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The biggest news from CES 2022 – TechCrunch

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Be it virtual, in-person or some mix of the two, CES is a beast. How could you keep up with all of the news flooding out of the show? You can’t, really. The big outlets each put a small army on CES coverage and only really scratch the surface.

With that in mind, and with CES 2022 now wrapped, we figured it was worthwhile to bring it all together in one neat little box — a recap of our top stories of the week, the trends we noticed and some of our favorite bits. It’s by no means exhaustive, but it’ll give you a good sense of the show if you were too busy to pay attention in real time.

The top stories

We wrote up many, many, many news items from CES. Can’t read them all? Here’s some of the stuff that folks read and shared the most:

Image Credits: BMW

BMW shows off a color-changing car

It’s like something out of a sci-fi flick: push a button, and your car changes color. Based on E Ink tech along the same lines as a Kindle screen, it’ll only flip between black/white/shades of grey… but still — wow. Don’t go looking for a preorder page, though… for now, it’s just a tech demo.

Nvidia RTX 3050 CPU

Image Credits: Nvidia

Nvidia launches the $249 GeForce RTX 3050

Between crypto miners, resellers and chip shortages, good graphics cards are hard to come by right now — especially if you don’t want to pay a huge markup. So it makes sense that a great card meant to ship at a budget-friendly price would grab a lot of eyes… but will resellers just gobble up all of these, too?

Image Credits: Nvidia

Nvidia expands its GeForce Now game streaming ecosystem

Nvidia had a good bit of news around its game streaming service, GeForce Now: new games, free subscriptions for select AT&T customers and plans to build it right into Samsung TVs.

Nvidia had quite the CES; while it didn’t break the top stories list, its announcement that it is opening up its Omniverse tech to more creators also pulled a ton of eyes.

Image Credits: Daan Tech

Meet Bob, a cute little dishwasher that saves water and zaps bacteria

Want a dishwasher, but dont have space and/or don’t want to deal with ripping out cabinets or installing water lines? Bob lives on your counter and you add the water with a pitcher. Plus you can use its water-free UV-C mode to disinfect things like phones, or keys, or other things that can’t get wet. Plus it’s hella cute.

Image Credits: Scanbo

How sweet is your blood? Scanbo gives an answer without poking holes in you

“How sweet is your blood?” writes Haje in a wonderfully Haje headline. It’s early days, but AI company Scanbo is aiming to do glucose monitoring without the painful, exhausting, never-ending finger pricks

Image Credits: Sony

Sony gives first details on next-gen PS VR2 headset for PS5

We’ve known for a while that Sony has been working on a new VR headset for the PS5, but now we know a lot more… like that it’s called PS VR 2, has a much improved display, supports foveated rendering and more.

Roofers install a solar shingle on a roof.

Image Credits: GAF Energy

GAF Energy takes on Tesla’s Solar Roof

“GAF Energy, a division of the roofing giant, claims its new solar shingles are simple enough to install that no special equipment or knowledge is required, making home renewable energy that much more accessible,” writes Devin Coldewey.

Image Credits: Brian Heater

Power1 is an iPhone battery case with a spot for your AirPods

Ever wished you could just cram your AirPods right into your iPhone instead of carrying around an extra little widget? This case makes it happen. Brian Heater goes hands-on with a prototype.

Image Credits: Hyundai

Spot goes into the metaverse

“By connecting robots to the metaverse, we will be able to move freely between both the real world and virtual reality,” says Hyundai Motor Group President Chang Song in a sentence that explodes my brain a little. Will traveling the planet — or, as Hyundai’s promo video suggests, Mars — in a robot avatar be a totally normal thing at some point?

Image Credits: Sony

Sony explores building electric cars

Sony has been experimenting with cars for a few years now, showing new prototypes at each of the last two CES events. Now they’ve announced the formation of a new company, Sony Mobility Inc., just to figure out how to commercialize their EV efforts.

The Trends

CES 2022, Schlage

Image Credits: Schlage / Schlage Encode Plus Smart WiFi Deadbolt

Why Matter matters

Smart home devices can be great… once you get them up and running. But for most people, just figuring out what works together is a chore. A lot of the biggest tech companies (Apple, Amazon, Google, etc.) have banded together to build a protocol called Matter, and Christine Hall has a look at how those efforts are going so far.

