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👋 Good morning and Happy New Year! We're back, we're back! Hope it’s been a nice holiday season for you and yours, I hope it’s still going for you, and long may it continue.
💻 Regardless of the pandemic (or your vacation), CES 2022 will kick off the year in tech again both in-person and virtually, making for a big week to come…
CES is all this week: less all than usual, with the show cut from four days to three due to the pandemic. It now officially runs from Jan 5-7, with keynotes all virtually broadcast and media days on Jan 3-4.
- Much of the trade press won’t be in physical attendance, including my Android Authority colleagues who had a raft of meetings and briefings planned.
- Most have moved to virtual briefings and press releases.
- Nevertheless, the Consumer Technology Association is still hoping for 50% attendance.
Samsung gets the ball rolling:
- Samsung today announced its 2022 TVs across its MicroLED, Neo QLED, and Lifestyle series, its CES tradition of new TV tech.
- What’s interesting aren’t the displays so much this year. The already very-good displays are nudged forward: the Neo QLED TVs now include what Samsung says are the “first” 4K and 8K sets with 144Hz inputs over the previous 120Hz. There are also upgrades from 12-bit backlight to 14-bit for “more accurate brightness,” and the MicroLED line is now bezel-free, and features a slightly wider color range.
- None of that is super major, and the focus is actually on software.
- The big detail is that Samsung is introducing a new Smart Hub to its 2022 displays. The new software has added smarter content discovery and there’s a gaming hub that adds cloud gaming to the TV directly: supporting Nvidia GeForce Now, Google Stadia, and Utomik, plus YouTube Gaming, and more in the future potentially. There’s a Watch Together mode and a new home screen too.
- There’s also the ability to add your NFTs to your TV, which is getting plenty of headlines this morning(Engadget) but doesn’t really make a difference?
- As usual, Samsung hasn’t provided details around availability or price ranges — these usually come sometime in late February and some TVs ship the month after.
- What’s missing is OLED: Samsung has been rumored to be buying LG OLED displays for its TVs but no news on that now.
- We’d expect competitors will be talking about OLED, plus Mini LED backlighting, bigger screens than ever, more 8K support, and so on.
- Also, Samsung’s Eco Remote, which could already harvest indoor or outdoor light to hold a charge, now also has RF harvesting capabilities via Wi-Fi, by “collecting routers’ radio waves and converting them to energy.” Not bad! (The Verge).
- Also: Samsung brings 240Hz refresh rates to 4K monitors (Ars Technica).
- And if you recall, LG Display tried a bunch of concepts and announced OLED EX for brighter OLED screens, but hasn’t revealed its 2022 TV lineup yet.
- Another early CES announcement: Concept Nyx, which is Alienware’s take on a household gaming server (Ars Technica).
More to come from CES 2022:
- Of course, we’ll have some smartphone, accessory, monitor, desktop and laptop news with new devices and concepts sure to emerge.
- Also this year at CES, expect a lot more from automakers about their EVs and advanced driver-assistance systems, and smart home or smart devices elements for things like security, digital health, activity, wearables, smart home, sex tech, and so on.
👉 ICYMI: Xiaomi launched the Xiaomi 12 series in China late last month, with the new family one of the first to be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagship chip, and pricing starting at a rough $600 for the base Xiaomi 12. But global availability and pricing may not be until late Feb/ early March (Android Authority).
👉 ICYMI Pt 2: The Samsung S21 FE is hotly anticipated to launch this month, and it was unboxed already. Now, one French retailer listed a €759 price tag for the 6/128 GB model, which might translate to around $699? Not cheap (Android Authority).
📸 Google Pixel patent hints at under-display selfie camera future (Android Authority).
🤔 Microsoft’s skipping Android 12 for the Surface Duo and going straight to Android 12L apparently (Android Authority).
🍎 What Apple could launch in 2022: iPhone 14 with a hole-punch notch, MacBook Air redesign with M2 chip, a new cheaper external monitor, rugged Watch to VR headset (Android Authority).
🧱 The quest to trap carbon in stone — and beat climate change (Wired).
⛓ Square Enix’s president put out a letter noting it will be investing in decentralized blockchain games. It’s a sure sign of things to come: the idea of being able to earn stuff that has outsized value in a blockchain game is controversial, though (Engadget). That said, this explanation of the blockchain gaming scene tells us that a gaming economy where most players lose money is the only outcome eventually (Twitter).
🔋 Tesla delivered close to one million vehicles in 2021: 936,172 (The Verge).
🎈 Reusable “microballoons” could give satellites a run for their money (New Atlas).
🤷♂️ There’s loads of money for building new chip foundries, but finding staff is another matter: 70k-to-90k more workers are required (WSJ, $).
🕵️♀️ “Where does gut bacteria come from and how does it stay where it should be?” (r/askreddit).
There’s two big memes doing the rounds right now:
- The first is Jeffrey Bezos and his partner Lauren Sanchez at their “crazy disco party with family,” with the picture being dragged around Twitter and so on:
The other is the ongoing Bored Yacht Ape Club scene, where people like Eminem are buying NFT Apes for hundreds of thousands of dollars ( in Ethereum), and others are losing their apes to scams and trusted friends.
- It seemed to peak with a tweet from Todd Kramer saying “I been hacked. All my apes gone.” with a collection of 16 apes taken from his OpenSeas account. More on that here.
- Anyway, people …are not kind:
- What is interesting, though, is that OpenSeas did step in to freeze those assets: Kramer might not get them back, but they can’t be on-sold.
- Which makes the whole blockchain scene more and more strange.
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor