CES 2022 Preview: 9 Biggest Rumors And Trends To Expect

CRN looks at the biggest rumors and trends to expect at CES 2022, including companies that have cancelled in-person plans as well as what Intel, AMD, Samsung and OnePlus will likely present.

A Hybrid Event That Will Likely Be Virtual For Many

CES 2022 is less than a couple weeks away, and it’s already starting to feel more like CES 2021 than CES 2020, though the vibes may end up somewhere in the middle.

That’s because while CES 2022 has long been planned as a hybrid event — meaning people can attend in person or virtually — the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 is giving several companies and plenty of people second thoughts about visiting Las Vegas.

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However, CES organizer Consumer Technology Association said the show will still go on. The CTA has already made proof of vaccination and masking requirements for attending, and it’s encouraging attendees to take COVID-19 tests before arriving in Las Vegas and before entering CES venues.

What follows are the nine biggest rumors and trends to expect at CES 2022, including companies that have cancelled in-person plans as well as what Intel, AMD, Samsung and OnePlus will likely present.

Several Companies Cancel In-Person CES Plans

Several major companies have cancelled plans to send staff to CES 2022 in person in light of the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 that already represents a majority of new cases in the U.S.

Among the companies that have pulled out of attending CES physically so far: Amazon, T-Mobile, Twitter, Facebook parent company Meta and Pinterest, according to multiple reports.

“While we are confident that CES organizers are taking exhaustive measures to protect in-person attendees and we had many preventative practices in place as well, we are prioritizing the safety of our team and other attendees with this decision,” T-Mobile said in a statement.

Bloomberg reported that AMD and Samsung plan to attend CES in a limited capacity while Qualcomm, OnePlus and HTC also plan to still have a presence. On the other hand, Sony, Samsung and Google are “monitoring local conditions,” according to the publication.

Before omicron became a concern, the Consumer Technology Association, which organizes CES, had already made proof of vaccination and wearing masks a requirement. The organization released additional guidance on Monday, saying that attendees should take a COVID-19 test before leaving for Las Vegas and take additional tests before entering CES venues.

AMD’s 3D V-Cache CPUs, RDNA 3 GPUs Likely On Tap

Like other chipmakers, AMD is expected to launch and reveal new chips at its CES press conference on Jan. 4, 2022, but the real question is, which ones? The company’s public road maps and previous disclosures likely hold some answers.

Since May of last year, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has been hyping new Ryzen 5000 CPUs that will be first to use AMD’s 3D chiplet technology called 3-D V-Cache. The company said in October that it would launch these chips at the beginning of 2022, and it has promised an average performance improvement of 15 percent over existing Ryzen 5000 CPUs for gaming.

As for other new CPU products on tap, a new line of Threadripper processors is possible. For one, it’s been since July 2020 when AMD last released new Threadripper CPUs — the Threadripper Pro 3000WX series for workstations to be exact. And new rumors suggest that the company is planning to launch a workstation CPU refresh, the Threadripper Pro 5000 series, at the beginning of next year.

When it comes to AMD’s GPU efforts, the chipmaker has previously promised that GPUs using its next-generation RDNA 2 architecture would arrive sometime in the 2022 timeframe. More recently, specs have allegedly leaked for next-generation Radeon GPUs.

Intel’s Alder Lake CPU And Arc Alchemist GPU Bonanza

Intel has been making a lot of noise about its multi-segment Alder Lake CPU architecture and its first line of Arc gaming GPUs in the past several months, so there is little doubt that the company won’t release more details in both areas at its Jan. 4 CES press conference.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company marked the launch of its 12th-generation Core desktop CPUs in October as the first processors to use its Alder Lake hybrid CPU architecture. At the time, the company said it would follow the desktop variants of Alder Lake with 12th-generation CPUs for the mobile and “ultra mobile” segments, which makes January a great time for Intel to release details.

