Wrap-up CES 2023: Innovators, Product Debuts & a Focus on Solving Global...

Wrap-up CES 2023: Innovators, Product Debuts & a Focus on Solving Global Challenges

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CES was back in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 5–8, 2023. With more to see than ever, the show’s footprint was 70% larger than that of CES 2022. For 50-plus years, CES has been the global hub for tech innovation. This year, it saw 3,200+ exhibitors showcasing technologies and launching innovative products. And 1,000 start-ups attracted attention at Eureka Park during CES 2023.

Moreover, total attendance topped 115,000 industry professionals. This made it the largest audited global tech event since early 2020, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CTA).

For the first time, the event had a show theme: how technology is addressing the world’s biggest challenges. The CTA, in partnership with the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, showed its support for the global campaign Human Security for All (HS4A). The theme was present throughout the show.

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Gary Shapiro

During CTA’s State of the Industry Address, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA, noted: “At CES 2023, new innovations promise to change our world for the better. Companies big and small are showcasing innovations in mobility, digital health, artificial intelligence, robotics, food tech, smart home, digital assets and more.”

Additionally, in this post-pandemic world, CES 2023 offered a more touchless experience. The move was part of CTA’s commitment to create a healthy environment to conduct and further global business. CTA took health and safety measures across all venues, including increased fresh airflow and filtration systems, hand–sanitizing stations, door greeters and touchless public facilities.

2023 Tech Trends to Watch

The full week of innovation at CES kicked off with CTA’s “2023 Tech Trends to Watch,” presented by CTA’s vice president of Market Research, Steve Koenig. New research from CTA projects U.S. technology retail revenues of $485 billion in 2023. This data puts revenues slightly above pre-pandemic levels, following a three-year surge in consumer tech spending that peaked at a record-breaking $512 billion in 2021.

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Steve Koenig presenting Tech Trends to Watch

While CTA anticipates a looming recession and inflation will weigh against consumer spending in 2023, consumer tech industry revenues will remain $50 billion above pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, many consumer technology prices have fallen, thus fighting inflation.

Further, the C Space session delved into how major brands are using technology to engage diverse audiences. The keynote featured Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian and MediaLink founder/CEO Michael E. Kassan. The keynote, “Building Connection & Community in a Non-Stop World,” explored how successful consumer brands are combining technology with ingenuity to engage dedicated followers and create superfans.

Photo-Imaging Company Booth Highlights

Imaging industry companies were out in full force at CES. Following are booth highlights from just three of the companies

Nikon: Opto-Electronics & Precision Tech

Nikon’s exhibit was themed “Making a better world with trust and creativity.” The company exhibited products ranging from cameras and lenses to astronomical telescopes that improve quality of life. Booth visitors could also speak with product experts and try out Z series mirrorless cameras and Nikkor Z lenses. New this year, Nikon had an area dedicated to video shooters where they tested Nikon cameras rigged up. The Nikon booth featured three main areas of focus.

The Unreal Ride & the Z 9

Along with imaging products, like its Z 9 flagship, full-frame mirrorless camera, Nikon presented The Unreal Ride. The collaborated exhibit with Vū Studio demonstrated the power of motion control. The Unreal Ride took participants into an immersive virtual production. They could capture a video of themselves moving through a virtual environment as if it were the real thing. Participants sat on a futuristic motorcycle prop against the backdrop of a giant LED screen. When captured through the lens, it appeared as if they were riding through the virtual environment.

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Nikon booth visitors took home a video of themselves zipping through a virtual futuristic cityscape

The ride was captured with technology by Mark Roberts Motion Control Limited—a subsidiary of Nikon. The exhibit featured MRMC’s Bolt X high-speed camera robot against an LED volume, with video footage captured by the Z 9.

Combining the physical and the virtual world, this technology demonstrated how filmmakers can shoot against any background, without being bound by time or place. The demo also supported Nikon’s vision for a society where people are connected in ways that transcend time and space with imaging production technologies.

Riblet Processing

Another part of the exhibit explained riblet processing. Inspired by sharkskin, it uses laser and microfabrication technology to develop micro-surface structures on an object. This can reduce viscosity frictional loss due to the irregular flow of liquids and gases. Consequently, the technology can improve the energy efficiency of industrial equipment. ces-logo-thumbrev

When applied to aircraft or wind turbine blades, it can help reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. As the realization of carbon neutrality is an increasingly urgent issue, Nikon believes riblet processing is an environmental technology that deserves global attention.

A giant mock-up of a wind turbine blade had drones and industrial robots placed around it. The robots performed riblet processing regardless of operating altitude–unassisted.

