The world’s largest technology expo was back to full capacity early this month after the Covid-19 disruptions.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held annually in Las Vegas, US, is a playground for tech companies to showcase their products and prototypes.

While not everything will make it to the production phase, the sometimes weird and wacky gadgets are meant to show how far technology has advanced and give us a glimpse into the future. This year included tech beyond gaming, the smart home, TV, robotics and the metaverse.

Car companies, and particularly electric cars, were given considerably more floor space than before.

We have rounded up some of the coolest tech to come out of the CES this year, most of which will eventually find a place in the real world.

One of the coolest concepts to come out of the CES this year was BMW’s i Vision Dee, a retro futuristic electric car that brings technology and passion together to offer a “digital emotional experience”.

Dee speaks to you, has facial expressions, shows emotions, changes colour, displays your avatar on the door window and takes you to the metaverse through a windscreen takeover.

No, we are not talking about a science fiction movie, we are talking about experiencing all the above first-hand at the CES.

The car has a closed kidney grille that displays nine different facial expressions, and, while speaking to you, can express moods such as joy, astonishment or approval.

If that doesn’t impress you, the advanced head-up display will do a full windscreen takeover.

It starts with a gradual digital experience, followed by mixed reality, until you enter the metaverse – even the side windows darken and shut out the real world.

Ahead of spending time in the car, we created a custom avatar that was displayed on the window when we got in.

The exterior paint uses E Ink technology and supports 240 panels that can be configured individually. It also supports 32 colours and a mixture of patterns.

The design of the retro vehicle was pared down to focus more on the technologies inside, such as the advanced head-up display, which we cannot wait to see in BMW’s cars from 2025.

Among its Las Vegas announcements, Asus introduced the world’s first glasses-free 3D OLED laptops.

Asus calls the technology Spatial Vision, and customers will be able to switch to 3D through a touch of a button.

It works on the OLED displays that are finished off with a lenticular lens layer that will track each eye individually to render the 3D images.

Asus says the response time will be 0.2 seconds. Two laptops that will support the glasses-free 3D tech are its ProArt Studiobook 16 and the Vivobook Pro 16, which will have 120Hz refresh rates.

While 3D televisions were not exactly a hit, it will be interesting to see how this technology develops and how useful it could be in the real world.

LG introduced what it calls the world’s first consumer TV with Zero Connect technology.

This means the TV is wireless, so you can say goodbye to cable clutter.

The 97-inches Signature OLED M TV uses a transmitter box for audio and video signals, and can be placed about 10m away from the actual screen.

The Zero Connect box will transmit in up to 4K at 120Hz.

It has multiple HDMI ports for gaming consoles, set-top boxes, streaming dongles and soundbars.

With most gadgets and products going wireless, it’s only a matter of time before televisions head there, but we’re giving it several years before it hits the local market and becomes accessible.

We’ve seen other manufacturers like Asus dabble in this space, but Lenovo took it a step further with its Yoga Book 9i.

Both the top and bottom of the laptop are 13.3-inch 2.8K OLED screens. It has a hinge in the middle and fits a detachable keyboard, so you can essentially flip the laptop around to have the screens sit side-by-side and use it with a keyboard. Other modes supported are through touch, a stylus or using a virtual touchpad that can be resized.

Lenovo worked on tweaking the software so that the laptop is usable in many ways, offering versatility and flexibility, which is in keeping with the Yoga brand. In future, you will no longer be confined to working with dual screens from your desktop – you’ll be able to do it from anywhere. We’re keeping an eye on this space.

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