES, and this year there was no shortage of surprises.

Film maker M. Night Shyamalan appeared to unleash a terrifying mixed-reality “Knock at the Cabin” experience for fans at the Canon booth as a kick-off to his Feb. 3 theatrical release of the apocalyptic thriller. In an interview, Shyamalan told me that he sees these immersive experiences as a way to expand storytelling and hopes to one day integrate them into movie premieres.

Jillian Michaels was present for introduce her iTouch smartwatch. In an interview, the fitness guru told me that she believes now is the time for people putting on weight during the pandemic to indulge in beauty regimens and life-affirming routines like adding more water and vegetables to meals, getting more sunshine during the day, and turning off blue light for better sleep at night. She said she’s been a fan of fitness trackers since her days as host of “The Biggest Loser” and found the data essential to helping people make powerful changes in their lives. “It’s simple math. We have to burn so many calories and eat so many calories, she said. “But there’s also an emotional component that drives people to food, so it’s important to reframe the wellness journey as one of self-care.”

Other celebrities on the show were American Idol judges Paula Abdul who appeared for Idol Eye’s audio glasses. Indy 500 racing driver Marco Andretti who visited the KUHL stand. Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran who was at the Rollo stand. Olympic figure skater Nathan Chen and actor Kal Penn which was part of Panasonic’s press conference. NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott who showed up at the Ansys party, and Paris Hilton who spoke on a panel.

Parties

Brands brought out the big acts of the night. Imagine Dragons played the Dolby party, Snoop Dogg played Amazon After Dark, Def Leppard headlined Harman, singer Jason Mraz performed at Abbott and Robosen had dancing Transformers and their newest robot toy, Buzz Lightyear, at their shindig.

Booth Fun

On the show floor and in the outdoor areas, activities abounded – you can take an autonomous vehicle for a test ride, get your face scanned on an action figure at the Formlabs booth, and even ride a triathlete at the TruBike booth.

But it was Delta, in partnership with Starbucks, that won CES for Best Activation with its “Wonder Window” game when a software programmer from San Francisco hit the jackpot and tweeted himself winning two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world . The sheer exuberance expressed in the video captured exactly what CES 2023 was all about – a return to the good old days anyway.

Things may get tough with the economy, but if we take care of ourselves and stay focused on innovation as an engine for growth, exciting times lie ahead.

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