CES media preview shows electric boats and transparent TVs

A number of major brands are holding media-only events on Wednesday in Mandalay Bay, just a day before the various convention centers’ biggest tech trade show kicks off.

Brands such as LG Electronics and Canon showed off new products inside conference rooms filled with photographers taking pictures of the massive TVs, including the See-Through TV, portable air purifier and sleek virtual reality headsets, among other gadgets. There were even appearances by some celebrities like actor Kal Penn and Olympic skier Nathan Chen.

CES, which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday, is expected to attract more than 100,000 attendees with a third of them from outside the United States, according to the Consumer Technology Association. This year’s show will also cover more than 2 million square feet of exhibition space, nearly 50 percent larger than CES 2022 which saw a much smaller crowd thanks to the omicron variant spread of COVID-19.

Here are some highlights from Wednesday’s media fair.

Wireless and transparent televisions

LG Electronics’ main feature has been its new line of OLED TVs, a product it introduced for the first time 10 years ago.

It introduced a transparent OLED display, called the LG OLED T, that can display what’s behind it, allowing it to go unnoticed or act as a window. There was also a wireless TV—the first in the world, according to LG—that used signals through a USB flash drive attached to the TV.

LG also showed off the OLED Flex, which can transform from a flat TV to a curved TV with 20 levels of curve settings.

Panasonic is all about the environment, cleanliness and mobility

Panasonic enlisted Chen and Penn to help direct its bid, which focused on sustainability.

I showed off the recently unveiled Multishape device that can act as multiple products, depending on the attachment. The device offers accessories like a razor, toothbrush, and noisy hair trimmer, though Panasonic is looking to add more, according to Michelle Isgar, director of marketing and experience for Panasonic North America.

The company also introduced the nanoe X, a portable air purifier that can be placed inside a car and eliminate allergens, mold and bacteria as well as eliminate unpleasant odors, according to Andrew Poliac, chief technology officer of Panasonic.

There was also a new sound system developed specifically for electric vehicles that uses 67 percent less energy than existing sound systems, according to Pollyak. The design aims to save more energy so that it can be directed to the EVs motor.

Boat ride simulator

Brunswick, which owns boat brands such as Sea Ray, Bayliner and Mercury Marine, has focused on the autonomous and electric capabilities it is trying to bring into the boating industry.

It is currently developing autonomous docking in which the boat uses sensors for “soft docking” across a variety of environments, according to CEO David Foulkes. The technology is a few years away from being commercially available, but the company is accelerating development by testing the technology in real-world environments including a simulator that CES attendees can experience during the show.

“Simulation software helps you develop more quickly, and test your application in environments that you wouldn’t necessarily want to drive yourself,” says Alex Cattelan, Brunswick’s chief technology officer.

It’s the first time Brunswick has shown the simulator at CES. The company initially planned to show the simulator at CES last year but pulled out of the show, according to Cattelan. But she said the extra year allowed the company to develop the simulator, which captures up-and-down motion when riding a boat.

Foulkes said the simulator will help bring more autonomous features to the boats.

Another highlight is a boat-based generator called the Mastervolt of its Fathom brand that can power lights, radios, and televisions — power that would normally come from gas engines, Foulkes said.

“People really want their generation systems to be online all day, not the drivetrain,” he said.

Another device was the 7.5e outboard, or boat propeller, which came with a rechargeable battery and a handle allowing it to be easily moved between different boats.

Brunswick also unveiled its new boat brand Veer which will develop affordable electric boats. Veer’s first boat is the X13, a 13-foot fishing boat with a motor powered by a rechargeable battery. Although this is Veer’s first electric boat, more are on the way.

“We need to make electrical products affordable for everyone so that they are sustainable and commercially viable,” he said.

Canon introduces virtual reality

Like Panasonic, Canon has been able to showcase its celebrity firepower with film director M. Nate Shyamalan, who helped pitch some of her virtual reality products.

Canon’s Kokomo VR headset can transport people to virtual meeting places like the beaches of Hawaii or the hills of Malibu, California, as well as to sporting events, said Shyamalan, who will release his movie “Knock at the Cabin” in February. CES attendees will be able to preview a virtual version of the main set in Shyamalan’s upcoming film.

For the system to work in the stadium, cameras are set up across the sports stadium in order to provide fans with a VR headset at home to watch the match from different angles.

The technology is only being tested in the NBA arenas of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets. A demo of the system on Wednesday showed a seating perspective of the stadium as well as a half-court view of the game.

At the end of the show, Canon introduced the MREAL X1, which looked like a lighter version of a typical VR headset, with an adjustable screen that could be flipped over the eyes. A product demo by Kokomo co-founder Jason McWilliams showed him driving a virtual string quartet and at another point sitting in a luxury car.

Williams said the system could be used by companies to showcase new products and help run virtual training courses for trades dealing with complex machines. Currently, the device is in the market research stage.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow Lord, save her on Twitter.

Leave a Comment