Intel is also likely to announce the launch of its first Arc discrete GPUs for gaming. The company has previously said it would launch the first generation of its Arc GPUs, code-named Alchemist, in the first quarter of 2022, targeting both desktop PCs and laptops.

The chipmaker is intent on challenging Nvidia and AMD in the graphics space, as evidenced by Intel’s plan to incorporate hardware-based ray tracing and AI-driven super sampling in its Alchemist GPUs, which are similar to features found in its rivals’ GPUs.

Phone Possibilities From Samsung, OnePlus

In what’s already been a big year of announcements from Samsung, CES will give the South Korea-based company a good time to launch its Galaxy S21 FE and perhaps tease its new flagship Galaxy S22.

JH Han – the head of Samsung’s visual display business who was promoted to vice chairman and CEO earlier this month – is still scheduled to deliver a keynote address Jan. 4 in Las Vegas as part of CES.

Han has been with Samsung since 1988 and worked in the development of Micro LED, QLED, Lifestyle TVs, Smart Signage, Cinema LED and gaming monitors, according to a Samsung statement about the keynote address. This seems to suggest some LED or TV-related news might also come.

Earlier this year, Samsung told CRN that the company wants to win new business customers with the help of solution providers, prompting recent investments in its Ascend portal that seek to help partners more rapidly drive new business.

Another rumored newsmaker during CES 2022 is China-based OnePlus, which may use CES to unveil its OnePlus 10, 10 Pro and perhaps a long-rumored Tablet.

Discussions On 5G And IoT Abound

The continued proliferation of 5G edge computing and cloud computing means emerging and future use cases should be on display at CES on the exhibit floor and in presentations.

The exhibit floor will feature GetWireless, NimbeLink, Taoglas and other peddlers of IoT infrastructure products and services. Beyond Honeycomb will demonstrate the use of sensors to learn recipes, AI to learn dishes and robotic kitchens that make meals. And multiple panels will focus on “smart city” initiatives powered by sensors, edge computing and 5G.

One panel will focus on how the world of media and entertainment will be impacted by 5G, augmented and virtual reality, AI and cloud computing, and it will feature Deloitte, Snap Inc. and AT&T.

Verizon will join tech giant Oracle to discuss the use of 5G in emergency responses and network resiliency for first responders and everyday citizens.

Meanwhile, Google will join Texas Instruments, Infineon Technologies and Blumio to discuss the use of radar in product development, health sensing, occupancy detection and other areas.

The role of regulation around 5G should also come up. Samsung and the Consumer Technology Association itself will speak on a panel focused on federal, state and local policies that could foster 5G success. And the city of San Jose will discuss how it uses 5G to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Metaverse Hype Spills Into CES

In October, Facebook got the world talking about the “metaverse” by changing the name of its parent company to Meta and announcing deeper investments in this next evolution of augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has also discussed the metaverse, with the company’s investment in Azure Digital Twins, Mesh for Teams and HoloLens perhaps indicating a growing rivalry between Microsoft and Facebook in the enterprise space.

And Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell has discussed the opportunity for his company as metaverse, blockchain, AR and VR grow.

Among the metaverse-adjacent products on display at CES 2022 are AR smart glasses from MAD Gaze, an example of hardware that will help bring the metaverse to the masses. And Snapchat parent company Snap will show its AR Lenses technology used by shoppers to browse catalogs and try on clothes virtually with superimposing.

CES has a new program for digital assets including non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with expo floor exhibitors including Autograph, Blockparty, Atomic Form and others, according to the conference. NFTs and blockchain-based technologies are a key component of the metaverse.

A panel at CES featuring speakers from Dubit Limited, Roblox, Metaverse Growth Strategies, Schell Games and MakeSEA will focus on learning in the metaverse.

A separate panel on virtual environments and the metaverse in digital workspaces will feature Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, Arthur Technologies, Sine Wave Entertainment and Gather.

