CES 2024 – Top Trends & Standout Startups
Flying cars, web3 universes, transparent TVs, solar-powered vehicles designed to roam on Mars, AI-powered assistants for just about every aspect of life – the creative tech on display at CES 2024 shows us that we aren’t just dabbling in new technologies anymore. The transformation is here. This year’s standouts at CES didn’t just show us that a new technology exists, rather they showed us how we can use the technology in our everyday lives. The concept of sustainable “smart cities” suddenly seems attainable, and for the first time (in my opinion) a web3 universe looks like more than a gimmicky feature for gaming and hangout for crypto traders. Out of the 4,000 exhibits on display this year, it’s tough to narrow down our favorites. Here is my best attempt at outlining top trends and standout startups from CES 2024.
Top Trends at CES 2024
Companies are taking the smart home concept a lot further with a vision to develop smart cities that are sustainable, carbon neutral, and efficient. These smart cities combine innovations in sensor technologies, robotics, AI, blockchain, 5G, and more to create a connected, cleaner, and healthier world. One such example is Hyundai’s new robotic and autonomous construction equipment designed to reduce carbon emissions and create a more efficient worksite. Xiaopeng Motors even had a flying car on display! (I cannot wait to fly above the traffic snarls during rush hour).
The Metavaverse Manifests into the Mainstream
It looks like companies are finally getting a handle on real-world applications for web3 technology. For example, tech company Lotte unveiled their Caliverse platform at CES 2024 this year. A live DJ lured crowds into the booth where users could put on a headset and transform themselves out of the Las Vegas Convention Center to a huge music festival with pumping EDM music. Once inside the Caliverse, people can do everything virtually that they also do on the outside: go shopping, buy a home, go to the bar with friends… the possibilities are endless and it all looks very real. (Why do we need all of this? I’m not really sure yet, but possibly Mark Zuckerberg’s massive underground bunker might give us a clue?)
No More Guessing with Healthcare
One thing that stood out both in the Central and North Halls of the CES 2024 Convention Center and over at the startup zone in Eureka Park is that technology is taking the guesswork out of healthcare. Wearables and diagnostic tools have reached a point where it becomes easy to know your vital signs and information at any given moment. That knowledge combined with the power of generative AI can provide all kinds of valuable information to allow us to all become the most optimized versions of ourselves. Creativity in this space is so prevalent that I even got to sit inside a car that told me my heart rate, stress levels, and blood pressure and then recommended an audio/visual experience to match my mood and state of health. Of course, there were way more practical healthcare solutions on display as well, such as Vivoo’s urine analysis strips. Pee on a test strip and the near-instantaneous results will tell you what kind of nutritional support your body needs. Another example is GyroGear’s hand-stabilizing gloves designed to assist people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
Standout Startups at CES 2024
The latest concepts and innovations from the biggest players in the tech world are visually stunning and in some cases completely mindboggling, but the real creativity and innovation at CES happens across town in Eureka Park at the Venetian Hotel. That’s where you’ll find more than 1,000 early-stage startups on display. These booths are small and usually manned by the engineers and founders themselves rather than hired marketing stand-ins.
A sensor to make sure the baby is dressed perfectly
I loved getting to meet the founders behind Neut. They’ve created a device that clips onto your clothes to tell you if you are dressed properly for the current temperature. It’s especially convenient for new parents because it can be difficult to manage and monitor a baby’s temperature when they’re too young to tell you if they’re hot or cold. A comfy baby will sleep longer and throughout the night. It’s all about optimizing everyone’s life!
Tech makes birding a fun pastime
There are lots of cameras out there for taking photos of birds. There are smart bird feeders that can tell you what kind of birds come to the feeder. And now there is the Haiku Box, a smart device that tells you what kind of bird you’re hearing! The founders tell me it is more accurate than some of the more popular apps out there, plus it is easy to use. Place the box anywhere outdoors for constant communication about the birds that are in your area.
