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Updated: 2022-01-05 17:13:58 KST
Las Vegas.
The glitz, glamour and the bright lights that define the world-famous "Entertainment Capital of the World" are back, the neon-lit Strip is again seeing traffic build up, and tourists are coming in droves.

Vegas returning to some resemblance of normal after a months-long Covid-19 led hiatus also means the return of the annual tech pilgrimage to a trade show called the Consumer Electronics Show.

"And with CES of course comes the CES unveiled, the most popular pre CES event leading up to the Consumer Electronics Show.
Now normally, you'll see journalists queued up here to get into this event. But this year it's a little different."

Many tech companies and media made last-minute decisions to pull out of in-person presence this year due to a surge in Omicron cases, but it's not stopping the organizers from marching ahead with the trade show.

"Requiring everybody to be vaccinated was you know, one decision that we knew was going to help us, you know, help us no matter what kind of what was happening down the road () then being able to offer free testing to everybody that came that was like another layer that was important for us masking and requiring people that continue to wear masks.
These are the things that are gonna help us get through and move forward. And so it was important for us to continue to move forward you know, especially because we have 2,200 companies really counting on us to bring everybody together and do this the sheer life."

So, what are some of the key tech trends to watch in an unusual year that is 2022?

"I think AI is one of them that we keep seeing driverless technologies, electric technologies, and I think probably health but then you know, the other exciting things that we have this year for the first time is like, we have space technology."

AI, food tech and healthtech with a sprinkling of metaverse and NFTs.

"Another keyword trending this year is healthtech or digital healthcare. Here we are with a massage, but this one is supposed to be more than that. Many Koreans have one of these at home, but I was told that this is not just a massage chair, in fact, it's no longer one."

"Is that the element where AI comes in?"

"Yes. So the AI we use a two types of AI we use we use a neighbor systems, the voice recognition or so we collect our data from your signals and we analyze based on what time did they use, what kind of function did they use and also we measure some of those bio signals from your body and we identify detect and then let you know that what your health conditions."

" So this is at-home healthcare."

The increased focus on wellness following the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of healthcare and skyrocketing demands for mobile and flexible care solutions are being met with pioneering technology.

"Another keyword at this year's CES is the future of mobility and autonomous driving. Here I have Indy Autonomous Challenge. And, let's meet Paul. Hi, hello there.
You have a race car here? So tell me all about it.

"This is a fully autonomous meaning self driving race car. It's capable of traveling at 160 miles an hour around the racetrack, and it does so without any human telling it what to do. ()

"Right. So, this will be racing around the race track this week."

"At least two cars passing each other at the higher and higher speeds. It's never been done in the world and it's going to advance the state of the art and autonomous technology."

"So, what's the technology behind this?"

"So this vehicle, if you look at it, it looks like any other race car except where the driver sits is filled with advanced autonomous technology. We have perception systems like LiDAR, radar, optical sensors"

It's one thing to think about it as an autonomous race car.
But, think of those times when an ambulance needs to try to get through traffic very fast to save a life. That's where this technology can be applied to better our daily lives.

The three-day show - cut back from an initial four-day run - opens on Wednesday at venues across Las Vegas and is being offered virtually.
While it may be a subdued gathering this year, it will nonetheless serve as a platform to display
ground-breaking tech accelerating the digital transformation.
And, in 2022, what happens in Vegas no longer just stay in Vegas.
Moon Connyoung, Arirang News, Las Vegas.
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