Brand new stuff promised in Vegas at CES 2022
CES 2022, which opens Jan. 5 both on the ground in Las Vegas and online, will go farther than ever before beyond its origins as a consumer electronics trade show.
It will have bigger ambitions than just introducing the latest gadgets, like exploring how robotics could become part of daily life or how technologies can help the global fight against carbon emissions.
Despite the fact that some big tech players like Google and Meta will be absent due to the pandemic, Korean companies are proceeding with their CES plans, although some are sending smaller delegations than usual.
Hyundai Motor will portray how it plans to bring robots closer into transportation and the metaverse, while affiliate Hyundai Mobis will show two concept cars. Doosan Group is promising robots that play drums.
Samsung Electronics, one of the biggest CES exhibitors, will likely show a robot prototype as it has in the past few years.
SK and its affiliates are doing a deep dive on cutting carbon emissions. They will pull together a wide range of products and technologies aimed at helping the environment for the four-day event in Las Vegas.
Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics will also engage in some business familiar from all CESs held in the past, introducing new devices including televisions and ovens.
Instead of unveiling new electric vehicles it has under development, Hyundai Motor is opting to look farther into the future to explore the intersection between robotics and the metaverse, a buzz word that refers to a digital universe where people can socialize, work and play.
"Hyundai Motor will share its vision of how robotics will complete the metaverse by connecting the virtual world with reality as a medium, and eventually overcome the physical limitations of movement regarding time and space," the automaker said in a cosmic statement released last month.
This dovetails with a strategic shift by Korea’s largest automaker.
Last year, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung announced that only 50 percent of group revenue will be derived from automobiles in the future, while 30 percent will come from "urban air mobility" — flying cars and drones — and 20 percent from robotics.
The company will give a peek at yet to be commercialized products such as MobED, a new modular platform for mini-electric cars and robots, and a new Plug & Drive robotic module platform.
Hyundai Mobis will show two concept cars with cool new features. One is an autonomous vehicle — it can drive itself — with a steering wheel that can be folded away when not in use. The other comes with wheels capable of turning 90 degrees to allow for easier parking.
Samsung Electronics remain tight-lipped about what kind of robot it will bring to Vegas, but a spokesperson confirmed there will be one or possibly more.
“There will be robot concept products being presented during the presentation, but we can’t confirm what it is,” the spokesperson said.
The company recently upgraded the status of its robotics business team, a move that investors and analysts see as a prelude to the marketing of robot products.
Doosan Group will show how it combines robotics with entertainment at the show, although its robot businesses have focused on industrial robots. Doosan Robotics, an affiliate of the construction and machinery-focused group, will bring a group of drumming robots to Vegas. At its booth, robots that originally functioned in industrial roles will play drums with a human DJ.
Also greeting visitors is NINA, a robotic arm designed to shoot film performances.
“NINA is automated to find an ideal angle and its ability was already proven when it was used to shoot a musical performance called 'A Song to the Sun,'” said Lee Joo-seok, deputy general manager at Doosan Group.
Technologies designed to reduce carbon will also take center stage at CES.
SK and its affiliates are bringing carbon-cutting technologies used across a number of businesses, ranging from low-carbon manufacturing processes to streamlining existing methods to save energy.
The exhibits will focus on SK Group's endeavors to cut its own greenhouse gas output. Many of the presentations will be text and video materials describing business plans, as the energy-saving technologies are still being developed.
The main theme will be a “hydrogen value chain,” a concept that covers the production, distribution and consumption of hydrogen energy.
Hydrogen fuel is environmentally friendly as it does not produce greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuels. However, its costly and technical hurdles need to be overcome for it to be widely used.
SK E&S will introduce its strategy to ramp up hydrogen production and spread the adoption of the resource. Having started out as a gas company, SK E&S is adding hydrogen and renewable energy production to its portfolio using its experience as an LNG gas generator.
Another major technology that will be explained is the carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technique that’s being developed by SK E&S, the Korea Institute of Energy Research and CE-TEK.
Although it’s still in the research stage, when fully realized, CCUS will allow SK E&S to cut its carbon emissions by stopping carbon from being released into the air. CCUS is a two-step process in which carbon dioxide produced during energy generation is collected. Then it is either stored or used for other purposes.
SK ecoplant is also aiming to produce green hydrogen, a term used to describe hydrogen that’s made without emitting carbon in the process, which it will use to power the Net Zero City it will display at the CES pavilion.
The construction subsidiary of SK will show a small-scale 3-D urban plan for a city that aims for zero carbon emissions using hydrogen fuel and other energy recycling systems. It will comprise a collection of technologies currently under development.
SK Innovation said it will detail how it plans to recycle metal used in batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), which is a complicated process due to the complex composition of batteries. Its subsidiary SK lubricants will share how it plans to make its car lubricants more environmentally friendly.
An environmentally-friendly manufacturing technique dubbed the water-free scrubber will be presented by SK hynix. Scrubbers are used to cool gaseous residue on a semiconductor without damaging the wafer, typically by applying cool water to the chips. SK hynix has developed a method of cooling the chips with pipelines filled with cool water, which can be reused, saving 79,000 tons of water every day.
Earlier this month, chairman Chey Tae-won vowed that SK Group will cut back 200 million tons of carbon by 2030, “an aggressive target as it is equivalent to 1 percent of the world's reduction goal,” at the first Trans-Pacific Dialogue 2021 held on Dec. 6 near Washington.
Samsung Electronics has also announced its intent to reduce its impact on the environment in manufacturing. Han Jong-hee, head of the the DX (Device eXperience) division, said on Dec. 22 that the company is infusing sustainability into “everything we do,” from the company’s chips to the devices that consumers use.
The company has a pending partnership with U.S. outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, famed for earmarking 1 percent of revenues to support environmental nonprofit organizations. Details of the partnership, such as whether it will involve a jointly-developed product or campaign, will be revealed at the CES, the company said.
Doosan Fuel Cell will present a Tri-gen fuel cell at CES, which can generate hydrogen, electricity and heat at the same time. The technology, which is under development as a government-funded project, will be able to generate and distribute three different forms of power. It’s in the last stages of development and will begin testing by the Korea Gas Corporation this year.
Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction will share its plans to produce green hydrogen using electricity generated by its offshore wind turbines. It will also exhibit a model of a hydrogen-fueled turbine that it is developing as a government-funded project.
The show will also display a wide range of appliances and devices being released in the coming years.
Samsung Electronics is expected to introduce the Galaxy S21 FE, a budget-minded model in the flagship Galaxy S21 series.
Samsung’s Vice Chairman Han, who heads the consumer electronics and smartphone businesses, teased in a statement that new televisions and appliances with enhanced features will come together at the CES.
The electronics maker will partner with metaverse platform Zepeto to bring 18 new appliances onto social networks.
LG Electronics will have a reduced presence this year with focus on virtual and augmented reality technologies.
In past years, it showed eye-catching products like rollable organic light-emitting diode (OLED) televisions and smartphones.
LG Display, however, will present transparent OLED panels and new types of devices with curved OLED screens. The panel maker will introduce a window made of large OLED displays that can display information.
In a workplace, the transparent screen can be merged with a window to function as an electronic board or projector, an idea being introduced at CES.
The panel maker will also show an exercise machine and a recliner fitted with curved, large OLED screens. The workout machine, named Virtual Ride, combines a stationary bike with three 55-inch OLED displays to form a one large display in front of and above the rider. The Media Chair combines a recliner and a 55-inch OLED TV.
BY PARK EUN-JEE, YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]