Robot Vision

Nikon also presented its Robot Vision systems that achieve greater visual acuity than the human eye. The robots can identify ultrasmall parts and flexibly process them at high speed. Mounted on the end of a robot’s arm, they point the way to a future in which robots can carry out complicated tasks efficiently.

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Nikon innovation in high-res optics and object-recognition AI hopes to usher in a new era of manufacturing automation.

Video footage showed the placement and recovery of toppled dominos, demonstrating the superior flexibility these future systems will offer. Nikon asserts that this vision system will boost industrial productivity.

Canon: Limitless Is More

Canon demonstrated how its technology is helping dissolve limits between real and virtual worlds through the first-of-its-kind Canon immersive movie experience.

Immersive Movie Experience

Partnering with renowned filmmaker/director M. Night Shyamalan, Canon enabled booth attendees to step into his upcoming thriller, Knock at the Cabin, using the company’s imaging innovations.

Reflecting the theme “Limitless Is More,” attendees immersed themselves into M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller. Canon showed how its solutions can “remove the limits humanity faces to create more meaningful communication, more powerful collaboration, more exciting perspectives and more boundless imagination across four technologies.”

VR Software

Canon’s Kokomo, introduced at CES 2022, is an immersive virtual reality software currently under development. The software’s goal is to change human communication by combining VR with an immersive calling experience. Canon-Immersive-Movie-Experience-CES-MREAL-X1

Kokomo provides people with a way to meet virtually “in-person,” using a VR headset, a smartphone and an Internet connection. The solution will allow users to see and hear one another in real time with their live appearance and expression, in a photo-real environment that is essentially a 3D video call.

Canon booth visitors could put on a VR headset and step into a 1:1 Kokomo conversation with one of four characters from Knock at the Cabin.

Free Viewpoint Video System

Canon also presented its Free Viewpoint video system for arenas, stadiums and studios. It comprises 100+ Canon Cinema EOS-based 4K cameras and lenses. Their captured data is sent to a server system that creates point-cloud-based 3D models that reproduce various viewpoints or camera angles.

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Canon’s Viewpoint Video System

These could be a view from a drone, swooping in and around players. The result is an immersive, customizable viewing experience from perspectives that may not be possible with traditional camera systems.

CES attendees viewed an action scene from Knock at the Cabin from multiple perspectives as captured by the Free Viewpoint system. It was supervised by M. Night Shyamalan and shot at Canon’s Volumetric Video Studio in Kawasaki, Japan. Viewing the scene from multiple viewpoints allowed attendees to watch through the “eyes” of the various characters.

MREAL: Mixed Reality Experience

MREAL, a mixed reality experience, utilizes Canon imaging technology to integrate real and virtual worlds. It is a premium visualizer/simulator that helps account for limits of scale, perception, analysis and participation.

The technology is currently in the market research phase in the U.S. However, Canon showed an example of the technology. Booth visitors could experience a break-in scene from Knock at the Cabin as if they were a character in the movie.

Moreover, a gamified experience let attendees immerse themselves into the movie’s action. They could interact with virtual furniture and other objects to barricade themselves inside the cabin and keep intruders out.

Activate My Line of Sight (AMLOS)

Introduced in 2022, AMLOS amplifies how people see and interact in hybrid meeting environments. It is a software-and-camera product suite that provides engagement for collaboration across multiple meeting locations. AMLOS features PTZ (pan, tilt and zoom) camera functionality guided by hand gesture controls for certain actions by in-person participants. Remote users can customize their viewing experience to see objects or areas of the in-person space.

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Canon AMLOS

The AMLOS experience at CES allowed attendees to connect with a stranger on the set of Knock at the Cabin, located in Philadelphia. They worked together to investigate the aftermath of events from the movie while creating their own stories regarding what could have happened in the cabin. Canon also worked with Shyamalan to develop clues that were placed throughout the space for participants to discover. usa.canon.com

Sony: Technology to Expand Creativity & Entertainment

Kenichiro Yoshida, chairman, president and CEO of Sony Group Corporation, took the stage at Sony’s press conference on the eve of CES. He explained that collaboration with creators who create Kando (emotion) is essential to advancing Sony’s purpose to “fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology.”

Yoshida emphasized that the “live” sharing of time and space is the essence of entertainment. He added that Sony’s creation and interaction technology will support the virtual world to provide live experiences—and connect them with the physical world.

