After digesting everything we saw at CES 2024 in Las Vegas in early January, a picture of what the year in tech will look like is starting to emerge. Here’s a quick synopsis of 8 trends coming in 2024, many of which are already here.
1. AI Everywhere
It’s no surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) technology will be prevalent across every facet of tech. From smart home devices to our laptops, mobile phones, wearables, home appliances, and more, AI is going to be the buzzword for the year, as it was for 2023. The technology is getting smarter and more customizable and personalized. AI will touch in things like helping you compose messages from a smartphone or e-mails from a computer, offering slick editing features for images (removing the background and filling it in, for example), and making your smart home devices smarter with things like intelligent and natural language replies from a smart doorbell when you aren’t home.
2. Transparent TVs
Transparent TVs could either be the next big thing in the display space or they could go the way of 3D TVs. Those took over the show one year at CES, but the technology never really translated to the home and it petered out as quickly as it gained favour. Whatever the case, transparent TVs were the talk of CES this year. Most notably was LG’s Signature OLED T as well as Samsung’s microLED display. Both look stunning and offering interesting new potential for placement options and living room décor. It’s more of a design play than anything else, but with the worlds of technology and design intersecting more and more, this could be the new type of TV that the elite covet for their homes.
3. Portable TVs
Remember when portable DVD players were all the rage? Streaming and tablets sort of cancelled that trend out completely. But if products like the LG StanByMeGO and Skyworth Portable P100 portable display are any indication, the category is making a (sort of) comeback. Instead of slots to insert a physical disc, however, they include built-in streaming software. And instead of an up to about 13-inch screen, these TVs have 24-inch-plus screens, making them hybrid portable and small-screen TVs.
4. Qi2 Charging Is The Next Evolution
Qi2 charging is the next evolution of wireless charging. It’s more efficient and, most important, much quicker. The only devices thus far that support the format, which was developed with Apple similarly to MagSafe charging, are the latest iPhones. But we expect to see Android devices come out this year that support it as well. Qi2 devices have magnets inside that ensure perfect alignment on compatible chargers, able to charge at 15 watts versus the typically slow 5 watts for Qi. This could be a game-changer in wireless charging once it’s adopted on a more widespread scale. The good thing is that Qi2 chargers are backwards compatible with Qi devices, so you can charge Qi devices on new Qi2 wireless chargers, just at the slower speeds (and vice versa).
5. Smart Glasses Are the New Mobile Accessory
The concept of smart glasses has been around since the days of Star Trek, and there have been several iterations dating back years, including simple glasses with built-in Bluetooth speakers. But the designs are getting more and more sophisticated. At the top level is, of course, Apple’s Vision Pro, which arrives in the U.S. on February 2. Then, you’ll find models like the Solos AirGo 3 I reviewed late last year that are not only speakers but also feature live translation. Ray-Ban Meta’s smart glasses got attention last year as well, about to take photos and even livestream videos. At CES, we saw examples of what might come next, like EssilorLuxottica’s Nuance Audio smart glasses that have technology inside to aid the hearing impaired. We expect to see more and more smart glasses coming this year. They have the potential to replace the smartphone altogether, albeit we probably won’t see this happen, if at all, for many decades.
6. Smart Rings Could Replace Wristworn Wearables
The wearables space continues strong. People love being able to track activity, steps, sleep, ECG, blood oxygen, temperature, and more right from their wrist. We have seen other designs, such as trackers that can be worn around the neck as well. Smart rings aren’t new: the first Oura Ring launched way back in 2015 via Kickstarter campaign. But now, almost a decade later, we’re seeing the market open up. At CES 2024, there was Zepp’s Amazfit Helio Ring for serious athletes and the Movano Evie ring for women. The Circular Slim Ring launched a few months prior to CES, and while it will be some time until it comes to market, Samsung teased a Galaxy Ring at its Galaxy Unpacked event just after CES.
Will smart rings become the preferred wearable? There are limitations, like not being able to access text-based notifications on a tiny ring or do things like control music. Right now, smart rings are touted as being supplemental to a smartwatch, not replacing one. But if we can hear our notifications, control our music, even get turn-by-turn directions from smart glasses, maybe a smart ring will be all we need to complement them…eventually.
7. Proactive Health Devices
This brings us to another trend in proactive health devices and features. Withings showcased its BeamO Multiscope device that can take a variety of measurements from the comfort of your home. It’s not meant to replace doctor visits, but for patients who can’t move around as easily or who require constant monitoring, it’s a great way to combine virtual care with in-person care. It can take your temperature and observe lung and heart health by combining a thermometer with electrocardiogram, oximeter, and stethoscope. A doctor can guide you to the correct placement while you’re on a virtual call, then call up the data from the app. You could also take measurements periodically and keep a log to present to your doctor at the next visit. We’re going to see more and more devices like this coming to market this year and beyond.
8. Washer/Dryer Combos
Yes, tech innovation is even happening with home appliances. Washer/dryer combos are taken to the next level with single units that can accomplish both. This is either using a condensation process to dry clothing after a wash with ventless models or a spin cycle and steam escape with a vented model. Perfect for smaller homes, apartments, or for general space-saving, these models from brands like LG, GE, and Eureka are high-tech as well since they work with mobile apps. The Eureka model is interesting in that it also has a robot vacuum and mop nestled into the base, connected to the same drain pipe and water line. This takes space-saving and clever design to an entirely new level.
What’s In Store for 2024?
There’s so much in store for the tech space in 2024. Each year, we see things evolve. We have gone from the wristworn wearable to the smart ring, the VR headset to the elaborate immersive Apple Vision Pro and smart glasses. Basic appliances to ones that can communicate with others in your home. Smartphones to robots, basic black box TVs to ones with showstopping designs. This merely scratches the surface of what’s to come. When it comes to trends coming in 2024, we can’t wait to continue reporting it all to you.