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The first big tech trade show of the year has been short on big news, with an apparent emphasis on consolidation over innovation.
January 10, 2024
With the first official day of CES 2024 complete, we’re aware of no major product announcements or, for that matter, much news at all. There has been the customary screen gimmickry from an event that has been trying to plug 3D TV for decades. Qualcomm announced incremental progress on its smart car platform and, not to be outdone, chip rival Intel revealed that it’s vehicle chips are now infused with the inevitable generative AI smarts.
After the year we’ve just had, the lack of benign but otherwise Terminator-like robots, fridges that suggest recipes based on their contents (and ideally command the robots to prepare them for you while you melt into your smart sofa), and all manner of other presumptuous AI-driven domestic appliances comes as a bit of a surprise. On the other hand, Walmart has added GenAI to its search tool, to tell you what you want to consume in every conceivable scenario, so there's that.
It speaks volumes that the big news to come out of the smart home sector is a new specification for appliance energy management from the Home Connectivity Alliance (HCA), having made a similar announcement at CES last year. “HCA Energy Management is based on the principle that appliance manufacturers are in the best position to determine the energy management potential of connected appliances,” said Yoon Ho Choi, HCA President. So, then, why do they need a specification?
“Samsung remains committed to HCA’s vision of providing consumers with flexibility and choice in managing their home appliances, TVs, and HVAC systems,” insisted Moohyung Lee, Consumer Experience head at Samsung Electronics. “The new energy management specifications will help to foster new untapped opportunities to collaborate with energy industry to save consumers money and accelerate Samsung’s vision for a more sustainable home.”
Samsung was also involved the almost-as-exciting news that it is merging its Quick Share service, which enables easy wireless sharing between devices, with Google’s one that was previously called ‘Nearby Share’. This seems to be the Android equivalent of Apple’s AirDrop, which has been around for over 12 years, so it’s hard to get too excited about such a belated and incremental bit of progress.
In fact, Apple seems to have managed to steal much of CES 2024’s thunder merely by announcing the date its AR headset will go on sale in the US – 2 February. So Americans with $3.5k to spend don’t have much longer to wait for the opportunity to trip over furniture and walk into walls in style.
Telecoms.com doesn’t attend CES because there isn’t much telecoms-y stuff announced there. However Radio Free Mobile has made the effort and reports on a ‘peaceful’ event, suggesting reduced attendance. One reason suggested is a Chinese sector blighted by both US and domestic political hostility, which may well be increasingly seeking to diverge from the Western tech sector, both in terms of business and trade. That would be a shame.
As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno
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