4 Trend Surprises at CES 2024

From transparent TVs to stylish smart glasses and electric machines for industrial uses, CES 2024 pushed and expanded the boundaries of different tech sectors. The show’s big tent of amazing innovations included offerings that raised eyebrows among the staples we welcome each year. Exploring the advancements in the always-popular automotive, gaming and other sectors, we noted breakout subsectors emerging in outsized and unexpected ways. Here’s a look at four trends where we found surprises.

AR and Smart Glasses

The future of immersive experiences requires a variety of devices that help a user feel more connected in virtual spaces. While the release of the Apple Vision Pro represents a likely inflection point in the VR headset sector, CES 2024 showed a tremendous leap in AR and smart glasses.
These devices represent a fashionable alternative to traditional frames and headsets that can still offer compelling immersive features like onboard artificial intelligence, cameras for livestreaming and video, and even built-in hearable solutions. Further, the lightweight nature of these devices can provide a more comfortable alternative to traditional XR headsets to facilitate longer use for consumer and commercial applications.

Key Examples

EssilorLuxottica: Ray-Ban Meta Glasses
  • These shades, which come in a variety of styles and colors, feature the first-ever eyewear with live streaming in addition to built-in AI, a high quality camera, and improved audio and microphone systems.
  • Meta’s AI is included onboard, capable of translating text written in foreign languages.
  • The glasses also come with an intuitive app and charging case.
TCL: RayNeo X2 Lite AR Glasses
  • Weighing just two ounces, the X2 Lite Air glasses include very bright (1500 nits) displays, a 12MP camera (1080p video), 32GB onboard storage, and AI with voice and image input.
  • The AI-assistant is a GPT variant that can provide turn-by-turn directions with arrows that hover in front of you, reminding you of upcoming meetings, and alerting you to notifications.
  • The RayNeo X2 Lite uses face-tracking to translate foreign languages, and position the transcription near the speaker’s face. RayNeo says live translation superimposed over text is also possible.
  • The glasses feature three mics, stereo speakers and a touchpad on the right earpiece.

Transparent Displays

TVs are a fan-favorite at CES, looming large across the expanses of Central Hall. While advancements like higher resolutions, wireless models and even folding form factors were expected at the show, transparent displays appeared in force at this year’s show.
Notably, innovation in transparent displays is extending beyond the consumer for home use to commercial applications like hotel check-in, operations in the construction trades and more.

Key Examples

LG: Transparent OLED Television for Consumers and Business, Innovation Award Winner
  • When not in use as a regular television, the LG Transparent OLED can also display a variety of images such as fish in a realistic-looking tank.
  • This versatility allows for a rethinking of the aesthetic role that a television plays in a home, possibly redefining these devices’ traditional profile as an overly prominent feature of a room’s décor.
  • LG exhibited demos of a hotel experience that allows consumers to check in via facial recognition.
  • The transparent OLED can be used as signage in, for example, transportation applications to entertain travelers.
Samsung: Transparent MicroLED Display
  • Demo units for this display at CES 2024 featured tinted glass that covered or camouflaged potentially distracting objects behind the device’s panels.
  • Another demo unit appeared to be as transparent as sheet glass, and in a frameless form factor that attendees and media found striking in terms of overall aesthetics.

Off-Grid Technologies

Sustainability has been a major theme at CES over the last few years; smart home and smart city energy solutions have historically dominated with exhibitors showcasing how these technologies can shift our lives on the grid down a greener path.
CES 2024 pushed the sustainable energy concept further with solutions that allow users to find sustainable power solutions when they go off the grid voluntarily for camping or to save on resources, or involuntarily during a storm-induced power outage. Exhibitors also demonstrated how off-grid technologies can serve other useful purposes such as providing purified water through, for example, solar power.

Key Examples

Ecoflow: Delta Pro Ultra, Innovation Award Winner
  • Delta Pro Ultra is a portable battery back-up solution.
  • EcoFlow's system can optionally recharge if a homeowner has solar panels and, most impressively, its largest configuration can power an entire home for one month.
Optysun: Solar-Powered Water Purification Device, Innovation Award Winner
  • Ukraine's OptySun is a fully self-contained water purification device that rapidly cleans and disinfects water anywhere.
  • The solar-enabled and portable filtration device can produce five times an individual's daily water intake requirement in just 30 minutes while eliminating 99.9% of harmful bacteria.

Construction and Industrial Machinery Tech

CES 2024 demonstrated that the show is not just a major global auto show, but is also perhaps the biggest mobility show in the world.
While the presence of flying cars and advanced boating technologies continue to bolster the show’s mobility credentials, the significant presence of construction tech and industrial vehicle exhibitors reinforces the show’s merits as the primary expo for the most innovative and influential brands in construction and industrial technology.

Key Examples

Doosan Bobcat: S7X All-Electric Skid-Steer Loader, Innovation Award Winner
  • Doosan Bobcat showcased its all-electric S7X skid loader along with other sustainable solutions including its Oscar the Sorter recycler.
  • The S7X replaces hydraulics and diesel with electric motors, batteries for a silent and sustainable construction site.
Kubota: Concept AI Tractor
  • First-time CES exhibitor Kubota showcased a fully-automated and all-electric "concept tractor" that’s in fact being used in Japan where this equipment powerhouse is headquartered.
  • Designed with versatility in mind, the Concept Tractor features an adjustable riding height that facilitates work on a wide range of soil types and terrains.
  • Full data support allows for optimized operations, tackling tasks based on real-time weather and growth data. 
Find out what you may have missed at CES 2024. For keynotes, conferences and more, check out on-demand sessions and programs. CES also celebrated exceptional products in a wide range of categories. To see which products are shaking up the tech industry, visit the Innovation Awards topic page. And mark your calendar for CES 2025 when the show returns to Las Vegas January 7-10.  

You May Also Be Interested In ...

Startups at CES 2024: Entrepreneurs Tackle Extreme Challenges

Always a major attraction at CES, the Startup Stage showcases fresh ideas for the good of our families, communities, businesses and planet. The lineup at CES 2024 did not disappoint. As seen and heard on the show floor and across the Startup Stage, topics ranged from digital health tech to emerging technologies for today’s workforces. Here, we spotlight three sessions focused on innovations in climate change, startup funding, and tech for improving mental healthcare access and quality.

Read More arrow-black

By the Numbers, CES 2024 was ALL ON, and Way Up

As CES 2024 banners broadcast across the show floor January 9-12, and as borne out by the early unaudited numbers, this year’s show was ALL ON as the most powerful tech event in the world. It showcased breakthrough technologies and global innovators in a very big way, as anyone there – among the 135,000-plus - could attest. Now that CES 2024 is a wrap, some unofficial numbers demonstrate that CES is the foremost proving ground for emerging technologies, doing business and building partnerships.

Read More arrow-black