The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 took place from 5-7 January in Las Vegas, NV, where more than 2300 companies, including 800 startups, exhibited and launched new products. A variety of industries were represented, such as artificial intelligence, automotive technology, digital health, manufacturing, and more. Over 45,000 people attended CES 2022 in person after the 2021 event was entirely virtual. Of the attendees, 30% were from outside the US, representing 119 countries.
One of the main trends displayed at the event was the growth of enterprise wearable technology such as smart glasses, smartwatches, and head-mounted tablets or displays. Some capabilities of wearable technology are astounding and the market for these powerful devices is getting bigger by the day. With this comes more wearable technology offerings. Standing out amongst the crowd is tough, but there were some exhibitions and launches that are worth exploring.
More Moves From the Big Players in The Smartwatch Game
Although marketed mainly to consumers and not enterprises, smartwatches have significantly matured over the last few years and this progress was on display at CES 2022. Notably, Garmin launched new versions of their popular smartwatches, cementing the company as a long-term fixture in the wearable space. At CES they launched the new Vivomove Sport and Venu 2 Plus. Razer released the Razer X Fossil Gen 6, with a limited run of 1,337 watches being made - so you have to move quickly if you want one! Lastly, another big release was the Falster Gen 6 by Skagen, built around Fossil’s Gen 6 platform, featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+ processor, 1GB of RAM, and a host of other improvements.
- The new Garmin Venu 2 Plus (Image Source: Adam Doud/Digital Trends)
Smart Glasses are Getting Smarter (and Sleeker)
CES saw many announcements related to artificial reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the metaverse. An important aspect of these differing ‘realities’, is which device is used to enter them — headsets or smart glasses. A good number of companies launched new smart glasses at CES this year, including TCL, Sony PlayStation, Mojo Vision, and Panasonic.
Another big launch in the smart glasses space was Vuzix with their new smart safety glasses Vuzix Shield.
- The new TCL NXTWEAR AIR (Image Source: TCL)
Head-mounted tablets (HMTs) are another area within the wearable technology space that is growing quickly. A big focus for these HMTs is the industrial space, with a focus on safety, efficiency, collaboration, and process digitization. One of the leaders in this space is RealWear, and at CES 2022 they showcased their newest device, the RealWear Navigator™ 500.
The RealWear Navigator™ 500 is the next generation of ruggedized assisted reality (aR) devices, with a host of new marketing-leading features, including:
- Upgraded processor, memory, and storage
- Vibrant, large display
- Upgraded, low light-optimized camera
- Durable but lightweight design
- Hot-swappable battery
- Modular hardware design
- The new RealWear Navigator™ 500 (Image Source: RealWear)
CES 2022 showed the future for wearables is an exciting one, with improvements being made every day to cater to newly emerging use cases. The question, then, is what do we have to look forward to this year, and years to come? Firstly, rumors persist that Apple may be getting into the smart glasses space, which has the potential to upend the industry and drive innovation even faster.
Secondly, the topic of the moment is undoubtedly the metaverse, and everyone wants a piece of that virtual pie. We can expect more and more wearable technology to be geared towards making the metaverse a bigger part of our reality, especially in the consumer space. In the industrial and business world, innovation is likely to remain focused on safety and efficiency.