Image Credits: Yukai Engineering

Robots roll out

Are we close to having Rosie the robot roaming our homes? Or are we forever stuck with puck-shaped robo-vacuums that eat our socks? In last week’s Actuator newsletter, Brian Heater gave us a look at where consumer robotics are today, and how it has moved forward over the years. Plus there’s a robot cat that nibbles on your finger for some reason?

Blink MQ 200 new ev charger for fleets

Image Credits: Blink Charging

EV Chargers charge up

Electric vehicles tend to grab most of the headlines… but what about the boxes that you plug them into to give’m juice? There’s growing competition in the space, and Rebecca Bellan has the overview about what each team is doing differently.

Cake work series ebike CES 2022

Image Credits: Cake

E-Bikes and Scooters take charge

What’s left to build in the world of e-bikes and scooters? How can one fancy electric scooter differentiate itself from another? Our mobility team took us on a ride through all of the micro-vehicle news from the show.

Image Credits: wacomka (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

VR simmers

Rather than any one headset or “killer app” making VR an overnight ubiquitous thing, its story so far has been one of incremental progression — and CES this year moved it a few more steps down the road.

Image Credits: Samsung

Metaverses metaversed the metaverse

Metaverse? Metaverse! “Metaverse” was by far the buzziest word at CES this year, even if a few companies’ use of the word was… questionable.

Animation of a router automatically moving its antennas.

Image Credits: TP-Link

Gadgets galore

The organization behind CES might not want anyone to call it “Consumer Electronics Show” anymore (as it aims to broaden its scope to all of technology, not just the electronic bits), but there are still lots, and lots, and lots gizmos and gadgets to be found. Heater took a look at some of the most interesting ones.

BEECO emo robot for monitoring health signs

Image Credits: Yukai Engineering / BOCCO emo robot

Elder tech can help everyone

As much as we’d love to pretend otherwise, we all get old. Before we know it, we’ll have a generation of seniors that grew up from day one with the internet always within reach. How can tech evolve to help older people live more comfortably? From robot companions to lightbulbs that might help detect falls, Catherine Shu rounded up the latest advancements in elder tech.

Our favorite bits

We spent the last week with our heads buried in CES news — and, for much of the CES team, it was our seventh or eight or zillionth time doing so. What stood out to us? Here’s some of the stuff we’re still thinking about.

John Deere’s self-driving tractor

The average age of the American farmer is 57.5 years. Field work is backbreaking, intensive and increasingly difficult to staff. Farming is one of those roles that makes a lot of sense to automate, something John Deere has been working for several years to perfect. Available later this year in select U.S. Markets, the 8R finally brings full autonomy to the company’s popular tractor line, with a number of features currently in the works.

— Brian Heater

Mercedes-Benz’s Vision

This isn’t just a concept car that will never see the light of day. Mercedes tapped the expertise of its R&D department, Formula 1 and Formula E teams to develop advanced components for this concept that will show up in future models, starting in 2024.

Of note, they improved the energy density of the battery by making “significant progress” in the chemistry of the anodes, which has higher silicon content and advanced composition that allow it to hold considerably more energy than commonly used anodes. Translation: More range packed into a tinier package. Another item that will show up in 2024 includes ultra-thin roof panels that feed the battery system for some extra range.

— Kirsten Korosec

BMW’s color-changing concept car

Will you be able to buy BMW’s color-shifting car any time soon? Probably not. Is it super practical? Nope! Who knows how much it’ll cost to replace a door panel when someone bumps this thing with a full grocery cart. But one thing I dearly miss about in-person CES is the absurd, “we made this mostly just to flex” aspect of it all, and this one fits squarely in that category.

— Greg Kumparak

The Labrador robot

We hear a lot about the promise of robotics, but the most useful robots for people aren’t going to look like us.

They’re going to be things like Labrador, which is essentially a mobile table. It’s intended for elderly folks and those who may have trouble with everyday tasks, for example, carrying a plate and a drink from the kitchen to the dining room, or bringing the laundry hamper to the washer. With built-in voice controls you should be able to tell it “wait in the bedroom” or “come to me.” It’s the kind of thing that could make a lot of people’s lives easier, and something I hope we see more of in robotics.

