In the run-up to CES, I wrote an article reflecting on the cutting-edge technology of CES 2012. It was an interesting exercise for several reasons – among them, remembering the buzzwords of 10 years ago.
That year, LTE and ultrabooks topped the list. One had a great run. The other, not so much. This is to say that the strength of the CES buzz in any given year is not predictive of longevity. By mid-2012, the stories surrounding the ultrabook’s death had already begun in earnest.
This year, the CES hallways may have been pretty devoid of human life, but from the looks of things, you couldn’t walk a few yards without tripping over the metaverse. Just over two months after Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, some metsploitation is expected at a fair like CES, where companies invest in both a good hook and a good product. At a show like this, it’s understandable – if you’re not a company like, say, Samsung or Hyundai, it’s hard to stand out. Of course, these two giant brands never found one they didn’t want to see.
I will spare you the details about smaller companies. this topic is quite versed in the mentioned meta. Frankly, I don’t want to blow up any startups for hoping they’ll gain some of that shine (although, to be honest, “Goart Metaverse” is a phrase that will fit my psyche until my body releases DMT in my brain in my moments finals on Earth).
What I will say, for sure, is that if you didn’t know what a metaverse was before the start of CES, the program didn’t do a particularly good job of clarifying – aside from the fact that it probably definitely includes some goofy appearances. Memojis and probably some VR gear. And actually, now that I’m typing this, I recognize that it’s probably as good a description of the metaverse as any.
Receiving a press release from Hyundai titled “Hyundai Motor Shares Vision of New Metamobility Concept, ‘Expanding Human Reach’ Through Robotics and Metaverse at CES 2022” may have pushed me to the limit. Or maybe it was the video that followed Boston Dynamics’ Spot walking on Mars with a bunch of weird metaverse puppets. It was surreal to see a borderline sci-fi video that involved sending a real robot to real Mars that still revolved around the metaverse.
Hyundai’s concept is nothing if not interesting, using advanced robots like those from Boston Dynamics to serve as real-world avatars for our metaversal interactions, but it also shows how much auto companies are betting on this concept for the future. Meanwhile, Samsung offered a sort of palliative metaverse (betaverse?) Here was a “virtual showcase” of the company’s products, which at least got around the very real irony of traveling to Las Vegas to present the metaverse in person.
THE company notes:
Imagine this: You’ve just received the lifestyle TV you’ve always had on your wish list, home appliances that improve your quality of life, and the latest stylish smartphone. Now what if we told you that you can use these innovative products to decorate your home?
It’s an interesting scenario to think about and it will come true once the metaverse is up and running. Samsung Electronics has been innovating with the metaverse in many ways, and has created an option for those interested in CES 2022 to experience the event online.
It must be a confusing time to be among the most optimistic in the metaverse. Everyone from beauty brands to wearables. It’s both hopeful to see so much excitement surrounding the concept, but also frustrating to witness what can be a bullshit emergent metaverse. That is, will the metaverse lose all meaning before there is a metaverse to the metaverse? Your metaverse is as good as mine (metaverse).