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Sony Group Corporation chairman, president and CEO, Kenichiro Yoshida

Under the theme “Moving People Forward,” Sony’s exhibit focused on its efforts to “move people’s hearts and expand the possibilities of entertainment.” It plans to do this via collaboration with creators and through technologies and initiatives relating to the metaverse and mobility. Following are some highlights of Sony’s booth at CES 2023.

                           Moving Creators Forward
Star Sphere

This project attempts to bring space closer to all and discover space perspectives to provide an opportunity to think about the global environment and social issues. On January 3, a remote controllable nano-satellite called EYE was launched. It integrates a camera capable of shooting from space. Sony exhibited the Space Shooting Lab. The experimental simulator proposed a “space” for experiential photography from space that Star Sphere will offer in the future. It also had a mock-up of a nano-satellite with Sony camera equipment.

Technology for Creators

Here, image production and solutions were showcased. They included digital cinema cameras such as the Venice 2; Alpha full-frame mirrorless cameras; the VlogCam series; the professional Airpeak drone; and Xperia smartphones. It also featured the Creators’ Cloud, a cloud-based media production platform. Additionally, Sony demonstrated high-quality sound content production through microphones and headphones for professionals and general creators.

               Expanding Potential of Virtual and Physical
Virtual Fan Engagement

Sony conducted a PoC (proof of concept) with the English Premier League football club Manchester City. The goal is to encourage the next generation of online fan communities via engagement through the combination of physical and virtual to excite new and existing sports fans. Sony-at-CES-2023-PoC

In the booth, visitors experienced metaverse content as if they were in the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City’s home, reproduced in virtual space. Fans could create customizable avatars on their smartphones. In the future, they can connect with millions of fans worldwide and access services to increase engagement.

Sports Fan Experiences

This exhibit introduced initiatives related to new data-driven sports fan experiences. It took visitors through the journey of sports data from capture on the field. It created virtual content in real time and offered it on various platforms. Multiple technologies from Hawk-Eye Innovations, Beyond Sports and Pulselive, all Sony Group companies, showcased Sony’s sports businesses’ ability to “revolutionize how we capture, visualize, deliver and make interactive live-action data for the fans.”

Portable Volumetric Capture

Here Sony demonstrated a prototype of a system that can capture and distribute animated 3D reconstructions of people, objects and spaces with low latency in any location. The system only requires seven sensors, which allows setup anywhere quickly, meeting the demand for live 3D video distribution. Visitors experienced a 360º view of Manchester City players and the audience shown in a 3D metaverse space.

Spatial Reality Display

Sony featured a 27-inch prototype of the Spatial Reality Display (SR Display) that reproduces the real world with 3D spatial images.

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Sony Spatial Reality Display ELF-SR1

The larger screen format enables the display of life-sized objects. At the booth, the SR Display showed 3D computer graphics content with applications in various fields, such as point cloud data used in VR and AR (augmented reality).

Previsualization Powered by “mocopi”

Previsualization technology was demonstrated using Sony’s mobile motion capture system, “mocopi.” It allows creators to check their camerawork and character positions with VFX editing at the preproduction stage. A CG model was shown on a viewing monitor, which was synchronized in real time with the movement of a performing model wearing the mocopi device. Sony believes this technology will streamline production workflow. sony.com

CES 2023 Imaging Innovations

Panasonic’s Lumix S5II is the first Lumix mirrorless camera (along with its S5IIX sibling) to use phase-detection autofocus.

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Panasonic Lumix S5II

With 779 AF points, the PDAF system was made possible by employing a new 24.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor and a new imaging engine developed under the L² Technology alliance.

Lexar showcased its Lexar Professional photo and videography portfolio. It includes the 512GB Professional CFexpress Type B Diamond series cards and the 2TB Professional CFexpress Type B Gold cards. It also exhibited the Professional CFexpress Type A 320GB + RW530 card and reader bundle. Lexar-Pro-Photo-CES-2023-banner

Part of Canon’s MREAL mixed-reality systems, the MREAL X1 is a head-mounted display. The video see-through device overlays 3D CG images onto a real-world space as if they were really there. Its wide field of vision delivers a greater sense of immersion.

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Canon MREAL X1 Headset

Kingston Technology returned to CES with its latest offerings for 2023. As work-from-home continues to grow, so does the need to secure data. As a result, launched its IronKey USB Type-C Vault Privacy 50C drive.

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Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 50C

Nikon announced it’s developing the Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.2 S, a fast mid-telephoto prime lens. It will join Nikon’s S line Nikkor Z lens series—a grade of lenses that demonstrate outstanding optical performance and adhere to a high standard of design principles. The lens will realize “superior rendering performance and large, beautiful bokeh.”

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Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.2 S

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