— Devin Coldewey

Mui Lab’s “calm” smart home device

One of the more interesting smart home devices at CES was the Mui Labs Matter-ready “muiPlatform” that turns smart home devices into “calmer ones.”

The more devices we add to our home, the more we have cluttering up our furniture. Mui Labs lets you embrace a minimalist lifestyle while also enabling your Amazon Alexa to function more like a piece of art on your wall with a visual interface.

— Christine Hall

Bob

To me, some of the most interesting technologies at CES are about how we can use our limited resources better. With California being in perma-drought, Bob caught my eye.

Bob is a tiny dishwasher aimed at households of 1-2 people, and uses a lot less water than washing dishes by hand. It even has a UV mode to clean items without using any water at all.

— Haje Jan Kamps

Read more about CES 2022 on TechCrunch

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Samsung Galaxy A53 5G's leaks confirm four rear, one selfie cameras – Times of India

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Jan 23, 2022, 05:00AM ISTSource: ANI

New leaked pictures of Samsung Galaxy A53 5G reveal frame and rear panel components. As per GSM Arena, the panel appears black, though this could be prior to painting. Either way, black is one of the rumoured colour options for this model, alongside white, light blue and orange. This same colour palette will be used for other Ax3 phones as well, including the Galaxy A13 and A33 5G. As for the cameras, there will be four modules. The main camera is expected to have the same 64 MP resolution as the A52 models, but the ultra-wide may be getting an upgrade to 32 MP (up from 12 MP). In the leaks, there is only one centred punch hole for a selfie camera. As per GSM Arena, the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G will use two different chipsets, one of which is expected to be the Exynos 1200.

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Want to preorder the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra? Here's how to reserve your spot – Pocket-lint

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(Pocket-lint) – Days before an event, Samsung invites consumers to preorder whatever it’s about to announce, and this year it’s no different.

Samsung’s next Unpacked event is scheduled to happen in February, where it’ll likely announce the next-generation Galaxy S series alongside other devices.

Samsung has yet to announce the Galaxy S22 of course, apart from a very brief teaser and a blog post. Nevertheless, you can now reserve one – sight unseen. That’s right. You can register your intent to buy the rumoured flagship as well as the Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22 Ultra models from the Korean electronics giant before they’re even announced and go on sale. 

If you’re the type who must have Samsung’s latest handset before anyone else, go to this page at Samsung’s site to reserve a preorder for one of the phones.

You don’t even need to put down money yet – you’re merely reserving a slot to order the phone later, after the company’s keynote at Unpacked in February. Per usual, Samsung said you’ll get $50 of credit toward other Samsung Galaxy products when you preorder, which you can use to snag a case or charger.

To reserve, just enter your name, email, and zip code, and then select whether you want a phone or a tablet from Samsung. Easy.

If you want to know more about the next-generation Galaxy S series, based on all the rumours and leaks so far, see our guide here.



Writing by Maggie Tillman.

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Activision Blizzard Workers Form a Union – PCMag

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It’s nearly impossible to convince random teammates in Call of Duty to organize their efforts. The same can’t be said for the people who make the games, however, because 34 employees at Raven Software have voted to unionize with support from Communication Workers of America.

Activision Blizzard acquired Raven Software in 1997. The studio has mostly worked on the Call of Duty franchise in recent years, with its most recent title being Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which debuted in September 2020. It’s likely working on the next franchise entry now.

Members of Raven Software’s quality assurance (QA) department voted to unionize after 12 of their colleagues were laid off in December 2021, according to Reuters, which reports that the remaining employees have also been striking in solidarity with their departed colleagues.

“While we believe that a direct relationship between the company and its team members delivers the strongest workforce opportunities,” Activision Blizzard told Reuters, “we deeply respect the rights of all employees under the law to make their own decisions about whether or not to join a union.”

Raven Software’s QA workers are seeking voluntary recognition of the union; Activision Blizzard told Reuters it is “carefully reviewing” the request. If it declines, the union will hold an election sponsored by the National Labor Relations Board, which leaves its fate up to other employees.

Recommended by Our Editors

This revelation follows Microsoft’s announcement that it plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion—in cash—pending approval from Activision Blizzard shareholders and regulators. It seems likely that all parties will be watching Raven Software’s unionization efforts closely.

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