The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022 made a return to Las Vegas between January 5th and 8th 2022 as an in-person gathering. Last year, CES adopted an all-digital format which put a dampener on the whole thing.
2021 was the first year in its 50+ year history that CES was held online. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why – the coronavirus pandemic has wrecked havoc on all such events over the past two years.
Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets
The gathering did go ahead last January but it was much more low-key than in the previous years. Many companies chose not to attend. Wearable tech which typically makes a strong showing at CES was rather muted in 2021.
Having said that we did see a few product launches and announcements. This included the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, Amazfit GTS/GTR 2e, Wondercise, Honor Band 6 and Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0. But noticeably missing were some regular attendees such as Garmin, Withings, Suunto, Mobvoi and others.
CES 2022 was back to an in person event
This year CES was back as an in person event, For safety purposes, only fully vaccinated against COVID-19 were allowed to pick up a badge and access the gathering. The organizers also recommended that you test for COVID-19 before departing to Las Vegas and within a day before actually entering the venue.
Media briefings took place on January 3rd and 4th, while the actual show started on the 5th and ended on the 8th. The keynote address happened on the opening day at 8:30 am PST. An hour and a half later, the CES show floor opened.
In previous years the gathering would attract more than 4,500 exhibiting companies, 1,000 speakers and 170,000 visitors. The 2022 event was not of the same scale, but it was still be a biggie. Especially compared to last year. Around 2,100 exhibitors attended, so about half of what it was in earlier years.
Unfortunately, the current Omicron wave has caused some big brands to reconsider. Amazon, Ring, Twitter, Lenovo and Facebook (Meta) have all announced a few days before the opening that they would not have a physical presence at CES 2022.
The digital platform that was opened last year is still running. It is not as good as visiting the show floor in Las Vegas, but it is the next best thing! Like last year. This year the Digital Venue will run until the end of January.
In any case we were glad CES was back to an in-person gathering in 2022. CES is the largest and most influential tech event in the world. Over the years it has been the launching platform for many wearable tech devices we have grown to love.
Best wearable and health tech at CES 2022
After a rather disappointing 2021 at CES on the wearable tech front, 2022 was slightly more exciting. A number of big brands were there.
Garmin was one of the companies which had a physical presence at CES. The device they chose to announce at the gathering was Venu 2 Plus. Unlike its predecessor, Venu 2 Plus only comes in a single 43mm case size but with the addition of a speaker and microphone. These can be used for making calls, texting and interacting with your voice assistant when connected to a smartphone. The functions might be important to some, but not to others. Everything else is pretty much the same as on Venu 2.
There was lots on speculation onwhether would would also get news of the much anticipated Fenix 7, and a more fancy version of the same called EPIX 2. Nope, Garmin chose not to make a mention. But all eyes now are on January 11th and the week after – as Garmin typically holds product launches on Tuesdays. We could also see the release of Instinct 2.
French outfit Withings was also at CES. The company has, in November, made Scanwatch available for purchase in the US. This followed a lengthy FDA approval process.
Withings posted a teaser ahead of the event that they will be launching a “breakthrough new device” at CES. We did spot a patent a few months back from Withings for a urine analysis device so felt this could be the product in question. A smart toilet would certainly be of interest as it will add health tracking abilities that were not available before.
Instead, the company launched a very smart scale. Withings Body Scan goes much further than simply weighing you.
At the top of the scale is a retractable handle. You are meant to hold on to this when you are standing on the scale. Inside the handle are two electrodes, in addition to two more electrodes in the main body of the scale, four weight sensors and 14 ITP electrodes. These combine to spit out a daily assessment of nerve activity from sweat glands. This can potentially flag up certain conditions such as diabetes. Other functionality includes the ability to detect Afib and segmental body composition analysis.
The $299 device is not available for purchase just yet. Look for Withings Body Scan to land in the second half of 2022.
Fossil also made a showing. Last year has been rather quiet on the wearables front from them. We saw a few Gen 6 watches but nothing on the scale of recent years’ product releases. Probably the same factors are in play here that have affected so much of the industry – the pandemic, chip shortages and energy crisis is some countries. But that may be changing now. The company used the opportunity in Las Vegas to announce two new watches.