Pet Wellness on Display
We saw lots of pet wellness tech on display at CES 2024. One standout startup is the LoVo Tails pet subscription box by BLOVO Animal Health. It’s connected to an app that uses ChatGPT to customize your pet health subscription box based on your pet’s individual needs. Ilume, which is a product I first spotted at CES 2023, is closer to bringing its integrated pet health system to the U.S. market from Australia. Their system tracks your dog’s daily activities and includes a smart bowl that learns your dog’s eating habits. It’s all connected to an app so that you can optimize your pet’s life. Meanwhile, ChefPaw has created a device for making quick and easy homemade dog food. It comes with an app for tracking nutrition and recipes specifically for your pet.
Wellness and sustainability combined
Viridox wants to stop food waste by extending the life of fruits & veggies with their sanitization product. It’s a mist that you spray onto produce to kill all the germs and bacteria that make it rot quickly.
Another example of wellness and sustainability comes from the company Taiga, Inc. Their Moss Air product is a desktop humidifier that uses moss (yes, the green plant) to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, filter the air, and create a clean and calm environment.
COLDRAW is a promising Japanese startup for the food & beverage industry. They’ve created a vessel that can extract botanical ingredients for optimizing herbal and fruit teas.
And Calmstone will help you relax your mind and body. It’s kind of like a modern version of a mood ring. You hold the Calmstone in your hand and it assesses the blood flow to measure stress levels. The stone has lights on it that will change color to let you know when you start to relax. The goal is to help train you to keep control over your mind and body.
There is no shortage of ideas on how to make healthcare easier. Memo is a smart pill box designed so that loved ones won’t accidentally take the wrong pills at the wrong time. A caretaker can fill the boxes that automatically dispense the pills each day with no room for patient error.
Safety and security at the forefront
Plenty of startups are working to keep our lives safe and secure. The Laplok is a hardware device that physically locks your laptop so that you don’t have to worry about thieves taking off with it if you walk away. It’s perfect for people who work on their computers in group settings, like college libraries, co-op offices, coffee shops, and other public locations.
I also checked out the Erisco Smart Lock, which is a padlock that uses a cell phone as a key to unlock it. It means multiple people would be able to use the same lock, so it’s perfect for things like job sites and real estate where multiple people may all need access to the same site.
Also on the safety front is a new Safe Phone for Teens from the Pervasive Group. The device is designed to give parents peace of mind when they purchase their first smartphone for their kids.
I saw lots of home helpers and lifestyle products this year at Eureka Park. Take for instance the Exobrew to simplify home brewing. Meanwhile, Bunafr is all about fresh coffee. Their roaster allows you to roast green coffee beans at home. Bello makes a water filter that not only filters your water but also provides capsules for you to infuse with your favorite flavors.
Baby Tech for Peace of Mind
Several tech startups were showcasing the latest in products for babies, toddlers, and parents. Take Veba, for instance, they have a smart baby bottle monitor that tracks the freshness of formula and breast milk so that you know when it is expired. I also saw a smart bassinet that uses AI to track a baby’s movement and cries, an app that promises to tell parents why their baby is crying, a smart stroller that can rock a baby to sleep, and smart tools that let parents know if their toddlers get too close to dangerous objects in the home.
Tech on the job site
Several companies showcased their smart products for the workplace at CES 2024. Proxgy is a startup that makes IoT-based smart protective gear. They had several exciting products for the job site, but I was especially drawn to the versatility of their new smart lock called the Lockator. It’s a giant padlock with built-in GPS and a tamper monitor, perfect for the manufacturing and shipping industries, construction industries, or other types of work that require containers to be monitored and controlled.
Fun and giftable products on display
Not every product at CES is necessarily life-altering. Some of them are just fun. Take PlantPetz for instance. It’s a smart garden pot that makes your house plants dance. There is a practical aspect to it, too. The sensors can also detect water and will let you know if it’s thirsty. The perfect garden gift for those who really wish they had a green thumb, but actually don’t.
With thousands of exhibitors and more than 100,000 attendees, CES 2024 was a huge event with incredible tech on display that I suspect people will be talking about for quite some time. It will be interesting to see how these brands adapt and grow.
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