Howdy 👋🏾, prepare to unleash your imagination because I’m headed to CES 2024, the world’s biggest consumer electronics show! I have my Apple Watch charged, and I’m ready to track my steps while crisscrossing four huge convention halls the size of ten football fields. This will be an epic tech trek to discover the most exciting innovations on the horizon.
Stable Diffusion with prompt “A black guy wearing glasses with big hair awe-struck as he looks at the new tech at CES 2024.”
Next week, I’ll compile the biggest highlights in a mega edition of the newsletter, but if you want to follow live, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Threads, or LinkedIn, and for a double dose of coverage, follow Mindgrub CEO Todd Marks as well. We’ll chronicle our trip through video interviews, photos, and chats with exhibitors. You can also tune in to the keynotes from Nvidia, Samsung, and more live, but here are some of the things and trends I’m most excited to check out:
💥CES is set to bring us AI everything, and I mean everything. AI is getting embedded in TVs, robots, car infotainment systems, fridges, and who knows what else. It’s going to be tough to tell how many of these tools actually use AI, but you can bet that over the next few months, we will see more and more consumer products touting deep AI integration…even when it doesn’t make sense.
💥Qualcomm has a new XR, or mixed reality chips, that will open the floodgates for competitors to Meta Quest and Apple VisionPro headsets, and this is a great thing! If you’ve read my past newsletter posts, you know that I think we’re on the cusp of post-mobile devices, and glasses are a strong contender for the next form factor. Qualcomm offering chips that are optimized for mixed reality will make it easier for smaller companies to release products and easily mark the possibility of glasses from groups like Samsung and Google.
💥Cameras and 5G on anything and everything is going on trend. From what I can tell, Humane is skipping CES. Still, companies are following the concept of lapel pin cameras connected to AI assistants and 5G to allow recording everything and anything imaginable. One of CES’s best in show is PhoneCam, a small and affordable camera lapel pin that’s a personal bodycam for recording events day to day. Constant public video recording is controversial, but between Meta’s Ray-Ban and people walking into coffee shops with the new Meta Quest 3, so many devices mean people should assume they’re always getting recorded.
💥 Wireless TVs showed up at CES 2023 – but wireless wasn’t really wireless. The TVs on display removed all the inputs like HDMI to an external box that beamed video to the TV, but they still required a power plug. These new versions are truly wireless, with batteries that allow you to grab and move the TV or mount it magnetically around the house.
💥 I mentioned AI-powered robots – and I expect to see tons at CES. These bots keep getting cuter and more affordable in a world where Tesla offers a $20,000 home bot. You have to wonder if this is the year that the bots from LG and Samsung see more general availability. The struggle is that the articulation to do tasks like folding clothes or washing dishes is still so pricey that many of these bots feel like cool tech searching for a problem. Regardless, it’s great to see them inching closer and closer to general availability.
💥Last year, I got a chuckle checking out the Withings U-Scan device that analyzes urine and can detect nutrition, metabolism, or hydration issues. New devices are taking those concepts further to detect diseases with a cup-sized sample. A new device trains on your neurofeedback to provide information on cognitive performance and sleep or to help you reach deeper meditation states.
💥Netflix has an immersive experience planned for its upcoming show “3 Body Problems,” a sci-fi drama by the team behind Game of Thrones. They had me at immersive, but from the description, the experience sounds like a mixed reality or VR experience. I can’t wait to try this out. With multiple streamers coming to CES to make a big ad push with vendors, Netflix is not alone.
DALL-E 3 with prompt “A black guy wearing glasses with big hair awe-struck as he looks at the new tech at CES 2024.”
Just looking at all these things has my innovation juices flowing – something about going to CES gets me ready for the New Year and excited for what’s possible. If you check out one page, skim the CES innovation awards. Many of these products may not hit general availability, but it’s a glimpse into early projects starting to surface and ideas that may become tomorrow’s hit products. Now, back to our regular scheduled program … here are my thoughts on tech & things:
⚡️This week, OpenAI is dropping their GPT store! The GPT store allows experts to monetize their knowledge by feeding it into AI assistants that we can use directly or pull into applications with an API. Imagine pulling the collective knowledge of the Society of Human Resources as a virtual assistant into your HRIS system. Check out my thoughts on my blog. You should also check out my new AI lab and playground, where you can test out a handful of OpenAI assistants I’ve created.🚨Check it out!
⚡️I mentioned last week that this will be the year of the AI-powered digital assistant, and we already have rumors that Apple will drop a new version of Siri at WWDC, aka World Wide Developer Conference. I can’t imagine they’re alone, as I expect Google, Samsung, and Amazon to release products that potentially push this concept even further.
⚡️Speaking of digital assistants, it looks like OpenAI may be working on an AI assistant for Android that could replace Google’s Assistant. Android may become an interesting test ground for comparing AI assistants from different companies if they do.
⚡️Passwords suck and lead to all types of unintended consequences. For years, we’ve dealt with bad password policies, leaving us with worse and worse logins prone to social engineering attacks. Passwords are so bad that 23andMe controversially blamed users alone for a breach. While that argument is problematic, please use MFA/multi-factor authentication when supported. Better yet, migrate to more resilient passkey authentication. It’s not perfect, but it improves on the status quo.
⚡️Microsoft introduced the successor to the Windows Key – welcome the new AI Copilot key. There is the most significant change to keyboards in 30 years and shows how serious Microsoft is about embedding AI super deep into everything they do. Also, check out their new Copilot app on iOS and Android; maybe this will also become an optional Android assistant?
Meta Imagine with the prompt “A black guy wearing glasses with big hair awe-struck as he looks at the new tech at CES 2024.”
I’m thrilled for 2024, as it shapes up to be one of the most significant tech years in ages. Realizing we’re living through a historic wave where sci-fi concepts feel increasingly within reach is surreal. CES embodies that leap, and I can’t wait to provide a peek behind the curtain of our high-tech future in the making. Make sure to follow along on my CES journey of groundbreaking innovations destined to impact every facet of life as we know it. See you next week!
p.s. Have you watched a movie or TV with a show inside the show – sometimes it’s an inner commentary, a message, and sometimes plain old fun like Simpson’s Itchy and Scratchy. Well, someone created Nestflix, a website that is a repository of fake TV shows and movies from actual TV shows and movies, and my goodness, is it amazing. Forrest Gump 2 has the best quote:
“I guess life is a lot like a crab cake. There’s lots of good stuff in the middle, but it’s surrounded by a bunch of crap.”