Industry Deep Dives Into Health Care And Retail

Microsoft’s pending acquisition of Nuance and Oracle’s pending acquisition of Cerner Corp. underline two reasons why partners will be exploring more offerings for the health care space in 2022.

AT&T Business will exhibit health and wellness products and services on the expo floor along with Abbott, Dassault Systemes Americas and others. An AT&T Services executive will appear on an accessibility panel during the week alongside representatives from Verizon, the Multiple Sclerosis Alliance Foundation and Consumer Technology Association Foundation.

Other panels during the week include Accenture and Walmart representatives discussing technology’s role in more equitable health care. NTT Data Services and Action for Racial Equity will present on bias in data used for health care AI solutions and how clinicians and technology companies mitigate bias.

Representatives from Valencell and Deloitte will discuss trends in health care, from telehealth to in-home health monitoring and digital twins to AI and analytics on another panel. And the Digital Medicine Society and Providence St. Joseph Health will talk about the opportunities and challenges in digital transformation of complex health care systems.

Like health care, retail looks to be a vertical that will continue to provide partners with plenty of business in 2022. Fittingly, CES has devoted a lot of time to showcasing and discussing retail technology.

Programming around retail includes a presentation from market research company NPD Group on how consumer electronic purchasing has changed and will change during the decade. There will also be a panel on how AI and computer imaging is helping personalize modern shopping, featuring voices from market research company Euromonitor International and retail app maker The Yes.

In addition, there will be panels on the continued customer preference for contactless retail experiences and the growing role of “social shopping,” which includes in-app purchases and the opinions of friends, influencers and online consultants.

The Cybersecurity Discussion Continues

Critical vulnerabilities in the Java logging utility Apache Log4j. The mid-year ransomware attack against Kaseya by the REvil gang. And a cyberattack on the Alpharetta, Ga.-based Colonial Pipeline.

These were just some of the most serious incidents of the year to reinforce the needed investment in cybersecurity by vendors, partners, customers and other stakeholders.

It’s no surprise cybersecurity is a major topic of conversation at CES 2022. Featured speakers in the space include Jen Easterly – director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency – and Crowdstrike CEO and co-founder George Kurtz.

Samsung will join CES organizer Consumer Technology Association and investment bank Allen & Co. for a panel on how businesses adapt products and services to protect consumers. AT&T, Intel and Oracle representatives will speak on another panel about reacting to a major cyberattack or disruption.

Boingo Wireless, Omicron Electronics, Boston Consulting Group and Allen & Co. will discuss vulnerabilities in internet of things devices and technologies powering smart city initiatives. Deloitte and Humetrix will discuss the role of AI in improving privacy and security. And Trend Micro, Coinbase, Booz Allen Hamilton and Strategic Cyber Ventures will discuss the added stress of remote work and consumer devices used for professional and personal activities on cybersecurity.

Future Of Work Dominates The Conversation

Apple and Microsoft are among the tech giants to indefinitely delay when workers will return to the office given the rise of the omicron variant.

This signal that remote work is here to stay – let alone a hybrid world of some work-from-home days, some office days – is carrying into CES 2022 programming.

Citrix will join HTC Americas and The Harris Poll for a panel on the workplace of the future. In a similar topic, Deloitte, Yac – an entry on one of CRN’s hot startups lists this year – Canon and Owl Labs Inc. will discuss technologies enabling hybrid and remote work.

Hydrow, FitReserve, Tonal and Virtual Events Group will present on a panel focused on hardware and services that bring fitness to remote workers’ homes. RePure will present on timely breaks, posture detection and other ways technology can help with work-from-home.

U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn is expected to speak about plans to increase accessibility and affordability around high-speed internet.

And Salesforce President and Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Franklin will serve as a keynote speaker this year, giving the cloud software giant a chance to showcase new integrations with newly acquired Slack that meet the company’s vision of “digital HQ” and enable work-from-home.