The first is the result of a linkup with RAZER which is the leading brand for gaming hardware in the US. The limited edition Fossil x RAZER is marketed as a smartwatch for gaming and fitness.
This is a typical Fossil Gen 6 WearOS watch. Which means it has the fast 4100+ Qualcomm processor, support for Bluetooth 5.0, more accurate heart rate tracking than Fossil Gen 5 watches, SpO2 sensor and fast charging. The novelty is to do with the design revamp in terms of branding, colour, straps, available watch faces, etc.
The other launch was from Fossil’s sub-brand Skagen. The Danish brand’s flagship smartwatch, the Skagen Falster, got a tech overhaul which consists of typical Gen 6 smarts. Its design has remained much the same.
The device is now available for purchase for $295. It comes in five distinct styles in a 41mm case holding a 1.28 inch color touchscreen display.
Nowatch looks like a smartwatch but it is more akin to a fitness tracker. The device has no screen or typical smartwatch smarts. Instead, it comes with interchangeable disc options that are held in place by a magnet.
The novelty of the thing is that it has the ability to sense stress levels in real-time with the use of a EDA sensor and warn the user in advance. That should give you ample time to take some time to calm down by stretching or perhaps meditating.
There’s little in terms of sports tracking but there’s lots of health tech on-board. The watch has heart rate and heart rate variability tracking, along with movement, SpO2, sleep tracking, temperature deviating, female cycle, cortisol level and more. Battery life is around two weeks.
This is an Indiegogo funded device which is expecting an official launch in March. Pre-orders for non-backers start on February 1st, at a hefty $599.
Circular Smart Ring
Smart rings are yet to take off in a meaningful way with Oura having the best known device. This, however, looks like it might be changing. The ring is a great place to track a whole lot of physiological metrics.
Circular is looking to come out with a solution of their own. Their smart ring can track heart rate, heart rate variability, sleep circadian rhythm, SpO2, temperature and more. It also keeps tabs on steps, activity and energy levels.
Smart functionality is also there along with intelligent alarms and a personal assistant called Kira. You can also tailor Circular Ring to your liking thanks to an interchangeable shell.
The French startup launched the device via a Kickstarter campaign a while ago. The original delivery was scheduled for August 2020, but there have been quite a few delays. The 1,500+ backers should expect to receive the ring this Spring. The rest of us can order it for €259 until February 27th. After that the price jumps to €289.
Sengled Smart light-bulb
One of the most original health products launched at CES 2002 is a smart light-bulb from Sengled. Screw the device in and it will, from that position, monitor your sleep habits and biometric measurements such as heart rate and body temperature. Yes, you read that correctly.
The device works by using echo location. The essence is that it can detect the sound waves that return after bouncing off surrounding objects. Sengled’s light bulb can even detect if you fall. Buy a few of these and they’ll create a mesh network of your entire home and track your health and sleep which ever room you are in. Interesting? Yes. A bit creepy? YES!!
Movano Smart Ring
Movano is another company looking to eat into Oura’s share of the smart ring market. They are offering what they say is an affordable device which can monitor activity, sleep, heart rate, heart rate variability, sleep, restoration, temperature, blood oxygen, steps and calories. The company is currently looking to register their ring with the FDA as a Class II medical device. Even more impressively, the outfit says their ultimate goal is for the ring to monitor glucose non-invasively, along with blood pressure.
Moving Ring has a very low-key design, even in ring standards. It is not available for purchase just yet. Look for it to land in the latter part of 2022.
Rounding off our list of the best health gear at CES 2022 are Abbot biowearables. This is not a particular device that was showcased at the gathering. Rather, the company gave a heads-up that it is working on a range of devices that will be able to track certain elements of a person’s body. The list sounds impressive and includes things such as glucose, ketones, lactate and even alcohol levels.
There’s been increasing talk of tech that can do this. A number of different companies are in a race to see which one will be the first. 2022 might be the year we finally get this type of advanced health information, non-invasively from our wrist.
Abbot’s upcoming bio wearables will be built on the sensing tech the company developed for Freestyle Livre. Professional athletes use this to optimise their food intake for training and competition. A ketone biowearable will allow users to know when they are in ketosis. This is a state where the body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates for energy so starts burning fat, instead. There are also plans for a lactate wearable. This would continuously measure the lactate build-up while working out.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!