Favourites from CES 2023

Last week marked the end of CES 2023. CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is a yearly tradeshow in which various companies show off their consumer-focus technological developments for everything from the kitchen to the road. Some of the items shown are for planned products. Others are prototypes or show pieces. Many of them show the application of digital electronics to a product. Due to Covid, the show was virtual in 2021. In 2022 the show was in-person, though with a much smaller presentation. This year, 2023, the show was closer to what it had been in times past. Reviewing some of the technologies and products displayed at the show, I wanted to highlight some of my favourites.

Vive XR Elite

The VIVE XR Elite is an augmented reality headset coming later this year. It is available for preorder now for about 1100 USD. This is less expensive than the Meta Quest Pro. It functions both as a standalone unit and can use your PC for gaming via a wireless connection. If you are nearsighted, the headset allows for the projection to be refocused for nearsightedness down to -6. At CES these were presented as units with a 90 Hz refresh rate. Though on their web page they are still described as having a 60 Hz refresh rate. The display resolution per eye is 1920×1920 pixels. The unit only wears 650 grams, with the optics in front and the batter pack in the back making for a more balanced layout. While the unit has controllers, it is also capable of hand tracking.

EcoFlow Blade

EcoFlow’s primary products are solar panels and batteries. For a person looking to go off-grid, these may be great accessories. These are also great if you live in an area with an unreliable power system. The EcoFlow Blade is an all-electric automated lawnmower. Even off-grid, you might want to have a nice lawn🙂. It looks a lot more like an RC car than a lawnmower. The company says that it can both mow the grass and pickup fallen leaves. Having used electric mowers in conventional form factor, my experience thus far has been that they sometimes don’t have enough power to do the entire lawn in one session. However, if the grass cutting is automated, I’m less concerned with how many sessions it takes.

EcoFlow also showed off batteries for the entire house and a portable fridge/ice-maker also powered by their batteries. You can find more about these products here.

Ring Cameras for Car and House

Ring announced a couple of new cameras. These cameras had actually been announced before, but plans were apparently disrupted by the pandemic. One product is a Ring Camera for one’s auto-interior and exterior . The unit has cameras facing in both directions so that it records both the road and what is happening inside the car. When connected to the Internet via WiFi or LTE the owner can get alerts of events inside the car and engage in two-way conversation. With a verbal command (“Alexa, Record”). The unit is powered through the car’s OBD port. Amazon recommends for safety reasons, only use the unit in a vehicle with the OBD port on the left side of the steering wheel. This unit will be available for purchase in February.

Another is the Always Home Ring Camera. This is a drone that flies a path throughout your home on a pathway you’ve selected before flying back to its charging base. This camera solves a problem in security cameras in that they can only see from a limited angle. Withe the camera being mobile, there are more angles that it can potentially capture. Presently, Amazon is taking orders by invitation only.

Wireless 4K TV

While the 97-inch screen of the the LG M3 is eye-catching, for me the more significant attribute is that it can receive 4K signals wirelessly. Given the amount of effort I put into hiding or at least making neat the wires for the various video connections that I have, I see this as a product solving a modern day solution. The TV has a peripheral device to which video and audio sources connect. This box transmits to the TV. This solution is called “Zero Connect” and is expected to be part of their 2023 TV lineup.

Android Satellite Connectivity

Snapdragon is rolling out its chips that provide connectivity with Iridium satellites to Android devices this year. The connectivity could be used to have two-way text based communication. While the functionality it provides is simple, the ability to communicate in emergency situations is vital. Satellite connectivity may greatly reduce the situations in which one can find themselves without the ability to communicate with others.

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Conferences and a Hearings, Sept-Oct 2021

During the month of October, there are a couple of developer conferences happening. Samsung is resuming what had been their regular Developers conference (there wasn’t one in 2020, for obvious reasons). Like so many other conferences, this one is going to be online on 26 October. Details of what will be in it haven’t been shared yet, but I noticed a few things from the iconography of their promotional video.

he Tizen logo is present, specifically on a representation of a TV. It looks that Samsung has abandoned the Tizen OS for anything else. They generally don’t make an announcement that they are sunsetting a technology and instead opt to quietly let it disappear. A few months ago Google made the ambiguous announcement that Samsung and Google were combining their wearable operating systems into a single platform while not directly saying that Tizen was going away. Just before the release of the Gear 4 watch (which runs Android Wear, not Tizen) Samsung made an announcement that they were still supporting Tizen. But with no new products on the horizon and the reduction in support in the store, this looks more like a phased product sunset.

