Despite new variants of the coronavirus and continuing supply-chain shortages, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) forecast in January that industry revenue is expected to reach $505 billion in 2022. That would mark the first time in history that such revenues have crossed the half-trillion-dollar mark.
The forecast also stated that smartphone shipments are expected to reach 154.1 million units and $74.7 billion in revenue, a three percent increase from last year, with 5G leading the way. As for automotive tech, CTA projected the category will reach $16 billion in shipment revenues this year, a seven percent jump from 2021.
“The record-breaking revenue generated by the technology industry reflects the reality that every sector of our economy is leveraging technology to enhance their products and services,” Rick Kowalski, director, industry analysis and business intelligence, CTA, said in the forecast announcement. “Just look around the show floor at CES 2022; you see agriculture, health care, entertainment and beyond. It is a snapshot of how all-encompassing the technology industry has become.”
As products — including those unveiled at CES in January — begin to roll out throughout the spring, it’s time to look at particular categories that especially stand out and have people in the industry talking. Here are three areas that are expected to make their presence felt, especially in Q2.
The flowers and vegetation of April and May have a tendency to make things difficult for those with allergies, and with no lockdowns expected this spring, several companies are offering a new class of air purifiers.
LG recently unveiled the Puricare Aero Tower, which the company described as a “premium air purifying fan.” Seen as a direct competitor to Dyson’s Pure Hot + Cool product, the Puricare Aero Tower is meant to function as an air purifier, fan and heater, and works all year long. The product collected several CES awards.
Razer is best known for gaming accessories, and now it has announced the Zephyr Pro, a wearable air purifier. A successor to last year’s Zephyr RGB mask, the Zephyr Pro also features a microphone on the inside, so people wearing it can be heard. The product will retail for $200.
Another major offering is the Aura Air Purifier, which has been around since last year, but has now added HomeKit support, as well as an attached B2B platform. The company cited a pair of recent trials, from Innovative Bioanalysis Laboratory and Sheba Medical Center, that the Aura Air product “successfully managed to filter and remove 99.9 percent of airborne SARS-Cov-2.” It is available now, with the Aura Air costing $499 and the Aura Air Mini listed at $179.
E-Bikes and E-Scooters
With temperatures getting warmer, many consumers are going to want to get out and bike or ride, and as such, more of them are eying the thriving E-bike and E-scooter categories. CES featured electric bike and scooter brands, many of them part of a special exhibition called the eMobility Experience. Some of the highlights of that category:
Bird Global, Inc., the hot e-bike brand of the moment, recently unveiled a new Bird e-Bike and the Bird Flex e-scooter, along with a children’s kick scooter called the Birdie Glow. The five-year-old company has much emphasized the part such products can play in the quest to reduce carbon emissions.
Segway’s original scooter was discontinued a couple of years ago, but the company has pivoted to a line of electric kick scooters that will arrive this year, including the new P-Series, the P60, and P100S, while also debuting a new e-moped, the E11a. Prices have not yet been announced for the products.
Damon Motors, a motorcycle company, debuted an electric motorcycle at CES, called the Hyperfighter Colossus. The Vancouver-based company, which says it has raised $60 million to date, says the new Hyperfighter Colossus is priced at $35,000, and can be reserved now.
And for those looking ahead to winter later this year, or to summer skiing south of the equator, there’s MoonBikes, a French startup that has developed electric bikes for the snow. Starting at $8,500, a limited edition of MoonBikes is being made as part of a limited run of 400 units.
The wearable category is growing, and also moving up the body. Manufacturers have been emphasizing products for AR and VR, as well as growing, often surprising, uses of the technology, everywhere from medicine to e-commerce. This is in addition to the oft-cited technology of the future known as the metaverse.
In January, Sony talked a bit about its upcoming next-generation VR product, the PlayStation VR2, which will work with the PlayStation 5. Microsoft also announced a technology that’s a ways away, with a Qualcomm partnership set to develop smart glasses. Apple, also, is expected to enter that category, possibly as soon as this year.
Another product that has gotten some attention was the Shiftall Meganex VR Headset, which comes from the Panasonic subsidiary Shiftall. Expected to arrive this spring at a price tag of less than $1,000, the Meganex VR works along with the existing SteamVR.
TCL has also unveiled the next generation of its own AR glasses, called NXTWEAR AIR. The mostly TV manufacturer emphasized comfort and lightness in its wearable AR glasses, including a pair with 1080p Micro OLED displays. Pricing and release plans haven’t been announced, but the earlier version costs a little under $1,000.
With spring here, many will be wondering about wearables they can wear outside. One is the Skagen Falster Gen 6, the latest edition of that highly regarded, “Danish-inspired” smartwatch line. Retailing for $295, the Falster Gen 6 sports the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ platform.
Garmin has also debuted some new smartwatches, including the Venu 2 Plus, which offers voice functionality for those on the go. It’s available now at a $449.99 price point.