Hybrid work to high-tech pet care: 5 trends to watch from CES 2022

What lies ahead for 2022 and beyond in the way we work, live, and play? These tech trends provide some surprising clues.

By Jared Lindzon — January 7, 2022

Many had hoped that the New Year would bring a return to normal, but the surge of the Omicron variant has forced everyone to adapt — again — and the world’s largest consumer technology conference, which wrapped last week, is no exception.

The International Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, hosted more than 2,200 tech industry exhibitors showing off the latest and greatest gadgets, which typically don’t hit store shelves until the fall. In the days leading up to the event, however, COVID-19 concerns led many — including HP — to move their showcases online, and prompted show organizers to drop the final day of the event and move more of its content to a virtual format.

CES 2022 had already been planned as a hybrid event, with organizers initially expecting 50,000 to 75,000 in-person visitors (estimates are pegging actual attendance at about 45,000) — a far cry from the more than 170,000 it typically attracts to Las Vegas each year. So, how did the most anticipated and influential tech showcase of the year overcome such a challenge? With technology, of course.

For all the ways the pandemic has changed our daily lives over the last two years, technology has become ever-more critical to everything from how we learn and work to how we unwind and manage our own health. Judging from the range of innovative products at CES, it’s evolving to meet our needs today, and offer a sneak peek into whatever comes next. 

Here are five trends to watch from CES 2022:

Remote work gets an upgrade

Before COVID became a household name, work had a designated time and place, but now work happens at all hours and in all settings. Tech companies at CES offered a preview of the kinds of devices and solutions that combine flexibility and convenience with productivity and performance.

HP, for its part, announced its first Elite Dragonfly Chromebook — which brings together the best of the Dragonfly G2 and the collaboration-friendly HP Elite Dragonfly Max — in one sleek, portable package. The company also unveiled a lineup of redesigned EliteBook laptops built to meet the needs of our new normal, with bigger screens and aspect ratios, more powerful processors, and AI-powered battery management technology, all in smaller  packages. HP announced a new EliteBook 605 series that it believes is “destined to be an IT and user favorite” in a more remote world of work. 

Aria Dimaano

HP also extended the product lineup for its previously-announced Presence, a suite of scalable hardware and software solutions designed to make video conferencing more immersive and less challenging. Features include lighting sensors, face framing, noise cancellation, and dynamic voice leveling — all designed to make virtual meetings just as engaging as face to face interactions.

Gaming goes to the next level

The gaming industry has been on a meteoric rise, surpassing the combined value of movies and North American sports in 2020 — and it’s still growing. Companies at CES were offering a range of hardware to meet the needs of a diverse, global, and growing gaming audience — estimated at 3.24 billion worldwide — especially within the skyrocketing PC segment.

OMEN by HP launched a lineup of gaming PCs that are fully customizable, upgradable, and future-proofed. The latest must-have gaming PC for hardcore gamers is the all new HP OMEN 45L Desktop, which features all of the specs you’d expect from a top-of-the-line, 4K gaming PC, with some game-changing innovations. For example, the OMEN 45L features a brand-new cooling system, dubbed the “cryo chamber,” which provides additional airflow by moving the PC’s radiator outside of the main chassis to draw in external air rather than recycling warmer air from within the system. For more casual gamers, HP also introduced the scaled-down OMEN 25L Desktop with optional lighting features for that neon PC gaming feel, and added a front system fan. The new Victus by HP 15L serves as the perfect stepping stone from console to PC.  

Aria Dimaano

While the desktop is the centerpiece of any PC gaming setup, casual and serious gamers alike are just as interested in peripherals that make or break the gaming experience. HP showcased the world’s first HDMI 2.1 series monitor, the OMEN 27U Gaming Monitor, which features a four-sided micro-bezel design, and delivers better contrast, color, and an overall premium gaming experience for consoles and PCs alike. The company also unveiled its first line of gaming peripherals since acquiring HyperX, including the Clutch gaming controller, the Pulsefire Haste wireless mouse, the Alloy Origins 65 keyboard. A particular standout was the much-lauded, award-winning, Cloud Alpha wireless headset — the first wireless gaming headset built to last up to 300 hours on a single charge.

Everyday objects become health and wellness aids

This year also saw the return of more at-home health solutions, as consumers continue to prioritize their health and well-being between visits to the doctor’s office. For example, CES 2022 featured the world’s first automated blood pressure monitor from Aktiia that works around the clock, the iGlucose remote glucose monitoring system, and the smart Movano Ring that can track blood pressure.


RELATED: See how the pandemic has spawned new types of gamers, from cozy cravers to workday escapees.


Health and wellness solutions are also increasingly being hidden in everyday objects, such as the BBalance Bath Mat, which automatically stores your weight, posture and balance measurements; the Withings Body Scan, which looks like a standard bathroom scale but can also monitor segmental body composition (fat, muscle, protein, etc.), heart rate, vascular age, nerve activity, and heart rhythm; Sengled’s smart bulb, a light bulb that can track your heart rate; and Ible Technology's Airvida E1, a pair of noise-canceling headphones that double as a portable air purifier.

Smart homes go full on sci-fi

CES has long showcased new home-based technology solutions, and especially last year, as everyone spent more time in — and money on — their homes. This year, however, such solutions moved from what typically falls under the “smart home” category, like smart locks and light bulbs, to something that more closely resembles the luxury home of the future.

“After almost two years of relying on technology, our expectations for the products we love are even higher.”

— Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association

Some of the innovations that could have been ripped right out of The Jetsons include Beyond Honeycomb’s kitchen robot that learns how to create dishes prepared by world-class chefs, Moen’s handle-free motion controlled kitchen faucet, and a self-driving shelf created by Labrador that can ferry items around the house. There was even a smart drainage system — The Kohler PerfectFill — that allows users to draw a bath to their desired depth and precise temperature using voice commands, schedule their baths to be ready at a specific time, and drain using voice commands.

Pet care enters the digital age

Nearly one in five American households added a new pet to the family during the pandemic, and this year Americans are expected to spend a record-breaking roughly $110 billion on their furry friends. CES 2022 exhibitors showcased a range of products and services that are designed to improve the well-being of pets, as well as that of their owners.

There’s now a smart collar created by Invoxia that can track your dog’s respiratory and heart rate, and an app developed by TTcare that can detect eye or skin disease-related symptoms using a picture of your pet, with built in weight management and behavior analysis tools. For our feline friends, the event featured an automatic, self-cleaning litter box by Smarty Pear with voice commands and smart home integration.

Although this year’s event had a lackluster in-person turnout, it wouldn’t be CES without a few obscure, odd, or entirely bizarre inventions; including a therapeutic pillow with a tail that wags, a robotic stuffed animal designed to nibble on fingers, a sensor and LED-packed helmet that claims to cure hair loss, and a smart toilet that offers dietary advice by analyzing, well, you know.

Though not all are game-changing, these and other products on display paint a picture of how consumers and technology companies are ready to move beyond adapting to the new normal — and toward ways to improve it. As Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, which produces CES, said during the event’s opening ceremonies, technology has been a crucial tool for businesses and families during the pandemic, “but after almost two years of relying on technology, our expectations for the products we love are even higher.”