AI takes centre stage at well-attended CES 2024 show 

Bathroom mirrors that detect your mood and robotic companions that assist the visually impaired were among innovations at a show that drew 135,00 delegates, reports Futuresource Consulting.


This year’s CES show attracted 15% more visitors than last year, with AI taking centre stage.

The event – which took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center and covered innovations ranging from consumer TVs and audio products, through wearables and XR, to industrial automation, enterprise robotics and advancements in automotive – welcomed 4,300 exhibitors and 135,000 delegates.

But the total was still down on pre-pandemic levels, according to Futuresource’s show report, with about 170,000 attending in 2020 and a record 184,729 in 2017.

AI, meanwhile, is moving beyond ‘tech demos’ and showcases, and is being positioned for commercial applications and real-world products and services.

However, the Futuresource report notes that it is important to realise that the term AI is being used quite broadly – it does not necessarily mean intelligence that is integrated within products themselves.

Generally, AI is tasked with analysing large data sets and finding patterns that would be hidden or difficult to derive using statistical methods alone. The outcomes are often used to tailor functions on consumer products, allowing them to perform better than they would have without AI involvement.

This is very different from machine learning and training of AI, which today mostly resides on servers in the cloud – although it is steadily migrating into devices. Most companies have now realised that the way forward employs the vertical integration of AI.

Harnessing ChatGPT 
Several companies illustrated the capability of ChatGPT, and other large language models, to boost the efficacy of solutions in their sector.

Businesses are training GPT models on specialist data sets that then become expert in specific applications – such as healthcare or automotive scenarios – rather than generic tasks. This is especially important in applications where precision is vital and where AI ‘hallucinations’ – where the results look plausible but are incorrect – cannot be afforded.

At CES, the products on show included bathroom mirrors that detect your mood and pillows that claim to reduce snoring, as well as cars that integrate ChatGPT and robotic companion devices.

US start-up Rabbit collaborated with tech company Teenage Engineering to launch the Rabbit R1 at CES. The pocket device is designed to navigate various online services to complete tasks, operating as a virtual assistant but with a more human interface.

Dutch start-up Focus showcased a model that aims to predict the next major technology advancements by using AI to dissect and interpret global patent filings.

This “predictive AI analysis platform” uses AI to forecast not only upcoming trends but also their probability of success, using measures such as the number of patent submissions and the frequency of patent revisions. It also identifies which companies are most active in each technology.

CES also saw the demonstration of silicon chips with dedicated neural processing engines alongside the fast memory interfaces necessary to process vast amounts of data. This has been available on smartphones for several years, but the technology is now targeting smaller microcontrollers for smart cameras and sensors, as well as audio and voice processing.

The report notes that marketing and technology experts were excited about how AI will help enable spatial computing. Although the metaverse was practically nowhere to be seen, there were plenty of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality headsets on the show floor.

AI-augmented robotic companions
Robotic companions augmented with AI made their mark at this year’s show. Samsung has added video projection capabilities to the second generation of its Ballie home robot.

The revised version of Moxie, an AI robot from Embodied AI, was on display in Amazon’s booth. The company also unveiled home tutoring functionality with the latest software release for Moxie.

Glidance, meanwhile, demonstrated the latest functional prototype of its Glide device, which can help the visually impaired navigate, in a similar way to a guide dog.

To read the Futuresource report, click here: CES 2024 Post Show Report 

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