Some of the other products suggested by the imagery include wearables, Smart Things (home automation), Bixby (voice assistant) and Samsung Health.

October 12-14, Google is hosting their Cloud Next conference. Registration for this conference is open now, and available at no cost. Google has made the session catalog available. The session categories include AI/Machine Learning, Application Development, Security, and more.

Sessions available at https://cloud.withgoogle.com/next

And last, if you have an interest in the USA’s developing responses to technology issues, this Thursday the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation is holding a hearing with Facebook’s head of safety over some recent reports published by the Wall Street Journal about the impact of it’s apps on younger audiences. The hearing (with live stream) will be Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 10:30am EDT. The livestream will be available at www.commerce.senate.gov.

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Google IO Conference Registration Open

For reasons I’m sure are widely known, Google will be holding its annual I/O conference this year virtually. The conference will be held from 18-20 May, 2021. Registration is free and open to all at https://g.co/io. The schedule of sessions is expected to be posted before the month of April is over.

ARM Development Summit

Like many conferences in 2020, ARM’s conference on development is available online. The videos of the summit are online until November 28th, but if you want to see them, you will need to register to see them by October 28. To register, go to this site. The conference list having the following tracks for their presentations.

AI in the Real World

Gain experience with the tools and techniques that will shape the future of AI and solve real-world challenges.

Building the IoT

Dive into transformative IoT technologies that train to take your ideas from concept through production.

Chip Design Methodology

Beyond silicon, see how to deliver your designs for more efficient targeted solutions.

Cloud Native Developer Experience

From operating systems to CI/CD tooling and more, learn cloud-native development for scalable architectures.

Creating the Next Generation of Interactive Experiences

Hear how to apply advanced technologies like ML and AR to your next mobile development project.

Infrastructure of Modern Computing

Learn how to make the most of the ARM architecture in High-Performance Computing networking and storage.

Tech for Global Goals: The World’s Largest To-Do List

Learn how organizations deploy technology to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems

The Journey to Autonomous

Explore some of today’s most interesting engineering challenges from real-time signal processing, machinery control, embedded vision, and more.

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My Samsung HoloLab Model Arrived

Last week I received an e-mail from Samsung regarding the HoloLab scans that I did at the 2018 Samsung Developer’s Conference.  Shortly after the conference, I wrote about the rig that was used to do the scan.

When the photographs were taken for the scan, three poses were requested.  The first pose was standing with your arms crossed.  The second pose was standing with both of your arms out to the side.  The third pose was allowed to be a freestyle that could be whatever you wanted (just for the fun of it).

Of these three poses, I was most interested in the second pose, because arms out to the side is the most appropriate pose to use when importing a model into software for animating.  Sadly, what arrived in my e-mail was only one of the three poses, the first one.

I’m still happy to have received the one pose that I did. The model definitely resembles me.  This is speculation on my part, but I imagine that the processing of the 52 images that make up a single scan is time consuming. Considering the large number of participants at the conference who had the scans done, receiving all three model poses may be wishful thinking.





One of the technology implementations displayed at SDC 2018 was their HOLOLAB. Curious as to what it is I walked over. It was a rig for performing 3D scanning of subjects. A few of the tangible outcomes included some pretty elastic 3D printed statues of people, a volume metric display showing a subject, and a display showing one of the scanned subjects dancing.

I was more curious about the implementation. I got a picture peering into the space to see how the physical structure was built. Inside the space the ambient lighting was ramped up by way of LEDs distributed around the space and 52 Point Grey Research cameras, all mounted to various places on an 8020 rig.

The software is custom built. I asked of its commercial availability and the Samsung rep I spoke to told me, “it was a work in progress.” The rep indicated that they are planning to have some popup locations available in the future for more people to try it and receive a copy of their models.

It is still early in the conference, but I might take a moment to try it out myself.

Inside the HoloLab