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  • AI was in absolutely everything at CES this year. Everything. 
  • Never bet against a novelty TV set at CES. 
  • The indie-built R1 Rabbit smartphone alternative stole the show.

LS Transparent OLED TV.


CES is done for yet another year, and our predictions turned out to be correct: lots of AI, lots of home automation, and several big TVs, with a few genuine surprises. 

CES used to be the place that store and electronics retail-chain buyers would visit to strike deals, decide what they would sell for the next 12 months, and enjoy Las Vegas on an expense account. These days, it’s still that, but it’s a huge press event where you see brands try to guess what bandwagon will carry them to “shareholder value” this year. It has ailed in recent years, but in 2024 it was back with some obvious trends and a few standout gadgets. And a transparent TV. 

“My favorite this year has to be the advancements in home automation. There was this smart home security system that really caught my eye. It seamlessly integrated AI to analyze behavior patterns, enhancing security while ensuring privacy. This kind of innovation is not just about convenience; it’s about bringing a new level of intelligence and adaptability to home security,” Eugene Klimaszewski, president of security installation company Mammoth Security, told Lifewire via email. 

Radical Transparency

If you’ve ever visited CES, you’ll know some things are inevitable. You will be surprised at just how good Vegas is at buffets; you will marvel at the incredible casino carpets, which prevent sleep with a single glance, and you will see some kind of novelty TV. For years, we were subjected to (literally) nauseating 3D TV sets, and every year, there’s some huge 100+ inch monstrosity with a six-figure price tag. This year, the novelty came from LG with its transparent OLED TV. Yes, you can see through it to the wall or window behind. 

LG Transparent OLED TV.


Why? Why not? As a tech demo and a publicity magnet, the OLED-T screen is perfect. But as a TV? Perhaps not so much. One of the biggest advantages of an OLED TV, for example, is its black levels. An OLED only lights up the pixels it is using, so black backgrounds remain absolutely black, with no bleed-through from backlights. Unless, of course, you have a transparent screen. Fortunately, the TV can also be switched to make the screen opaque black. And as you can see from the images here, when transparent, it actually looks pretty cool as a decorative piece. 

AI in Everything

But this year’s CES buzzword bingo card had just one word—or initialism—in every square: AI. AI showed up in the brand new Copilot key on Microsoft keyboards, in a health-analyzing mirror, in an AI-powered cat flap (it won’t let kitty in if they’re bringing you a little half-dead gift), and, of course, that other stalwart of CES regulars, the Samsung smart fridge, this time with added AI. And a bunch of AI home-automation products, as mentioned by home-automation installer Klimaszewski above. 

“Regarding AI, I firmly believe it’s the legit future of computing, not just another CES bandwagon. The breadth and usefulness of the AI breakthroughs on display this year were remarkable. Nowadays, AI is seen as a basic technology that works in tandem with other technologies to develop them rather than as a stand-alone. Its use in numerous sectors, including cybersecurity and healthcare, demonstrates both its long-term sustainability and revolutionary potential,” says Klimaszewski.

But AI fridges, cat flaps, and mirrors are just gimmicks. Was there any legit AI tech at the show? Yes. One gadget that really stands out is the Rabbit R1 from startup Rabbit, with hardware design by Teenage Engineering. It’s a ridiculously desirable handheld alternative to the smartphone, which uses speech and AI to play music, book trips, order dinner, call a ride, and so on, all without apps. It uses what Rabbit calls a LAM, or large action model, which is trained on all the web’s app interfaces. The idea is that the R1 interacts with web apps, so you don’t have to. We have an in-depth article on the R1 coming soon, and I think it might show us the future of mobile computing.

Rabbit R1.


But not everybody is into high-tech AI. Some people prefer their gadgets old school.

“The best thing at CES was the Clicks keyboard case for iPhone because it’s not about AI or machine learning—it’s about the roots of CES. This is a true consumer electronics product that solves a real problem with a novel solution,” David Barkoe, CEO of Carve Communications, told Lifewire via email. 

I have to agree.

Looking for more 2024 CES coverage? Check out all of Lifewire’s CES news right here.

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